New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Fleet Farming builds bike-powered urban farms

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farmflFred Lake and Justin Vandenbroeck at Fleet Farming’s farmlette at 10th and Campbell streets in West Oakland. Photo: Kate Williams

Over the last two years, the program has grown from five pilot farms to 24 converted lawns and around 4,000 pounds of harvested produce across three international programs in Florida, Oakland and Uganda

By Kate Williams
NOSH
June 27, 2016

Excerpt:

I met Vandenbroeck and Lake at Fleet Farming’s farmlette in the yard of Bay Community Fellowship at 10th and Campbell. Fleet Farming is managing a modest three-bed operation in the back of the church’s yard. I spied rows of tatsoi and teensy radish sprouts, but much of the rest of the produce was harvested the previous Sunday during a “swarm ride.”

It is these swarm rides that are the heart and soul of Fleet Farming. Community members near and far gather twice a month to do work on the farmlettes — harvesting, seeding, building rows — and they travel between the locations on bicycle.

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July 1, 2016   No Comments

Community Garden helps Young Mums grow in Victoria, Australia

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youmumL-R: Stacey Horsfall-Rodda, Leyvi, Jet, Regae Gordan and Ash Lanko hope to harvest herbs and vegetables by spring.

“Staff from the horticulture department came along to teach us about soil preparation, watering, fertiliser and the risks and hazards of working in a garden such as wearing hard shoes and keeping our kids buckled in their prams,” Ash says.

By Doseda Hetherington
Swinburne University of Technology
June 27, 2016

Excerpt:

Members of Swinburne’s award-winning Young Mums Program are ready to turn the first sod on their own community garden and plan to harvest beans, chives, parsley and thyme this spring.

Designed and built by the students as part of the program offering a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) to mothers aged 15-20 years at Swinburne’s Croydon campus, the garden is an extension of a study program helping young women take control of their lives.

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July 1, 2016   No Comments

Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish

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baltgrCity-Hydro owners Zhanna and Larry Hountz started growing microgreens in a spare room in their Baltimore rowhouse a year and a half ago. Credit Matt Roth for The New York Times

It has revenue of under $500,000, but was profitable enough in 2014 that Mr. Albert quit his day job as a landscape architect to farm full time.

By Eilene Zimmerman
New York Times
June 29, 2016

Excerpt:

They include City-Hydro, a farm built in a spare bedroom on the second floor of Larry and Zhanna Hountz’s three-story rowhouse in Baltimore. Mr. Hountz came to urban farming out of necessity. After a serious car accident, he was unable to leave his house for two years and had trouble concentrating. He couldn’t go back to his previous job as a digital security consultant.

“Zhanna had gone to the grocery store and bought some heirloom tomatoes. They were about $7 a pound,” he said. “I thought, ‘I could grow those.’”

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June 30, 2016   No Comments

Ottawa: Angelina Singson says her community garden plot is better than therapy after escaping domestic violence

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emmasi

Ottawa’s Interval House helped more than 270 women and children escape abuse last year.

By Emma Jackson
Metro
Jun 26 2016

Excerpt:

Angelina Singson kneels in her community garden plot, planting summer squash in a crooked row beside an overgrown fence.

Like her vegetables, this is where Singson thrives: in the garden, making things grow.

“Why should I go to therapy, when I get free tomatoes from the garden?” she said. “You work it, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. There’s no better therapy than that.”

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June 30, 2016   No Comments

Vietnam’s Hoi An offers unique farming experience to eco-tourists

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watervA tourist waters vegetable beds in the Tra Que vegetable village, Hoi An City, with instructions from a local farmer. Photo: Tuoi Tre. Click on image for larger file.

Long known for its century-old ancient town and one-of-a-kind delicacies, Hoi An City in central Vietnam has been gaining popularity among green-fingered tourists with its eco-tours that guarantee full immersion in the agricultural lifestyle of rural Vietnam.

Tuoi Tre News
06/26/2016

Excerpt:

After a tour around Hoi An Ancient Town, a group of young tourists from the UK and Ukraine decided to hop on rented bicycles to explore the Tra Que vegetable village with their own eyes, ears, and hands.

