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Eindhoven, Netherlands: Lighting giant Philips has built one of the world’s largest city farming research facilities

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The 234 square metres GrowWise Center, which opened last July, is developing the perfect blueprint for growing food for city dwellers all year round using sustainable and efficient techniques.

By Jessica Cheam
Eco-Business
May 27, 2016

Excerpt:

It also helps save resources: Where it would take 60 litres of water to produce one kilo of tomatoes in, say, a typical greenhouse production facility in Spain, the same amount of tomatoes will only require five litres of water at the GrowWise farm.

Mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel, regards this technology – which integrates lighting, climate control, software controls, sensors and logistics in one harmonious solution – as just one of the ways smart city applications will revolutionise global food, energy, and water systems in the coming years.

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May 31, 2016   No Comments

UK: The National Trust’s Top 10 Kitchen Gardens

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kitcThe kitchen garden, Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire Four-and-a-half acres of organic gardens with rare varieties and period features.

The kitchen garden, Attingham Park, Shropshire; The kitchen garden, Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire; The kitchen garden, Chartwell, Kent and more

From the National Trust

When it comes to self sufficiency, we’re leading the way at many of our kitchen gardens. From keeping rare breed chickens to growing organic Georgian prickly cucumbers, the fully working kitchen gardens on our estates are great places to witness the ‘plot to plate’ revolution. To experience a slice of the good life and learn how easy, fun and interesting it is to grow your own produce, you may like to visit some of our top kitchen gardens.

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May 30, 2016   No Comments

Regen Villages – Door-step high-yield organic food production

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socspFood production and social spaces. Social spaces are created between the buildings to ensure a complete integration between food production and the housing units. Click on image for larger file.

The first ReGen Village pilot community is to be developed in Almere in Netherlands, with 100 homes breaking ground in this summer of 2016

Excerpt from their website:

Energy positive homes. Door-step high-yield organic food production. Mixed renewable energy and storage. Water and waste recycling. Empowerment of local communities. These are the five pillars of a new visionary concept for self-sustaining urban eco-communities – ReGen Villages.

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May 30, 2016   No Comments

University of California San Diego has several campus gardens and one San Diego community garden

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ellsEllie’s Garden.

Ellie’s Garden, Half Moon Meadow, Marshall Community Garden, Mesa Nueva Garden, Ocean View Growing Grounds, Roger’s Community Garden

UC San Diego
Website

Excerpts:

Marshall Community Garden

Mission:
As guided by the philosophy of Thurgood Marshall College, to develop the scholar and the citizen, the Community Garden will serve as an opportunity to learn about social responsibility through sustainable living, an outdoor study area and a means to develop a close-knit Marshall community.

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May 29, 2016   No Comments

Urban farming a growing trend in Toronto

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scadCrate Garden. Staff photo/Justin Skinner. Rachel Kimel, left, and Deena DelZotto of the Bowery Project lead the initiative to build a crate garden outside of Scadding Court Community Centre, on Thursday.

Scadding Court Community Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre welcome innovative ‘crate’ gardens

By Justin Skinner
Inside Toronto
City Centre Mirror
May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

At Scadding Court Community Centre, a new crate garden installed by urban gardening initiative The Bowery Project and local volunteers will see 250 square feet of food being grown.

It features 500 milk crates stacked two crates high, with plants being grown in the uppermost crate. Given that soil in cities often contains contaminants, the two-crate stacks help ensure the soil in which the food is grown is clean and free of toxins.

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May 29, 2016   No Comments

London, Ontario beekeepers forced to remove backyard hive

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efBecky Ellis has to relocate her backyard beehive by May 28 after the province ordered their removal.

Complaint-driven laws preventing urban bees rarely enforced, say backyard beekeepers

CBC News
May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Becky Ellis launched an online petition last week, calling on Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal to change Ontario laws that prevent beehives within 30 metres of any property line.

Ellis and fellow beekeeper Sean Kaiser were ordered by the ministry to remove their hive from their backyard in the London suburban neighbourhood of Byron.

