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Future Farmers: a guide to running an urban food growing traineeship

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The sky’s the limit for London’s future farmers

By Sustain: The Alliance For Better Food And Farming
Sept. 2014

A new guide aimed at organisations hoping to train the next generation of urban farmers, is being launched today on a rooftop farm in central London. The document – titled Future Farmers; a guide for running an urban food growing traineeship – is being launched by the Mayor of London’s food advisor, Rosie Boycott, as part of Urban Food Fortnight, which will see London’s food growers selling produce at over 100 events and outlet.

Chair of London Food Board, Rosie Boycott, said: “Training and apprenticeships are key to making sure there are enough skilled people to start food growing enterprises and help to meet the demand for locally produced, great quality food that we see here in London. This new initiative provides a comprehensive and practical guide to help nurture the next generation of professional urban growers.”

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September 16, 2014   No Comments

Vacant lot in Providence, Rhode Island becoming greenhouse space with ‘Lots of Hope’

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This empty lot at 433 Prairie Ave. in Providence will soon hold a greenhouse that will produce fresh produce for the surrounding community. The Lots of Hope program, which began last year with support from the Rhode Island Foundation, has already resulted in the creation of two farms. Photo by Kris Craig/The Providence Journal.

This new greenhouse will be a place where neighbors of all ages can come to learn and work together to build a more sustainable city.”

By Richard Salit
Providence Journal
Aug 19, 2014

Excerpt:

The city has recently had success taking empty urban lots and turning them into productive vegetable gardens. Now city officials want to go a step further when their next “Lots of Hope” project turns vacant space into a greenhouse.

The greenhouse, to be built this fall on a small lot at 433 Prairie Ave., is intended to provide fresh, healthy food for the surrounding community. Low-cost leases will help farmers succeed and the produce will be made available to school food service vendors, which are required to purchase 15 percent of their food locally.

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September 16, 2014   No Comments

Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive

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“Bee populations are diminishing due to human impact”

By Mark L. Winston
Harvard University Press
August 2014

Being among bees is a full-body experience, Mark Winston writes—from the low hum of tens of thousands of insects and the pungent smell of honey and beeswax, to the sight of workers flying back and forth between flowers and the hive. The experience of an apiary slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe. Bee Time presents Winston’s reflections on three decades spent studying these creatures, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world.

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September 15, 2014   No Comments

Vancouver rooftop greenhouse back in business

City-owned parking garage to produce food once again

By Jane Deacon
Vancouver 24 Hour
September 11, 2014

Excerpt:

A troubled Vancouver urban farming facility is set to be revamped after its acquisition by Affinor Growers, which plans to use the technology to grow food locally and pot in the U.S.

Affinor, which also has a research and development facility in Port Coquitlam, has purchased the assets of Alterrus Systems’ rooftop growing facility on Richards Street. Before the company declared bankruptcy last year, it produced leafy greens and herbs through “vertical” farming techniques, which maximize sunlight exposure by suspending thousands of plant trays within a greenhouse-style facility.

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September 15, 2014   No Comments

Insects to Feed the World Conference 2014

The first international conference on insects for food and feed brought over 450 participants from 45 countries together to discuss the state of the art in edible insect research, business and policy. Feed industry leaders, insect breeders, universities, NGOs and other stakeholders gathered for the first time, with a clear message – insects for feed and food are viable solution for the protein deficit problem.

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September 14, 2014   No Comments

In Salisbury, North Carolina farming will return to the urban core

roadLivingstone College hopes to develop an urban farm on this acreage, which lies off Locke Street on the right. Photo by Mark Wineka.

In the light-industrial areas, urban farms would be limited to wholesale crop production and animal production, which could include slaughter within a fully enclosed facility.

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
September 4, 2014

Excerpt:

Salisbury City Council approved Tuesday a text amendment to the city’s Land Development Ordinance which will allow urban farms and pave the way for Livingstone College to revive a former farming operation on 40 acres stretching from the area of Brenner Avenue, Milford Hills Road and Locke Street.

