New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Saving Money Growing Homegrown Vegetables

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Invest in a Garden System the Produces Weekly Harvests

By Stacey Murphy
Backyard Farms
Sept 27, 2016

This is my favorite video, because I love crunching numbers to see which vegetables are worth it for me to grow. Don’t worry if you don’t like numbers or budgets, I’ll walk you through mine. You definitely don’t want to be that person that grows one $250 tomato when you could have bought that same tomato at the farmers market for $5.

I once grew a head of endive for $5 which wasn’t so cost effective. But then I decided to let it flower, I saved the seeds, an d grew another 50 heads from those seeds. Those heads cost me $0.10 each to grow. Now we’re talking!

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September 28, 2016   No Comments

A Wall Farm For Your Office

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This timelapse was filmed during 20 days in an office.

It’s nanotech growing material is engineered to supply plants the right amount of oxygen, water and nutrients at all times.

From their press release:

Palo Alto, Calif. – September 28, 2016 – Click & Grow’s Wall Farm line, a combination of a fully automated 57-plant, indoor smart garden, and a semi-automatic watering, 38-plant, indoor smart garden, is now available for purchase and is currently the most affordable on the market. The Wall Farm line will easily add fresh food to users’ diets and features Click & Grow’s proprietary NASA-inspired technology that takes the guesswork out of growing plants.

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September 28, 2016   No Comments

Bangkok’s Resort Rooftop Hydroponic Farm

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Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort Rooftop Hydroponic Farm. Click on image for larger file.

Resort partnered with Bangsai Agricultural Centre to offer its guests a locally grown, certified organic, freshly harvested selection of Western and Asian herbs, vegetables and salads in the hotel’s 2,800 square-meter rooftop Hydroponic Farm.

Greenrooms.com
Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Hydroponic Farming Design: Makavan Horsuwan and Chauphan Horsuwan, Bangsai Agricultural Centre
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Perched on the third floor overlooking the Chao Phraya River, the hydroponic rooftop farm partnership was sealed out of the passion both the Anantara Riverside and the Bangsai Agriculture Centre have in common, the commitment to providing fresh, healthy and non-toxic products to today’s demanding lifestyle as well as to educate and improve the local community’s competency and knowledge on the benefits of locally produced vegetables.

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September 28, 2016   No Comments

No Guff Vegetable Gardening

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Donna Balzer is a Calgary-based horticulturist with a broad background in horticulture and 30 years experience in everything from native perennials to cultural landscapes.

By Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
No Guff Press
2012

In our book, you get the advice of TWO experts—and our points of view are not always the same. Look for “He Says” and “She Says” throughout the book.

You get the professional insights of horticulturists. We make sense of products and trends and give you thoughtful opinions.

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September 27, 2016   No Comments

Michigan Senator Stabenow Announces the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

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Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Most Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Bill to be Introduced in Congress Will Create New Economic Opportunities, Increase Access to Healthy Foods

Website of Debbie Stabenow
US Senator for Michigan
September 26, 2016
(Must Read. Mike)

The Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

reating New Economic Opportunities

Agriculture Cooperatives: Expands USDA authority to support farm cooperatives in urban areas, helping urban farmers who want to form and operate an agriculture cooperative get products to market. Reduces individual financial risk and burdensome paperwork by allowing USDA loans to be managed by agriculture cooperatives.

Rooftops, Vertical Farms & Indoor Production: Makes it easier for urban farms to apply for USDA farm programs and assists producers with information on operating rooftop and vertical farms. Supports access to land and production sites in urban communities through innovative conservation grants.

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September 27, 2016   No Comments

Seattle rooftop has 4000 crates growing for the food bank

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Her goals are to harvest 10,000 pounds of produce, build hoop gardens or small greenhouse gardens and install a beehive by next year at The University District Food Bank

By Brenda Kay Neth
City Living Seattle
9/19/2016

Excerpt:

Hanna Duffany, rooftop farmer and the food bank’s food recovery specialist, discussed the beginnings of the rooftop farm.

“Everything here has been planted by seed, except the tomatoes.” She said.

Greens, carrots, and fava beans were just a few of the rooftop crops peeking out from the 1,500 milk crates where they were planted.

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September 26, 2016   No Comments

Chicago’s Urban Beekeepers

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Pedro Ortiz, an urban beekeeper, extracting his bees from the hive “supers” (drawers) to check for honey.

Urban beekeeping and agriculture continue to grow, but a lack of native bees and wild pollinators pose challenges for urban agriculture and the bee population.

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli
The Columbia Chronicle
Sept 19, 2016

Excerpt:

While the number of beekeepers is growing, bee populations are declining, Thompson said. He said most people will only think of honeybees, but there are several other wild pollinators, including bumblebees and wild butterflies, that are vital to crops but are dwindling.

“Those native bees are really threatened much worse than honeybees because their culture is very localized,” he said. “Those are really essential to our world, and people don’t understand they’re even here.”

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September 26, 2016   No Comments

In West Philadelphia, a community garden threatened by development

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John Lindsay (left) and James Seward hold fresh produce from the community garden on Wiota Street. They are concerned that developers are interested in bidding on the property. ( Margo Reed / Staff Photographer)

It’s not the only garden facing potential closure in the rapidly developing area, which has been identified as one in need of community-garden preservation by a nonprofit devoted to the cause.

By Tricia L. Nadolny
Philly.com
Sept 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Unlike a traditional community garden with neighbors claiming their own plots, Wiota Street is designed to grow as much produce as possible.

