New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Theatre and organic gardening come together in Santiago, Chile

santi
Gabriel teaches how to sow seeds. Colectivo Sustento market day 2013.

Establish an organic garden in two of the centres: San Bernardo and Calera de Tango

By Penelope Glass
ColectivoSustento
2014

Excerpt:

Because theatre is not all we do. Colectivo Sustento’s work outside the prison is a constant development towards self-sustainability through organic gardening, community garden initiatives and networking. Through this work Gabriel, ex Fénix & Ilusiones, has been trained in organic agriculture for 2 years (thanks to the CSA* Farm Huellas Verdes). He is our garden expert, who coordinates the Sustento garden, and runs workshops at our market days and in community settings. He is the logical choice to run community garden workshops in the juvenile centres.

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December 18, 2014   No Comments

South Euclid, Ohio to grow new Bexley Community Garden

euclid
The Hinsdale Garden is one of seven community gardens in South Euclid. The city plans to build the eighth one at Bexley Park by next summer. Photo by Sara Dorn.

The Bexley Garden is expected to cost $25,000-30,000

By Sara Dorn,
Northeast Ohio Media Group
December 09, 2014

Excerpt:

The new 67-by-54-foot space, near Maplegrove Road at the northwest corner of the park, is expected to be ready by summer.

It will have 20 raised beds and approximately three common gardens for raising larger crops, Housing Manager Sally Martin said. Berry bushes and other vegetation will be planted for communal use, a paved walkway and an 8-by-54-foot landscaped space will be built at the entrance, and a pergola will sit in the center of the space.

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December 18, 2014   No Comments

Documentary: “Food Cartographers” track food growing in the wild in cities

The conclusion of Welty’s Boulder study is that residents could get their produce from urban agriculture five to six months a year.

By Anna Maria Barry-Jester
FiveThirtyEight
Dec 16, 2014

Excerpt:

Last week, FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films published the first in a series of short documentaries called The Collectors, profiles of people who use data in innovative ways. “Cartographers of the Edible World” introduced Evan Welty and Caleb Phillips, who built an open-source, user-generated website that catalogs the location of edible plants all over the world. When the two men met, Phillips was interested in technology for social organizing. Welty was using publicly available data to map arable land. They both had maps for personal use that helped them forage food from city parks and public spaces in Boulder, Colorado, where they live.

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December 17, 2014   No Comments

In 19th-century New York, urban livestock were perceived as a threat

taming
“Today, proponents argue that urban agriculture and local food sources promote ‘sustainable cities,’” writes historian Catherine McNeur in her new book, Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City. “In the nineteenth century, many Americans would have believed the opposite.”

When Gentrification Meant Driving the Hogs Out of Manhattan

By Sarah Goodyear
citylab
Dec 16, 2014

Excerpt:

In order for Manhattan to become the center of a nation’s wealth and high culture, as McNeur illustrates, the dirty work of agriculture and food production had to be pushed out and made invisible—along with the lower-class people who made their living from animals and their by-products. The result, she writes, was a volatile and unsettled period in which rancor and division among citizens was heightened by the question over who had the right to use the city’s rapidly vanishing common spaces.

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December 17, 2014   No Comments

New policy for urban agriculture proposed by the Vancouver Park Board

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Kitsilano Community Garden. Photo by MicaDogg.

What’s new in the proposed policy

The proposed Urban Agriculture Policy includes:

1. An expanded definition of the policy for agriculture project that covers:

Collaborative and shared gardening

Educational-, arts-, and culturally-focused gardening

Fruit and nut trees

Hobby beekeeping

Pollinator gardens

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December 16, 2014   No Comments

Halifax shelter builds first-ever community garden

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Colleen Ritchie, spokesperson for Shelter Nova Scotia, poses for a photo in a newly built community garden near Metro Turning Point.Photo by Jeff Harper.

Planting seeds of ‘positive change’

By Haley Ryan
Metro
Dec 4, 2014

Excerpt:

An empty lot beside a men’s shelter in downtown Halifax is now the site of a community garden, bringing a sense of purpose for those who stay there and “positive change for themselves.”

Shelter Nova Scotia spokeswoman Colleen Ritchie said the 4,500-square-foot garden went in beside the Metro Turning Point on Barrington Street earlier this week after receiving funds from area councillor, Waye Mason.

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December 15, 2014   No Comments

Making cities sustainable with urban agriculture

shanghIn Shanghai much food used to be grown within the city. In recent years peri-urban agriculture has taken over from intra-urban cropping. Whilst some land has been paved over as the city expanded, large areas of peri-urban land are still being set aside for farming. Photo by Herbert Girardet.

“Even in remote places such as Irkutsk in Siberia with its very short growing season, I have seen people cultivate an great variety of vegetables”

By Herbert Girardet
Ecologist
3rd December 2014
An extract from Creating Regenerative Cities by Herbert Girardet, published by Routledge (Abingdon and New York) 2014.

Excerpt:

I found the same in China, which has an age-old tradition of settlements permeated with food-growing areas. Today, at a time of very rapid urban-industrial growth, urban agriculture is still a very important issue for the Chinese.

Even megacities such as Shanghai, with about 15% population growth per year, one of the fastest growing cities on the planet, maintains its urban farming as an important part of its economic system.

