New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

Random header image... Refresh for more!

Look no further than a Vancouver apartment complex to see the latest food trend in action

backy
Tenant gardeners, from left, Sarah Anton, Evan Doan, Christine Cheveldave (landlady), Gordon Rudy, Gosia Piasecka (at back), Katie Fritz, Robin Young and Genevieve Beaulieu Roy in their thriving organic garden in East Vancouver. Photograph by: Steve Bosch.

The tenants, all in their 20s, have taken over more and more lawn areas at the complex and carved out spaces for growing food.

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
August 28, 2014

Excerpt:

Tenants each have their own individual garden spots where they are free to grow what they prefer, but there is a community plot shared by the entire group

However, in reality, produce from all the plots is freely shared and everyone is permitted to harvest what they need from any of the spaces.

[Read more →]

August 29, 2014   No Comments

Veggie Van distributes free vegetables residents in Easton, Pennsylvania

givefree
Easton’s Veggie Van distributes locally grown fruits and vegetables to residents of the West Ward. The van is operated by students from Lafayette College’s Technology Clinic in collaboration with the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership.

Last year’s Veggie Van distributed more than 1,500 pounds of produce over a seven-week period.

By Joshua Cohen
Lehighvalley Live
August 23, 2014

Excerpt:

About 75 to 80 people are expected each day of operation at the Veggie Van. Malinconico says most who come to the Veggie Van are regular visitors. In fact, reusable bags have been distributed to them with the expectation they will be returned at the end of the Veggie Van’s season.

The crops distributed at the Veggie Van each week are grown all over the area. A large portion of the vegetables are from Lafayette’s LaFarm. Other donations come from Easton Urban Farm, Crayola Gardens and other community gardens throughout Easton.

[Read more →]

August 29, 2014   No Comments

Recording artist ‘Kimbra’ wrote and recorded at an Los Angeles urban farm

kimb
Kimbra taking a selfie with Ramses, the leader of Goudsmit’s flock. Just after this pic, Ramses lost his temper and chased Kimbra around the property. Photo courtesy of Kimbra and Rosa Goudsmit.

Kimbra said in an interview on Consequence of Sound that after the 2013 Grammy Awards, she needed a place without “too much stimulus” to write her new album.

By Jared Sichel
Jewish Journal
Aug 21, 2014

Excerpt:

Kimbra said in an interview on Consequence of Sound that after the 2013 Grammy Awards, she needed a place without “too much stimulus” to write her new album. In Goudsmit’s words, Kimbra needed the laid back environment to “stomach the idea of living in L.A.”

Next thing, Goudsmit had a rising pop star in her house, writing and recording songs for her newest album, feeding her chickens, meditating and doing yoga in the backyard, and occasionally getting locked out of the house at night when Goudsmit forgot that her young housemate, unlike her, stayed awake past nightfall.

[Read more →]

August 28, 2014   No Comments

Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore’s Fragile Food System

singroo
A crew of volunteer “aunties” weed and harvest basil at the ComCrop rooftop farm, set high above Singapore’s Orchard Road. Photo by Maureen Pao for NPR.

Singapore imports more than 90 percent of its food from some 35 countries.

By Maureen Pao
NPR
August 20, 2014

Excerpt:

Like other urban farms in Singapore, one of Sky Greens’ advantages is how little water it uses, relying primarily on collected and recycled rainwater. And its system of hydraulic-powered rotating troughs means less spent on electricity, and even less water is wasted.

“The troughs come down and go into the water and go up. So there’s no leaching of the water,” Ngiam explains. “If you are planting on the soil, what the farmer does is pour a lot of water, and then it just leaches out. For us, every drop is used by the plant.”

[Read more →]

August 28, 2014   No Comments

A peak time to examine community garden etiquette in Los Angeles

cgla
Community gardens involve many personalities, and they may come into conflict — even if they haven’t met in person. Photo by Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times.

