New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Documentary Film: Three Generations Of Women Create A Community Garden In Their South African Village

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Canada: University of Victoria historian Elizabeth Vibert teamed up with award-winning director Christine Welsh to produce ‘The Thinking Garden’.

The garden, which has now been in operation for 25 years, provides fresh vegetables and opportunities for the local villagers while helping confront the ravages of poverty, climate change and AIDS.

By Dan Ebenal
Saanich News
Feb 25, 2017

Excerpt:

“The garden has been vitally important to the community, especially as the effects of climate change get worse. It provides local, affordable produce that otherwise people have to travel on public transit to buy fresh vegetables,” said Vibert.

More familiar with writing about history, Vibert said her first venture into filmmaking was extremely challenging.

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February 26, 2017   No Comments

Ireland: Galway Michelin chef backs project to fight poverty in Central Africa

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Concern ambassador, chef JP McMahon with daughters, eight year old Heather (left) and Martha, 4, at the Westside Community Garde

Speaking from the Westside community gardens, accompanied by his daughters, he said: “Europe has taken so much out of Africa; it is our duty as Europeans and Irish people to give back.

By Our Reporter
Connacht Tribune
February 19, 2017

Excerpt:

“I think Kitchen Gardens is a genuine and excellent idea because it taps into that connection to growing food that a lot of us never have to think about at all.

“It supports people in great need in growing their own farms for the future, making them more self-sufficient and strengthening their community.

“This project gives us a sense of fulfilment that we are actually helping people to produce their own food because aid can only do so much.

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February 26, 2017   No Comments

Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties

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The addition of organic fertilizers tended to increase most enzyme activities and available nutrients in the soils, as compared to that of inorganic fertilizers

By Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sang Soo Lee, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Young-Han Lee, Kye Hoon Kim, Jeoung-Hun Park, Deok Hyun Moon, and Yong Sik Ok
Sustainability
Feb 20, 2017

Abstract:

Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, ?-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition.

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February 25, 2017   No Comments

The Urban Farmer: How to Create a Productive Garden in Any Space

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Just published in Australia

By Justin Calverley CERES
Harper Collons Australia
Feb 20, 2017

The guide for anyone who dreams of living the country life in the city by growing their own healthy, sustainable fruit and veg – and more!

Producing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey is perfectly possible in a suburban space, and this practical guide will help urban dwellers develop a more sustainable existence. With a deep knowledge of permaculture and organic gardening, horticultural expert Justin Calverley shows you how to establish a diverse urban farm, whether in your own backyard, a courtyard or even a balcony.

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February 25, 2017   No Comments

Berlin: International Urban Farming Conference in September, 2017

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Call For Papers

The International Urban Farming Conference that will take place 11th – 12th September, 2017 in Berlin invites professionals and activists in the field of urban farming to apply with their abstracts by March 10th. Especially welcome are presentations on projects related to local governments and partnership projects between local governments of the Global South and Global North.

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February 24, 2017   No Comments

Eustis, Florida City Commission Goes Against Backyard Chickens

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Judson Middens, with Florida Urban Agriculture, brought his chicken, Millie, to a city meeting to try to convince commissioners to allow Eustis residents to keep chickens as pets. Photo by By Roxanne Brown.

“So these guys, they’re not the monster everybody’s thinking. They’re clean, they’re friendly and, yes, they are pets.”

By Roxanne Brown
Daily Commercial
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Giddens said he understands people are concerned about smells and noises but said only commercial farming causes that, not the five chickens-per-household people in Eustis want.

“This is not new. It’s making a comeback. It’s part of sustainability,” he said. “People that have backyard chickens, they compost, they garden, they prepare for their community and what you do is facilitate a positive attitude in your citizenship.

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February 24, 2017   No Comments

Indigenous Wild Food Plants In Home Gardens

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Improving Health And Income With The Assistance Of Agricultural Extension

By Robert L. Freedman, Tucson, Arizona.
International Journal of Agricultural Extension
2015. 63-71

Abstract:

The wide spread presence of home gardens in developing nations is a strong foundation for food security, both in terms of quantity and quality. Indigenous wild food plants are a rich source of health-giving micronutrients, which are missing from highly refined fast/convenience foods the growing reliance on which has caused an ever-increasing occurrence of dietary-related diseases.

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”

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Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual. MSCA fellow. Research centre in urban environment for agriculture and biodiversity (ResCUE-AB). Department of Agricultural Sciences (Dipsa). Università di Bologna

For the special issue of the MDPI journal Sustainability

Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
Guest Editor,
email: esther.sanye(at)unibo.it
Sustainability

This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute to the assessment of the sustainability of urban agriculture, both by advancing methodological approaches and by providing results from case studies. Cities have been identified as an essential element in addressing global concerns, particularly due to the growing population, and food flow is key in the urban metabolism and in the design of future sustainable cities. Resulting from the environmental awareness of the globalized food system and urban social and economic gaps, urban agriculture has grown in recent years aiming at increasing food security while coping with climate change.

