New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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

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zaro
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.

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July 24, 2016   No Comments

3 Aquaponic Farms in Brooklyn, New York

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oki
There is power in being able to grow your own food and to support your community in doing the same. Oko Farms Adult Apprenticeship program offers a unique urban farming experience.

Verticulture, Edenworks and OKO farms.

By Lorraine Chow
Eco Watch
Jun 17, 2016

Excerpt:

At an old Pfizer manufacturing plant in Bedstuy, Verticulture is raising food such as kale, micro basil and Brooklyn-born tilapia and looking to tap into the Big Apple’s $600 million in unmet demand for local produce.

According to The Verge, the startup is producing about 30 to 40 pounds of basil a week thanks to the help of 150-180 tilapia.

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July 23, 2016   No Comments

Warsaw, Poland, Children working in a vegetable garden during WW2. From the collection of Yad Vashem

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polkids Click on image for larger file. During the first half of 1940, the organization’s aid activities focused on opening public soup kitchens and distributing food to the needy, on taking in the thousands of Jewish refugees and POWs who were pouring into the ghetto, and establishing institutions for childcare.

Janusz Korczack’s orphanage was situated at 92 Krochmalna Street and housed 150 children.

Photographer: Foto Forbert, Warszawa
Origin: Judenrat, Warsaw
ad Vashem Photo Archive

A short time after Warsaw was occupied by the Germans, the Jewish community organized a social welfare committee known as the Zydowska Samapomoc Spolczna (Jewish Social Self-Help), or the ZSS, in order to provide social assistance to the Jewish residents. Funding for the activities came primarily from the Polish branch of the Joint, which was also located in Warsaw. The Joint, short for The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was an agency that had been founded by Jews in America in 1914 in order to provide aid for Jewish communities located outside the United States. Since it was an American institution, the Joint was permitted to continue its activities in occupied Poland.

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July 23, 2016   No Comments

Meet the refugee farmers of Cleveland who are actually making America great again

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The politicians at the Republican National Convention like to depict refugees as terrorists and a danger to American society. But if they took a short trip to the farm, they could get a very different perspective.

By Casey Tolan
Fusion
July 21, 2016

Excerpt:

On the Republican National Convention stage, refugees have been a popular punching bag. Rudy Giuliani said Syrian refugees could be “operatives who are terrorists, who are going to come to Western Europe and here and kill us.” Ted Cruz claimed that the Obama administration was “admitting ISIS terrorists as refugees.”

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July 22, 2016   No Comments

FOOD ROOF Farm in St Louis, Missouri

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stl Click on image for larger file.

Grows over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. Increases pollinator health with habitat for over 40,000 honeybees.

GreenRoofs.com
July 2016

Excerpt:

Built in 2015, the FOOD ROOF Farm is located in the heart of downtown St Louis above a two-story storage facility. The site provides full sun exposure necessary for growing edibles, and the structure of the 1927 building did not require reinforcement for the addition of an intensive green roof system – both were determining factors in the selection of this property.

This rooftop exhibits a robust green roof infrastructure that captures up to 17,000 gallons of stormwater per storm event, which equates to over 1,819,000 gallons annually. Rainwater captured is utilized for plant growth, reducing irrigation needs by up to 50%.

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July 22, 2016   No Comments

Vancouver aeroponics farm uses ‘space-age’ tech to grow food for local restaurants, markets

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strtaar
Aaron Ferguson, CEO of Harvest Urban Farms, stands in the Strathcona warehouse where the farm is located. He said he would like to see more aeroponics farms in Vancouver. (Rachel Sanders/CBC)

He said they can get lettuce plants, for example, ready for harvest within 28 to 35 days. “Lettuce plants out in the field take about 45 days to be mature,” he said.

By Gavin Fisher and Rachel Sanders,
CBC News
Jul 21, 2016

Excerpt:

Harvest Urban Farms supplies their produce to restaurants and markets within a 10-kilometre radius of the farm.

Ferguson said he hopes to see the use of aeroponics grow in Vancouver, as he said growing food locally as opposed to importing it improves the quality and eliminates supply chain costs.

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July 22, 2016   No Comments

Veggie Bingo Raises Support for Chicago’s Community Gardens

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bingo

This unusual way of supporting an estimated 110 of Chicago’s nearly 800 community gardens grew out of a winter ritual held at the Hideout known as Soup & Bread.

By Lori Rotenberk
Civil Eats
July 19, 2016

Excerpt:

For 12 weeks each summer, the Hideout is home to Veggie Bingo and its cult following of community garden supporters. The fees, $4 a card or three for $10, benefit a different community garden each week and have helped gardens purchase tools and supplies including soil, seeds, sheds, compost, benches, and scholarships for young workers. On this July evening, the numbers are being sung for supporters of the Fulton Street Flower and Vegetable Garden located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

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July 21, 2016   No Comments

Rooftop farming arrives in Chengdu, China

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(Must see. Mike)

“The farm is actually a by-product of the shopping mall here. With proper design and investment, we transformed this rooftop into something useful and provided the public with a free place to learn the science of planting and experience agricultural production,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.

