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Clearwater, Florida to consider permitting microbreweries, encouraging urban farms

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Clearwater gardeners.

He said planning staff also recommends amending the development code to identify areas where food production would be viable and to support urban agricultural activities.

By Mark Schantz
Gazette Correspondent
Published: January 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Proposed changes include adding urban farms as a permissible use in industrial, research and technology districts and community gardens in most residential districts, as well as institutional districts. The amendments also address hydroponics or other food production facilities in existing and new buildings.

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January 25, 2015   No Comments

Urban agriculture is bringing food production back into our cities

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We’re about to see a lot more growing of produce in our cities as urban farming steps in to help boost global food production

By Ryan McChrystal
Elite Business Magazine
07 January 2015.

Excerpt:

GrowUp started off by building a prototype demonstration farm – the GrowUp Box – 18 months ago following a successful Kickstarter campaign. It consists of a greenhouse above a shipping container where the fish live. “We set up first of all because we wanted to have something up and running to show people that food can be grown in cities using aquaponics.”

Originally built at London Bridge, the box moved to Stratford as part of a bigger project called Roof East – formerly an empty rooftop carpark, now a haven for food lovers. “Since December last year, we have been working on the business model for scaling aquaponic urban farming to a commercial model in cities like London, looking at the different operation models and at some variations in production systems,” says Hofman.

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January 25, 2015   No Comments

1953 – Gardener Mopsy – ‘Be a vegetarian and be beautiful’

mop1Click on image for larger files size.

By Gladys Parker

From Wiki:

Mopsy was a comic strip created by Gladys Parker in 1939. It had a long run over three decades. Parker modeled the character of Mopsy after herself. In 1946, she recalled, “I got the idea for Mopsy when the cartoonist Rube Goldberg said my hair looked like a mop. That was several years ago, and she has been my main interest ever since.”

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January 24, 2015   No Comments

10 Projects Incorporating Urban Agriculture

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Place of Hidden Waters Tacoma, Washington. Photo by Tucker English.

By Ron Nyren
Urban Land. The Magazine of the Urban Land Institute
January 5, 2015

Excerpt:

The coastal Salish people of the Pacific Northwest traditionally lived in longhouses—long, narrow structures built out of cedar that housed multiple families alongside a shared outdoor space. In designing the Place of Hidden Waters for the Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority in Tacoma, Washington, Seattle architecture firm Environmental Works Community Design Center followed the longhouse model in structuring 20 new townhouses along an outdoor linear gathering place, as well as renovating 26 existing townhouses and a gymnasium on the site. To protect an important wildlife corridor, development is clustered on the eastern half of the site.

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January 24, 2015   No Comments

The History of Urban Agriculture in Somerville, Massachusetts

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The City of Somerville was founded in 1842

Jan 15, 2015

Excerpt:

If you think local food is new in Somerville, think again! Our friends at the Somerville Garden Club put together this cool brochure on Somerville’s agrarian history with a timeline of key events starting in the 1600’s.Many of the family and street/place names that you see around town today and were once farms and there was both a pickle company and a vinegar company!

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January 23, 2015   No Comments

Healthy city harvests: Generating evidence to guide policy on urban agriculture

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This book asks questions about the contribution of urban agriculture to food security of urban households, about the safety of crops and animal foods from urban producers in different places, and about ways of developing policy to promote safe and healthy food production.

Editors: Donald Cole • Diana Lee-Smith • George Nasinyama
International Potato Center (CIP) and Makerere University Press, 2008
260 pages

Excerpt from Forward by Richard Stren:

From the perspective of local governments, this is one of the first books which explores, in a truly multidisciplinary fashion, the complex range of issues which both help explain why urban agriculture takes place, and looks carefully at the important obstacles to its effective uptake in a particular local context. From different professional viewpoints we learn about health benefits of urban farming for children’s nutritional status, about health risks from heavy metal and organic contaminants in food and about the proper management of urban livestock to reduce risk. We also learn about the history of public health efforts to control illness and disease in 19th century Europe and America, as a backdrop to the construction of colonial building and public health regulations that were commonplace in African cities by the 1940s.

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January 23, 2015   No Comments

Prison Garden: Gangsters, Swastikas, Tweakers and Permaculture

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Neaners (center), Larry (far right), at the first garden site, during Neaners’ first month home from prison.

When you try to create a beautiful, sprawling permaculture garden with guys you meet in jail, it might not look like the glossy design handbook.

By Chris Hoke
Modern Farmer
January 21, 2015

Excerpt:

When we designed a permaculture-style garden this last year, we had lofty visions. Our organization works with migrant farmworkers and folks we meet in the jail where we visit as regular chaplains. We seek out and serve the people society uses up or throws away — deporting them or locking them up in social dumpsters.

We already had the gang and drug recovery home, but this new garden would be a site of healing, healthy work in the soil, reconciliation with the natural world after years of trauma, drugs, violence and prison cells. Back to nature. Wendell Berry kind of stuff.

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January 22, 2015   No Comments

Terrace farming in India – Chennai’s new rage

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“Being on the terrace, the plants require frequent watering, at least twice a day during summer. Getting the right containers for each plant is also very important.”

By Nitya Menon
The Hindu
Jan 15, 2015

Excerpt:

G. Ramakrishnan, a horticulturist, says his phone does not stop ringing these days, with people calling him up with doubts on mastering the art of terrace gardening.

