New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Xochimilco: Keeping Mexico City’s Agricultural Treasure Afloat

Artist’s representation of chinampa farming.

More than 22 million people live in greater Mexico City, and environmental concerns are endless: trash, water shortages, air pollution. Xochimilco is one of the last green patches in the massive urban area.

By Martha Pskowski
Culinary Backyards
June 12, 2018

Excerpt:

Tenochtitlan’s height was from the 1300s to the 1500s, when its rulers gradually dominated the small city-states that surrounded Lake Texcoco and came to control the Aztec empire. The chinampas, made by building up layers of mud from the lake bottom and other organic matter, were built to maximize the arable land for agricultural production. The food grown in Xochimilco was transported by a system of canals to reach the market at Tlaltelolco or, later, the massive La Merced public market.

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June 18, 2018   No Comments

Urban agriculture—Europe’s untapped potential

This was the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of urban agriculture in Europe. Published in 2015, it still attracts interest from researchers and policymakers alike, and will be presented at the 2018 Green Week.

Frank Lohrberg / Lilli Lika / Lionella Scazzosi / Axel Timpe (eds.)
European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
June 11, 2018

Excerpt:

Urban Agriculture Europe (UAE), a COST-funded network of over 120 researchers from 29 countries worldwide, investigated how urban agriculture provides solutions in Europe and contributes to innovative cities that are economically and environmentally viable.

Although the network ended in 2016, it is still making an impact. Its research has been cited extensively in a detailed briefing for the European Parliament.

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June 18, 2018   No Comments

Google Pays Ode To Germany’s ‘Garden Day’ With Interactive Garden Gnome Game

See game here.

Propelled by local myths and increased leisure time, the gnomes began to find homes in gardens throughout the country. Legend has it they protect these gardens and bring good luck.

From Google
June 10, 2018

Look amongst the greenery of Germany’s lush gardens and you might spot a red-capped gartenzwerg, or garden gnome. Today’s Doodle – just in time for Garden Day in Germany – celebrates these tiny statues for their big role in German history.

Gnome figures first appeared in 13th-century Anatolia and re-emerged in 16th-century Italy. The common garden gnome originated in 19th-century Germany from the mining area of Thuringia. Here, local craftsmen are given credit for hand-crafting the gnomes as we know them—with shaggy beards and pointy hats.

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June 17, 2018   No Comments

The Honeybee

Kirsten Hall is a former preschool and elementary school teacher who has authored more than a hundred learn-to-read stories for emergent readers.

By Kirsten Hall (Author), Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
May 8, 2018

“In bouncy, lilting verse and vibrant, inviting artwork, this ode to the humble honeybee is dripping with charm…. Hall’s lively lines skitter around Arsenault’s warm, honey-colored illustrations…. With occasional speech balloons and delightfully expressive gestures, the bees mirror the gleeful tone of the poem…. Arsenault’s scenes are a captivating mixture of smudgy charcoals, soft yellows, and fluoresecent oranges, combining crisp shapes with more abstract figures.

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June 17, 2018   No Comments

1660 – New York City (New Amsterdam) Map Depicts Urban Farms

See full 1660 city map of downtown New York City.

The Castello Plan-Evidence of Horticulture in New Netherland or Cartographer’s Whimsy?

Schaefer, Richard and Janowitz, Meta Fayden (2005)
“The Castello Plan-Evidence of Horticulture in New Netherland or Cartographer’s Whimsy?,”
Northeast Historical Archaeology: Vol. 34 34, Article 3.
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpts:

In his Journal, which covered the years 1679-1680, Danckaerts described the lands through which they traveled and the people they encountered.He was most impressed by the abundance of fruit, especially the apples and peaches in New York City gardens (Danckaerts 1913: 44 and passim). He noted that in one year (1679) the peaches were so numerous that they could not all be harvested; free-roaming pigs feasted on those that dropped to the ground.

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June 16, 2018   No Comments

Virginia State University’s Summerseat Urban Garden Project and Urban Agriculture Certification

Click image to see larger file. Preliminary plans for Summerseat Urban Garden Project near Virginia State University’s campus call for a possible incubator kitchen, which would teach the public how to grow food, prepare and preserve it.

The Summerseat Urban Garden Project will transform a 2.2-acre historic land parcel into a food and agricultural hub designed to address food security issues within local schools and communities, enhance nutrition and food education, and bring people together.

News Provided By
Sabra Dipping Company, LLC
Jun 07, 2018

Excerpt:

“The most meaningful way to create change is through hands-on, community driven collaboration. Through Plants with a Purpose, we aim to bolster the efforts of local partners who are literally planting seeds for the future. The Summerseat community garden will bring together neighbors of all ages to create fresh connections and draw sustenance from the ground.”

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June 16, 2018   No Comments

Belgian start-up plans 150 urban roof top farms

Belgian start-up Peas&Love has secured 1.2 million euro in investments to develop 150 urban farming projects… on rooftops. Currently the company has developed two urban roof top farms in Brussels and two in Paris.

By Karin Bosteels
Published in Food
07/06/2018

Excerpt:

Three years into its existence, Peas&Love accounts for 600 allotments, divided over the rooftops of shopping centre Cameleon in Brussels, the World Trade Center in Brussels, a hotel in Paris and the headquarters of BNP Paribas Fortis, also in the French capital. Locals can rent a 3 sqm parcel for 38 euros per month, in which a professional gardener takes care of up to 70 kinds of fruit, vegetables or herbs according to the principles of permaculture: the only thing you have to do yourself, is the harvest. “It’s cheaper than buying your fruit and vegetables in the supermarket”, says founder Jean-Patrick Scheepers.

