Farm Blog

Place Order
Why organic farms are the best way to increase "green space"

Posted by: Trevor

June 20, 2012

Metro-Vancouver's expensive land-acquisitions throughout the Lower Mainland have been in the news recently. It turns out they've been buying-up hundreds of acres (for millions of tax-payer dollars) as part of a program to preserve and promote "green space".

They've even been acquiring vast swaths of land all the way out here in Abbotsford, much of which they intend to leave as undeveloped bush.

Naturally, some people are asking the question "Is this a sensible strategy? Does it make sense for City governments to use tax-money to acquire large tracts of land to increase green space?"

While we all love parks, they are expensive to build and operate. It's been reported that Metro-Van doesn't nearly have enough money to even maintain the parklands they've already got. Yet they have plans to spend hundreds of millions to buy even more land in the decades to come, even though they acknowledge they don't know where the money will come from.

One of the ways they justify buying all this land is to point to the economic value that the community receives from bushlands, wetlands, marshes and the like. They point to things like climate regulation, water filtration, recreational uses, air quality, and so on. They assign best-estimate dollar values to these benefits, and use that to justify the land acquisition.

To calculate the benefits, they rely on data provided from various sources including David Suzuki's foundation, which recently completed a study "Natural Capital in BC's Lower Mainland " Valuing the Benefits from Nature."

Suzuki's foundation assigns economic value to various land uses

In the study, Suzuki's people point out that the economic value to the community of things like wetlands, grasslands, shrublands and marshes is $7,674 per acre ($18,957 per hectare). That sounds pretty valuable, I would agree.

But Suzuki's report goes on to point out that a 2007 study conducted by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands found that the value of public benefits and ecological services provided by farmland in the central Fraser Valley is $29,490 per acre.

Suzuki also goes on to point out that another study released by the Ministry (this one carried out in 2009) estimates the value of public benefits and ecological services of farmland in the Metro-Van area at $58,000 per acre --- again, far surpassing other potential uses of the land.

Our local, organic family farm provides one of the highest community benefits of all potential land uses

In other words, according to Suzuki's report, the public benefits which flow from farmland are far greater than the public benefits from wetlands, shrublands, marshes, etc. Further, Suzuki's report goes on to say that "...the total economic value of organic farmland is greater than conventional land."

In other words, one of the best ways to preserve and promote "green space" while simultaneously providing the most benefits to the community is through organic farmland.

And so my question is this: Why doesn't Metro-Vancouver be consistent and use all of Suzuki's report, not just the parts they like? If they want to be consistent with their own methodology, they'll scale-back their massive Parks Master-plan and instead focus on encouraging local, organic family farms. Their own data demonstrates that organic farms provide more "green" value to the community than bogs, marshes, swamps, wetlands, and even forests.

