New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Quarter-acre Rooftop Farm in San Francisco

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July 26, 5 p.m Tour!

Wednesday, July 26, 5 p.m., Details to be sent ahead of tour. Oakland, CA, Email address: publicprograms@spur.org or phone 510-827-1900.
(Must see. Mike)

A fantastic new urban farm has sprouted up on top of the Stanley Saitowitz–designed Garden Village project, located five stories in the air and just blocks from UC Berkeley. Tour this quarter-acre operation with the owner of Top Leaf Farms and learn about how the farm was installed, the opportunities and challenges of growing food for sale on top of a residential building, and what this project might signal about the future of rooftop farming.

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July 25, 2017   No Comments

GrowChef – a pod of greens every single day

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Kickstarter: The first indoor hydroponics garden that actually gives harvest every single day. Any culinary herb now at hand.

From Press Release:

Tallinn, Estonia July 23, 2017 – Now, it’s possible to grow nutritious, tasty and fresh food at home faster and easier than ever! All thanks to GrowChef – an easy-to-use hydroponics home garden, specially designed to let users harvest a pod of greens per day. GrowChef is designed so, that you can place it anywhere: on the wall, on the floor, on the window sill, or in the closet. With its three-color LED illumination, GrowChef produces enough light on its own so there’s no need for additional daylight for the plants. Requiring minimal space, it produces the same amount of harvest as a 3-meter long garden bed. Easy to operate, app-supported, and designed to save its users time and money, GrowChef is the best solution for anyone who always wanted to practice gardening but does not own an actual garden.

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July 25, 2017   No Comments

Urban Farming In Kansas City

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Mekhi and Mekhia Johnson picking tomatoes at Nile Valley Aquaponics, an urban farm at 29th and Wabash. Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Audio Program Visits Urban Farmers

By Gina Kaufmann & Andrea Tudhope
KCUR
July 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Keisha Johnson, beginner master gardener, Nile Valley Aquaponics

Greg Garbos, owner, City Bitty Farm

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July 24, 2017   No Comments

This solar powered weeding robot mimics robot vacuum cleaner

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Tertill whacks weeds using a spinning string trimmer, which cuts the weed off near the ground.

From their Kickstarter Website
Estimated delivery 2018

Excerpt:

How does it know what’s a weed and what’s a plant?

Tertill has a very simple method: weeds are short, plants are tall. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill’s shell activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. A plant short enough to pass under Tertill’s shell, though, activates a different sensor that turns on the weed cutter.

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July 24, 2017   No Comments

New City Council bill would create a comprehensive urban agriculture plan for New York

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The Farm Yard Publication date April 29, 1786. Click image to see larger file.

If all goes as planned, it will integrate urban agriculture into the City’s conservation and resiliency plans and spur the creation of the City’s Office of Urban Agriculture.

By Kings County Politics
July 21, 2017

Excerpt:

The two lawmakers got the plan rolling yesterday as they introduced legislation in the City Council for the City’s Department of City Planning (DCP) to create a comprehensive urban agriculture plan for the city. The multi-pronged plan includes a variety of methods to harness the global urban farming industry estimated at a value of $5.8 billion in the next five years.

“We have the power to transform Brooklyn’s urban spaces from concrete jungles to green oases,” said Adams. “My commitment to urban agriculture has certainly grown with my personal appreciation of nutrition’s transformative power over an individual — and a community’s — quality of life.

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July 23, 2017   No Comments

How urban agriculture swept through Greater Cleveland

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Chateau Hough on Cleveland’s East Side. Photo by Patrick Cooley.

The county has between 30 and 40 urban farmers

By Patrick Cooley
Cleveland.com
July 17, 2017

Excerpt:

By putting empty lots to use and creating jobs in impoverished neighborhoods, urban farms appear to provide many benefits to the communities they inhabit.

“It’s putting that land to some use, particularly in cities that are shrinking,” said Usher, the assistant professor at the Ohio State. “And I think it can build community pride and social capital.”

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July 23, 2017   No Comments

Wisconsin: Couple’s ‘micro-mini farm’ venture began as a hobby

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Carly and Joseph Ledger harvest Rattail Radishes at their 1/6-acre plot land at the UW Extension Firefly Ridge community gardens in Wauwatosa.

Carly describes “the joy of working with the soil and being outside. I can’t put a price on it. I feel like my whole life has been bringing me here.”

By Anne Schamberg
Journal Sentinel
July 16, 2017

Excerpt:

It was a brainstorming session that led to the name Aromatic Acres. And for the quibblers out there, she notes that “we personally aren’t farming on acres of land, but our garden is located on 11 acres of community garden space.”

The aromatics include more than 30 different herbs, for both culinary and medicinal use, that range from pineapple sage and anise hyssop to bronze fennel and epazote. They also grow cut flowers, many of which are edible, and a selection of veggies including heirloom tomatoes and oddballs like Mexican sour gherkins and those radish seed pods, an heirloom variety also known as rat’s tail radish.

