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California: ‘Agrihood’ proposal may be used to help win passage for latest city housing plan

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It’s one variation of an “agrihood” — a growing, national movement that combines new homes with farm crops and livestock production. More than 100 agrihoods exist nationally, with the nearest in Rancho Mission Viejo.

By Barbara Henry
San Diego Union-Tribune
Jan 14, 2018

The rough, tentative proposal calls for rezoning about half of a 21-acre, flower-growing parcel at Quail Gardens Drive and Leucadia Boulevard, so that it could contain about 250 high-density homes. Plans call for the remaining land to be transformed into a community-focused farming operation that would serve the needs of the new residents.

Business magazine articles have recently described agrihoods as the next likely big housing development trend, saying they could well replace the once-popular golf course as a key project amenity.

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January 20, 2018   No Comments

San Francisco Urban Farm To Rise As Symbol Of Social Justice

Alvina Wong (right) tries to untangle a lengthy garden hose with Marilyn Duran at the Hummingbird Farm in San Francisco

The once-fallow field, owned but previously unused by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, is on its way to becoming an urban farm capable of growing up to 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables each year

By Dominic Fracassa
San Francisco Chronicle
January 14, 2018

Excerpt:

The College Hill Learning Garden in Bernal Heights was the agency’s first such program. Opened in April 2016, the center is designed to teach students about healthy food and environmental sustainability and is operated by Education Outside, a nonprofit focused on science and environmental education.

The new garden is the PUC’s second urban agriculture program, and the third is still “under consideration,” according to Tracy Zhu, the agency’s acting community benefits manager.

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January 20, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Handcrafted, Wooden Garden Beds Use ‘GardenWell Self-watering System’

Custom-milled western cedar, food safe materials, and innovative sub-irrigation design ensures that your ‘LifeSpace Garden’ will stand the test of time, and help you and your family grow truly organic vegetables and herbs efficiently, no matter how small the space.

From their website
2018

Excerpt:

Wood Material

Most of our work is crafted from western red and yellow cedar. The natural strength and self-protective properties of cedar helps provide a quality product that is well worth the time that goes into carefully hand-crafting each garden. We respect the trees we source and build our boxes to last as long as the tree took to grow them.

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January 19, 2018   No Comments

Brooklyn: Where Mushrooms Grow Just a Few Feet from the Table

Smallhold’s “minifarms” carefully control growing conditions including air, water and light

A Brooklyn food-tech startup, Smallhold, puts its “minifarms” right in the restaurant where they’ll be served

By Dan Callahan
Brooklyn Business News
January 12, 2018

Excerpt:

The availability of Wi-Fi connections is one of the keys to making the Smallhold system work. The company grows the mushrooms to three-quarter ripeness in Bushwick and other farms around New York. Then they’re sent to the climate-controlled units linked by Wi-Fi and hooked up to a water supply. Smallhold employees monitor the units for the right mix of CO2, humidity, temperature and other conditions.

Mushrooms require a controlled environment and, as a fungus, their life process is not plantlike. They process oxygen as animals do: they take in oxygen and emit CO2. And there’s a special trick to mushroom farming. The mushroom must be fooled into thinking it has to reproduce before winter comes. Farmers manipulate temperature, water and CO2 levels to do this, which results in a crop that can double in size in 24 hours.

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January 19, 2018   No Comments

Glorious Greens in January in Vancouver BC

Planted in October, We Are Eating in January

From City Farmer’s Compost Garden in Vancouver BC
January 18, 2018

Both our cold frame and our plastic, greenhouse shed are feeding us nutritious greens now in mid winter. Planted on October 11, 2017, sprouted by October 19, they are ready to cut and come again now three month later. They get light and heat from the sun, not from grow lights or heaters.

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January 18, 2018   No Comments

Book: Grow, Cook and Eat – Cultivating Asian Herbs

Rhino Press is proud to announce the publication of Grow, Cook and Eat by award-winning writer and presenter Fay Khoo and culinary consultant/food stylist C.Y. Phang.