“With this many plots and people gardening so close to one another, there are bound to be issues.”

By Kimberly Stevens
LA Times
Aug 19, 2014

Excerpt:

With community gardens growing in popularity and expanding rapidly, more personalities come into play, and that can make for conflict. Renner has heard about almost every breach of etiquette imaginable. Fruit and vegetable theft tops the list, in his opinion. “It happens in every garden, and I’ve seen people ready to take out a shovel or a machete if they can catch the thief,” he said.

[Read more →]

August 27, 2014   No Comments

Proposal to turn San Francisco’s Candlestick Park stadium into a gigantic hydroponic greenhouse

candle Click on image for larger file.

Occasional concerts in between times of harvesting and planting

By San Francisco-based IwamotoScott Architecture

Surrounding the stadium is a new green-roofed, terraced podium that interfaces with the surrounding Candlestick Point redevelopment master plan, sheltering beneath it a marketplace for locally-produced urban agriculture and food goods.

[Read more →]

August 27, 2014   No Comments

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?

luf
Montreal’s Lufa Farms developed an e-commerce model for fresh food. Farming the world’s cities will require marketing savvy as much as skill at growing food in urban settings.

An urban farm in Montreal is scaling the industry “with more software than farmers.”

By Flavie Halais
City Lab
Aug 22, 2014

Excerpt:

Lufa is also developing its own in-house technology. The company has just received a patent for a system that allows it to grow 30 percent more food on the same area. Meanwhile, the IT team is developing a suite of iPad apps for greenhouse management. One of them, which helps manage insect populations, will soon be made available to all organic growers. “We’ve decided it’s too valuable for us not to be going out to the world and saying, ‘Use it for free,’” says Hage.

[Read more →]

August 26, 2014   No Comments

Astor Free Community Garden in Jersey City

lady
Leila Harrison, 3, is known to the community as “Lady Astor” and has grown up working in the the Astor Free Community Garden. Photo by Julie Kayzerman.

Seven hundred and sixty-six people had to be able to eat,” she said of the number of people she believes have been affected by the garden.

By Julie Kayzerman
The Jersey Journal
Aug 15, 2014

Excerpt:

“This was a garbage lot!” Bland said of the garden that is in full bloom growing watermelons, onions, squash, beets, carrots, potatoes, grapes, peppers, cantaloupes, okra, kale, strawberries, corn and cherry tomatoes — all planted by people of all ages to produce organic free food to feed the community.

The garden brings together all different generations with 3-year-olds working alongside senior citizens, who come to the garden to relax in a safe, positive environment.

“It’s very hands on, she eats, she touches, she smells and it’s good because she’s learning,” said June Glenn-Lawson, who recently cooked the squash that her granddaughter, Leila, planted and grew.

[Read more →]

August 26, 2014   No Comments

Young volunteers ‘excluded’ from working at City Farm in London

kidsdisShola Fellows and Claudia Cruz at the Farm Family protest.

30 children and young people with disabilities looked after animals at Brooks Farm

By Natalie Glanvill
This is Local London
19th August 2014

Excerpt:

A group of young volunteers, which has helped out at a city farm for 30 years, will not be allowed to work there after it changed hands, it has emerged.

The ‘Farm Family’, which includes about 30 children and young people with disabilities, or those at risk of getting involved in crime, looked after animals at Brooks Farm in Skeltons Lane Park, Leyton, when it was managed by Waltham Forest council.

[Read more →]

August 26, 2014   No Comments

District of North Vancouver won’t allow people to sell backyard produce

nvanYou can’t sell these in North Vancouver District.

“The district of North Vancouver isn’t zoned for agriculture so selling produce grown here isn’t allowed.”

By Karen van Blankenstein
Weed’em and Reap
Aug 23, 2014

Excerpt:

What would you call Weed ‘em & Reap? Is it a farm? Does a quarter acre (if the house was gone and you could use the entire property) qualify? There are no tractors or combines or cows or chickens here. No employees. I really don’t think it resembles a farm at all. Now that my two eldest kids are out of the house, I don’t even think it could qualify as a zoo anymore.