The sweet, green, and jalapeño peppers are in plot three; celery, rhubarbs, and beans are in plot four; flowers are in plot five; and turnips are in plot six. A peach tree anchors the property. Compost bins run along one wall, and a grape arbor stands near the Powelton Avenue fence. Herbs, marked with colorful signs painted by students from a local charter school, are in the far corner.

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September 25, 2016   No Comments

UK: Residents rise up against’ plans to build over London’s oldest allotments

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Northfields Allotments.

Northfields Allotments plotholders have been informed by Pathways in recent weeks of their intentions to build over at least 10% of the nearly 200-year-old site, with further plans to construct a mix of social and private housing.

By Luke Bartlett
They is Local London
Sept 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Francesca Bussey, Northfields resident and allotment owner, said: “We live in a social housing flat with no access to a garden of our own.

“In 18 months my daughter and I have transformed the plot from weeds and brambles to our own little patch of heaven.

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September 25, 2016   No Comments

Down on the Farm in Downtown Manhattan

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Students caring for a garden in a program run by Edible Schoolyard NYC, one of the nonprofits taking part in the Farm Fresh Festival for Kids.

“City Growers will be teaching kids about bees and pollination and honey,” Ms. Brose said, referring to one of the nonprofits taking part. “We’ll have beehives there.”

By Laurel Graeber
New York Times
Sept. 15, 2016

Excerpt:

“What we’re doing is transforming the seaport into an imaginative farm,” said Susanne Brose, who developed the event with Sandra Velez. Two years ago, Ms. Brose established FreshKids, a company that produces children’s snacks without genetically altered or artificial ingredients. Ms. Brose’s business, the Howard Hughes Corporation and the Generation Fresh Foundation, a nonprofit she helped found, will present the festival, which will offer opportunities to investigate livestock, planting, harvesting, cooking and composting.

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September 24, 2016   No Comments

Mushrooms from community garden sicken Los Angeles schoolchildren

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A toxic mushroom species, amanita pantherina, is believed to be the cause of multiple illnesses at a Silver Lake elementary school. (KABC)

According to a phone message sent to parents, the students were taking part in an afternoon “garden instruction” lesson at the garden, which sits on the edge of the campus.

By Veronica Rocha and Howard Blume
Los Angeles Times
Sept. 23, 2016

Excerpt:

A parent told KABC-TV that his 10-year-old son had to be hospitalized after someone working in the garden gave him and other fifth-graders mushrooms. After eating the mushrooms, students started throwing up.

Doctors have performed tests on the boy to determine what made him sick, the TV news station reported. District officials said they had no information about the types of vegetables in the garden.

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September 24, 2016   No Comments

Africa: Cameroonian engineer brings fish farming to the city

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Flavien Kouatcha, an engineer in Douala, is attempting to popularise aquaponics to show that food can be grown in alternative ways. Photo credit: Josiane Kouagheu.

In the past 30 years Cameroon’s urbanization rate has doubled and the urban population continues to grow, rising by five percent each year, versus 2.9 percent for the country’s overall population.

By Flavien Kouatcha
Observers
Sept 15, 2016

Excerpt:

I grew up in a rural area in western Cameroon. I was always passionate about agriculture, though at the same time I realised our growing method wasn’t the right one. Here [in Cameroon], 40 percent of the food produced in rural areas stays in the villages, for lack of logistical means to bring them into the cities. And when it is brought in, it’s very expensive. In addition, fertiliser use is very high, and people don’t know much about new agricultural techniques.

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September 23, 2016   No Comments

Raley’s Supermarket Donates $25,000 for New West Sacramento Urban Farm

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Based in West Sacramento, Calif., Raley’s operates 121 stores in Northern California and Nevada under the Raley’s Supermarkets, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners.

Farm at the Barn to open summer 2017

Progressive Grocer
Sept 15, 2015

Excerpt:

The Farm at the Barn will increase access to fresh local produce, promote community sustainability, encourage volunteerism and stimulate educational opportunities. A percentage of the produce grown will benefit Raley’s Food For Families program, which aims to end hunger locally by providing fresh, healthy food to those in need, and create a built-in market for beginning farmers to sell their crops.

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September 23, 2016   No Comments

Washington: University of the District of Columbia campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city — 20,000 square fee

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Dean Sabine O’Hara describes the UDC rooftop farm to Sustainable Urban Agriculture students. Photo (CC BY-SA): Erik Assadourian.

The goal is to build an “Urban Food Hub” in each of the city’s eight wards, particularly the poorer ones.

Future Perfect
Sept 2016

Excerpt:

Right on campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city – 20,000 square feet – growing plump Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes and crisp red-stemmed Swiss Chard along the edges (areas of the roof that have the structural integrity to handle larger crops) as well as greens, flowers, and sedum in the interior sections (for insulation and water capture benefits). Much of this rooftop produce – grown mostly by volunteers – gets distributed to UDC’s faculty and staff through a community-supported agriculture program and to D.C. food banks as donations.

[Read more →]

September 22, 2016   No Comments

‘FarmHer’ TV Series Features Austin Texas, Urban Farmer, Carol Ann Sayle

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According to the USDA’s most recent census report, the number of women-led farms has tripled over the past four decades and remains one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States.

Photographer and TV host Marji Guyler-Alaniz
RFD-TV’s new series, “FarmHer”

Marji met up with Carol Ann Sayle and her husband Larry at Boggy Creek Farm in Austin, Texas, where they run one of the oldest urban farms in the country. Decades ago this couple — an artist and real estate professional — combined their love of gardening and some good business sense to create their 15-acre urban farm.

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September 22, 2016   No Comments