Borne by a shared passion to educate readers about the myriad joys and benefits of cultivating edible gardens and cooking with them, the book is a portable but information-packed compendium that instructs even the most novice gardener how to embark on their gardening journey with success. Recognising that many urbanites are time and attention-poor, the authors have structured the book into small digestible snippets of information that are easy to read and understand, and which will help readers not just to establish their herb gardens, but also use the produce they have grown with flair.

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January 18, 2018   No Comments

Urban farm flourishes in former Akron tire plant

That magenta glow coming from the third floor is an urban farm that is flourishing inside the innovation hub.

Vigeo Gardens is growing produce and success inside the BOUNCE, Akron’s innovation hub at the former site of B.F. Goodrich tire plant.

Author: Amani Abraham
WKYC3
January 10, 2018

Excerpt:

“It allows us to grow a plant in a much quicker time than you would in traditional farming, as well as environmental improvements,” Craine said. “We use about a tenth of the water a traditional farmer would use.”

Vigeo specializes in growing hydroponic lettuce, hydroponic basil and microgreens. The produce is then sold to local restaurants in Akron, Cleveland and surrounding areas. The company recently landed a deal with Quicken Loans Arena to supply fresh produce to private chefs for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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January 18, 2018   No Comments

Malaysia: Price Of Vegetables on the Rise, More Urban Farming Taking Place

Councillor Awang Ibrahim said that with a little funding, some 80 residents were encouraged to turn an abandoned plot of land into an edible garden.

By Brian Martin
The Star
Jan 12

Excerpt:

StarMetro recently featured an article on the Community Garden in Section 24 Setia, Shah Alam.

The garden has become the passion of a group of retirees who started it two years ago with help from the Shah Alam City Council. Today, the urban farm in the heart of Selangor’s capital is a lush, self-sustaining project, thanks to the hard work and love they have put in.

In Johor Baru, residents of the Jasa flats are starting to harvest the vegetables they planted less than a year ago. The urban agriculture programme was an idea mooted by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin. Residents were provided seed money by the state government to start off their urban farms, and all they needed to do was to put in the extra hours to till the soil.

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January 18, 2018   No Comments

China: Welcome to the agrihood: golf courses out, urban farms in, as upscale developers invite buyers to grow fruit and vegetables


An organic farm in Hong Kong. Around the world, developers are betting buyers of luxury homes want to get their hands dirty growing food. Photo: K Y. Cheng

Developers from Suzhou, China, to Palm Springs, California are betting that giving homeowners the opportunity to practise healthy living by growing ‘clean food’ – on vines and in olive groves and garden plots – will be attractive

By Kavita Daswani
South China Morning Post
Jan 11, 2018

Excerpt:

Agrihoods – gardens where fruit and vegetables grow that are shared by a neighbourhood or community – are a nascent trend in global real estate development, but one that is on the rise. Partly, it’s an outgrowth of the trend in farm-to-table dining, partly a hunch that residents of a building or neighbourhood have an incipient desire to come together to tend urban gardens and share what they grow.

It’s already happening in Hong Kong’s backyard.

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January 17, 2018   No Comments

Manila, Philippines: Editor’s rooftop garden produces beautiful veggies

From 15 potted eggplants, he can harvest 1.5 kilos of fruit in one week, enough for his family’s favorite eggplant omelette.

Edgar Godin, editor of Bisaya Magazine published by the Manila Buletin, is a rooftop gardener. From just a 16-square meter rooftop atop their sari-sari store in Bulacan, he can produce more vegetables than what his family can consume.

By Zac B. Sarian
Manila Bulletin
Jan 10, 2018

Excerpt:

Edgar planted 15 eggplant seedlings and 20 okra. These were more than what he usually planted previously of these two veggies. They were in addition to the camote, kangkong, pechay and two varieties of pepper that were already growing. His intention was to have extra harvest that he could sell in their sari-sari store.

He related that by the last week of September, he started harvesting from the eggplant and okra. Because the rooftop garden was very visible to passers by, many of them inquired if fruits were already available. Edgar estimates that he was able to harvest 1.5 kilos of eggplant and 20 to 30 pieces of okra every week during the whole month of October. And he was able to sell what his family could not consume.