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July 23, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Edmontonians get a taste of farm life in the middle of the city

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“Today was about connecting urban folks to farming and food and where their dinner comes from, showing them how things are grown and just showing them the process of seed to the table,”

By Claire Theobald
Edmonton Journal
July 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Kennedy said many people underestimate the potential for growing produce in a small urban environment.

“Whether you have a balcony or a back yard, the potential to grow your own vegetables here is huge. We’ve got a longer season than you think, and there’s a hundred more crops than you can imagine we can grow here that are all edible,” Kennedy said.

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July 22, 2017   No Comments

Cultural connections in urban farming

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A view of Bartram’s Garden (Peter Crimmins/WHYY, file)

Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia

WHYY Public Media
Radio Times
July 14, 2017

Excerpt:

Beets, black eyed peas, collard greens, and cabbage sprawl across four acres at the Farm at Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia. This urban farm is unique because it grows cultural produce, employs youth and feeds communities.

On Radio Times Thursday, guest host Mary Cummings Jordan talked with Chris Bolden-Newsome, farm co-director, about motivating 27 young people who are employed by the farm.

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July 22, 2017   No Comments

An IGA Supermarket in Montreal is growing its own vegetables on the roof

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More than 30 different kinds of produce are being grown on the 25,000-square-foot roof, and all of it is certified organic.

By Jacob Serebrin
Montreal Gazette
July 20, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

“Why don’t supermarkets plant vegetables on their roofs? Some restaurants have little boxes where they grow herbs,” he said. “We pushed it further because we know we’re able to sell what we produce here.”

While the costs are higher, due to the small scale of the project, Duchemin said the produce grown on the store’s roof is being sold at the same price as any other organic produce.

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July 21, 2017   No Comments

Los Angels group announces veggie bus project

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The veggie bus is an old bus that will be reclaimed into a mobile classroom, plant nursery and seed library

Recycling Today
July 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“The veggie bus is a bright, inspiring endeavor for our volunteers to get involved in a hands-on project that has direct benefits for the local community in South LA,” says USGBC-LA Executive Director Dominique Hargreaves. “Urban agriculture is an important facet of sustainable communities and this project is at the intersection of urban ag and sustainable building.”

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July 21, 2017   No Comments

Fresh cut flower farms spring up around Detroit

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Sarah Pappas started Fresh Cut Flower Farm on the edge of Woodbridge in 2013. Her flowers now decorate local shops.

“An acre of cut flowers will make more money than an acre of almost anything else,” said Dowling, naming corn, tomatoes and cucumbers as crops that have lower price tags.

By Stephanie Steinberg
Detroit News
July 14, 2017

Excerpt:

Sarah Pappas talks about the white snapdragons, purple-pink dianthuses or yellow rudbeckias that sprout on her flower farm and get bundled in bouquets like people in her life with strict needs and wants.

“They want it to be cool, dim and still. And they want you you to change the water and cut the stems at least once in a week,” said Pappas, sitting under a shaded tree at her Fresh Cut Flower Farm. The “they” she was referring to were vibrant bouquets for sale last week.

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July 21, 2017   No Comments

Urban Farming Gets New York City Council Attention

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Rob Laing, right, CEO and founder of Farm.One, and farmhand Caleb Raff at the Farm.One hydroponic farm at the Institute of Culinary Education in lower Manhattan on Wednesday. Photo: Claudio Papapietro For The Wall Street Journal

Rooftop gardens, greenhouses and ‘vertical farms’ may benefit from more clarity on zoning and insurance

By Thomas MacMillan
Wall Street Journal
July 20, 2017

When Robert Laing was setting up his indoor herb-growing business in Manhattan last year, it took months to find someone willing to insure his tiny hydroponic operation.

“You say, ‘I’m a farm,’ and they put you over to their farming division and they say, ‘How many acres do you have?’ and you say, ‘300 square feet,’” Mr. Laing said.

New York City has the largest urban agriculture system in the country, including community and rooftop gardens and greenhouses, as well as “vertical farms” like Mr. Laing’s company, Farm.One, which cultivates microgreens in windowless rooms aglow with LED lights. But a recent report by the Brooklyn Law School finds new growers are sometimes stymied by confusion and lack of regulations.

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July 20, 2017   No Comments

Washington’s Navy Yard apartment gives residents free rooftop produce garden

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The 470-square-foot garden will yield roughly 500 pounds of produce each year

By Jeff Clabaugh
Stop
July 13, 2017

Excerpt:

F1RST Residences just upped the game for luxury apartment amenities in Washington, giving residents access to fresh, rooftop-grown produce.

The new 325-unit Navy Yard apartment building’s first tenants began moving in this spring.

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July 20, 2017   No Comments

Botanical conservatory showcases five aspects of German culture including the allotment or ‘kleingarten’

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Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is honoring Fort Wayne’s German sister city, Gera, with “Blumengarten: A German Story” through Nov. 12.

By Corey McMaken
Journal Gazette
July 14, 2017

Excerpt:

A small shack and planting of vegetables represents a German allotment garden, or “kleingarten.” In the 1800s, land was set aside near German towns for the urban poor to raise fruits and vegetables.

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July 20, 2017   No Comments