Arriving at the village at 4:00 in the afternoon, the group paid for a homestay house situated only 300 meters from the vegetable fields to spend the night, determined to hit them at first light the next morning.

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June 29, 2016   No Comments

UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

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‘I keep bees in the grounds of St John’s church in Waterloo.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

Carole Wright is an urban beekeeper and gardener in south London

By Jim Cable
The Guardian
June 25, 2016

Excerpt:

I moved to the South Bank after living in a hostel for two and a half years and being essentially homeless. Within two weeks I came across a community garden off Library Street. My grandparents used to live overlooking the space but I didn’t recall a garden, so I went in. “Why have you got all these raised beds, a couple of ponds and a lovely greenhouse next to these ramshackle pre-fabs? What’s that all about?” That’s how my involvement with Bankside Open Spaces Trust began. I started by volunteering; I became a trustee and after about a year I got a job as a community gardener running after-school clubs and Saturday gardening based on food-growing.

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June 29, 2016   No Comments

United States Postal Service maintenance workers remove Berkeley community garden

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postberk

According to Zint, the garden was put in place for the people of Berkeley to claim ownership of land that belongs to the community.

By Simmone Shaw
DailyCal
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

The community garden located outside the Berkeley Post Office was removed by United States Postal Service, or USPS, maintenance workers Wednesday, after two years of ongoing disputes between the post office and protesters.

The garden was put in place in late 2014 when homeless activists began occupying the grounds in protest of the sale of the post office to a privately owned property management company. The homeless encampment was disbanded in April, after city police and postal service workers informed the protesters that they were trespassing on government property.

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June 28, 2016   No Comments

New York’s Bushwick II to have 60,000-square-foot rooftop with an urban farm and recreational spaces including a pool

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rofbush
Click on image for larger file.

Tenants will be able to grow and harvest produce at the rooftop’s urban farm.

BY Dana Schulz
6ftsquare
June 24, 2016

Excerpt:

it will encompass one million square feet over two city blocks and have 800-900 units, as well as an entire system of interconnecting courtyards and common spaces that break from the street grid, an 18,000-square-foot central park, and a 60,000-square-foot rooftop with an urban farm and recreational spaces including a pool.

The brick buildings vary in height from six to nine stories with diagrid braces intercepting square windows along the street. Facing the courtyards are glazed walls and balconies.

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June 28, 2016   No Comments

Eleven Delaware sites awarded grants for urban agriculture and community garden projects

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del

This year’s pilot initiative awarded a total of $10,000 in ‘micro-grants’ from the Delaware Department of Agriculture to community groups, religious institutions, schools and other organizations.

By Dan Shortridge
Delaware Government
June 24, 2016

WILMINGTON — Eleven Delaware urban farm and community garden projects are receiving support to grow and thrive through a new initiative designed to strengthen communities and improve nutrition, Governor Jack Markell announced today.

“Urban agriculture and community gardens are an amazing way to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the quality of life,” Gov. Markell said. “Over the last several years we’ve seen a tremendous growth in the community garden movement across Delaware and I’m pleased that our support is helping these neighborhood treasures impact even more families with fresh, nutritious food, connect kids with nature, and enrich the lives of the next generation.”

This year’s pilot initiative awarded $10,000 in micro-grants from the Delaware Department of Agriculture to community groups, religious institutions, schools and other organizations. Governor Markell’s budget proposal would double that funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

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June 28, 2016   No Comments

New Port Richey, Florida, approves urban agriculture ordinance, including residential sales

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tampaEnvironmental Committee chairman Dell deChant.

Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips said the ordinance is a positive move for the city, but may need tweaking down the road should issues or complaints arise.

By Robert Napper
Tampa Bay Times
June 22, 201

Excerpt:

With passage of the ordinance, the city will permit the commercial sale of produce from local gardens in residential, commercial and industrial zones. Sales in residential areas would be restricted to once every six months from a particular location, and a permit, which would expire after 72 hours, would be required. The city staff has likened the twice-a-year permits to what is done for garage sales.

There are restrictions in the ordinance that do not allow indoor growing operations anywhere other than in light industrial areas of the city. Urban agriculture also would be banned in mobile home parks, as would livestock anywhere in the city.

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June 27, 2016   No Comments

A Real Farm in North Vancouver, Canada

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lout Click on image for larger file.