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January 17, 2018   No Comments

Flashback to 1990: City Farmer Promotes Home Composting

The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden in 1990

The styles have changed but the message is the same

By Michael Levenston
TV reporting at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden
2150 Maple Street, Vancouver, BC
1990

Most of the bins we feature today are different from the ones we experimented with three decades ago, but our work remains the same, getting urban residents to recycle some of their yard and kitchen scraps and turning it into soil by home composting.

Vancouver Engineering, Solid Waste, has supported us in this effort. John Evans, Paul Henderson, Chris Underwood are three of the leaders at the City of Vancouver who have driven our work. Backyard bins are still sold at a subsidized rate of $25 per bin, worm composting is still taught in schools and at adult wormshops, and research on the latest bins and techniques is ongoing.

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January 16, 2018   No Comments

Turning a Football Field into a Farm

Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, at the organic farm on the school’s campus in Dallas, The farm used to be the school’s football field.

We’ve grown over 50,000 pounds of food since then. We give away ten percent of everything we grow. We call that tithing to the community.

By Jeffrey R. Young
EdSurge
Jan 9, 2018

Excerpt:

I’m sitting there, and I got some advice from another college president who said, “When you’re with people of means, you should just ask them for something. Get them in the habit of thinking that your institution is something that they should support.” So I mentioned to Trammell, I said, “Hey, you know, people in our neighborhood, they don’t have a grocery store. I think people should have a grocery store.” Without missing a beat, he sidesteps the grocery store conversation and says, “You know, what I’m really passionate about are community gardens.”

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January 16, 2018   No Comments

UK: Allotment murder recounted in court

Lea Adri-Soejoko, 80, was found in a padlocked mower shed next to the allotment office at 2.33am on February 28 after they followed the sound of her ringing mobile phone.

41-year-old was allegedly known by other plot holders for his ‘violent behaviour’

By Amie Gordon
Daily Mail
9 January 2018 |

Excerpt:

Ms Tomlinson said her grandmother told her of an incident at an annual general meeting in September 2016.

She said: ‘Everything with the allotment tends to be quite passionate. People care. This AGM, there were a lot of people talking over one another.

‘And my grandmother wasn’t able to chair the meeting as she intended to. Rahim had been louder than the rest, by his general nature.

‘So my grandmother had said, ‘shut up’, so she could chair the meeting. To which he took offence, and shouted at her.

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January 16, 2018   No Comments

“Digging in”: Comics Journalism Features Urban Agriculture

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“Digging In” is part of our investigative comics journalism series on barriers to water, housing and land access in southeastern Michigan and the first installment in our graphic miniseries on land.

By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes
Truthout | Graphic Journalism
Jan 9, 2018

Excerpt:

We talk to caterer Meiko Krishok, whose popular North Corktown eatery navigates a wide array of concerns facing many young entrepreneurs in this city, as well as the other cities across the nation experiencing population decline, land misappropriation and infrastructure failure. Luckily, Krishok’s business ethics and enduring patience offer a glimmer of hope to young, local up-and-comers. So does her food. But while we can introduce you to Krishok and show you around on a warm summer day, one thing comics can’t do is tell you how good the food is. For that, you’ll have to come visit.

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January 15, 2018   No Comments

Ted Talk: How Urban Agriculture Is Transforming Detroit

Devita Davison, executive director of FoodLab Detroit, explains how features of Detroit’s decay make it an ideal spot for urban agriculture.

The 12-minute presentation was recorded last April, 2017

There’s something amazing growing in the city of Detroit: healthy, accessible, delicious, fresh food. In a spirited talk, fearless farmer Devita Davison explains how features of Detroit’s decay actually make it an ideal spot for urban agriculture. Join Davison for a walk through neighborhoods in transformation as she shares stories of opportunity and hope. “These aren’t plots of land where we’re just growing tomatoes and carrots,” Davison says.

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January 15, 2018   No Comments