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Hong Kong’s quest for the Tesla of food

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Some hydroponic systems are small enough to be set up on a balcony or rooftop. Photo: City Hydroponics

He says there are about 50 rooftop farms in the city, totalling 1.5 hectares of land. He estimates that 595 hectares of rooftop space could be converted to farms – that’s just under half the size of Hong Kong International Airport.

By Marianne Bray
South China Morning Post
Sept 14, 2017

Excerpt:

If everyone consumed the way Hongkongers do, the WWF estimates, we would need 3.9 earths. According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, 84 per cent of farmland in Hong Kong lies uncultivated, and a panel of restaurant managers at the summit said sourcing high-quality local food was a big challenge.

It is a far cry from 60 years ago when the city had a 60 per cent self-sufficiency rate, says Dr Daisy Tam Dic-sze, associate professor at Baptist University (HKBU).

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September 23, 2017   No Comments

Dayton, Ohio Urban Farm founder angered by city’s Garden Station eviction

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Lisa Helm, the founder of Dayton Urban Grown Farm, stands among the plantings at the co-op and training farm. Helm also founded Garden Station, which was evicted from a city-owned property last year. Cornelius Frolik / Staff

“We should write an obituary for the garden, because it’s dead and it did not die of natural causes,” Helm said.

By Cornelius Frolik
Dayton Daily News
Sept. 17, 2017

Excerpt:

The land at Wayne Avenue and Fourth Street, which belonged to the city, was transferred to Kentucky developer Weyland Ventures, which has converted an industrial building across the street into hip, new urban lofts.

The developer has proposed creating an urban entertainment and housing district called Oregon East, featuring a blend of uses.

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September 23, 2017   No Comments

South Africa: Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business in Port Elizabeth

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About 15 Motherwell residents have formed a co-operative to farm pigs. (Photo: Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

“We formed this cooperative in 2016 after discovering that urban residents, especially those living in townships, were struggling to get pork.

By Joseph Chirume
News 24
Sept 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Mzimkhulu Ngece, 51, reiterates Nolutshungu’s point: “We need a better place to secure our pigs and equipment. We have many piglets that do not have a safe place to stay. They end up roaming the streets. Some are knocked down by cars. We also want to secure the structures to protect them from criminals. This would help us live peacefully with some residents who don’t want pigs near their houses.”

He says they are fortunate to have a communal water tap close to their pig shelters. “We use containers to fetch water and supply the pigs. However, the metro is experiencing a dry period with little water left in our dams. We would prefer to have a huge water tank to harness rain water as a way of saving municipal water.”

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September 22, 2017   No Comments

For These Urban Farmers, the Harvest Is About More Than Healthy Eating

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(Photo by Piper Carter)

Summer is usually the most exciting season for a gardener, but for many of Detroit’s black farmers, the harvest is also about survival.

By Damon Mitchell
Next City
September 12, 2017

Excerpt:

“Farming is a lost art, a skill in black culture that disappeared after the Great Migration,” says Sun. “Now it’s time for us to get those farming skills back. Pass them down to our sons.”

Sun has spent time in both the juvenile and adult prison system, which ultimately ended up connecting him back to the gardening roots he formed as a child.

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September 22, 2017   No Comments

Innovative Classrooms Across Canada Are Feeding Young People’s Hunger For Agricultural Knowledge

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On the first day of school last week, Lacombe Composite High School students toured their greenhouse and edible gardens, harvesting gooseberries, cherries and grapes for a canning project.

They’ve since started a commercial aquaponics system, raising up to 1,000 tilapia at a time, some of which are served at the school cafeteria.

By Julie Van Rosendaal
Globe And Mail
Sept 12, 2017

Excerpt:

On the first day of school last week, students in Steven Schultz’s high-school agriculture class in Lacombe, Alta., toured their greenhouse and edible gardens, harvesting gooseberries, cherries and grapes for a canning project. After school, the beekeeping club conducted a postsummer hive inspection, harvesting 60 kilograms of honey from just one of its three hives.

These tasks are part of Lacombe Composite High School’s EcoVision Club, designed 13 years ago to inspire young leaders to make an environmental difference. Science teacher Schultz has been with the project since the beginning, when a student approached him after class.

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September 21, 2017   No Comments

Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

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Between September 2008 and September 2011, the USAID Urban Gardens Program reached 34,200 households and over 118,000 direct and indirect orphan and vulnerable children beneficiaries through micro, household, school and community gardens in Ethiopia

By Nicholas Parkinson
Good Food World
October 19th, 2012

Excerpt:

One year later, the group of 55 members—all living with HIV—partnered with USAID Urban Gardens Program for Women and Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (USAID UGP) and began breaking land on a garden near the banks of the Nile River. Meaza had never before been a farmer or a gardener but she vividly remembered watching her father plow a small tract of land in the Ethiopian countryside.

By mid-2010, Maeza took up her new vocation as an urban farmer, and her outlook changed dramatically. In May, the group—known as Kalehiwot—planted corn. The rains came, the crop grew, and bushels of corn were sold on the market.

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September 21, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Garden theft has some green thumbs seeing red at Saskatoon Community Garden

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If a person is need of food, most gardeners are ready to share, but a recent streak of thefts in two of Saskatoon’s community gardens have left a bad taste in the mouth of some.

By Morgan Modjeski
Saskatoon Starphoenix
Sept 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“I went down there and I called out: ‘If that’s not your garden plot, get out or I’m going to call the police,’” she said, noting the man replied he was entitled to the produce because it’s a community garden. “And I said: ‘That doesn’t mean you just come and help yourself. You have to plant the garden, you have to water it and you have to work at it.”