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

UK: Brighton & Hove Allotment Strategy 2014-2024

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Brighton & Hove?s allotment community is comprised of 6000 food growers with 3100 plots on 37 sites.

Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & HoveAllotment Federation
2014

Excerpt:

The strategy emphasises increasing the number of people growing high quality local food by ensuring the availability of good quality land. It promotes a self- sustaining and efficient service, encourages site participation, while fostering biodiversity, organic practices, good food and healthy living. It encourages a cooperative approach.

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

City of Toledo, Ohio offers vacant lot to urban farmer

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Thomas Jackson cleans up a pile of wood chips, branches, and tree stumps in an attempt to beautify the neighborhood around his Milburn Avenue home in Toledo.

The site is OK for mulch, not growing

By Tom Troy
The Blade
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr. Jackson said city officials are trying to work with him, and have suggested two other sites to place the wood chips. He said the Bancroft Street site is covered with concrete, so he would be able to compost there, but not grow vegetables.

“There’s definitely negotiations going on. I have a letter from economic development stating that they are working with me to get a new site,” Mr. Jackson said.

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February 22, 2017   No Comments

‘Australian Farmers Direct’ Want Families To Stop Urban Farming

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Three new advertisements parody city farming: “Let us take care of the farming”

Ad News
Feb 22, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Australian Farmers Direct has launched a multichannel campaign showing families how to grocery shop in a way that benefits farmers.

Rolling out across a series of TVCs and out of home billboards, the campaign highlights the importance of supporting Australian farmers and parodies the recent trend of inner-city dwellers attempting ‘urban farming’.

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February 22, 2017   No Comments

Historic farmhouse in Boston will serve as headquarters of the Urban Farming Institute

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Courtesy Historic Boston Incorporated.

Renovations underway on historic Fowler Clark Epstein farmhouse

By Yawu Miller
The Bay Street Banner
Feb 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Since September, work crews have been busy tackling decades of paint that adorns the 18th century face of Mattapan’s Fowler Clark Epstein Farm. They have embarked upon a historical restoration of the building that is expected to be completed later this year. The Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, built between 1786 and 1806, once occupied part of a 330-acre Dorchester estate; over the years, it was subdivided into smaller lots at a time when the Mattapan section of Dorchester was dominated by farms.

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February 21, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Strathcona County – Urban Agriculture Strategy

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Urban agriculture is easily accessed and seen in Strathcona County; it contributes to creating a healthy, livable community by helping to grow food, relationships, and economy in our community.

Community Food Lab
Intelligent Futures
Autumn 2016

Excerpt:

Urban conditions such as typically smaller available land area and diverse neighboring land uses mean that urban farms lean towards higher per square foot productivity, less mechanization, more focus on produce and less on livestock. Of course, creativity and innovation are the norm in urban farming, and typical scales of operation range from the individual farmer on a very small plot to capital-intensive commercial enterprises that can incorporate technologically- advanced growing methods.

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February 21, 2017   No Comments

Student Explores Urban Ag At Penn State Philadelphia Center

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Image: Penn State

Sara Touey, a Community, Environment, and Development major, studied urban farming — a subject that’s relatively new to the agricultural world — during her internship at the Penn State Center in Philadelphia.

By Anna Criswell
Penn State News
February 15, 2017

Excerpt:

“During the internship I went to a farm on the site of Teens 4 Good, a nonprofit associated with the Penn State Center,” said Touey. “They teach youth from lower-income neighborhoods how to grow and harvest their own food. They also teach nutritional programs, how to cook with produce and job-development skills they can take into the real world.”

Smaller farms associated with urban agriculture don’t have the heavy machinery or space one would find on a rural farm, or many workers, Touey explained. “It was humbling — it’s a very personal process,” she said about working at Teens 4 Good. Along with a handful of other volunteers, she worked in a small unit with the head farmer. She was given the opportunity to get her hands dirty, see how the food was grown and gain first-hand experience with the process of working on a smaller farm.

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February 20, 2017   No Comments

Urban farmers cultivate community and a connection to the land in Oklahoma City

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Photo Garett Fisbeck / Oklahoma Gazette)

“The first step for a garden is not to overbuild it the first year,” he said. “Start with a 4-foot-by-8-foot garden. It needs to be small and manageable. It will become overwhelming if it’s too large.”

By Greg Ewell
Oklahoma Gazette
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

CommonWealth Urban Farms of OKC cofounder and farm manager Elia Woods said she sees it, too, when people visit their farm at 3310 N. Olie Ave.

“We have a hunger inside of us to be connected to the natural world,” she said. “No matter how happy you might be at an office job, you still have that need.”

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February 20, 2017   No Comments