With the space allotted to gardens in apartments rapidly shrinking, the terrace is being transformed to make up for the lack of green spaces.

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January 22, 2015   No Comments

World’s Largest Indoor Farm is 100 Times More Productive

“I believe that, at least technically, we can produce almost any kind of plant in a factory. But what makes most economic sense is to produce fast-growing vegetables that can be sent to the market quickly.”

By Urbanist
Jan. 2015

Excerpt:

The statistics for this incredibly successful indoor farming endeavor in Japan are staggering: 25,000 square feet producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day (100 times more per square foot than traditional methods) with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields. But the freshest news from the farm: a new facility using the same technologies has been announced and is now under construction in Hong Kong, with Mongolia, Russia and mainland China on the agenda for subsequent near-future builds.

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January 21, 2015   No Comments

Farm project takes root at Sacramento schools near urban development

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A 2.5-acre farm slated for Leataata Floyd Elementary School is being planned this winter, promising an agricultural learning opportunity for students and community members alike by 2016.

By Sammy Caiolascaiola
Sacramento Bee
01/11/2015

Excerpt:

The firm broke ground last year on a 32-acre complex offering 825 homes east of Interstate 5 and south of Broadway, in close proximity to the elementary school and Arthur A. Benjamin Health Professions High School. To compensate for the impact of the project, the firm will provide funding for an educational farm on a vacant parcel owned by the district.

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January 21, 2015   No Comments

Judge says Canadian Pacific Railway can bulldoze sheds and smash through community gardens in Vancouver

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CP Rail says it will take a couple of weeks to study the Supreme Court ruling before deciding when to restart the repair operations on the Arbutus corridor rail line, above.
Photograph by: Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver City loses bid to stop CP Rail’s Arbutus corridor plan

Brent Jang And Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
Jan. 20 2015,

Excerpt:

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. was within its rights to bulldoze some sheds and smash through community gardens along its unused Arbutus corridor, a judge has ruled, and the company can forge ahead with plans to store railcars on the abandoned line.

“The City did not and cannot claim any property interest in the Arbutus corridor, nor can the City assert such rights on behalf of others in response to the proposed use of the corridor” by CP, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of B.C. Supreme Court wrote in his judgment released Tuesday.

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January 21, 2015   No Comments

Securing Water for Urban Farms

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A farm grows kale in view of the Chicago skyline. Globally, farms in and around cities span an area the size of the European Union. Photo credit: Linda N/CC

Linking urban water management more closely to urban farming has the potential to increase food security, water productivity, and community health, while reducing chemical fertilizer use, long-distance food and water imports, and related greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

By Sandra Postel
National Geographic
January 8, 2015
Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project, Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and author of several books and numerous articles on global water issues. She is co-creator of Change the Course, the national freshwater conservation and restoration campaign being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.

Excerpt:

Yet a surprisingly large share of the world’s cropland is found not in rural areas, but within cities and their immediate surroundings. Some 456 million hectares (1.13 billion acres) of land is cultivated directly in cities or within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of an urban perimeter, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

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January 20, 2015   No Comments

Steel City Soils provides compost to city gardens in Braddock, Pittsburgh

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Dedicated composter Jeff Newman, owner of Steel City Soils, helps build food-growing soils from waste. Photo by Adam Reinherz.

“We need to figure out how to sell product to people running urban farms and community gardens.”

By Adam Reinherz
The Jewish Chronicle
Jan. 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Newman began volunteering with Braddock Farms, an urban garden located on the corner of Braddock Avenue and 10th Street. After several years, Newman achieved two realizations: “I wanted to support urban farming,” he said, “and I wanted to help people grow food.”

Newman, a University of Pittsburgh graduate who studied electrical engineering, researched composting, a process of mixing decaying organic substances. He recognized its value and subsequently developed Steel City Soils, LLC.

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January 20, 2015   No Comments

Urban farming in Tijuana for deportees

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Deportee Roberto Marquez helps with the Bordofarms project. Photo by Alejandro Tamayo.

52-year-old Roberto Márquez, said he was deported in June after living in the United States for 48 years, where he held jobs in landscaping and farming, but eventually was convicted of drug charges.

By Sandra Dibble
U-T Santiago
JAN. 17, 2015

Export:

TIJUANA — It was an act of civil disobedience, carried out on federal land off a busy Tijuana thoroughfare in broad daylight. For hours on Saturday, volunteers built boxes, carted dirt and planted seedlings in what organizers say is the first step in an urban farming project aimed at addressing the issue of homeless U.S. deportees.

“These people want to work but nobody hires them, they have absolutely nothing,” said Miguel Marshall, 28, a member of Global Shapers Tijuana Hub, part of a World Economic Forum initiative that encourages young people around the world to come up with projects that address problems in their communities.

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January 19, 2015   No Comments

Why a Denver Suburb Has Gone All-In for Farming

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Walking their goats.

Want to start an urban farm without permitting hassles? Dreaming of dwarf goats in your yard? Move to Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

By Anna Bergren Miller
City Lab
Jan 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Wheat Ridge, Colorado, is experiencing an agricultural renaissance. Once known informally as Carnation City, the Denver suburb built its economy on a foundation of flower nurseries, apple orchards, and assorted vegetable crops. But by the time Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969, residential and commercial development had eaten up much of the town’s farmland.

Five decades later, when city leaders sat down to rewrite the community’s comprehensive plan, they identified urban agriculture as a focal point.

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January 19, 2015   No Comments