The Bounty and Ethos of Loutet Urban Farm

Story and images by Drew Copeland
Edible Vancouver
June, 2016

Excerpt:

Since its inception, the farm has grown each year, producing 9,000 pounds of food and generating $42,000 in revenue in 2015. The money, although important for maintaining an economically viable project, is beside the point.

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June 27, 2016   No Comments

Interview with Karl Linn: Community Gardens: Reclaiming a Commons

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karll

One of his accomplishments was to convince the Berkeley planners to turn over a piece of land next to a BART tunnel for the establishment of a communal garden, where it still exists—The Carl Linn Peralta Community Garden.

By Richard Whittaker
Works and Conversations
Apr 29, 2001

Excerpt:

RW: In establishing a commons, would you say, that ideally part of what it would consist of would be a garden?

Karl Linn: Well in the past I saw an interesting development. I worked in about ten cities and established two non-profit corporations and inspired about eight others that were the first pioneering community design centers where volunteer professionals worked with economically disenfranchised neighborhoods helping them to build these common areas—architects, landscape architects, anthropologists, sociologists, lawyers, just name it. There was always some vegetation, but primarily we used recycled building materials, voluntary labor and tax delinquent land. From urban renewal demolition we used marble steps, bricks and flagstones.

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June 26, 2016   No Comments

Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

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britfarmRosanna and Ian Horsley on their farm in Devon. Credit: Christopher Jones.

A growing number of people from outside the farming fraternity are buying up agricultural land in Britain and the properties that come with them. The amount of traditional farming families acquiring land and holdings has been depleting.

By Ben Pike
The Telegraph
21 June 2016

Excerpts:

There are three types of buyer entering the market. The investor (both private and corporate), who sees farmland as a commodity; those who escape to the countryside at the weekend and won’t tend the land themselves; and the new breed of ‘good lifer’, who has ditched the city day job and are ploughing all their funds and business acumen into running the farm themselves.

Residential buyers are also piling in, lured by the large farmhouses that often come with the land. “Some buy at £1?million and some at £20?million. They want to combine a lifestyle move with involvement in active farming,” says Lawson.

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June 26, 2016   No Comments

Promoting farm to table lifestyle in Daveo, Philippines

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daveoDaveo. Urban gardening at Minkah’s, planted with various herbs, mints and vegetables promoting farm to table lifestyle. (Ace June Rell S. Perez)

The kitchen serves a wide array of delectable food offerings. The fresh garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette that had blue ternate and bougainvillea flowers, cajun kamote fries, chicken Tinola with gata, spareribs, Pinakbet, steamed malasugue, spicy shrimp pasta, Crostini with three cheese, tomato and basil pasta, crispy pata and fried lechon

By Ace June Rell S. Perez
Sunstar
June 19, 2019

Excerpt:

“Going organic makes good business and good to customers’ healthy lifestyle,” Jasmen Evasco, owner of Minkah’s Kitchen, said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao Saturday morning.

“We sourced most of the ingredients to the food we offer in the restaurant from the urban garden,” she added.

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June 25, 2016   No Comments

Hong Kong’s rooftop farmers grow vegetables… and communities

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hkandrewAndrew Tsui, co-founder of Rooftop Republic. Photo: Vincent Assante di Cupillo.

Hong Kong, this busy city of 7 million people, as a place of poverty, want and need. Some kind of crisis seems to be developing. Statistics suggest that the city has the widest income gap, between rich and poor, of any developed country in the world.

By Roger Hill
Hong Kong Free Press
19 June 2016

Excerpt:

Each growing project has its own character. The roof of the Fringe Club is dedicated to herbs and vegetables: basil, rosemary, mint, lemon-balm, okra, cucumbers and spinach. Rooftop Republic work with local chefs and some of these crops go to local restaurants, so if you have consumed a particularly tasty meal or cocktail in Central it may be thanks to this rooftop-farm.

Other produce goes to the foodbanks in the city, and Rooftop Republic runs projects with schools which allow students to take home some of the fruits of their curricular studies in science and biology. Similarly the project runs training and workshops for local participants who can enjoy the rewards of their growing labours.

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June 25, 2016   No Comments