Scrivener said she thought the issue would end after the confrontation, but she said it was actually the beginning as the thefts continued throughout the season, “night after night.”

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September 20, 2017   No Comments

Global data collection and the future of indoor urban farming

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Credit: MIT Media Lab, Open Agriculture Initiative

The more Food Computers we all build, the more data we all have to play with, and the more we can radically alter the future of food!

By Francis Lam
The Splendid Table
Sept 8, 2017

Excerpt:

The urban farming movement takes many forms, both indoors and outdoors: school gardens, community vegetable patches, fish farms in tanks. Scientist Caleb Harper believes that indoor urban farming specifically can create the best tasting, most nutritious, and least energy intensive crops anywhere in the world. Harper is director of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. He and a global collection of “nerd farmers” are working on a Food Computer, which closely detects – and allows you to adjust – the growing conditions of any plant in the room.

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September 20, 2017   No Comments

Forest Shomer – Seedman Since 1972

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In 1982, Forest Shomer Came to Vancouver and Spoke at City Farmer’s ‘Urban Agriculture Lecture Series’

Interview by Greg Peterson
Nov, 2016

Forest started urban farming in 1969 in Berkeley, California. Through the People’s Park Movement, he was launched into gardening and got the basic training and motivation for becoming a seedman.

He has been a full time, independent, professions seed provider since 1972 and has owned, led, or helped launch at least four seed companies, and founded the nonprofit Abundant Life Seed Foundation which produced and distributed up to 600 types of open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds.

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September 19, 2017   No Comments

UK: The final spud has been plucked out of the ground of Preston North End’s famous garden allotment.

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Leo Gornall at the PNE Allotment.

Now aged 80-years-old and after two hip operations, Gornall has decided, with a somewhat heavy heart, to give up the allotment and he is due to hand back the keys to the committee today.

Lancanshire Post
Sept 9, 2017

Excerpt:

The little plot of land on the corner of Blackpool Road andGarstang Road hit the headlines many years ago when it was revealed that many of the club’s former greats were green fingered enthusiasts.

Striker Tommy Thompson along with wingers LesDagger and Leo Gornall used to frequently hit the onion bag during their playing days.

But after hanging up their boots, they switched their attentions to cultivating potatoes and cauliflowers.

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September 19, 2017   No Comments

Up Top Acres – How One Rooftop Farm Could Make Your City Better

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Up Top Acres operates a network of rooftop farms across the DC metro area. Traditional farms measure the distance their produce travels in miles driven – we measure ours in flights of stairs.

Presented By BuzzFeed & Hyundai
Published on Jun 12, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Founded in 2014, Up Top Acres was started by Kristof, Kathleen and Jeff, 3 DC natives who met while attending DC Public Schools. After graduating college, the team returned to DC with the goal to make the city they grew up in a better place for their friends and family who call DC home.

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September 18, 2017   No Comments

India: Students create organic vegetable garden in school

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Students and teachers of Marudhamalai Devasthanam Higher Secondary School, Vadavalli, at their organic vegetable garden on school premises. Click image to see larger file.

Sharing their experience, the students said that the farming taught them the hardships of farmers and motivated them to contribute their part to society.

By S. Pavith Valsel
The Hindu
Sept 7, 2017

Excerpt:

Started in June, the students cultivate spinach, tomato, ladies finger, pumpkin, bottle guard, coriander and lettuce among others in the organic vegetable garden. They do mixed cropping and crop rotation to retain the fertility of the soil.

Produces of the vegetable garden are used to provide lunch for the students. There has been days when students were able to take home their produces too.

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September 18, 2017   No Comments

City of Toronto Celebrates Its First Official ‘Urban Agriculture Day’

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“Wheres urban agriculture helps to achieve City of Toronto priorities such as promoting strong neighbourhoods, mitigating climate change and increasing access to healthy, local produce.

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September 17, 2017   No Comments

Glorious Urban Farming Photographs by Valery Rizzo

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Click image to see larger file.

Her work appears in Print and Web across the globe.

(Must see. Mike)

Bio:

Valery Rizzo is a Portrait, Food and Lifestyle photographer, interested in Urban Lifestyle and Agriculture. Her work appears in Print and Web across the globe. Client list includes, Magazines, Books, Restaurants, Advertising and Marketing agencies. In addition to her commercial work Valery is also working on a number of personal contemporary photography projects, one of which is a series for a book project focused on the rapidly changing borough of Brooklyn where she was born and raised. She lives in Park Slope and can often be found photographing urban farms, local producers, restaurants and the streets of Brooklyn.

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September 17, 2017   No Comments

Erie City Council signed off on new zoning rules expand possibilities for urban agriculture within city limits

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Carrie Sachse.

“We have had significant interest, I would say 10 to 15 people … inquiring about purchasing lots from us.”

By Kevin Flowers
GO Erie
Sept 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Carrie Sachse is investing big-time in her favorite hobby — and trying to help the city of Erie grow in the process.

The 34-year-old Erie County Court employee and part-time Gannon University student recently signed a sales agreement with the Erie Redevelopment Authority for four vacant lots as part of a plan to launch her own produce-growing business on the parcels, now that Erie City Council has signed off on new zoning rules that expand possibilities for urban agriculture within city limits.

[Read more →]

September 17, 2017   No Comments