As a student of urban agriculture, Ellis is part of a growing movement of Canadians keeping backyard, small-scale beehives. Though most of them operate in secret, Ellis has always been open about her hives.

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May 29, 2016   No Comments

New Crop of Companies Reaping Profits From Wasted Food

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surplAndrew Northrup, a “produce hustler” at Cerplus, carries strawberries left over at the end of a farmer’s market in South Berkeley, Calif.

“I’m convinced there’s a business that’s a kind of Uber for refrigerated trucks,” said Jesse Fink, a founder of the travel site Priceline who now calls himself a food waste evangelist.

By Elizabeth D. Herman
For The New York Times
May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

He cited examples like the Forager Project, Misfit and Back to the Roots. “Many of these emerging brands incorporate food waste and upcycling products” — using once-discarded materials as components of new products — “as part of their brand portfolio.” Others, he said, are working to solve the unusual distribution and logistics challenges posed in using food scraps.

Some of the new businesses can bootstrap their operations, since they are essentially taking inexpensive or free scraps from others. But many have taken outside investment.

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May 28, 2016   No Comments

Ignatius gardens for Syrian Refugees in Guelph, Ontario

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guelphThe small plot section was buzzing.

A portion of the produce from many of them will go into hampers for Syrian refugee families.

By Bob O’Flanagan
Guelph Today
May 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Deshpande said community gardeners are working together to provide fresh harvest to recently settled Syrian families.

Ignatius Farm director Heather Lekx will oversee the donation of surplus production, and Bob Moore, who coordinates food donations for Lakeside Hope House will facilitate the distribution of the produce, Deshpande explained.

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May 28, 2016   No Comments

As hunger stalks Venezuela, government encourages city-dwellers to start planting

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venxSenior citizens in Caracas, Venezuela, get a lesson on urban agriculture. As the nation finds itself in a food crisis, the government is urging city-dwellers to plant fruits and vegetables. Jim Wyss Miami Herald.

The Ministry of Urban Agriculture was created this year – Inflation, hoarding reflected on dinner tables – Only 54 percent of people report eating three meals a day

By Jim Wyss
Miami Herald
May 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Caracas, Venezuela: On a recent weekday, just a few miles from where the government was holding military exercises preparing for a foreign invasion, about a dozen senior citizens were gathered in a classroom learning about another war-time innovation.

“Vertical gardens were pioneered during World War II,” a teacher said as he instructed them on how to turn plastic bottles into planters that could be hung on a wall or balcony. “We need to take advantage of every space possible.”

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May 27, 2016   No Comments

Common Roots Urban Farm Bringing Fresh Produce to Buffalo’s East Side

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comroot

Common Roots also offers an Agriculture Farm Share program for those who want to pay one price in advance for the season’s produce.

By LaMonica Peters
Cable News Buffalo
Sunday, May 22, 2016

Excerpt:

“I think this area in particular, there’s not a lot of food available, fresh local food,” she said. “A lot of people in this community are low income. Not everybody drives, there are a lot seniors. People aren’t able to go far out to get what they need.”

One of the main crops at the Common Roots Urban Farm are peas. They’re planted in April and they’ll grow up a trellis and be harvested by June.

“We grow over 35 different varieties of vegetables,” Dumas said. “We did add some grapes last year and some raspberries. We have a small fruit orchard that’ll be producing in a few years.”

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May 27, 2016   No Comments

Malaysia: Millennials flee the city to get hands dirty as farmers

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2malas
Alicia Koh and Loi Meishy belong to a new generation of farmers who have left the big cities for a life on the land. (Photo: Ray Yeh)

About two years ago, Ms Koh decided to give up her work in Singapore and “just moved to Malaysia” to pursue farm work full-time.

By Ray Yeh
A Channel News
23 May 2016

Excerpt:

PENANG: When she graduated from the University of Science, Malaysia with a degree in special education, instead of embarking on a career in the classroom, Loi Meishy packed up her things and moved out of the city.

