New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Spokane’s Urban farm ordinance will incur costs to city

spoakneSpokane urban farm.

People wanting to keep goats, sheep or small pigs in the city have to be certified through a class by Washington State University’s Spokane County Extension service.

Mike Prager
The Spokesman-Review
July 19, 2014

Excerpt:

Spokane’s new urban farming ordinance that allows for the keeping of small farm animals is likely to cost the city extra money for animal control services.

The director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service has outlined a series of charges for the extra work of answering farm animal welfare calls and noise and odor complaints involving goats, sheep, small pigs or fowl.

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July 27, 2014   No Comments

Community center in Petersburg, Virginia will see new life as an urban farm

new1.5Duron Chavis, a Virginia State University graduate, is the project director of the community garden, which is funded by a $1.5 million federal grant.

$1.5 million federal grant, is a collaboration with Virginia State University faculty

By Leah Small
Progress
July 21, 2014

Excerpt:

Petersburg residents will have access to an array of peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables. Fresh tilapia will also be grown with the help of indoor aquaponic units. Aquaponics involves raising fish and plants together. The fish waste becomes plant fertilizer and the water is filtered by the plants. Vegetables will be grown via hydroponics, in which plants are grown without soil in water, with additional nutrients.

The hydroponic and aquaponic growing units will be placed in the community center’s gymnasium. Other parts of the building will be used for nutrition classes and community outreach efforts.

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July 27, 2014   No Comments

Food-Producing Landscapes: Principles of Design

foodprod

Food producing landscapes are more controversial than your typical landscape project.

By Brian Barth
Land 8
July 17, 2014

Excerpt:

1) Use hardscape features to create aesthetic definition.

The clean lines of paths, patios, fences, raised beds, retaining walls, arbors, trellises and pergolas can all be used to create order out what can sometimes be a chaotic and cluttered plantscape. Fruit trees espaliered along a rigid structure (i.e. wood or wires) or a turning a hillside into a terraced vineyard are examples.

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July 26, 2014   No Comments

Philadelphia Urban Creators enact their bold plan to educate, energize, empower and unite

grid

“This one thing, food, can literally cure every last one of the intangible crises,” Kayembe says. “Violence, hunger, health—people are violent because they’re hungry.

By Molly O’Neill
Grid Magazine
July 2014

Excerpt:

A chain-link fence surrounds the lot where a warehouse once stood. Inside, a graffiti mural painted over a brick wall proclaims the farm’s name, Life Do Grow. This property, at 11th and Dakota Streets, is the beating heart of the Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC), a nonprofit organization striving to enrich the lives of North Philadelphia residents through urban agriculture.

It’s an unexpected burst of life in the middle of the neighborhood.

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July 26, 2014   No Comments

Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm

urbbost

Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation – Harvard Law School

Food Law & Policy,
July 17, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to announce the publication of its guide, Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm. The guide to establishing ground-level farms smaller than one acre is the first in a series of guides that spell out the processes urban farmers in Boston will need to go through in order to start their operations in the City.

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July 26, 2014   No Comments

New York City Backyards Welcome Chickens and Bees

nyfrms
Photo by Ángel Franco/The New York Times. Link to slideshow.

Heard on the Street: E-I-E-I-O

By Ronda Kaysen
New York Times
July 25, 2014

Excerpt:

There is no data tracking how many New Yorkers are tilling the earth — but it’s clear which way the wind is blowing. Last year, 5,000 New Yorkers attended educational workshops led by the New York City Compost Project, a program created in 1993. More than 250 honeybee hives are registered with the city, but beekeepers like Andrew Coté, the founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association, suspect the real number is higher. His association has 480 members, up from 25 in 2007.

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July 25, 2014   No Comments

Challenges of the City Chicken in New York

Video story

By Sofia Perpetua
New York Times
July 25th, 2014

Robert McMinn, an urban homesteader in New York City, worked to be sure his neighbors and landlords were happy with his chickens.

Link.

July 25, 2014   No Comments

Proposed urban farm at the city’s former St. Clair Village public housing site in Pittsbugh

greenClick on image for larger file.

One day be one of the coun­try’s larg­est ur­ban farms

By Diana Nelson Jones
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 14, 2014

Excerpts:

The Hill­top Al­liance is work­ing with Grow Pitts­burgh, the Penn State Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion and the Al­le­gheny Land Trust to make that hap­pen. The al­li­ance is a non­profit um­brella whose staff or­ga­nizes proj­ects with ad­vo­cates from or­ga­ni­za­tions in nine south­ern neigh­bor­hoods.

The St. Clair Vil­lage pub­lic hous­ing site, which con­tained 465 units at its peak, was fully de­mol­ished by 2010. What’s left of the neigh­bor­hood — 209 peo­ple in pri­vately owned homes — needs ev­ery­thing a farm would pro­vide: fresh food, a chance for en­ter­prise, and youth train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

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July 24, 2014   No Comments

Complaints low one year after Lakewood, Colorado expands urban ag

goatkid
Matt Post holds his daughter, Morgan, 9 months, on the back of Daisy the goat in the backyard of their home in Lakewood. City Council passed an ordinance allowing backyard chickens and goats one year ago. (Seth McConnell, YourHub)

Since April 2013, the city has issued 52 permits for hens, eight for goats, seven for ducks and 26 for beekeeping on residential lots 6,000 square feet or smaller.