China.org
July 21, 2016

Excerpt:

“It surprised me when I stepped onto this rooftop. They have all kinds of vegetables and fruit. And there are species that I don’t know. It’s rare to see such things in big cities,” said Chengdu resident Tang Yan.

Mr. Liu is one of the founders of this city farm. For the past eight years, he has been running a vast rural farm in the suburbs of the city.

“Young people know very little about agricultural production, especially children. They have no idea about the exact procedures of how to plant vegetables and rice. So I came up with the idea of passing on Chinese agricultural traditions to the younger generation, and those living in cities,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.

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July 21, 2016   No Comments

Johns Hopkins aquaponics testing ground gives way to urban teaching farm

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auqhapStudents on a field trip to the Food System Lab feed the fish. Image Credit: Larry Canner

The Rechristened Food System Lab, Which Has Defined Itself As An Urban Teaching Farm, Welcomed More Than 1,500 Visitors Last Year Through School And Group Trips, Service Learning, And Open Houses.

By Katie Pearce
HUB
July 18, 2016

Excerpt:

In 2014, the Hopkins researchers conducted a first-of-its-kind international survey of more than 800 aquaponics practitioners, examining their methods and motivations, and followed that up with an international survey on the profitability of commercial systems. Attesting to the interest in subject, the latter survey is the most-accessed article Aquaculture, a top journal in its field, has published in more than 13 years.

“People really want to know what the field looks like, the shape of this industry, because it’s so new,” Love says.

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July 21, 2016   No Comments

Korea’s first school to teach farming to retirees who come from cities

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koreoldThe first students to enroll in a school that teaches farming to retirees from urban areas pose in front of their dormitory in Yeongju, North Gyeongsang. [GONG JEONG-SIK]

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, North Gyeongsang Provincial Government and Yeongju City Government spent about 2 billion won ($1.7 million) building the school, which allows retirees to better settle into rural areas.

By Song Yee-Ho
Korea Joining Daily
July 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The students mostly learn practical agricultural skills such as how to make and manage fertilizers, cultivate farmland and use farming machines. The school also owns small parcels of land where students can practice growing different crops.

The students were also paired up with senior farmers who grow the crops they are interested in growing themselves. They visited their mentor’s farms and also went to historic places such as Buseok Temple.

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July 20, 2016   No Comments

Food waste: harvesting Spain’s unwanted crops to feed the hungry

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gleanAdvocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded. Photograph: Natalia Lázaro Prevost

Spain’s gleaning movement has grown rapidly in response to austerity, harvesting imperfect fruit and veg – that would otherwise be wasted – for food banks. Now its own line of jams, soups and sauces is taking off too

By Arthur Nelson
The Guardian
July 2016

Excerpt:

A 39-year-old Moroccan emigré with two small children, Abdelouahid began “gleaning” – harvesting farmers’ unwanted crops – with the Espigoladors (gleaners) after losing his job in the construction industry four years ago. It is Ramadan and he is fasting but still smiling as he cuts at the green jewels.

“I don’t like to spend my days at home, sending CVs to employers, waiting for their rejection letters, or going around the restaurants trying to find food,” he says. “I prefer to do something positive. A lot of people need this food. It is better to collect it than to leave it.”

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July 20, 2016   No Comments

$2.8M expansion starts at Tilth’s seven-acre urban farm in Seattle

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setgarFour greenhouses will be added as well as a farm stand, children’s garden, rain gardens, a commercial kitchen, office space and a classroom.

Since the farm opened in 2012, 30,000 pounds of food has been grown there with help from over 2,000 volunteers, Burke said.

By Lynn Porter
Daily Journal of Commerce
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Four greenhouses will be added on the seven-acre site, as well as a farm stand, children’s garden, rain gardens and hand-crafted wetland markers. There will also be a commercial kitchen, office space, a classroom, and a circle drive for school buses, delivery vehicles and physically disabled visitors.

A new hand-crafted iron gate at Beer Sheva Park was recently installed to improve pedestrian access.

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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frukara
Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

Seattle’s International Rescue Committee is helping local refugees rebuild their lives

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bhutr

The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

By John Sharify
King K5
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s something they grew in Bhutan. It’s not just a green. It’s a piece of home,” says Tyler George-Minette, New Roots Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee for Seattle and Sea Tac.

The Namaste Community Garden he oversees serves the refugee community in the area. The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

“Each family gets one plot,” says Dal Diyali, who moved to the area from Bhutan.

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July 18, 2016   No Comments

Columbus Urban Farm Tour Series by the Ohio State University Extension office

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tour

Takes place between July 30 and Aug. 14.

Tours:

Urban fruit and vegetable production and marketing at Franklinton Gardens

Large-scale urban farm, Clarfield Farm

Multi-location, mission-drive urban farm, Italian Village Urban Farm

Demonstration food garden tour at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus at the Franklin Park Conservatory

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July 18, 2016   No Comments