New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Meet Cloud 9, the Philly Nonprofit Turning City Rooftops Into Urban Farms

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Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm.

Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm has turned one Poplar apartment building into an agricultural oasis.

By Emily Leaman
Phillymag
Apr 8, 2015

Excerpt:

Campbell-Cobb: Growing food on a roof is a weird thing, and it can be hard to convince people to do it. Green roofs have been taking off, but to grow food you need more soil depth so it takes more weight to put on the roof. Finding space that’s strong enough and building owners who are interested in experimenting is the key.

BWP: What kind of experimenting did you do last season, and what did you learn?

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April 19, 2015   No Comments

High-tech vertical farming facility taking shape in north Pasadena

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City officials recently signed a letter of intent with Indoor Harvest, Corp., a Houston-cased company, to develop an vertical farming facility and education center at a city building locared in north Pasadena. Photo by Kristi Nix.

Indoor Harvest Corp. proposed investing a minimum of $4.75 million to fund operations

By Kristi Nix
Pasadena Citizen
Apr 8, 2015

Excerpt:

Pasadena city officials recently signed a letter of intent to develop a vertical farming facility and education center in north Pasadena through an agreement with Indoor Harvest Corp., a Houston-based company that designs and sells hydroponic systems and specializes in high-tech urban farming techniques.

“We were looking for low-impact development projects for north Pasadena and came up with the idea of vertical farming, which seemed to be a perfect fit for that area,” Pasadena Publications Manager Wayne Holt said. “We also hope to eventually add a farmer’s market and educational programs in partnership with Pasadena ISD. This type of project offers a lot of exciting possibilities.”

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April 19, 2015   No Comments

By 2018 Seoul city government to activate 1,800 urban farms

korea2 Must see video here. [Must see. Mike]

The Seoul city government is injecting about 46 million U.S. dollars to transform unused spaces at schools, parks and even apartment rooftops to activate urban farming.

By Connie Kim
Arirang News
Apr 18, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s a priceless opportunity.
The only catch is most of these farms are located on the outskirts of the city, making them harder to frequent.

But that will soon change. The Seoul city government is injecting about 46 million U.S. dollars to transform unused spaces at schools, parks and even apartment rooftops to activate urban farming.
By 2018 it plans to establish 18-hundred vegetable gardens within a ten-minute walking distance from all homes in the capital.

A special farm zone will also be set up to train Seoulites to become professionals in urban agriculture.

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April 18, 2015   No Comments

TEDx: ‘Organic Terrace Farming’ by Dr.B. Narayan Viswanath

Your terrace is worth a lot more than you would ever have thought.

Mar 16, 2015

Dr. B. Narayan Viswanath, (fondly called as BNV by friends) Born on 12-July-1943 in Bangalore, took his B.Sc., in Agriculture from the university of Mysore in 1965, M.Sc.(Agr.) in 1967 from University of Kerala and Ph.D. degree in 1977 in Agricultural Entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.

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April 18, 2015   No Comments

The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm

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The D Acres Model for Creating and Managing an Ecologically Designed Educational Center

By Josh Trought
Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: March 17, 2015

Excerpt:

The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm describes not only the history of the D Acres project, but its evolving principles and practices that are rooted in the land, its inhabitants, and the joy inherent in collective empowerment.

For almost twenty years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an educational center that researches, applies, and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers to northern New England, a training center for everything from metal- and woodworking to cob building and seasonal cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling, and potluck meals, and much more.

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

Millions of honey bees in truck crash in Washington

Each box contains about 5,000 bees.

Kiro TV
Apr 17, 2015

Excerpt:

KIRO 7 News video showed dozens of boxes of live bees scattered across the road. Beekeepers from the company who owns the bees, Belleville Honey in Burlingon, are at the scene, using smoke to calm the bees and get them back into boxes and loaded onto trucks.

Numerous boxes of bees were crushed in the crash. Each box contains about 5,000 bees.

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

‘Tierralismo’ – the story of Cuba’s most successful urban farm, Organopónico Vivero Alamar

TIERRALISMO (2013) clip from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

In the district of Alamar, a 26-acre farming co-op provides employment for dozens of workers

A film by Alejandro Ramirez Anderson
Icarus Films

Excerpt:

“At this moment I’m no longer a doctor. Right now I consider myself a farmer like everyone else.”

On the outskirts of Havana, sandwiched between highways and public housing, a revolution is taking place. Here, in the district of Alamar, a 26-acre farming co-op provides employment for dozens of workers, while producing vegetables and medicinal plants for the local community and beyond.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s, Cuba was no longer able to access machinery and agricultural chemicals from its former Communist allies. In this difficult environment, the government relaxed economic rules and allowed the formation of cooperatives like the Organopónico Vivero Alamar.

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April 16, 2015   No Comments

New rules aim to help Edmonton’s urban agriculture businesses bloom

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Cathryn Sprague discusses how the proposed zoning amendments will help urban agriculture, and why increasing urban agriculture is important in Edmonton. Video by Greg Southam here.

An online city survey last summer found 92 per cent of the more than 1,000 respondents supported commercial urban agriculture. About 80 per cent would allow crops on vacant lots and limited on-site sales.