By Austin Briggs
Denver Post
07/17/2014

Excerpt:

From April 2013 through June 2014, there have been five complaints on bees, 20 for chickens and one on dwarf goats.

“There has not been an uptick in complaints,” said city planner Paul Rice.

“I’ve been surprised, but there has yet to be any complaints in my ward,” Councilman Paul agreed.

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July 24, 2014   No Comments

Selling from home in Denver

denverSee news video here.

The city charges a one-time fee of $20 for the licenses and state law caps sales for home-produced foods at $5,000 per item per year.

By Brandon Rittiman
9News KUSA-TV
July 15, 2014

Excerpt:

The city passed an ordinance Tuesday designed to enable urban farmers to sell their crops from home, taking advantage of Colorado’s 2012 Cottage Food Act.

For Deb Neeley, it started with six cherry tomato plants she planted one summer.

They were a gateway. Soon she couldn’t get enough of growing her own food.

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July 24, 2014   No Comments

Tech entrepreneurs set their sights on urban farming

indor
Growing indoors uses 98% less water and 70% less fertilizer than traditional methods, and has a higher yield. Photo: Rex Features.

As emerging lighting and automation technology plant the seeds for urban farming, a growing number of entrepreneurs are getting green thumbs

By Martin LaMonica
theguardian.com
5 July 2014

Excerpt:

So far, indoor farms still contribute little to the global food system because production costs are higher than conventional growing methods. And they tend to use more electricity. But businesses are starting take advantage of new technologies, including energy-efficient LED lighting and automated systems, to bring down costs. As these technologies become standardized, indoor farming will make sense in more locations, says Chad Sykes, CEO of Indoor Harvest, which builds custom indoor farms for professional growers.

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July 23, 2014   No Comments

Urban Skyfarm concept would provide inner city farming space

skyfarm

A 3,200 sq m (35,000 sq ft) solar array on the top of the structure would be used to generate electricity

By Stu Robarts
GizMag
July 15, 2014

Excerpt:

Aprilli designed the Skyfarm with Seoul, South Korea, in mind, but it could be deployed in any major city. In addition to providing space for growing food, it would help to clean the city’s air, generate renewable electricity and provide a place for people to relax.

The primary structure has a large, root area at its base to provide stability and spread the weight of the Skyfarm out across the ground. A trunk section rises up from the root and spreads out into eight vertical branches that are connected together by trusses to provide structural reinforcement.

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July 23, 2014   No Comments

Sun Valley Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Phoenix

pheon

University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension offers classes designed to teach job skills and nutrition to homeless men and women in Phoenix.

By Ryan Frieson
Food Tank
July 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Slow Food Phoenix is part of the larger Slow Food Movement (a non-profit, eco-gastronomic, membership organization that educates people about how their food choices affect the rest of the world). Slow Food Phoenix chapter members range from professional chefs to home cooks who enjoy the philosophy of quality slow food.

Truck Farm Phoenix debuted in the Fall of 2011 with the goal of reaching out to youth in at least 25 locations including underserved school districts, farmers’ markets, youth day camps, community centers, festivals, and fairs.

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July 23, 2014   No Comments

Urban farmers now opting to rent, not buy, land

loveis

The movement is creating a new generation of landless farmers

By Emily Schneider-Green
Atlanic Magazine
7/9/2014

Excerpt:

One of the city’s most well-known landless farmers is Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm. A lack of capital to buy his own farm plus a need to relocate closer to the city pushed Reynolds to apply for the plot of farmland in the Decatur East Lake Commons co-housing community its residents had set aside for organic farming. He’s now the resident tenant farmer at Gaia Gardens in East Lake.

“Not having to buy land allows farmers to really hit the ground running with very little investment,” explains Reynolds. “Without taking out large loans, you can get your crops growing and learn whether or not farming is something you want to do.”

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July 22, 2014   No Comments

Officials Break Ground on New Urban Farm in City of Boston, Roxbury

There are about 1,400 vacant parcels, not all of which are build-able

By Nate Boroyan
City News Writer
07/12/14

Excerpt:

The Garrison-Trotter Farm will occupy two formerly-vacant lots in Roxbury, becoming the first urban farm on city-owned land, BNN News reports. “[The Garrison-Trotter Farm] stems from the adoption of Article 89, which is a zoning ordinance which makes urban agriculture legal, as of right in the City of Boston,” William Epperson of the Department of Neighborhood Development told BNN news in a tapped interview (see: below).”And the city would like to use some of its vacant parcels to promote urban agriculture to bring healthy foods back to the communities to make it more accessible, and to also create jobs and give opportunities to folks who would like to get into farming.”

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July 22, 2014   No Comments