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Posts from — November 2008

1937 – Children Boxing in an Allotment Garden


2nd July 1937: Children in the allotments of the London Children’s Gardens Fund at Clerkenwell take a break from gardening with their weekly bout of boxing. Larger image here.

November 30, 2008   Comments Off

Saltspring Island man arms Canadians with the tools needed to grow their own food in backyard gardens

Photo of Dan Jason by John Cameron

Sowing seeds for a greener world

By Julie Beun-Chown,
Canwest News Service, November 29, 2008

For Jason, the solution is simple: learn to garden. As an experiment this year, he took 12 of his best and most reliable crops, which included wheat, barley, tomatoes and garbanzo beans, put them into a Zero Mile Diet Seed Kit and sold it for $ 36. It was wildly successful. For those seriously concerned about food shortages, he suggests a mix of grains and vegetables, including quinoa, amaranth, wheat and barley.

“ Until now, people thought seeds were part of the common ownership forever and ever,” he says. “ People in other parts of the world already collect their seeds. In general, we’ll be thrown onto ourselves much more in future to provide our food. We might as well start now.”

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November 29, 2008   Comments Off

Urban farming school takes root

Photo By Steve Bosch. Kent Mullinix is a sustainable agriculture specialist at Kwantlen College Institute for Sustainable Horticulture.

Instruction would be based on intensive farming on small plots.

By Larry Pynn
The Vancouver Sun – 29 Nov 2008

A school of urban farming — a North American first — is finding fertile soil in Richmond BC Canada.

Richmond’s parks, recreation, and cultural services committee has unanimously endorsed the concept of an urban farm school and directed staff to investigate city land for such a project, either at Terra Nova park at the west end of Westminster Highway, or the south end of Gilbert Road.

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November 29, 2008   Comments Off

Urban growers go high-tech to feed city dwellers

Terry Fujimoto, plant sciences professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, checks his students’ hydroponics agriculture projects inside a greenhouse on the campus in Pomona, Calif. on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008. Fujimoto’s program is at the forefront of an effort to use hydroponics _ a method of growing plants in water instead of soil _ to bring farming into the urban areas where consumers are concentrated. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Associated Press Writer
Nov 21, 2008

Terry Fujimoto sees the future of agriculture in the exposed roots of the leafy greens he and his students grow in thin streams of water at a campus greenhouse.

The program run by the California State Polytechnic University agriculture professor is part of a growing effort to use hydroponics _ a method of cultivating plants in water instead of soil _ to bring farming into cities, where consumers are concentrated.

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November 27, 2008   2 Comments

A Compost Heap – Plant Canteen – 1944 cartoon

Watch Plant Canteen – A Compost Heap – 1944 cartoon

1944 Cartoon – Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries “Dig For Victory Leaflet No 7

Commentary – “Thanks Mr Middleton. Mr Middleton – Good Afternoon, we all expect vegetables to feed us but we’ve got to see that we feed them properly too. Suppose we get down to the root of the matter. Plants need food just as much as we do, and it must be in a form they can assimilated. This is where humas comes in. Humas is composed mainly of decayed vegetable matter.

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November 27, 2008   Comments Off

Vancouver vegetable growers band together – club encourages growing your own food

Photo Bill Keay, Vancouver Sun. Meeru sitting in centre with fellow club members.

By Meeru Dhalwala
The Vancouver Sun, 26 Nov 2008

I certainly didn’t have an idyllic childhood, but I did gain some idyllic principles from my mom and dad. It used to drive me crazy when either one would yell at me for getting even a “ B” on a test or for not finishing my lunch, even if the bread was stale.

“ In India . . .” was how they always started the guilt trip. As I became older, I yelled back that they were the ones who had brought me to the U. S. and that I wasn’t going to feel guilty about all the poor people in India.

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November 26, 2008   Comments Off

Philippine Allotment Garden Manual with an introduction to Ecological Sanitation


By Robert J. Holmer, Clarito A. Santos Jr., Glenda Y. Sol,
Stephen O. Lee, Elmer G. Elorde Jr., Arnel A. Aquino,
Yvette B. Guanzon, Donah Marie D. Achas,
Janice A. Caseria, Horacio S. Factura III, Analiza U. Miso,
Rafael A. Oclarit & Angelito A. Montes

Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP)
Xavier University College of Agriculture
Philippines, 103 pages

Foreword By Robert J. Holmer
Cagayan de Oro, February 2008

This Philippine Allotment Garden Manual is a product of research and extension activities of the Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP) of Xavier University College of Agriculture in cooperation with the city government of Cagayan de Oro, barangay administrations, local communities as well as universities and local government units from Germany and Belgium.

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November 25, 2008   3 Comments

Dimensions of Urban Agriculture – Ryerson University course

Dimensions of Urban Agriculture – Ryerson University course from Michael Levenston on Vimeo. Click on the Vimeo link to watch a High Definition (HD) version of this video.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

Instructor Wendy Mendes, Ph.D. describes the urban agriculture course she taught this Fall.
Available through Distance Education.

This course describes the dimensions (functions, roles, benefits, potential risks) of urban agriculture and how these complement, supplement, compete with, substitute for, or undermine those provided by other land uses, sectoral activities and actors. The main dimensions covered are: health and food security, socio-cultural dimensions, economic dimensions, and environmental dimensions.

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November 24, 2008   Comments Off

2008 Prince of Wales (Charles) and Camilla Visit Dig For Victory Allotment

Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are presented with vegetables from the allotment as they visit the ‘Dig for Victory’ organic allotment in St James’ Park on July 17, 2008 in London, England. The Duchess of Cornwall was celebrating her 61st Birthday.

Mail-Online 8th July 2008

Going to an allotment might not be high on everyone’s birthday wish list. Indeed while most women get flowers or chocolates on their special day – or perhaps a pretty pink bag from some snazzy designer store – for the Duchess it was a cabbage.

Not any old cabbage, mind you. For a member of the Royal Family only a giant green Durham Early would do. But there was no getting away from the fact that the present in her hands was still an oversized garden vegetable.

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November 23, 2008   Comments Off

1933 – Prince of Wales (Edward) and the Unemployed Allotment Scheme

Watch 1933 – Prince of Wales (Edward) undertakes a little spadework at an allotment garden

Newsreel: H.R.H. (His Royal Highness) the Prince of Wales sees Abbey Wood small-holdings, where 350 unemployed are hard at productive work.

Shot of car coming. Prince alights from same. Shakes hands with the mayor. Spectators around same. Introduced to various people. Close shot of him talking and shaking hands with woman. Walks along road with others. Inspects allotments. Close shot of him digging with spectators around him.

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November 23, 2008   Comments Off

We harvested Jerusalem artichokes today.

We Harvest Jerusalem Artichokes from Michael Levenston on Vimeo. Click on the Vimeo link to watch a High Definition (HD) version of this video.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

Maria planted lots of Jerusalem artichokes last April and now we are harvesting buckets of these tasty tubers.

Jerusalem artichokes or Sunchokes are a perennial sunflower with tasty potato-like tubers. 6-8 ft tall with daisy-like flowers, sunchokes are very hardy and can become weedy, so plant them in a bed that is permanent. Harvest from August through late Fall. Nutty tasting tubers become sweeter after frost when left in the ground!

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November 21, 2008   Comments Off

Urban Vineyards: Multiplying with multiple benefits

Photo by Photoriel. Vineyards in Switzerland. La ville de Vevey, vue depuis Chardonne, Lavaux, Vaud, Lac Léman (Geneva Lake). Larger image here.

The Wine-Town Nexus of Urban Agriculture: in the Baltimore-Washington DC Metropolitan Area

Jac Smit, AICP
November 21, 2008

Production of wine within the modern city is increasing from Vienna, Austria to Vienna, Virginia.  This form of urban agriculture includes tourism, recreation, gourmet meals and picnics as well as diverse wines.

In 2007, Virginia was declared one of the Top Five new wine travel destinations in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine, the only one in the USA. In urban northern Virginia [Washington DC commuter zone], Loudoun County from 1986 to 2005 was either first or second in population growth amongst all American counties, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

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November 21, 2008   Comments Off

Burma-Shave Ad Promotes Victory Gardens – 1944

Pacific Drug Review Magazine, 1944

Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems on small, consecutive highway billboard signs.

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November 21, 2008   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture Film – Dakar, Hanoi, Dar es Salaam and Quito

Urban Agriculture clip 1.

This film, produced by the RUAF, is a very good, brief introduction to urban agriculture. Cities visited include: Dakar, Senegal; Hanoi, Vietnam; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Quito Ecuador.

Part 2 of the video is on the following page.

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November 20, 2008   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture in Naga City, Philippines – Cultivating Sustainable Livelihoods


Planning Report for Naga City Council June 2007
Kathryn Hill, Department of Geography, UBC
Dee Dee Quinnelly, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC
Kaitlin Kazmierowski, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC

Naga is a mid-size city of 150,000 residents in Bicol region, central Philippines. It is internationally and nationally renowned as among the ‘best practices’ in good local governance in the Philippines and in the developing world.

Naga City currently sits in an interesting position with regards to local UA (urban agriculture) practices. Despite being enclosed by rich agricultural lands, encroaching development and social stigmatization of farmers pose serious threats to the future of local agriculture in the city.

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November 20, 2008   2 Comments