New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Dutch Royal Couple to Visit Gotham Greens’ Newest Rooftop Greenhouse in June in Chicago

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His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photo: Koos Breukel.

For more than 400 years, the Netherlands and the United States have been joined by the values of freedom, justice and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Busininess Wire
May 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The Royal Couple will then visit Gotham Greens’ newest rooftop greenhouse, located in South Chicago’s Pullman District, which is the largest rooftop greenhouse facility in the world. Gotham Greens, a New York-based company, is a worldwide pioneer in the field of urban agriculture for the cultivation of fresh vegetables.

The Gotham Greens facility showcases Dutch innovative solutions of greenhouse technology. Dutch products are used in almost every aspect of the growing process in this urban greenhouse, from the seeds (Rijk Zwaan) and growing mediums to climate control (Hortimax) and biological control (Koppert).

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May 26, 2015   No Comments

Japan’s Future Vertical Farms – Semiconductor Chip Companies Produce Food

How Japan is using high tech factories to grow vegetables indoors.

By Rachel Mealey
Al Jazeera
25 May 2015
(Must see! Mike)

Excerpt:

By 2050, the world will need to feed an additional 2.5 billion people living in cities. Yet as the demand for food rises, the amount of land available for agriculture in developed countries is expected to decline.

In Japan, at the Fujitsu factory of Aizu-Wakamatsu which still manufactures semiconductor chips for computers, a different project is underway which may offer a solution to this problem.

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May 26, 2015   No Comments

Melbourne, Australia residents defend ‘urban agriculture officer’ position

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A laneway garden in North Carlton, cultivated by local residents for a decade, was ripped out in March by Yarra Council after complaints. Photo: Paul Jeffers

The urban agriculture officer role is about “sustainability, and it’s about cooling our city with vegetation”

By Clay Lucas
The Victoria Age
May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

It is the kind of first-world problem that could only be so hotly debated within one of Melbourne’s richest, left-leaning councils: whether to continue funding a $100,000-a-year “urban agriculture officer”, to help gardens on public land flourish.

While Yarra Council considers whether it will fund an adventure playground in Fitzroy used by some of the city’s neediest children, a more heated debate is raging within over whether to cut a position encouraging guerilla gardens.

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May 26, 2015   No Comments

Rebate funds to replace grass are being drained in California

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Arcadia Councilman Tom Beck watches a landscaping crew tear out the carefully tended landscaping surrounding his suburban house. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)

The MWD estimates that removing one square foot of grass in Southern California saves 42 gallons of water a year.

By Taylor Goldenstein
LA Times
May 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Demand for rebates to replace grass with drought-tolerant landscaping has overwhelmed water officials and prompted questions about the future of the highly popular program.

The Metropolitan Water District’s program, which pays homeowners and businesses $2 per square foot to replace grass, ran short of funds this month due to a surge in demand.

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May 25, 2015   No Comments

Indoor Kitchen Gardening

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Turn Your Home Into a Year-round Vegetable Garden – Microgreens – Sprouts – Herbs – Mushrooms – Tomatoes, Peppers & More

By Elizabeth Millard
Cool Springs Press
June 15 2014

It takes just a few dollars and a few days for you to start enjoying fresh, healthy produce grown indoors in your own home. Imagine serving a home-cooked meal highlighted with beet, arugula, and broccoli microgreens grown right in your kitchen, accompanied by sautéed winecap mushrooms grown in a box of sawdust in your basement.

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May 25, 2015   No Comments

The modern history of organic terrace gardening in Bengaluru, India

The Extraordinary Aam Aadmi #5: A Vegetable Grower

By m/s TRATSER Technologies Pvt Ltd on behalf of “BOMBAT BENGALURU”, an initiative by Aam Aadmi Party, Karnataka

We found yet another gem of the Bengaluru city, a life savior, Professor Vishwanarth Kadur who explains how chemicalised vegetables & fruits, poison the body causing deadly illnesses. This man found a way around it. He started composting household waste and used the manure to grow his own food on the terrace!

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May 25, 2015   No Comments

Philippines launches a vegetable gardening project to be managed by schoolchildren

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Department of Agriculture launches “Gulayan sa Paaralan” in Muntinlupa City

Philippines Information Agency
May 18, 2015

MUNTINLUPA CITY, 18 May (PIA)–Hundreds of students, school and local government officials joined the launching of Gulayan sa Paaralan in Muntinlupa City.

Gulayan sa Paaralaan, a vegetable gardening project initiated by DA and the Department of Education, will be managed by the schoolchildren themselves to encourage them to plant and eat healthy vegetables.

During the launch, Mr. Felix Joselito Noceda, coordinator of Urban Agriculture Program of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture (BPI,DA) for NCR and Region-4A , turned over agricultural assistance to the Muntinlupa City local government unit led by Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi and Congressman Rodolfo G. Biazon.

According to Noceda, the DA has finished crafting a training manual that teaches students from all over the country the fundamentals of vegetable farming. Noceda emphasized the importance of encouraging young children to take part in food production.

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May 24, 2015   No Comments

How to grow food in a slum: lessons from the sack farmers of Kibera, Kenya

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Fred Onserio, headmaster of Stara rescue centre and school, waters vegetables in the sack gardens in the school grounds. Photograph: Patrick Mayoyo/Africa Eco News

A Kenyan government initiative is helping a growing community of residents to tackle food insecurity in one of the largest slum areas in Africa

Patrick Mayoyo in Nairobi
The Guardian
18 May 2015

Excerpt:

Farming in a slum, however, inevitably has its complications. Not only is land and space scarce, but finding areas free from contamination can also be a challenge.

