New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Philippines: Davao City agri to refurbish rooftop garden

DAVAO. In a bid to make it into an ideal agri-tourism destination, the City Agriculture’s Office is set to refurbish the rooftop garden at the City Hall Annex Building along Pichon St. (SunStar file photo)

“We cannot just tell everybody to have an organic urban garden at home when we don’t have it here. That’s why we have this model garden to show them that it’s doable even with limited space,” he added.

By Jennie P. Arado
SunStar
Apr 13, 2018

Excerpt:

The 250-square meter (sqm) roof deck garden, located on the roof deck of the City Agriculture’s Office building along Pichon St., was first launched December of 2016. During the launching, invited guests saw the different organic vegetables, herbs, and spices grown in the garden.

During an interview with CAO head Leo Brian Leuterio, they target the refurbished rooftop garden to look like a homestead. Within the 250-sqm total area of the rooftop garden, they are going to allot a 50-sqm space intended for a specialized homestead, which Leuterio said will hopefully create the impression to the visitors that urban gardening is doable and that space is not a limitation to do gardening.

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April 21, 2018   No Comments

Preparing a community garden to honor local families affected by opioid crisis

The garden will be located on Evergreen Street, Rochester. (WHAM Photo)

Families who have lost someone to drugs will have the opportunity to get a plot of the garden, as a way to memorialize their loved one.

WHAM
April 14, 2018

Excerpt:

Rochester, N.Y. – On Saturday, many volunteers began creating a community garden on an empty plot of land, that was once a haven for drug users, until the City of Rochester chose to bulldoze the abandoned house.

Volunteers were cleaning up the site on Evergreen Street in preparation for that garden, which is meant to honor those who have died from drug overdoses and give hope to those struggling.

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April 21, 2018   No Comments

Chicago church padlocks community gardens in Woodlawn, leaving gardeners wondering why

A flag blows in the wind in the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden on April 12, 2018, in Chicago. Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune

The padlocked gardens have prompted some to sneak in to ready the plots for planting.

By William Lee
Chicago Tribune
Apr 13, 2018

Excerpt:

Rooting her fingers through the soil at a popular community garden in the Woodlawn neighborhood transports Gloria Mance back to her childhood on a Southern farm.

Back then, struggling relatives and neighbors bonded through shared purpose and the need to feed their families.

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April 20, 2018   No Comments

Coeur et Sol Urban Farms in New Jersey

Why wait to find the perfect piece of land when you can take an empty lot and turn it into something beautiful?

By Jeff Holmes
JerseyBites
12 Apr 2018

Excerpt:

Hernandez grew up on five acres in Hunterdon County, where her family raised Nigerian dwarf goats and showed them for the local 4-H club. She had a small garden in her childhood. As she got older, though, like most teens, she grew apart from her interest.

On a trip to Paris years later, when she was a retail manager for a clothing company, Hernandez saw how important food and sustainability are to Parisians. She read the book The Market Gardner, by Jean-Martin Fortier and an idea was born. On her flight home, she started to write down her ideas and dreams of one day being an urban farmer.

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April 20, 2018   No Comments

Australia: Urban farming campuses to bring food closer to consumers

Ambitious plan: Nuffield Scholar Jan Vydra hopes a planned urban farming campus in Melbourne will be followed by others in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. Picture: David Geraghty

Visiting Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Holland and the US, Mr Vydra took away lessons on the community and cultural impact of urban farming, as well as how purchasing habits of consumers have changed.

By Bethany Griffiths
The Weekly Times
April 12, 2018

Excerpt:

A first-generation Melbourne farmer wants to share his knowledge on urban farming by building a university-like campus in every major Australian city.

Jan Vydra, from Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, is drawing on his 2016 Nuffield Scholarship research to develop spaces where other farmers and growers can learn about urban farming and see how it works in a real-life setting.

“What we really want to do now is take that concept and build a campus in each capital city, so we can localise produce and provide jobs to people in the industry that’s in a different format,” Mr Vydra said.

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April 19, 2018   No Comments

Urban agriculture program helps UW-Madison students take farming to the city

“Urban agriculture is one way of addressing equity and distribution problems,” said Newman. “If it’s too difficult to access fresh produce that’s being imported into the city, allowing people the sovereignty to grow their own food in their own environment is a really strong way to allow that autonomy and agency.”

By Allison Garfield
The Daily Cardinal
April 12, 2018

Excerpt:

Ventura hopes the school for urban agriculture will be a self-sustaining program before the grant runs out in three years. Though the curriculum is not definite yet, students have expressed interest in the program, he said.

Michelle Miller, associate director of programs for CIAS, said it is immensely important to consider how cities interact with the suburban areas surrounding them when examining urban agriculture. It is important to recognize risks shared between the people who eat the food and the people who grow the food, Miller said, because disparities can arise, like agricultural workers who aren’t paid and don’t have healthcare.

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April 19, 2018   No Comments

Singapore stakes claim on first organic standard for produce grown by urban and indoor farming

With increasing demand for authentic organic primary produce, SS 632: 2017 was developed to aid industry players in the sector as well as consumers.

“I am proud to say that this is possibly the first national standard in the world for organic produce in the urban and peri-urban environments.”

By Lester Wan
Food Navigator Asia
12-Apr-2018

Excerpt:

According to the SSC, SS 632: 2017 was tailored to local Singaporean conditions yet encompasses the principles of organic agriculture: health, ecology, fairness and care.

It pertains to traditional organic farming, peri-urban and urban organic farming, as well as the distribution and trade of organic produce.

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April 18, 2018   No Comments

Urban farm provides fresh food to Kansas City restaurants

What started in a basement quickly became a booming business. Missing Ingredient hopes to expand into a larger space to meet the demands of a growing clientele.

