Food and agriculture system specialist Janine de La Salle will present at the Revelstoke Seniors’ Centre on June 21

Food and agriculture system specialist Janine de La Salle will present at the Revelstoke Seniors’ Centre on June 21

Urban food, agriculture specialist talks food security in Revelstoke

Vancouver-based author, food and agriculture system specialist Janine de La Salle will explore food security in Revelstoke at June 21 event

Food and agriculture system specialist Janine de La Salle will be in Revelstoke on June 21 to share her knowledge on local food systems with the goal of creating a more secure food future for Revelstoke.

De La Salle, an Agriculture Systems Specialist with HB Lanarc-Golder, was named Young Planner of the Year by the Canadian Institute of Planners in 2010. She’s published articles in planning and popular media and in 2010 published Agricultural Urbanism: Handbook for Building Sustainable Food Systems in 21st Century Cities.

De La Salle said her talk with focus on the planning framework that municipalities can adopt to improve food security at the local level.

Traditionally associated with provincial or federal policy, De La Salle says food and agriculture is increasingly becoming a focus for local governments. “Food is a great way to activate public spaces,” she said. Her presentation will look at ways to involve a spectrum of community members in the process, including residents, businesses and educators.

Resilient food systems, de La Salle said, require participation from all community groups and integration amongst them. “You’re creating linkages between people so people know their farmers, they know the land where their food comes from; their kids grow up with a sense of carrots come from the ground, not the grocery store,” she said.

Creating a more secure local food system requires complex and robust planning. Some first steps involve carrying out food assessments, doing food asset mapping and creating comprehensive local food and agriculture strategies.

She also advocates for urban agriculture, including things like permitting more farming in urban areas and allowing farmers to sell their produce directly.

She gave the examples of Nelson and Smithers as two municipalities similar in size and geography that have laid solid food security foundations.

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The North Columbia Environmental Society hosts the presentation on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Revelstoke Senior Citizens’ Centre