New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Urban agriculture growing in popularity in West Virginia

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

The West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference will be held Sept. 17-19.

By Nicky Walters
WOWK TV
Aug 20, 2015

Excerpt:

There is a garden on Charleston’s West Side maintained by a group called West Virginia SAGE. The garden is made up of several raised beds. According to the most recent United States Department of Agriculture Census there are 956 small or urban farms in West Virginia. Agriculture leaders say that number has grown by an estimated 23 percent.

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August 29, 2015   No Comments

A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye

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Manuel Gomez, a driver, eats corn that he helped grow. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

“I bring the lunch for everybody from that tomato,” he said.

By Kate Pastor
New York Times
AUG. 27, 2015

Excerpt:

Summer is the slowest season for cabdrivers, when they must find ways to pass the time between passengers. Some recline in the seats of their cars; others relax outside.

But Mr. Santana, 66, and other Seaman drivers spend their downtime tending a small farm off Johnson Avenue in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx, near Riverdale.

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August 28, 2015   No Comments

Our view: Urban farming still a dream in Santa Fe, New Mexico


Gaia Gardens Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shots from the air.

The city needs to write its urban agricultural ordinance — not after the next farm starts, but before.

Editorial: Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug 19, 2015

Excerpt:

However, at the heart of the debate is whether Santa Fe is serious about promoting urban agriculture, something that Los Angeles and even New York City have been able to do. Santa Fe, despite its talk, is not finding ways to help farms thrive.

Whatever happens to Gaia Gardens, the city needs to write its urban agricultural ordinance — not after the next farm starts, but before.

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August 28, 2015   No Comments

Farming goes urban in Hyde Park, Chicago


St. Paul & the Redeemer Food Garden have grown 1200 pounds of fresh organic produce each year for hungry neighbors on the South Side of Chicago.

“Urban gardening is a transformative power in changing people’s perspectives about their food,” he said.

By Allison Matyus
Hyde Park Herald
Aug 19, 2015

Excerpt:

The St. Paul and the Redeemer Church (SPR), 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., is also growing fresh food to help their fellow neighbors obtain quality produce.

A 850-square-foot cultivated space at SPR provides more than 1,200 pounds of nutritious food a year, according to Jim Schaal, the food garden coordinator at the church.

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August 27, 2015   No Comments

Canada – The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre community garden covers 0.6 hectares of a urban lot

saskfRow upon row of vegetables, herbs and fruit at the Garden Patch. (CBC)

MacDonald said over 4,000 kilograms of food has already been harvested this summer.

CBC News
Aug 27, 2015

Excerpt:

he growing season is far from over and the community garden run by the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center is already full and leafy and bursting with food.

The space, known as the Garden Patch, is on Third Avenue between Duchess and Duke streets.

The garden grows produce that is distributed at the food bank. It is also a place where community and urban agriculture projects are underway.

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August 27, 2015   No Comments

The Benefits Of Owning Farm Animals In The City

kidoile Click on image for larger file.

Everyone I spoke with told me that the downside of keeping urban animals is that it is a 24/7 job which makes going on vacation difficult.

By Rebecca Mongrain
Seattle Refined
Aug 18, 2015

Excerpts:

Seattle’s liberal livestock laws allow for the average city resident to bring a bit of the farm to their urban backyard. Seattle allows up to eight domestic fowl on any lot but roosters are not permitted. The hen house must be at least 10 feet away from any residential structure. The Seattle Homestead site provides information on chicken laws for most of Washington’s major towns. Miniature goats and small potbelly pigs are permitted with limitations while farm animals (full-sized goats, cows, horses, sheep, etc.) are only allowed on lots over 20,0000 square feet within Seattle City Limits. No swine are allowed other than small potbelly pigs either.

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August 26, 2015   No Comments

Facilitating Urban Agriculture with ‘Tactical’ Policy Changes in Hamilton, Ontario

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Hill Street Community Garden (RTH file photo)

Citizens and organizations are making Hamilton a model for how rural and urban can work together as part of a sustainable food system.

By Jason Thorne
Raise the Hammer
August 18, 2015

Excerpt:

On the doorstep of this rural and agricultural area is an urban area of more than half a million people, soon to be more than 700,000. The city is working to take advantage of this unique opportunity and position itself as a leader in urban agriculture.

To help achieve that goal, the City’s Planning and Economic Development Department, led by Planning Manager Joanne Hickey-Evans, has been systematically identifying, and removing, barriers to urban agriculture.

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August 26, 2015   No Comments

From family’s farm land, Jim Embry brought knowledge, passion to Lexington’s community gardens in Kentucky

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“Our garden literally began as a parking lot space for semi trucks in an industrial setting in downtown Lexington as a very simple hoop house garden,” Kelley said. “Today, it is the largest community garden I know of in downtown Lexington.”

By Beverly Fortune
Kentucky.com
August 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Embry helped organized the first Food Summit in Lexington in 2007, met with then-Fayette County Schools superintendent Stu Silberman to share his Detroit experience and encourage school gardens, and approached the city about community gardens in city parks.

“Jim was at the forefront of the community gardening movement in Lexington. We lagged behind other cities, like Chicago and New York, with long traditions of community gardens. He was important in getting community gardens started here,” said Dehlia Scott, horticulture agent with the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service.

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August 25, 2015   No Comments

Urban farms need financially sound business models to be truly sustainable

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Before launching an urban farm, the producer should consider the effect of scale along with substantial production risks. Expect small, single digit returns on their investment with the need for development of an appropriate business strategy.