By Megan Strickland
KSHB
Apr 11, 2018

Excerpt:

Many restaurants in the Kansas City area embrace the “farm-to-table” concept, promising diners the finest dishes with local, fresh ingredients.

Where is the farm that is supplying the table?

One farm is located in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri. Missing Ingredient is an urban farm that supplies food to more than 20 restaurants and makes almost 80 deliveries a week.

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April 18, 2018   No Comments

Taiwan vertical farm to invest US$25 million in Britain

UK minister Graham Stuart (center).

YesHealth boasts a production yield 100 times higher than traditional agriculture and expects its UK facility to produce 50-150 kilograms of vegetables per day.

Focus Taiwan
Apr 10, 2018

Excerpt:

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) Graham Stuart, minister for investment in the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade, on Tuesday announced a plan by a Taiwanese company to establish a vertical farming factory in the UK.

YesHealth Agri-Biotechnology Co., which operates a 14-storey vertical farm in Taoyuan City called YesHealth iFarm, will invest 18 million pounds sterling (US$25.47 million) over two years to establish a pilot factory at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) in York, “bringing the next generation of food production to UK shores,” Stuart announced at a press conference held at the farm in Taoyuan.

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April 17, 2018   No Comments

Perennial Vegetables

From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles

By Eric Toensmeier
Chelsea Green
2007

There is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are annuals. In Perennial Vegetables the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food.

Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as the flowers in your perennial beds and borders—no annual tilling and potting and planting. They thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season.

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April 17, 2018   No Comments

Canada: De-Colonizing Local Ecology: Learning Medicinal And Food Uses Of Native Plants

Charles Dickens Elementary in Vancouver – The beginning of our project this year included designing and building a geodesic greenhouse. The students used applied skills criteria and Math to plan, design and build a working greenhouse. This greenhouse will be used to extend the growing season at our school.

Science World’s BC Green Games
2018

Excerpt:

Charles Dicken’s Elementary School has been working on an outdoor learning space for several years. The original building design included Leeds environmental criteria, which included a rooftop garden. Over the last few years we have been developing the outdoor garden into a dynamic learning space as part of a 3 year plan. This year our goal is to integrate aboriginal food and medicine plants into our outdoor learning space. Dickens has a long time running Green Team/ environmental club that includes year round activities.

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April 16, 2018   No Comments

China: Shanghai’s Suburban Farm on Chongming Island

One of Shen Hong’s farms, located in Xianqiao Town on Chongming Island, presents a bucolic scene of man and nature existing in harmony.

“Urban agriculture, like farming in suburban areas in big cities like Shanghai, is different from the traditional way of farming,” says Huang, an urban planner for more than 20 years. “It is aimed not only at fulfilling the need for food production, but also at providing local residents and urban consumers with a deeper understanding of how our daily lives relate to nature.”

By Yao Minji
Shine
Apr 11, 2018

Excerpt:

Like many modern farms in suburban Shanghai, Huang hosts workshops that are especially popular among families with children. Visitors can see how crops are grown organically and come to understand how somewhat higher costs of food are worth the knowledge that what we eat is safe and nutritious.

“The idea of sustainable farming depends heavily on consumers becoming more eco-minded,” Shen says. “We have forgotten the nature of agriculture. It is to supply nutrition and make you healthy. But consumers are typically driven by taste and price. For many years, most consumers have placed a higher priority on taste and low price than on quality and nutrition.”

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April 16, 2018   No Comments

Thailand: Bangkok’s First Urban Farm Restaurant

Haoma is Bangkok’s first modern urban farm based fine dining restaurant. We grow what we cook, we cook what we love.

The kitchen is helmed by Chef DK, Executive chef, and owner assisted by Chef Tarun Bhatia, the current San Pelligrino Young Chef of Asia.

Chef Deepanker can be found here every day, working the soil, planting, weeding and harvesting the finest herbs and vegetables so that his guests can enjoy the freshest ingredients possible.

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April 15, 2018   No Comments

I’m not sure connected planters will ever succeed

See the video show here.

Now, a company called Grow has announced its first product, the Grow Duo.

By Ashley Carman
The Werge
Apr 7, 2018

Excerpt:

It’s a large planter for outdoor use that comes with a companion iOS / Android app, a moisture sensor for the soil, temperature sensors for both the soil and outside air, and a light sensor for the sun. It hooks up to a user’s hose, so there’s no need to water the plants; its automated sprinklers take care of it.

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April 15, 2018   No Comments

Hong Kong’s Rooftop Republic

View from rooftop garden. Photos by Melissa Luk.

On a sunny March afternoon I went up with Pol of Rooftop Republic to tour the very high rooftop farm they had set up on the BEA Tower in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. In this floating oasis we had a chat about how it started and how it’s going.

By Melissa Luk
City Farmer correspondant
April 14, 2018

How did Rooftop Republic begin?

Rooftop Republic was born with the mission to integrate urban farming into our city lifestyle and make it easily accessible to city people. Although we have seen an increase in the number of organic farms in the New Territories (most “rural” part of Hong Kong) over the last years, we realized we needed to bring the urban farming movement to the heart of the city and integrate it with our day to day lives not just something we do once in a while. Whether it’s in the places where we live, where we work, where we go to school or where we socialize, we aspire to put an urban farm on every available roof so that people can reconnect with their own food and their community.

When did this garden start? What was the process like?

We set up this garden in November 2017. We had been planning it for several months. We had to do some minor renovation work for the surface where the planters are now. Before it used to be artificial lawn so we took it out and put new tiles.

After that we set up all the planters, built the irrigation system, did some testing and then put the soil and plants in. This part took around two weeks.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments