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Posts from — August 2008

Chicago’s City Farm Grows Jobs, Knowledge and Tomatoes

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Photo by Mary Brophy

By Mary Brophy
Chitown Daily News
August 27, 2008

City Farm in Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood supports 98 types of organic vegetables and herbs, and the largest crop of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes in Chicago.

“We’re going to have 25 varieties of heirloom tomatoes coming up and 30 varieties of hot peppers, and eggplant and potatoes,” says Tim Wilson, 25, City Farm’s director of urban agriculture, and a farmer himself. This year, the farmers expect to harvest between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds of tomatoes, many of them destined for sale to the café at Fox and Obel, Frontera Grill, Vie, Lula Café, North Pond and other restaurants. City Farm yielded $60,000 in produce sales last year.

Read the complete article here.

August 31, 2008   Comments Off

1976 – Lord Wallace of Coslany Rose to Call Attention to the Need for Encouraging Home Production

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Photo of House of Lords Chamber in London.The Lords acts as a revising chamber for legislation and its work complements the business of the Commons.

Allotments and Food Production
Lords Sitting 17 March 1976
14,681 words

Lord WALLACE of COSLANY rose to call attention to the need for encouraging home production of vegetables and fruit by greater provision of allotment plots and similar facilities including the restoration of waste land.

I want to make taste buds water in this House. Just imagine, having worked on a summer evening on the allotment plot or in your hack garden, you are tired out, and you cut yourself a beautiful fresh lettuce, pull a handful of spring onions; you have some nice crusty bread and cheese and, perhaps, a pint of cider. My Lords, it beats all the caviar you can buy at expensive prices, and I think I have made a few mouths water. I believe that a social change is taking place. I believe firmly there is in being a movement to return to simple values, such as the quiet cultivation of a piece of land.

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August 30, 2008   2 Comments

Assessing The Potential Of Urban Agriculture In Entebbe Municipality (Uganda)

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Map: Entebbe, Uganda.

By Kayita Dan Davis Lule
Third Year Paper, BSc. Agricultural Land Use and Management
Makerere University (11,000 words)

5.1 Conclusions

Women are more actively involved in urban farming activities more so in food production oriented activities than their male counterparts. Women endeavored to supplement on the market purchased food stuffs, where as their male counterparts did show more involvement in market oriented production activities i.e. rearing activities (mainly in instances of poultry and zero-grazing units).

Urban agriculture significantly contributes to additional income generation activities of many town dwellers either directly or indirectly. For example those involved do, save on food costs, others from sales made more so of animals and their related products such as poultry, eggs, milk from zero-grazing units etc, food stuffs like greens, yams, potatoes and many others; fruits like jack fruit, mangoes and oranges.

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August 29, 2008   Comments Off

Pakistan – Defeating Food Price Inflation: A Kitchen Garden in Every Home

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Photograph courtesy of OPP-RTI. As food prices rise in Pakistan, some are turning to home gardens to put food on the table.

by Zubeida Mustafa
August 13, 2008

Many enterprising women have risen to meet the challenge by encouraging the poor to acquire self-sufficiency in food by growing their own vegetables in their backyards. Parveen Rahman, director of Orangi Pilot Project’s Research and Training Institute, comments on her organization’s aborted attempt to launch a program encouraging a kitchen garden in every home in the low-income Orangi Township. “This was many years ago and we could not get the women to take an interest in horticulture. So we cultivated OPP’s own little plot of land and grew vegetables there which the staff would purchase.” But now Parveen is hopeful that there will be more interest when she revives the kitchen garden program.

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August 29, 2008   3 Comments

National Geographic News – Video – Urban Farming Blooms in London

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2008 National Geographic Video
August 14, 2008

With food prices and interest in organic produce growing, some Londoners are growing their own—as their grandparents did in World War II.

See video here.

Food Up Front website here.

August 29, 2008   Comments Off

Breakfast TV Learns about Natural Lawn Care

Tasha talks to Mike about natural lawn care at City Farmer. A push mower makes no noise, uses no gasoline and does not pollute the atmosphere. See what else you can do to become a green ‘Lawnranger’.

Visitors learn about alternatives to lawns at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. How about a waterwise native plant garden or replacing your lawn with a variety of classy ground covers?

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August 29, 2008   Comments Off

1942 ‘Homemade’ Victory Garden Poster

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We’ve seen many government commissioned Victory Garden posters created by fine artists, but here’s an image of a young person’s creation in a photo from 1942.

May 1942. Emily Schwak, Queen of the May at the Beecher Street School in Southington, Connecticut, where the children put on a patriotic display.

