New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Halifax: ’A global garden:’ Hope Blooms and Syrian refugees getting their hands dirty, together

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Hope Blooms’ Jessie Jollymore and Tamar Mintis hold a Sidney Crosby autographed game jersey in their north-end Halifax garden on Sunday. They are auctioning off the jersey to help support the community garden for Syrian refugees. JEFF HARPER / METRO

Hockey Player, Sidney Crosby, has even donated a game-worn jersey to help raise money to expand the blossoming north-end location.

By: Rebecca Dingwell
Metro
Jul 24 2016

Excerpt:

“We were already full in the garden, and so a lot of community members gave up their plot so the Syrian families could grow food,” explained Jollymore.

Now, Hope Blooms is looking to get the new Haligonians involved further – but Jollymore said they need more human resources, especially an interpreter. They also want to take down one of the fences to make more room for garden plots.

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July 30, 2016   No Comments

Documentary explores Hantz Farms ‘Land Grab’ in Detroit

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“Land Grab” features interviews and footage — including some impressive drone shots — mostly collected between 2013 and 2015.

By Gus Burns
Live
July 24, 2016

Excerpt:

One of the opening scenes shows Hantz being grilled by opponents at a 2010 community meeting. A woman asks Hantz if his plan amounts to a “land grab.”

“It’s definitely a land grab,” Hantz responds. “You can’t farm without land.

“It’s sort of one of those great, tricky questions.”

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July 29, 2016   No Comments

Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier

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Forthcoming in September, 2016 – By Michael Ableman

By Michael Ableman
Chelsea Green Publishing
Aug/Sept 2016

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.

During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.

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July 29, 2016   No Comments

Bank of Scotland staff swap calculators for gardening gloves to help community allotment

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“It was a huge amount of work carried out by the team and just shows what a bit of effort and pulling together can achieve.

By Kieran Beattie
The Press and Journal
23 July 2016

Excerpt:

A team of Aberdeen bank staff swapped their calculators for gardening gloves to bring the green shoots of recovery to a community allotment scheme in the city.

Volunteers from Bank of Scotland on Albyn Place built footpaths, marked out garden spaces, trimmed hedges and generally made the Cummings Park site more attractive.

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July 29, 2016   No Comments

Urban farming group, Louisville Grows, starts work on new headquarters in Louisville, KY

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Rendering of the Healthy House. (Courtesy Louisville Grows)

“We want the Healthy House to be a demonstration home where people can come and see in person different green improvements that they can make to their own home or different ways they can garden with a green roof or beehives on the roof,” Magnuson explained.

By Branden Klayko
Broken Sidewalk
Jul 19, 2016

Excerpt:

Inside, a front room contains a classroom and flexible use space that can be opened up to the larger community for meetings and classes. “We’re going to be offering garden education and citizen forestry classes in the space,” Magnuson said. “We’re also planning on doing a couple different dinners there.” Up above, a green roof dotted with beehives offers another educational opportunity.

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July 28, 2016   No Comments

Haiti: Urban Agriculture – UN Web-TV

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UN in Action, Episode #1416
Dec 10, 2013

To tackle rising food insecurity in the wake of last year’s hurricanes and drought, several UN agencies, together with local charity groups have increased efforts to improve food supply in the country. One of the local initiatives is finding innovative ways of recycling used tires as planters, helping people grow farms in their own backyards.

Link here.

July 28, 2016   No Comments

UK: How we founded Croydon’s first rooftop community garden

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croydCroydon is a large town in south London, England, the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.5 miles south of Charing Cross.

The rooftop cinema-garden will be here till the end of the summer when hopefully we’ll harvest and plan for spring.

By Joyce Veheary
The Croydon Citizen
22nd July, 2016

Excerpts:

On the rooftop of the Fairfield Halls NCP carpark, together we’ve created Croydon’s only rooftop community garden and with advice from @CroydonGardener, who specialises in ‘no-dig’ gardening, we’ve built raised beds full of veggies. Local businesses such as craft brewers Volden Brewery have donated spent hops to create compost, lavender has been lent from Mayfield lavender fields and individual locals have generously given soil and garden paraphernalia, making it a real community effort.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

10 Essential Allotment Gardening Tools

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Burgon & Ball Seed and Plant Spacing Rule.

UK’s National Allotments week from 18-24 August

By Richard Hood
The Independent
26 July 2016

Excerpt:

There’s still plenty of sowing and planting to be done in August – Swiss chard, spring onions and spring cabbages can all be sown now, and if you are quick about it, you should just be able to squeeze in a few fast maturing carrots. And to ensure your veg rows crop in precise, regimental, envy-inducing lines, you’ll need one of these. This ruler is made from sturdy beech wood, and comes inscribed with recommended plant spacings – perforated with poke holes for pinpoint sowing. A smaller, 30cm rule is available, but veg growers will get more use from the metre length version.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

City of Powell River, British Columbia, considers regulation of urban farms

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powrCity of Powell River council is looking at introducing bylaw amendments that would regulate commercial sales of fruit and vegetables grown on residential lots. Chris Bolster photo.

Bylaw changes would allow licences for agricultural micro-businesses

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
July 22, 2016

Excerpt:

City of Powell River council is looking at amending bylaws to regulate urban farms, micro-businesses that have operated in a legal grey zone for years.

Zoning and home-based business bylaw amendments would allow for commercial agricultural production of fruits and vegetables on all one-acre or less parcels of land zoned residential, except in mobile home parks.