By Gordon Kent
Edmonton Journal
April 6, 2015

Excerpt:

The new zoning rules clarify that urban agriculture operations can exist in most parts of the city, although in some areas neighbours would be able to oppose the move.

Vacant lots could be cropped with city approval.

These small-scale farmers would also be able to obtain permits to sell their produce on-site, which isn’t currently allowed.

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April 16, 2015   No Comments

Bahamas: $1 million that was allocated to Urban Agriculture, never implemented and funds redirected says Auditor General

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Auditor General Terrance Bastian Nassau, Bahamas.

A co-ordinator for agriculture was also contracted for a three-year period to manage the project.

By Khrisna Virgil
Tribune 242
April 15, 2015

Excerpt:

“The government earmarked $1m for the 2013/2014 budget for Urban Agriculture which was for the implementation of backyard farming and community gardens,” the report said. “A co-ordinator for agriculture was contracted for a three-year period to manage this project. The auditors learnt that this project was not implemented and funding was redirected (high risk).”

The report further noted that nearly $500,000 was spent on a fleet of 19 vehicles for Urban Renewal that “were not periodically serviced neither was a maintenance schedule kept”.

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April 16, 2015   No Comments

Last In Vegetable Acres? For Wyoming, Vertical Farms Might Be The Answer

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Nate Storey, found of Bright Agrotech, a company that manufactures vertical tower for high-density urban farms, calls Laramie, Wyoming home. Photo by Luke Runyon KUNC, Harverst Public Media.

“There is a lot of conservative thinking in Wyoming, and people don’t see it as a food production state,” Yehia says.

By Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media
Community Radio for Northern Colorado
April 6, 2015

Excerpt:

Nate Storey’s greenhouse in west Laramie is packed with vegetables growing in long, upright plastic towers. It’s an urban farmer’s dream. The waste from fish tanks fertilizes the crops through plastic tubing that drips water onto the vertical garden. The greenhouse is small, but produces a lot of food.

“You can grow anything,” Storey says, beaming like a proud father over bok choy, butter lettuce and spinach. “People have grown some crazy stuff with the towers. We’ve grown tomatoes and very large statured crops, watermelons.”

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April 15, 2015   No Comments

A Year on the Farm

yearfarm

Narrated by Casey the farmer and Tillus the worm

By Holly Dufek, Paul E. Nunn
Octane Press
2015

A Year on the Farm introduces children to the world of modern farming, showing the tractors, combines and other equipment needed to plant and harvest crops. The book is filled with photographs of equipment at work and a cast of illustrated characters including Case the farmer and Tillus the worm, and a whole team of equipment characters.

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April 15, 2015   No Comments

International Congress on Urban Agriculture Starts in Havana

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The Congress that will last till Thursday includes the presentation of 40 papers

Havana, Apr 14 (Prensa Latina)

The 2nd International Congress on Urban, Suburban and Family Agriculture starts today at the Conventions Center in Havana, followed by the conference “Agrarian Research in Cuba: Outlooks, Challenges and Demands”.

The conference will be given by Adolfo Rodríguez, who is in charge of urban agriculture in the country and is head of the Institute for Fundamental Researches of Tropical Agriculture.

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April 15, 2015   No Comments

Farmers to city dwellers: We’re in this drought together

drou

The great Central Valley sells far more than $40 billion in crops yearly, making California the biggest ag state in the nation. It provides more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts.

By Cathleen Decker
Los Angeles Times
Apr 13, 2015

Excerpt:

But the more altruistic — and accurate — part of the ad, aired by the California Farm Water Coalition, was its effort to educate those who shower and water their lawns with abandon about the toll the drought already has taken on the vast and now stunningly dry Central Valley.

“In farm country, where hundreds of thousands of acres have already been shut down because of the drought, thousands have lost their jobs,” the narrator said. “For those who can’t afford to feed their families anymore, the local food banks are struggling to keep up with demand.”

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April 14, 2015   No Comments

Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens

homekeny

“I grow tomatoes, kale and spinach, which saves me time and money,” she said. “The crops mature faster [with hydroponics] when compared to growing them on a farm.”

World Bulletin
April 6, 2015

Excerpt:

We teach farmers how to utilize the vertical spaces in their homes,” Mwangi, the hydroponics expert, told.

Kimani Kemboi runs a pharmacy at Aga Khan University Hospital and lives in Westlands, an affluent Nairobi neighborhood.

“For every household in Nairobi, space is an issue,” he told. “Unlike other towns, Nairobi is not an agricultural town.”

Kemboi first heard about hydroponics from a friend who uses it to grow fodder for his animals in Kikuyu, a town in Kenya’s Kiambu County.

“After visiting him, I decided to make a small kitchen garden for myself,” he said.

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April 14, 2015   No Comments

Vancouver Parks ‘field houses’ eyed for urban farming

fieldhField house in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks into farmhouses.

By Michael Mui
24 Hours Vancouver
April 12, 2015

Excerpt:

Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks — outfitted with caretakers’ suite, washroom facilities and sometimes concession booths — into urban farmhouses operated by city farming groups.

The 75 houses had traditionally provided live-in accommodations for park caretakers, but their uses today have shifted towards things like artists spaces, environment residences, storage for sports organizations, as some examples.

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April 13, 2015   No Comments