On the outskirts of Penang Island, on a small plot of land leased from the state government, Ms Loi began a new life in 2013 with two friends who got tired of the rat race, and “wanted to try something new”.

That “something new” involved trading their polished shoes for work boots and getting their hands dirty: Organic farming.

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May 27, 2016   No Comments

Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

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sudan

Dr Alice Franck’s Presentation On Urban Agriculture At The Sudanese Institute Of Architects (SIA)’S 4Th Scientific And Professional Conference

On 23rd May, 2016, Dr Alice Franck, Geographer and Coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum, presented her paper at the Sudanese Institute of Architects (SIA)’s 4th Scientific and Professional conference.

Excerpt from Abstract:

My initial research into this location of intense speculation examined the future of the central areas that remained under agricultural activity and how they were gradually being transformed into urban areas (Franck 2007). The approach adopted analysed the resistance of agriculture and farmers to the spread of real estate and the pressure of competition over land ownership. Five years later, the action in favour of urban plan renewal has been drastically intensified and the capacity for resistance severely diminished; three of the five market gardening areas (Tuti, Shambat, Abu Se’id, Abu Rof and Mogran) observed during fieldwork in 2001–5 are subject to huge real estate projects (Mogran, Abu Se’id and Tuti). In this chapter, I focus my analysis on how landowners and the entire agricultural sector can both adapt to and confront the transformation.

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May 26, 2016   No Comments

Tyson Gersh, 26: Co-founder and president, The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

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rcainTyson Gersh is a Crain’s 20 in their 20s winner for 2016.

Over the past five years, he’s led 8,000 volunteers to produce 50,000 pounds of food, feeding over 2,000 individual city households. And he’s nowhere near done.

By Laura Cassar
Crain’s Detroit Business
May 22, 2016

Excerpt:

“The role of MUFI is not simply to use vacant land to feed food-insecure individuals, but rather to position itself as a driving force in rethinking how urban spaces are developed and to model the many ways that urban agriculture adds value to modern urban spaces,” Gersh said.

Now, in addition to 300 crops, the farm features nearly a dozen offshoot projects, including a public composting toilet, an off-grid shipping container home designed as a cost-competitive pilot for repurposing blighted housing stock, and a retention pond made from the foundation of a blighted home that supplies an off-grid automated drip-line irrigation system to the adjacent farm.

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May 26, 2016   No Comments

‘Generation rent’ neglecting their gardens, warns Royal Horticulture Society

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rentThere has been an increase in younger tenants, known as ‘Generation Rent’ Credit: Jeffrey Blackler/Alamy.

The Royal Horticulture Society last year launched its Greening Grey Britain campaign with the launch of Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign and a three year target to transform 6,000 grey spaces into thriving gardens.

By Patrick Sawer
Telegraph
21 May 2016

Excerpt:

“Gardens are good for our towns and cities. This reduction of plants in front gardens and increase in grey is harmful for wildlife reducing their homes and food sources,” said Ms Biggs.

“It is also damaging for the nation’s health linked to increasing pollution and increasing temperatures during heat waves and puts our homes at more risk from flooding.”

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May 26, 2016   No Comments

Ikea’s Clever Kit Makes Indoor Farming as Easy as It’ll Get

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ikeas
The Krydda/Växer line are the result of some dovetailing trends: (1) More people live in urban areas in small apartments and (2) more and more, people like to know where their food comes from.

60 percent of survey participants grew plants indoors, be they vegetables or flowers. Gardening was more common in Shanghai, where the number is 75 percent.

By Margaret Rhodes
Wired
05.20.16

Excerpt:

It’s no surprise, then, that Shanghai is where Ronnie Runesson, a senior product developer at Ikea, came up with the company’s new line of indoor gardening kits. Runesson, who is Swedish and has worked at Ikea for 33 years, recently spent three years in the company’s Shanghai office. While in Shanghai he visited with other product suppliers, and saw several small, indoor units where office workers grew their own lettuces and herbs.

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May 25, 2016   No Comments