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December 14, 2014   No Comments

For his mobile-farming, engineer receives Indira Gandhi Award

indiaf

With the automated farming system, one can do farming right from the city

By Naveeta Singh
DNAIndia
Dec 6, 2014

Excerpt:

Under the automated farming system, one can do farming right from the city with the help of a mobile device or a tablet. It also needs less labour on field. “A mobile network at the farm is necessary. There is a data processing unit at the form which has a SIM card. The card will acquire data like, weather conditions, humidity, water required, among others, from the processor and transmit it to your mobile phone,” says Kesarkar.

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December 13, 2014   No Comments

Nowata Community Garden – Oklahoma

The Nowata Community Garden is a new 11,250 square foot fenced in garden located on the Nowata County Fairgrounds property. The garden has 10 2x4x10 raised beds for rental, 3 “keyhole” educational gardens used as strawberry beds, 6 raised beds in a hoop house for season extension, a butterfly garden, apple trees, a chicken coop, and a “community harvest” area outside the fence as well as an outdoor classroom area and shed.

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December 13, 2014   No Comments

Syria Pulse: Besieged Aleppo residents turn to farming

syria
Ahmad planting vegetables near his house in the Masaken Hanano neighborhood of Aleppo city, Nov. 14, 2014. Photo by Mohammed al-Khateib.

In his modest garden, Ahmad planted mint leaves, potatoes and fava beans.

By Mohammed al-Khatieb
Almonitor
Nov 14, 2014

Excerpt:

Suleiman and his friend take turns to look after the new “residents.” While he was feeding one of the rabbits, Suleiman explained how the idea was conceived. “My friend and I were wondering what we could possibly do if Aleppo was besieged. We got the idea of building large farms that cater to the people’s animal-product needs. But, nobody adopted the project, so we reduced its scale, and I found that my deserted house would be the perfect place for it.”

“In cooperation with the neighborhood councils, we are seeking to spread this idea all over the city. Whether we want to prepare ourselves for the siege or we are doing this as a hobby or trade, it is still great,” he added.

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December 12, 2014   No Comments

VertiCulture Farms seeks to bring aquaponic agriculture to Brooklyn.

Go Fish: A Next-Gen Rooftop Farm Is Set to Sprout in New York

By Jason Best
Take Part
December 02, 2014

Excerpt:

Early in November, the trio launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $10,000 to create what appears to be New York’s first commercial-scale aquaponic rooftop farm, where they plan to not only raise locally grown herbs and vegetables, but also fresh fish. With just hours to go (as of this writing), they’ve already surpassed their goal by $1,000, and it seems they plan to waste no time in putting that cash to good use—they’ve already invited donors to tour the farm come mid January.

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December 12, 2014   No Comments

Are your urban veggies really toxic?

1932AmerGirl

The New York State Department of Health, along with those same soil-researchers at Cornell, put together a list of 10 best practices for healthy gardening in and around contaminated urban soils.

By Liz Core
Grist
21 Nov 2014

Excerpt:

Vigil told me that the farms have soil tested every year for lead levels, and the results have always come out safe. So when the press started railing against the toxic dangers of his veggies, Vigil was put off (OK, he was royally ticked). He wrote an open letter about what’s really going on and how urban farmers are handling soil toxins. Here’s a taste:

In the past two years we have partnered with the Department of Sanitation to distribute over 5,000 bags of NYC Compost to East New York gardens, and applied over 10 cubic yards of new compost to our farm.

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December 11, 2014   No Comments

Research Paper: Concentrations of lead, cadmium and barium in urban garden-grown vegetables

lead

The impact of soil variables

By Murray B. McBridea, Hannah A. Shaylera, Henry M. Spliethoffb, Rebecca G. Mitchellb, Lydia G. Marquez- Bravob, Gretchen S. Ferenzc, Jonathan M. Russell-Anellia, Linda Caseyc, and Sharon Bachmand
Published in Environmental Pollution – August 2014

ABSTRACT
Paired vegetable/soil samples from New York City and Buffalo, NY, gardens were analyzed for lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and barium (Ba). Vegetable aluminum (Al) was measured to assess soil adherence. Soil and vegetable metal concentrations did not correlate; vegetable concentrations varied by crop type. Pb was below health-based guidance values (EU standards) in virtually all fruits.

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December 11, 2014   No Comments

San Francisco’s Mission High and Bi-Rite Market partner in a neighborhood divided

missionMission High School vendors with Bi-Rite Market staff.

It’s a neighborhood where Mark Zuckerberg now owns a home, and a place where an affluent, whiter population is displacing lower-income residents, many of them Latino.

By Laura Klivans
KALW
Dec 3, 2014

Excerpt:

On a windy day in San Francisco I’m at the back of Mission High School with teacher Rachel Vigil and her urban agriculture class. We’re outside on the edge of their football field. Students are moving between carefully laid dirt beds, each stretching 30 feet long.

“Listen up,” Vigil says as this class period comes to a close, “we have ten minutes before we have to head to the college center so I’d like everyone to just do a sweep of any green material that is on the paths. Please put it in the compost and pick up any gloves that are hanging out.”

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December 10, 2014   No Comments

The Business of Urban Farming Takes Root in Detroit

brotherBrother Nature Produce. Specialty Produce Location: North Corktown, Detroit.

During his first year, Willerer earned almost the equivalent of his teaching salary.

Entrepreneur
Yahoo News
Dec 3, 2014

Excerpt:

Greg Willerer may not seem like your average entrepreneur. The once full-time school teacher quit his job to follow his passion for farming in the most unlikely of places. Located not far from Downtown Detroit, Willerer launched his urban farming business on just one acre of land.

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December 10, 2014   No Comments