By Frank Gublo,
Michigan State University Extension
Posted on August 17, 2015

Excerpt:

Every week Michigan State University Extension educators and MSU Product Center counselors receive inquiries about the feasibility of starting a farm. In recent years, the interest in sustainable urban agriculture as a tool for repurposing cities such as Detroit has grown but has produced few ventures at a commercial scale. Financial sustainability urban farm operations we see in southeast Michigan however is still questionable. This is due to the smaller scale, lower prices of fruit and vegetable crops, and the production management skills of the farmer-producer. The dream of becoming a full time urban farmer is a lofty goal that few will achieve. Strategy, realistic planning, and beautiful execution of the farm plans are critical in achieving a successful outcome.

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August 25, 2015   No Comments

Urban Agriculture In Minneapolis : Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable

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“Organic certification is challenging for urban growers because they tend to be so dispersed.”

By Brian Martucci
The Line
August 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The most visible examples of MSP’s small-scale urban ag movement are community gardens, where single people, families or small groups grow produce for themselves and, sometimes, a small farmers’ market stall. The region’s community gardening scene has exploded in recent years, with far too many individual gardens to name. Gardening Matters, an urban gardening and agriculture organization, maintains a comprehensive map of community gardens in Minneapolis and St. Paul using data supplied by the gardens themselves.

According to Gardening Matters’ annual Community Gardening in Minnesota: A Snapshot report, nearly 350 community gardens existed across MSP in 2014. Of those, more than 250 produced food. Most are owned and operated by city governments, nonprofit institutions, faith institutions or private individuals.

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August 24, 2015   No Comments

Civic Works’ Real Food Perlman Place farm in Northeast Baltimore

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Alexander Harrell, production assistant, framed by popcorn plants. Civic Works’ Real Food Farm grows produce at their Perlman Place farm, located between North Avenue and Sinclair Lane. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

17 photos of Baltimore’s inner city farming

By Kim Hairston
Baltimore Sun
Aug 14, 2015

Excerpt:

This is the first year in production for the Civic Works’ Real Food Perlman Place farm in Northeast Baltimore. Just over 20 varieties of vegetables, 5 types of fruit, and several herbs and ornamental plants have transformed vacant lots into productive land. According to their website, Civic Works’ Real Food Farms provide pesticide-free fresh food to people in nearby communities, train people for jobs help the watershed and educate local youth.

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August 24, 2015   No Comments

Massachusett’s man living off farm in his backyard

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He brought in 30 chickens and a pair of goats.

Named after members of the band Metallica, the roosters were introduced to the menagerie to help Leonard produce new chicks to sustain his egg production.

By Jim Haddadin
North borough News
Aug 14, 2015

Excerpt:

The bearded, shaggy-haired 27-year-old has begun to reap the fruits of his labor. Walking barefoot through his garden on Thursday, Leonard plucked a thick, green cucumber from a thicket of leaves sprawling across the ground. He trimmed a clump of 6-foot-tall weeds growing near an old swimming pool, tossing them over a fence to the hungry goats on the other side.

Leonard believes more than half of his food supply now comes from the operation.

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August 23, 2015   No Comments

West Virginia Department Of Agriculture’s Urban Farm Promotes Farming; Benefitting Manna Meal

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West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick picks corn.

“Food pantries don’t see fresh products, they see canned foods. So this is just unbelievable, it’s exciting.”

By Kennie Bass
WCHS ABC8
Aug 13 2015

Excerpt:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An experimental Urban Farm program is providing valuable data to the Department of Agriculture, and fresh grown food to a population in need.

Right beside Riverside High School there is a three quarter acre plot of land being used to promote farming in places you might not expect. As a side bonus, the crops are feeding the hungry.

West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick picks corn and other vegetables from a plot his agency has been working all summer.

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August 23, 2015   No Comments

Not just an urban garden in Arlington — an urban farm

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Ryan Lee at his Arlington Farm. Photo by Cristin Wilson.

Customers will pay him $500 a year and, in return, they’ll get a basket of whatever fresh vegetables are available during the growing season.

By Cristin Wilson
Jacksonville Com
Aug 12, 2015

Excerpt:

Ryan Lee lives in a comfortable University Park home in Arlington, surrounded by other houses.
Which is why visitors are surprised to see his farm. Not just a garden … a farm.

During spring growing season, he has all sorts of vegetable plants to tend. And starting this year, he has sold the bounty at a stand, a welcome offering to people who come upon it as they drive down University Club Boulevard. Everything is freshly picked — he picks on Saturdays and sells on Sundays It’s all organic. And it’s a strange site in a city neighborhood — a true urban farm.

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August 22, 2015   No Comments

Afghan refugee leads game-changing urban farm in Cleveland

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Mohammad Noormal came to Cleveland as a refugee in October 2014, after working for five years as a translator for the U.S. army in his home country of Afghanistan.

For Mohammad, the Garden and Farm project has opened the door to integration in Cleveland

By Raluca Besliu
Fresh Water
August 13, 2015

Excerpt:

Mohammad is also the manager of a game-changing initiative for education, urban farming and refugee integration, the Learning Garden and Production Farm. Created as a collaboration between The Refugee Response and The Urban Community School (UCS), the Garden and Farm occupies six vacant parcels adjacent to the school. They act as a learning space, where children participate in hands-on lessons that complement and enhance the curriculum in a wide variety of subject areas, including math, art and science.

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August 22, 2015   No Comments