So is it a garden? Raised planter beds, very small greenhouse, lots of food plants in containers interspersed with the ornamentals… looks like a garden to me. Except maybe for the fact that I hold sales every Sunday and have gone through the process to have all my seedlings and produce certified organic. That’s a little “farmish”.

[Read more →]

August 25, 2014   No Comments

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

calgmay
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he supports a trial for backyard chickens in a limited number of Calgary households to see how urban chickens might fare legally in the city.

Hughes, leader of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub plans to take more councillors on his tour of Calgary’s illegal but responsible coops.

By Jason Markusoff
Calgary Herald
August 24, 2014

Excerpt:

Fortunes have improved for Calgarians who want to be legal hen-raisers, four years after council voted 11-3 against permitting backyard coops.

Only four of those 2010 skeptics remain on council, and one of them — Coun. Ray Jones — wants to help lead the way on resurrecting plans for an urban chickens pilot project.

[Read more →]

August 25, 2014   No Comments

First-ever New York City Honey Week Sept 8-14

honey

A Celebration Of The Busy Bees Who Pollinate The City That Never Sleeps

Honey-themed dinners featuring Chefs Angelo Romano & Katy Peetz as well as Max Sussman at The Cleveland

Honey tastings at Brooklyn Grange and Murray’s Cheese (with Marina Marchese)

A honey cooking class with Rebekah Peppler at Haven’s Kitchen

[Read more →]

August 24, 2014   No Comments

Native Americans Connect To Past Through Gardens In Chicago

native
In this July 10, 2014 photo, Lilah White, left, and Natalie Cree Arguijo carry plants during a gardening exercise with the American Indian Center in Chicago. The center is using gardens to teach urban Native American youth about the importance of their connection to the land. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)

Today, there are about 27,000 people of native descent living in Chicago, a city that ranks among the nation’s biggest populations of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

By Stacy Thacker
The Big Story
Aug. 16, 2014

Excerpt:

CHICAGO (AP) — A train roars by as Native American children and instructors climb up a railroad embankment in Chicago, headed toward a barren patch of land that they’ll transform into a garden with edible and medicinal plants.

Some carry potted plants or spades to break up the earth hardened by the summer sun, eager to connect with their natural surroundings. They’re continuing an important cultural tradition that can be difficult to maintain for native people who, decades ago, left reservations for urban areas like Chicago, which now has one of the 10 largest native populations in the U.S.

[Read more →]

August 24, 2014   No Comments

Tyisa Nabanye – Urban Farm in Cape Town, South Africa

afric

Various project undertakings include an organic vegetable garden, an indigenous nursery, a monthly market

By Catherine Nicks
Project Manager
August 2014

We are a non-profit urban agriculture organisation growing food on the slopes of Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa, seeking to improve food security, promote sustainable livelihoods and create employment for our members. Tyisa Nabanye, consisting of eight members; Mzu, Lumko, Unathi, Chuma, Lizza, Vuyo, Masi and myself, started a permaculture vegetable garden created out of the voluntary labour or youth living on the site, among whom are two graduates of the Permaculture Design Course at Seed in Mitchell’s Plain.

[Read more →]

August 24, 2014   No Comments

Second Nature Urban Agriculture – Designing Productive Cities

sec

Just published, August 2014

By André Viljoen, Katrin Bohn
Routledge August 2014
300 pages
(Must see. Mike)

This book is the long awaited sequel to “Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities”.

“Second Nature Urban Agriculture” updates and extends the authors’ concept for introducing productive urban landscapes, including urban agriculture, into cities as essential elements of sustainable urban infrastructure. It reviews recent research and projects on the subject and presents concrete actions aimed at making urban agriculture happen.

[Read more →]

August 23, 2014   No Comments