According to Eva Kadzo, a public health officer and community strategist with the ministry of health, sack farming in Kibera has helped discourage people from planting crops near dump sites and sewers, which had been a common practice in the area. Many of the sewers contain heavy metals such as lead and mercury, creating a health risk to those who consume vegetables grown near them.

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May 24, 2015   No Comments

Atlanta Task Force Shelter Producing Pounds Of Veggies On Rooftop Garden

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“We are growing collards, turnips, mustard greens, lettuce, kale cabbage, chard, herbs, strawberries, grapes, radishes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and much more.”

By Gloria Tatum
Atlanta Progressive News
May 17, 2015

Excerpt:

Residents at the shelter, located in downtown Atlanta’s Peachtree and Pine Streets, will gain real life work skills removing the old roof and laying the new roof.

“Part of the contract for any construction, we will be doing, is that indigenous, resident labor will be used and certified, but the requirements are the same as professional labor,” Anita Beaty, Executive Director, told Atlanta Progressive News.

“Everything we do here involves residents. They get job training and every job is preparation for a job outside,” Beaty said.

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May 23, 2015   No Comments

Iowa urban beekeepers key to growing pollinators populations

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Honey bees bumble around their nest after Des Moines beekeeper Julia McGuire pulls it out of one of the many urban bee hives which she manages on Thursday, May 14, 2015. (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

Iowa beekeepers lost 61 percent of their colonies in 2014-15, among hardest hit in USA

By Donnelle Eller
The Des Moines Register
May 16, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s backyard beekeepers such as Lens and Julia McGuire, with two, three or four hives, who are boosting the state’s overall pollinator population, and helping to offset devastating annual losses.

A national report last week showed Iowa bee colonies were among the hardest hit in the nation. Iowa beekeepers lost 61 percent of their colonies in 2014-15.

It was the fourth-highest loss in the nation — behind Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.

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May 23, 2015   No Comments

Thesis: ‘Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture.’

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Through hands-on fieldwork at East New York Farms!, Kate Weiner ’15 examined urban agriculture as a political project for her thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture.” (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

My experience at East New York Farms! affirmed for me just how fluid community is.

By Laurie Kenney
Wesleyan University
May 15, 2015

Excerpt:

In this issue of the Wesleyan Connection, we speak with Kate Weiner ’15, an anthropology and environmental studies major.

Q: Can you describe your thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture”?

A: My thesis is an exploration of how community, identity and belonging interact in urban agricultural spaces, with my hands-on fieldwork with East New York Farms! serving as a case study for examining urban agriculture as a political project. Through melding creative non-fiction, feminist theory, community politics and environmental studies, the intention of my thesis is to provide a framework for understanding the various social, natural, socioeconomic and political factors that shape community-making within urban agriculture.

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May 22, 2015   No Comments

Texas Farm Girl: Reap What you Sow

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By Rebecca Crownover
Mascot Books
January 6, 2015

Texas Farm Girl learns from her PawPaw what Reap What You Sow means when she makes a big mistake on the farm. The lesson learned from Reap What You Sow can be applied to all of us so that we can overcome adversity and Shine Like A Lone Star Pearl.

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May 22, 2015   No Comments

Debate about goat-keeping in Ferrysburg city limits still rages after 8 months

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In this file photo, Children of the Montambo family in Ferrysburg, Mich. pose with the goats that they and their parents keep. Children, from the left, are Jack, Grace, Olivia and Miles. Goats, from the left, are “Thomas” Jefferson, “Benjamin” Franklin, Penelope, and Mamma.

“I got nothing against goats,” Scarpino said. He’s more opposed to the manner in which the ordinance was passed – with a 4-3 simple majority vote, and against the recommendation of the city planning commission.

By Stephen Kloosterman
Mlive
May 14, 2015

Excerpt:

FERRYSBURG, MI – For some Ferrysburg residents, it really gets their goat that neighbors are keeping theirs.

A debate about whether residents may keep goats, rabbits or chickens at cityside homesteads has raged for more than eight months. The city council recently approved a city ordinance that would allow keeping animals within certain limits — but now a there’s an effort to repeal that ordinance.

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May 22, 2015   No Comments

Sana’a Yemen, 2010 – Woman Teacher Giving Gardening Lessons

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Photo by Salwa. Click on image for larger file.

Teaching horticulture in Yeman

Information from Salwa from ‘Food for Cities’
May 21, 2015

Excerpt from letter:

I have few pictures of a lady school teacher with scholars (around 12 years old boys) in a public garden in Sana’a Yemen in 2010; they take lessons in gardening and are assigned a plot to plant and visit on a regular basis in the public garden; I don’t have more information, I only met them once by chance while I was working on an urban Agriculture project with RUAF foundation and my university in Beirut; unfortunately, there is war now in Yemen.

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May 22, 2015   No Comments

Oakland Spring Rising

40 Farms in 40 Days to grow 100 pounds for 400,000 residents of Oakland.

By Kris Stewart
The Pioneer
May 13, 2015

Excerpt:

Leader of the Oakland Spring Rising revolution and farmer, David Grefrath, got his start as a farmer in New Orleans. Grefrath says the goal is to grow 100 pounds of food for 400,000 people per year using vacant lots throughout the city. “It’s really just to get a farm started or give a community garden a good lift,” said Grefrath.

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May 21, 2015   No Comments