The college already has cleared significant portions of the land where its urban farm will operate in support of Livingstone’s culinary program.

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September 14, 2014   No Comments

Young citizen scientists reveal urban bee ‘surprise’

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Dallas Campbell with survey participant. BBC presenter Dallas Campbell said children were “natural-born scientists”.

A patch of lavender in a city centre sees more bumblebees than a patch in the country, according to preliminary results from a citizen science project

By Jonathan Webb
BBC News
Sept 9, 2014

Excerpt:

“Within cities, there are fewer floral resources,” said Dr Michael Pocock from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, who led the analysis of the data with colleague Dr Helen Roy.

“And so one of the likely explanations is that there’s a concentration effect – the bumblebees in the area are concentrated on floral resources which are provided through pots of lavender and beds of lavender.”

That isn’t necessarily bad news, Dr Roy added, because it suggests that planting more flowers in cities will help boost bumblebee numbers.

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September 13, 2014   No Comments

Grow Calgary seeks massive expansion for urban farm

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Paul Hughes of Grow Calgary, pictured with his son Mac, is hoping to create the world’s largest urban farm here in Calgary. Photograph by Calgary Herald.

Last year, Grow Calgary produced 20 truckloads of food for the food bank

By Annalise Klingbeil
Calgary Herald
September 2, 2014

Excerpt:

The man behind Canada’s largest urban agriculture farm — a 4.5-hectare pocket of land near Canada Olympic Park that produces truckloads of produce for the food bank — wants to grow the operation into the world’s largest urban farm.

Paul Hughes said Grow Calgary has made a request to the provincial government for an additional 254 hectares of land on the transportation utility corridor that would be used to grow everything from carrots to cabbage, zucchini and turnips.

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September 13, 2014   No Comments

Saving Detroit, One Tree at a Time

detrDowntown Detroit.

Detroit: Between 20 and 30 square miles of city real estate sat abandoned

By Monte Reel
Business Week
September 02, 2014

Excerpt:

So there it was—the conceptual seed of Hantz Woodlands, the most quixotic and wildly ambitious response to the in-your-face challenge that is contemporary Detroit. Hantz, the chief executive officer of a billion-dollar investment group in the Detroit suburbs, says he is pouring tens of millions of dollars of his own money into the project because he believes private enterprise can solve urban America’s problems more effectively than can the public sector. He has bought thousands of blighted city lots, and he has purchased tens of thousands of hardwood saplings. To date, none of the trees are sturdier than wispy reeds, but together they represent what his backers in City Hall are labeling “the world’s largest experiment in urban agriculture.”

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September 11, 2014   No Comments

Dreaded Viper bite for those working the land in India

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A Russell’s viper in Pune, India.

Letter describing a bite on the toe

By Venkat Iyer
City Farmers Yahoo Group in India
Aug. 30, 2014

Anyone who lives in a village or works the land will always have the dread of one event. There is always a silent prayer hoping that the dreaded event never happens in ones family or on ones field. Well, for the last ten years at the farm, in-spite of a few close encounters the event had not occurred. On the fateful day of 14th August destiny decided to test us. Yes the dreaded event of a snake bite finally happened at the farm.

Baban and me were cleaning the fence of creepers and other sundry stuff when we decided to take a break for a cup of tea. As we walked back to the house he went a little away to tie the bull to another chikoo tree. Just as I reached the back porch of the house, I heard a painful scream from Baban and the next minute he was running towards the house yelling that something had bitten him. He was sweating profusely and I calmed him down, gave him a glass of water and shooted off towards the chikoo tree to see what had bitten him.

