New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Canada: Rapper tells the story of Frisch Farms Vancouver

Gabriel Pliska raps about CSA urban farming as he walks through the streets of Vancouver.

FRISCH is the German word for FRESH. Frisch sounds fresher. Kinda crisp and crunchy like a fresh snap pea.

By Gabriel Pliska
Frisch Farms
2017

Excerpt:

It was in the Spring of 2012 when I moved back to Canada from Germany where I was teaching English and semi-retired…

Then once in Vancouver, I started growing vegetables in some raised garden beds with new roommates in Kitsilano and I remembered how much fun it was to garden with my mother while growing up in Ottawa as a child. I knew gardening was my passion!

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November 20, 2017   No Comments

Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Figure 1. Map of Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana. Source: Nchanji et al. (2017).

Whatever the solution to the impending problems of governance in urban agriculture will be, it will be difficult to implement them, as actors interest are varied and conflicting. For example, chiefs are taking advantage of urbanisation and its valuable land markets to allocate agricultural lands for residential and commercial purposes, reducing lands used by farmers for farming.

By Eileen Bogweh Nchanji
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August Universität, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(11),
November 2017

Abstract:

Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system.

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November 20, 2017   No Comments

How This Elementary School In The Bronx Is Using Farming As A Vehicle For Change

Tucked within the poorest congressional district in America, sandwiched between the largest strip of public housing in the country, you’ll find a farm.

Emma Loewe
MBG Editorial
Nov 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Back inside the farm, aptly named The National Health, Wellness & Learning Center, Ritz explains why he thinks growing food has led to happier, healthier kids. “When you put a seed in a little kid’s hand, you’re making them a promise that little seed is going to grow into something great that they can eat. And then they get to watch it happen.” This instills in them a sense of pride and a new interest in what they’re putting into their bodies. A lot of kids start their time at P.S. 55 not knowing that food comes from the ground at all, but they all leave with an understanding of every part of the growing process.

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November 20, 2017   No Comments

Canada: True Grit Farm Produces Micro and Baby Greens in Langely, BC

The CSA program will run for 24 weeks (May to October). Two sizes will be offered; a full share, and a half share.

By Ashlee Brillert
True Grit Farm
Nov. 2017

Excerpts from Their Facebook Page:

Not much makes us happier than a nice full greenhouse! We’ve started to use coconut coir as seed cover instead of our soil mix to top some of our more delicate micros for the winter months. We find it helps us to avoid mould issues as it keeps some moisture in, but also has aeration properties. During the summer months our micros need misting on the hour as they dry out so quickly. During the winter we have the opposite problem where you can easily end up watering too much (or at the wrong time) and having micros sit wet overnight. Putting micros to bed wet we find can quickly give you mould issues! Coconut coir helps us with this, and keeps our watering down to twice per day in winter

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November 19, 2017   No Comments

Dallas combats food desert with new seedling farm to help grow your own

Dallas’ urban farming community is coming together to help combat a food desert in South Dallas by launching a source of low-cost plants for gardeners.

By Teresa Gubbins
Dallas Culture Map
11.13.17

Excerpt:

“In fact, South Dallas is one of the largest food deserts in the country,” he says. “While there have been positive results with the many new urban farming and gardening efforts in recent years, there is still work to be done. The Seedling Farm aims to overcome some of the barriers to successful local agricultural production and help boost garden yield in South Dallas. It helps everyone in the urban farm system, facilitating others to grow their businesses.”

The Seedling Farm will be open year-round and will provide a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetable plants at a nominal cost, along with professional in-person advice. Community members — both individuals and groups — can participate via four steps: “meet, select, grow, and go.”

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November 19, 2017   No Comments

Chicken DIY: 20 Fun-to-Make Projects for Happy and Healthy Chickens

Forthcoming January 16, 2018

By Samantha Johnson (Author)
Daniel Johnson (Photographer)
Lumina Media – CompanionHouse Books

Farmer and author Samantha Johnson takes a practical approach when it comes to building environments for her chickens. “Chickens are generally easy to care for and inexpensive to keep,” she says. “The required infrastructure for a flock of chickens—housing, fencing, and feeding/watering equipment—is minimal and well within the reach of a DIYer who would like the satisfaction of building these items for him- or herself.”

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November 19, 2017   No Comments

Korean Urban Farmers, Cultivating Hope

Must see video. Link here.

“As soon as we enlarge our cultivation area and secure a sufficient yield, we hope to create a model for the 6th Industrialization of Urban Agriculture, which includes processing for commercial packaging.”

