New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Philippines: Quezon City Vice-Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte’s campaign “The Joy of Urban Planting”

orgcity
Vice-Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte speaks during the Organic Fiesta at Quezon Memorial Circle. Photo by Chari T. Villegas

“When I started the program, the problem was the mind-set that farming isn’t compatible in the city. It’s all in the mind-set. You can do vertical garden or start with small containers,” said Ms. Belmonte

Business World Weekender
July 23, 2015

Excerpt:

The city currently has 68 farms of various sizes found in barangays, public elementary schools, daycare centers, parishes, and nongovernment organizations. The city works with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, which provide financial grants.

But even if city farmers fail to bring their items to market, urban farming is still a win-win situation.

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July 31, 2015   No Comments

Find out how the law affects Detroit’s urban farms

cowhous

Stephen Henderson talks with Nick Leonard, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, about the laws that govern urban farming and the upcoming Detroit Food Entrepreneur Legal Workshop on July 30th.

WDET
July 23, 2015

Excerpt:

Basic legal background: Leonard says that many people just do not know what rules apply to urban farming, but ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the law. He says people need proper approvals to know how to organize as nonprofits or low liability companies and to be familiar with zoning ordinances.

Neighborhood outreach: Leonard says that neighborhood outreach is very important. He says people are often wary of outsiders in Detroit and many people have negative associations with agriculture, so farms should be open about what they are doing and why.

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July 31, 2015   No Comments

Boeing Employees Volunteer at The Growing Experience Urban Farm in Long Beach

boeing

“For nearly 100 years, Boeing has demonstrated its commitment to communities around the globe through its Global Month of Service,”

By Asia Morris
Long Beach Post
July 23 2015

Excerpt:

This Saturday, Boeing employees will roll up their sleeves and dirty their hands to provide much-needed assistance at The Growing Experience (TGE) Urban Farm in Long Beach, for the third consecutive year, as part of the company’s annual Global Month of Service Initiative.

Volunteers of all ages will work alongside TGE staff and the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), which oversees the farm, to help with the greenhouse’s vertical plant towers, community food forest, community garden maintenance and orchard harvesting. Volunteers will also work in the community kitchen to preserve vegetables and make fig jam.

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July 30, 2015   No Comments

North Memphis Urban Farmers need a tractor


Watch this compelling video. (Mike)

The tractor will help them continue to transform vacant lots in North Memphis’ most blighted neighborhoods and provide naturally grown local produce

Excerpts from their Kickstarter website:

The City of Memphis faces many challenges. Among them are blighted vacant lots, food deserts, health challenges, and unemployment. North Memphis Farmer’s Collective seeks to take these challenges and turn them into solutions by using what others see as waste as the fertilizer for vacant lots, thereby turning decay and blight into blossoming Urban Farms.

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July 30, 2015   No Comments

Kentish Town City Farm in London began in 1972


A documentary made for the heritage project by the young filmaker, Joe Dickie.

By the late 60’s some people were taking over vacant properties and doing the repairs themselves. The squatting movement was born, and with it, the roots of Kentish Town City Farm.

In 1972, a local organization called Inter-Action rented a house, a cottage and part of the disused timber yard known as Gloster Parquet – now the site of Kentish Town City Farm. They found, tucked behind the terrace houses, the remains of a complex of buildings surrounded by yards of overgrown weeds that backed onto the railway. The buildings included stables, a workshop, a store house and steel framed hangars. Local businessmen donated building materials and equipment worth over £5000. A team of volunteers, youth workers, farm workers and Inter-Action’s architects and builders converted the stables and buildings into a farm, riding school and gardens.

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July 30, 2015   No Comments

Urban agriculture project to transform unused warehouse in Indianapolis

butterc

The $1.3 million renovation will allow the company to grow year-round and hire 20 people.

By wishnicknatario
WishTV
July 22, 2015

Excerpts:

An unused warehouse in Indianapolis is being transformed to create fresh produce and jobs.

Right now the building, off of South Rural Street, is filled with old cars. In a few months, it’ll be replaced with produce. Vegetables you’ll be able to buy in local grocery stores.

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July 29, 2015   No Comments

Innovative rooftop vertical farm for sale on Craigslist for $1.5 million in Vancouver, BC

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Assets include a “Verticrop 120 rack, 3000 tray growing system,” plus “environment sensors and controls” among other high-tech growing equipment.

By Sam Cooper
The Province
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

As the costly fiasco of a failed rooftop lettuce farm that was enthusiastically promoted by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in 2012 continues to unwind, a white elephant greenhouse has been posted for sale on Craigslist for $1.5 million.

The “innovative rooftop vertical farm,” which is now central to a lawsuit against the City of Vancouver, still stands unused atop a city parkade at 535 Richards St.

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July 29, 2015   No Comments

Alice’s Garden presents a stage for urban agriculture in Milwaukee

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Guy Irving (from left), 20, and Rayonna Wilson, 15, from New Life Community Center, arrive at Alice’s Garden with kale to plant on Tuesday. ‘I like how everyone comes together as a community (at Alice’s Garden). There is a lot of hard work and dedication (here),’ said Irving. – Image credit: Angela Peterson

“[Farming] is not rural. That’s the stereotype,” she said. “People have been growing food in cities forever.”

By Marion Renault
Journal Sentinel
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

Weyonia Shurn, 16, used to eat chips for breakfast and buy junk food from other students at her high school.