“It might shock people to learn that they require a business licence to grow food on their property and sell it,” said city senior planner Jason Gow.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

Pleasures of Roof top Gardening in Bangladesh

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The person, who will make a garden in his /her roof, will get a 10 percent holding tax rebate, and it is promised by Sayeed Khokon, Mayor, DSCC.

By Nilima Jahan
The Daily Star
July 22, 2016

Excerpt:

“If a person grows only vegetables in a 600-700 square feet roof, it is enough to meet the yearly demand of a family having 6-7 members”, believes Ehteshamul Haque Mallik, President, Urban Roof Gardeners Society (URGS), and Deputy Director, Bangladesh Bank. Mallik has a 1500 square feet garden on his roof, where he has been growing a number of vegetables and local fruits for the past 15 years. After his amazing success, he founded the organisation URGS, two and a half years ago and through this, he is helping more than 500 registered members.

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July 26, 2016   No Comments

Productive spaces assessed in Food System and Food Security Study for the City of Cape Town

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Figure 9.7: Foods eaten by households in Cape Town in the previous 24 hours (Source: Battersby, 2011, p15) Click on image for larger file.

The Provincial Department of Agriculture has supported 114 community gardens within the City since 2008 to present.

Prepared by: Jane Battersby (UCT)
Gareth Haysom (UCT)
Godfrey Tawodzera (UCT)
Milla McLachlan (Stellenbosch)
Jonathan Crush (UCT)
First Public Report July 2016
July 5, 2014
334 pages

Excerpt:

Productive spaces

The in-city food production is of benefit to a city like Cape Town, particularly in terms of delivering cheaper food and bringing greater dietary diversity and nutritional benefit. The discussion of Cape Town’s in-house food supply focuses on commercial agriculture and the form and fate of the unique productive agriculturally-zoned areas within the boundaries of the City of Cape Town (Chapter 4) and urban agriculture (Chapter 5). A constant theme is the tension between the valuation of agricultural land in terms of its

contribution to food security versus alternative means of valuation such as the argued need for land for development and housing options. Detailed information is available on this element of the food system and its analysis prompts the following conclusions:

• There is vital agricultural production within Cape Town. While there is large-scale production of grapes and other fruit for export, there is also high production of staple vegetables and livestock, both of which support more local consumption;

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July 26, 2016   No Comments

What does an urban orchard mean for Louisville, Kentucky

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Markenzie, 7, shows off peaches she picked from a first-year tree. Photo by Jinn Bug.

Planted on a former vacant lot, the orchard came about through a partnership between the city and nonprofit Louisville Grows.

By Anna Rohleder
Leo Weekly
July 20, 2016

Excerpt:

The orchard may be a bellwether of change for the neighborhood.

Produce Park joins a number of other community gardens and orchards that are greening the area. The People’s Garden in Shawnee and the Community Food Forest in Portland are also maintained by Louisville Grows. Orchards are a particularly desirable form of urban agriculture for Louisville since they bring food and trees together.

[Read more →]

July 25, 2016   No Comments

Urban farming: how the hippy throwback is on the rise

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In 1976, the farm was more an industrial wasteland – but that didn’t put people off turning it into something more. Photo: ITV News

Windmill Hill City Farm in South Bristol, UK

ITV
July 20, 2016

Excerpt:

It’s the oldest city farm outside London and after rising from the rubble left by WW2 and council bulldozers, it’s now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It was back in 1976, when volunteers inherited a rat infested wasteland but brick by brick they cleared it and began creating ponds and allotments.

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July 25, 2016   No Comments

Resident fights for naturalized lawn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

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latlwnFlowers and plants grow in Peter Graham’s naturalized garden outside his Pointe-Claire home, July 3, 2016. Allen Mcinnis / Montreal Gazette

According to the powers that be, in this case the city of Pointe-Claire, his wild and untamed front yard is an unsightly chaos of “long grass, wild shrubs and weeds in a messy fashion” that defies a nuisance bylaw. He’s been issued a $650 fine and unless he destroys it, he’ll be subject to additional fines.

By Marla Newhook,
Special To The Montreal Gazette
July 19, 2016

Excerpt:

He’s launched an online petition to change the bylaw and at last check, it’s been viewed more than 7,000 times and has garnered almost 800 signatures.

As far as I’m concerned, narrow-minded bylaws such as this one is just another excuse to force homeowners to adhere to cookie-cutter community development where citizens are penalized for creating unique and individualized outdoor space.

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July 24, 2016   No Comments

900-unit rental complex has urban farm in Staten Island, New York

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Zaro Bates is pictured in the courtyard of Urby where she cultivates an urban farm for residents. Tuesday July 12, 2016. (Staten Island Advance/Anthony DePrimo)

While Bates is the official resident urban farmer, Landes runs a honey harvesting operation on the roof of Urby.

By Tracey Porpora
SILive
July 19, 2016

Excerpt:

The Advance got a sneak peek of the development’s 4,500-square-foot urban farm that sits atop Urby’s parking garage in the courtyard. It’s at ground level so residents can see the urban agriculture in action.

Husband-and-wife team Zaro Bates and Asher Landes, owners of Empress Green Inc., run the urban farm at the new development that is still under construction.

But with the first 60 or so residents already moved in, Urby is quickly becoming its own self-sustaining community. And one main ingredient is its urban farm.

[Read more →]

July 24, 2016   No Comments