The World on Airang
Nov 13, 2017
(Must see video. Mike)

Excerpt:

Some farmers are now trying to make profits by farming, pushing it beyond a hobby. And they are here in Haengchon , central Seoul. Run by 23 urban farmers in the neighborhood, this farm received an official certification as an urban farming community last year. Their first goal was to build a farm that fulfilled their purpose. With a large outdoor farm 230m2(meter square) in size and 140 garden beds, every nook of the neighborhood is used as farmland. These farmers grow their own plants from seeds. Earlier this year, they planted and raised a total of 50 thousand seedlings and made some profit.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Northern Ireland: Loyalist bonfire site transformed into £285,000 allotment in Belfast

The Rathfern Activity Area on a former loyalist bonfire site. Picture by Mal McCann

The Rathfern Activity Area includes 28 allotments

Brendan Hughes
Irish News
13 November, 2017

Excerpt:

In previous years the site has been used for an annual Eleventh Night bonfire.

The pyre in July was moved onto land adjacent to the new activity site while work on the council-funded projected continued.

A sign on a newly landscaped area of the activity site encourages people to “keep the park clean and free from litter”.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Touring an Detroit urban vineyard

Blake Kownacki introduces the urban vineyard.

Detroit Vineyards (detroitvineyards.com), founded in 2014, is a unique urban winery and is the first operating winery in Detroit in more than 60 years.

By Emily Pochubay
Record Eagle
Nov 11, 2017

Excerpt:

According to Blake Kownacki, Detroit Vineyard co-founder, winemaker and vineyard manager, Michigan has one of the oldest wine industries in the country. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit, established a vineyard along the Detroit River circa 1702, one of the first in North America.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

Hotel Brisbane bees.

Five years later, looking after the 150 hives he now has around greater Brisbane and northern New South Wales is a full-time job.

By Rachel Clun
Brisbane Times
November 2011

Excerpt:

But for the cafes and corporate companies that now host beehives, Mr Stone said they have found it very rewarding.

“They produce about 200 kilograms (of honey) per hive per year, which allows them to do quite a bit from their rooftop,” he said.

“Instead of giving out a branded pen they give a 500-gram jar of honey to their most-cherished customers.”

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November 17, 2017   No Comments

India: Chennai mini urban-rural joint venture

Their first crop — the red diamonds, a native rice grain called poongar.

Till the 1960s Indian farmers had close to a 100,000 varieties of rice

Excerpt:

The Valam collective is one of several mini urban-rural joint ventures cropping up across TN, which not only encourage organic farming and give city-dwellers a chance to explore their entrepreneurial side, but also help rural farmers who are in dire straits financially.

Since January, Gopinath Jayaraja and his coterie of city farmers have harvested three tonnes of this precious commodity. Incidentally, it has also made his idli-dosa batter taste spectacular.

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November 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Forget backyard chickens, council shifts focus to food security in London, Ontario

“A small victory for chickens” says animal welfare group after council rejects proposal to allow backyard laying hens #ldnont

About a dozen animal welfare supporters poured into the city’s gallery to voice their disapproval

CBC News
Nov 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Londoners will have to hold off on raising backyard laying hens – and current coop owners will have to continue flying under the radar.

Animal Liberation Alliance London, From Their Facebook page:
“Small victory for chickens tonight as city council voted to remove back yard chickens from the cities agricultural plan. Small victory because they did it for all the wrong reasons. We are still not recognizing chickens as having a right to not be exploited by humans. Most of the councillors voted against it because they saw chickens in the city as an unnecessary burden or a nuisance.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

Veterans Start Vet Veggies to Inspire Other Vets

Vet Veggies harvests 600 heads of lettuce every week using a process called Hydroponics and they do it all inside this single container.

Arkansas Matters
Nov. 10. 2017

Excerpt:

Jerry Martin is a veteran and a farmer, but not just any kind of farmer.

Martin said, “I’m a Vietnam Veteran. I went into service in 1969. ”

The goal is to provide fresh farm to table vegetables for the Northwest Arkansas community. “Vet Veggies is a concept where we provide fresh local vegetables,” said Martin.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

Uganda: How a sack garden can save you

Farmers learning about a sack garden during the tour organised by KCCA.

One of the urban farming technics that caught the attention of farmers at the Harvest Money farm tour at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in Kyanja, Nakawa division was sack gardening.

By Fatumah Nalwanga
New Vision
10th November 2017

Excerpt:

Where do I market my crops?

When all is done and crops are ready to market, they can hardly trace buyers, since most of these are city backyard gardens.

Nankinga advises that the farmer should “consider making small stalls outside their homes where potential customers can see.

Alternatively, they can sell to the local stalls who will sell to the final consumers,” she adds.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

1974, San Francisco’s ‘The Farm’ – Part of The History of Urban Agriculture

Work party at The Farm, c. 1975. Also must see: The Farm (documentary) 47 minutes
by Mike Kavanaugh, MaryEllen Churchill, and Kathy Katz

In SF, art still thrives and celebrates its history at The Farm

By Laura Wenus
Mission Local
November 9, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Joan Holden, director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe at the time, remembered The Farm in its early days in a documentary collecting memories of The Farm.

“It was this little spot of nature, this little eruption of nature in the middle of the concrete jungle, proving that life could still exist there,” she said at the time.

It drew the attention of some of the Mission’s now best-known artists, including René Yañez, and Dogpaw Carrillo among others.

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November 15, 2017   No Comments