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June 15, 2018   No Comments

How an urban farms project in Dallas and a fellowship garden in Connecticut are helping their communities

From providing fresh food for the community to regenerating unused spaces, urban food-growing projects have flourished in the US.

By Rachel Obordo and Guardian readers
Guardian
June 7, 2018

Excerpt:

In Orange, Connecticut, the food production company Watson’s fellowship garden has been running for four years. The company grows produce for food banks and had extra space available, so it decided to expand and has opened its garden to a centre helping children with autism spectrum issues.

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June 15, 2018   No Comments

Brooklyn Urban Farming Program Cultivates Opportunity in the Projects

Paul Philpott preps kale to be packaged and distributed. Photo: Kellyann Petry For The Wall Street Journal.

After graduating from an Urban Farm Corps program, Paul Philpott is running his own hydroponic farm business out of a shipping container in a Brooklyn parking lot

By Anne Kadet
Wall Street Journal
June 12, 2018

At age 24, Paul Philpott wasn’t exactly riding high. He’d just quit a job at Walmart and moved back in with his parents in the projects. So while he had no clue what to expect, he was happy to check out a job-training program suggested by his mother.

“You’re going to farm in the hood?” he recalls thinking after meeting a recruiter. “I don’t think that’s going to work!”

Eighteen months after graduating from the program, Mr. Philpott is running his own hydroponic farm business out of a shipping container in a Brooklyn parking lot.

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June 14, 2018   No Comments

Couple jump from their small urban patch to the big time in Salt Lake City

Elliot Musgrove harvests spinach at Top Crops urban farm in Salt Lake City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Einerson said Utah’s farming community remains relatively small and “everybody knows everybody

By Kathy Stephenson
Salt Lake City Tribune
June 7, 2018

Excerpt:

Most Utah farmers have been in the business for decades, growing food on large tracts — just as their parents and grandparents did — in rural areas of the Beehive State.

But Amanda Theobald and Elliot Musgrove, owners of Top Crops, aren’t part of that traditional farming mold. These 30-year-old farmers operate in the heart of Salt Lake City on a quarter acre — a portion of which is borrowed from the neighbor.

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June 14, 2018   No Comments

Atop the mid-Atlantic’s largest rooftop farm – 17,000 square feet

North Bethesda, Maryland. (Must see video. Mike)

Quarter Acre Rooftop Farm

Washington (ABC7)
June, 2018

Excerpt:

The 17,000-square-foot rooftop garden at Pike & Rose is Up Top Acres’ biggest project to date.

“Our mission aligned with that of Federal Realty for the garden at Pike & Rose,” Grina said. “We are opening it officially this spring to provide produce for the local community – for the residents, wholesale clients, restaurants in the Pike & Rose development, and to the greater North Bethesda community.”

Up Top Acres’ farm will ensure that Pike & Rose’s city slickers will benefit from a full spectrum of farm fresh vegetables.

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June 13, 2018   No Comments

‘Grow’ – A children’s book

Illustrator Olivia Holden was born and raised in a small English village.

By Cynthia Platt (Author), Olivia Holden (Illustrator)
Amicus Ink
March 13, 2018

Can one little girl transform a neighborhood? With a seed of an idea and helping hands from neighbors, a girl’s dream to clean up an abandoned city lot grows into something much larger. Cynthia Platt’s light prose is brought to life by artist Olivia Holden’s beautiful pastels in this inspiring story of hope and community.

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June 13, 2018   No Comments

How one urban farm in Philadelphia was lost: La Finquita’s finale

“La Finquita,” or little farm in the 1980’s. Photo: Jessica Noon.

“Nothing will replace this space in terms of the community or farming value,” said Noon. When the farewell party was over, “I felt like someone I was in love with was like, ‘I’m never going to see you again.’ ”

By Jen Kinney
Plan Philly
June 5, 2018

Excerpt:

It started with a lock and a “No Trespassing” sign. They appeared one day on the fence at Lawrence and Master streets, next to a hand-painted sign reading, “La Finquita,” or little farm.

That winter, in 2016, the group of neighbors who had been tending this North Philadelphia garden for years cut the lock and kept on planting. New locks appeared. It was the start of a legal battle for possession of the property that concluded last month with a settlement.

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June 12, 2018   No Comments

A Seed is the Start

Meet seeds that pop, hop, creep, and explode in this vividly illustrated introduction to the simplest concepts of botany.

By Melissa Stewart
Penguin Random House
Feb 13, 2018

The story, which is perfect for elementary school Common Core learning, carefully highlights the many ways that seeds get from here to there, engaging children’s curiosity with strong action verbs. Stunning photographs with fact-packed captions provide supporting details, explaining the role of seed features and functions in creating new generations of plants. Complete with an illustrated glossary and back matter featuring more resources, this book inspires wonder as it encourages budding botanists of all ages to look with new eyes at plants and their seeds.

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June 12, 2018   No Comments

Turn This Book Into a Beehive!

And 19 Other Experiments and Activities That Explore the Amazing World of Bees

By Lynn Brunelle
Workman
April 03, 2018

What a promise! Actually, promises. First, here’s a book that teaches kids all about the fascinating world of bees. Second, fun exercises, activities, and illustrations engage the imagination and offer a deeper understanding of bee life and bee behavior. Third, by following a few simple steps including removing the book’s cover and taping it together, readers can transform the book into an actual living home for backyard bees.

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June 11, 2018   No Comments