But after spending the last month mulching and weeding alongside almost 30 teenage workers at a 2-acre urban garden located in Lindsay Heights, Shurn said that, for the first time, she’s interested in being healthy.

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July 29, 2015   No Comments

18th Annual Tour of Detroit Gardens and Farms

detrtour

Detroit city is home to over 1,400 urban gardens and farms

Of all the remarkable statistics concerning vacant land in the city of Detroit, the fact that the city is home to over 1,400 urban gardens and farms sticks out. That’s more than 10 gardens/farms per each of the city’s 139 square miles. According to Keep Growing Detroit, an organization that promotes the development of a food sovereign city, this volume of gardens and farms has made Detroit “our nation’s capital of urban agriculture.”

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July 28, 2015   No Comments

10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Mumbai

earthoEarthoholics is an initiative started by Smita D. Shirodkar.

City Farming, Earthoholics, Fresh and Local, Green Schools Mumbai, Green Souls, Ganeshas, Mumbai Goes Green, Mumbao Organic Farmer’s Market, Under the Tree, Urban Leaves

By Lily Gordon
From foodtank.com
The Daily Meal
July 21, 2015

Excerpt:

City Farming is an organization that inspires students, families, and corporations to grow their own food in Mumbai—on terraces, balconies, and even the sides of buildings. Hosting weekly workshops, City Farming teaches Mumbaikars the growing methods of Dr. R. T. Doshi: with a little sugarcane waste, used polyethylene bags, soil, and seeds, the environmental impacts of pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, and the unnecessary disposal of organic waste are avoidable.

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July 28, 2015   No Comments

Here’s how to keep homegrown food safe

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Our organic veggies could be growing in contaminated soil.

By Katharine Gammon
Take Part
July 21, 2015

Excerpt:

They found that in the majority of examples, eating vegetables grown in the contaminated soils studied was safe. Levels of contaminants in root vegetables, such as carrots, were higher than in tomatoes and collard greens. But the researchers said there was no reason to avoid gardening in city soils, as long as precautions are taken.

“Washing hands thoroughly after gardening, covering pathways with woodchips or gravel, and keeping soil moist during dry and windy conditions to prevent dust generation are all effective preventative measures to ensure safe gardening,” said Ganga Hettiarachchi, a soil chemist at Kansas State University and lead author of the study.

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July 28, 2015   No Comments

Bordofarms: A Project Focused on Solving Deportee Economic Issues Through Urban Farming

bordo
José de Jesús González, right, the leader of Bordofarms’ workers, begins the day tending young plants in boxes along the Tijuana River, Feb. 25, 2015. Eros Hoagland for Al Jazeera America.

Volunteers built boxes, carted dirt and planted seedlings in what organizers say are the first step in an urban farming project aimed at addressing the issue of homeless U.S. deportees.

By Miguel Marshall
Huffington Post
July 21

Excerpt:

The Tijuana Global Shapers Community (a diverse group of young leaders affiliated to World Economic Forum), proposed a project focused on building technology based vertical farms along the edge of the Tijuana River — a project similar to the New York highline but with a productive twist. The idea was inspired by an experience with Angel Ventures Mexico where we invested, through an Angel Group, in Home Town Farms; a startup doing vertical farming in the neighboring San Diego area.

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July 27, 2015   No Comments

City professionals farm as a community just outside of Bengalaru, India

inbeng
Bettada Budada Thota”, an 18-acre farm in Malavalli taluk, 75 km away from Bengaluru is the culmination of dreams and desires of 11 families with diverse interests.

Two local farmer families take care of the farm during weekdays

By Anitha Pailoor,
Deccan Herald
July 21, 2015

Excerpt:

The team cultivates millets, pulses, vegetables and some horticulture plants. Most of the crops are rainfed and drip irrigation is used to water vegetable patch and horticulture plants. They also raise cattle for the purpose of manure. At least four to five families gather at the farm every week. “Even if we are not able to make it to the farm for two weeks, we are confident that the work doesn’t suffer,” says another member Anil Nadig.

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July 27, 2015   No Comments

Roosevelt University’s two rooftop farms in Chicago

choroos
On the 5th floor of Roosevelt University’s Loop campus, there are two rooftop vegetable gardens.

Later this summer, those vegetables and herbs will be harvested and used in Roosevelt’s dining hall.

By Karis Hustad
ChicagoInno
07/20/15

Excerpt:

There are five green roofs on the Wabash building, three of which create natural insulation to assist with temperature control, while two grow vegetables that are used in the dining hall. The vegetable gardens have been a bit of a living laboratory for the last three years, as students have experimented with different types of plants in order to understand what works best at a certain height with certain amounts of light. For example, tomatoes didn’t work out so well on the fifth floor said Quinsell. “Patience is a big thing,” she said, when experimenting with urban farming.

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July 27, 2015   No Comments

Detroit urban farm aims to sell 20,000 pounds of vegetables

lawburlOne square block sits on the 1600 block of Lawrence Street.

“We have 400-500 catfish and blue gill growing in the fish pond”

By Jon Zemke
Model D
July 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Link and Alex Bryan launched the urban farm in 2011 after purchasing a four-acre lot from the Michigan Land Bank. The one square block sits on the 1600 block of Lawrence Street. It previously served as the home Peck Elementary School before it was torn down.

Today Peck Produce, also known as Food Field, grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on the site, including leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger, artichokes, and parsnips. Last year the urban farm sold 16,000 pounds of produce.

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July 26, 2015   No Comments