Other Farm Blog Posts

November 7, 2020How to Get Enough Vitamin K2 In Your Diet
October 3, 2020The Secret to Optimizing Collagen Synthesis in Your Body
July 18, 2020Here is an Easy Way to Improve Your Sleep
July 4, 2020Do We Become What We Eat? Please Consider This
June 14, 2020A Delicious Way To Increase Your Selenium Intake
June 6, 2020Three Great Natural Sources of Vitamin D
May 31, 2020Nourishing Your Body with Natural Choline
February 15, 2019Is Organic Healthier? Study Shows Remarkable Benefits
January 27, 2018A Delicious Way To Boost Your Polyphenol Intake
September 11, 2017Better Than Garlic Butter, Whipped Lard Is So Good
March 17, 2016Chicken Bone Broth - A Healthy Start to Your Day
March 7, 2016Making Ultra-Nutritious Beef Back Ribs
February 25, 2016How To Make Super Healthy Pork Rinds
February 16, 2016A Delicious And Easy Way To Boost Your CoQ10 Intake
February 9, 2016How To Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D From Pork
August 28, 2015Air-Chilled Chicken: 4 Reasons It's Better
March 19, 2015This Orphan Lamb Is Too Cute!
March 12, 2015These Fascinating Meat-Sheep Are New Additions To Our Farm
September 9, 2014These Pigs Are Having A Picnic In The Forest, Watch Them Having Fun
July 11, 2014Why Happy Cows Love Rotational Grazing... Watch As They Get Moved
June 18, 2014Watch As These Happy Chickens Enjoy Life, On The Grass And In The Sun
June 15, 2014She Went Vegan To Cure Her IBS
June 4, 2014Just Born: New Piglets, And They're Absolutely Adorable
May 20, 2014Alpaca's Getting Haircuts, Just In Time For Summer
May 11, 2014Baby Calves Galore, Momma Cow Has Twins
May 1, 2014Pigs On Spring Pasture At Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2014Could West Coast Maple Syrup Be A Nutrient-Dense Superfood?
April 23, 2014How To Make Your Own West Coast Maple Syrup
April 18, 2014Watch Out For Local Suppliers Selling Fake Organic Food
April 16, 2014How to enjoy the benefits of wild Oregon grapes and thimbleberries
April 11, 2014A Traditional Festive Roasted Ham, With The Bone-In
April 2, 2014The astonishing super-nutrition of red marrow beef bones
December 10, 2013A Christmas Pig's Head Feast
November 20, 2013Buying your chicken in the US? It could be imported from China
November 14, 2013Rethinking seafood: 4 alarming reasons why it may be unhealthy
October 15, 2013Thanksgiving at Sumas Mountain Farms
September 17, 2013Lard: the momentum just keeps growing
August 21, 2013Another big health reason to buy organic, grass-only beef
July 25, 2013How to avoid dangerous fluoride levels in non-organic food
July 18, 2013Why grass-only beef has yellow fat, and why it's better
July 9, 2013Shill scientists still bashing organic
May 6, 2013Organic mixed farms vs. conventional monocultures
April 19, 2013Why buying locally produced food isn't enough
April 1, 2013More reasons to love, experience lard
March 25, 2013Dandelion chickens on spring pasture
March 19, 2013Bees and bugs: pollinators in action on our farm
October 30, 2012Small-scale family farms under attack by local governments
October 10, 2012CKNW news "The Bill Good Show" interviews Sumas Mountain Farms
October 8, 2012CBC television news visits Sumas Mountain Farms
October 3, 2012Why organic, local, small scale agriculture is healthier & safer
August 8, 2012Reflections on Lard - and vitamins A, D, E & K
June 27, 20126 reasons why pastured pigs are healthier and happier
June 25, 2012The best meatballs I've ever had
June 18, 2012This tastes so good: Bacon-stuffed Pork Chops
June 11, 2012Cows on spring pasture
June 4, 2012Making parks more useful --- food security 101
May 29, 2012Reconstructing local food economies
May 22, 2012Why our eggs are totally soy-free
April 30, 2012A cow's life at Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2012New Rideshare service allows customers to "carpool" their orders
April 21, 2012Now in stock: certified organic grass-only beef
April 18, 2012Reprieve: no GMO pigs in the food supply... for now
April 12, 2012Is food really too cheap?
March 21, 2012Easter hams are now in stock; more beef in 4 weeks
March 12, 2012Pork tenderloin is now back in stock: soy-free, certified organic, pastured, heritage breed
March 5, 2012Save the bees: What we're doing this summer
February 27, 2012Producing and preparing your own food
February 20, 2012Bee wars: the next frontier in global food dominance
February 13, 2012False organic claims: How some local food-suppliers are misleading consumers...
February 6, 2012The best way to avoid eating Roundup
January 30, 2012Tapping big-leaf maple trees for sap
January 23, 2012Snowing on the farm
January 16, 2012What buying local food in the Lower Mainland actually looks like
January 9, 2012Pig's head: a healthy, traditional food
January 2, 2012Why local, organic food is important to our family
December 26, 2011Lard, Raw Milk, and Organ Meat: a formula for optimal health?
December 19, 2011Livin' Lardge: rendering pork lard, for health
December 9, 2011Organic pastured pork is now in-stock... and it's soy-free
December 6, 2011Maple Sap as an alternative to bottled water
December 1, 2011Soil: the wealth of nations