See full size photo, 4×5 Kodachrome transparency, by Fenno Jacobs here.

August 29, 2008   Comments Off

Spring Planting 1943 – Railroad Workers’ Victory Garden

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April 1943. Chicago, Illinois. “Chicago & North Western RR railroad workers cultivating a little Victory garden at the Proviso Yard.”

See this photo in full size: 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.

August 29, 2008   Comments Off

National Geographic’s September Issue – Where Food Begins: Our Good Earth

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Photo by Jim Richardson, National Geographic.

By Charles C. Mann
September 2008
National Geographic

By 2030, when today’s toddlers have toddlers of their own, 8.3 billion people will walk the Earth; to feed them, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates, farmers will have to grow almost 30 percent more grain than they do now.

“With eight billion people, we’re going to have to start getting interested in soil,” he said. “We’re simply not going to be able to keep treating it like dirt.”

See the complete article and photos here.

August 28, 2008   Comments Off

Just Right for the Garden: a Mini-cow

DexterCow.jpgPhoto: The Foley family, of Howe, Indiana from Mother Earth News.

Just Right for the Garden: a Mini-cow
By Chris Gourlay from The Sunday Times
August 17, 2008

For between £200 and £2,000, people can buy a cow that stands no taller than a large German shepherd dog, gives 16 pints of milk a day that can be drunk unpasteurised, keeps the grass “mown” and will be a family pet for years before ending up in the freezer.

“With high food prices, they are actually quite an attractive option if you like producing your own food,” said Sue Farrant.

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August 27, 2008   Comments Off

City Farmer Composts on Breakfast TV

Breakfast TV Comes to the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

Sharon talks with Tasha about how we make compost at the garden. City Farmer staff answer composting questions on the Compost Hotline six days a week all year long – that’s around 5000 calls.

Staff speak to the media every week about other subjects as well, such as green roofs, shiitake mushrooms, composting toilets, local food, natural lawn care, pest control without pesticides and so on – everything to do with being environmentally friendly at home in the city.

[Read more →]

August 27, 2008   Comments Off

Jules Dervaes and Family Produce 6000 pounds of Food on a City Lot

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Edible Flowers from the Dervaes Garden in Pasadena, California.

“At this little urban homestead in the big city, the family produces 6,000 pounds of organic produce a year. It’s amazing that their home is on a 1/5 acre and their garden is only on 1/10 acre! The front yard is 95% edible and the rest of the main planters are in the backyard. Every corner is used to grow food. Jules says he doesn’t need more space; he just needs to be a smarter gardener. He looks to the Japanese and Europeans for guidance, those who for thousands of years have had to grow food in a small space. In his garden, or “micro-farm” as he prefers, you’ll find more than 350 different vegetables, herbs, fruits, and berries.”

Watch the video showing their home garden farm here.

August 27, 2008   Comments Off

Projecto Jardin – Girls Today Women Tomorrow – Los Angeles

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“Every weekend 30 young women who are first generation Mexican and Latin-American show up to tend to the garden’s plants. As they help with Projecto Jardin, the girls are caring for their local community, growing good food for their bodies to foster healthier eating habits, and reconnecting with their ancestry. Many of their grandparents, for example, can recall growing medicinal plants to use as herbal remedies. “We have some seeds coming from Mexico and we’re gonna be having all spectrums of fiber nutrients and things like that that are good for our bodies and for the planet,” notes member Celena De Leon.”

See video and story link here.

Girls Today Women Tomorrow website.

Proyecto Jardin Website.

August 24, 2008   Comments Off

Shiitake Mushrooms Emerge at City Farmer’s Garden

Maria’s ‘babies’ have finally arrived in large numbers. Carefully watched and nurtured since April, 2007, these Shiitake mushrooms are ready for harvest. They have grown on oak logs that were culled from Stanley Park after a devastating storm and delivered to us by the Vancouver Park Board. Hard to believe that anyone, that’s us, can grow such wonderful fungi in a city garden.

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August 23, 2008   2 Comments

Mumbai Port Trust’s ‘Wild’ Kitchen Garden – India

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By Anand Pendharkar
August 14, 2008
Visits a 3000 sq ft terrace kitchen garden in Ghadiyal Godi (Victoria Dock) of the Mumbai Port Trust, India

I walked out on the terrace of the catering department and entered through a canopy of climbers into a heaven of chikoos, guavas, bananas, coconuts, lemons, mint, bhindis and a 120 other varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers standing in drums and plastic baskets right on the roof of the building. I saw that the plants had not only food value but also immense medicinal and ornamental values.

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August 22, 2008   4 Comments