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September 11, 2014   No Comments

Urban farming fuss: Dearborn, Michigan project exposes challenges of growing local

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Maureen McIlrath and Andrew Gertz both of Dearborn, tour the Crowley Park Sustainable Farm in their neighborhood on July 24, 2014. McIlrath runs the farm, which has endured funding and volunteer problems, and Gertz is one of her more respectful Facebook critics. Photo by Robert Allen/Detroit Free Press.

Because of problems setting up a reliable water source this season, she wasn’t able to rent out plots behind the fencing as she had previously.

By Robert Allen
Detroit Free Press
Sept 1, 2014

Excerpt:

“You really have to know what you’re doing or have a support network in order to be successful,” she said, adding that “you really have to have the support of the people around you, most importantly the neighbors.”

McIlrath said people have thrown dog feces over the fence. Some have cut the fence and sneaked in. She works as an insurance agent and said that the attacks have even stretched to e-mails deriding her to professional contacts — and she’s about to take legal action against a few of them.

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September 10, 2014   No Comments

100 Fruits and Vegetables Balanced on Dog’s Head in 100 Seconds

Took hundreds of biscuits and four months to film

Cute Dog Maymo balances 100 different fruits & vegetables on his head in 100 seconds. Taking hundreds of biscuits and four months to film (as well as some inspiration from Irish hat designer Philip Treacy), here is the finished video of Maymo the lemon beagle balancing 100 colorful fruits & vegetables on his head. Some of the items are styled to look like hats and others to look downright ridiculous on Maymo, who waits patiently for his biscuit which dangles just slightly off camera.

September 10, 2014   No Comments

Steel grate urban farming classroom by Colorado building workshop

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The orientation of the volume allows for views into the space by staff sitting in their office, while simultaneously offering privacy for those inside of the classroom.

Students: Shawn Adams, Brandon Bain, Kristin Bevis, Mike Blea, Joe Coleman, Amr Fayez, John Gibbons, James Hart, Jeremy Jones, Amy Keil, Maeve Kinsey, Dj Kornmeyer, Breton Lujan, Kendra Matrician, Paul Mitchell, Jack Tipton
Faculty: Rick Sommerfeld, Craig Cherry
Structural Engineer: Andy Paddock
Designboom
Sept 2014

In lakewood, colorado, an urban farming classroom has been completed by colorado building workshop – a design build program for graduate students entering their final year at CU-denver. located adjacent to the state’s newest lightrail line, the outdoor learning facility is intended to educate local residents on the topic of city-based agriculture.

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September 9, 2014   No Comments

10 Great Urban Agriculture Projects in San Antonio

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Local Sprout is an urban farm on the Eastside of San Antonio.

The San Antonio Housing Authority Gardens are located at 11 housing complexes around the city

By Nora Kako
Foodtank
Aug 30, 2014

Excerpt:

1. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is currently planting an urban farm around First Children’s Hospital as part of a new program designed to educate children and residents about nutrition. The gardens will be adjacent to the Hospital Teaching Kitchen, which will offer nutrition cooking courses taught by the Culinary Institute of America. The vegetables and herbs grown in the gardens will be used in the teaching kitchen and dining area of the hospital.

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September 9, 2014   No Comments

Two week course: From home gardens to agro-parks: working towards resilient agrifood systems serving densely populated areas

Woman with a basket of beans in vegetable garden Pieter de Hooch - 1651
Woman with a basket of beans in vegetable garden. By Pieter de Hooch – 1651. Click on image for larger file.

Food security in an urbanising society

Organised by Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation
Date Mon 9 March 2015 until Fri 20 March 2015

Excerpt:

Due to continuing rural-urban migration, over 50% of the world’s population now lives in densely populated urban areas. They rely heavily on all sorts of markets for their daily food needs. These are supplied through overstressed, complex agro-logistical networks often at risk of failure. This course focuses on how rural production and urban market systems can be integrated such that urban dwellers can be assured better access to adequate quantities of nutritious food while sustaining the viability of the production areas.

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September 9, 2014   No Comments