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Posts from — January 2009

Jane Gorsuch, now 83, was 16 in this 1942 Victory Garden movie

We’ve featured this film before, both on our old site and on this web site back in April 2008. Today we feature it once again because of an amazing letter we received today from the young girl who acted in this movie almost 70 years ago! Family members spotted our posting of the video last year and surprised their grandmother with a copy of it at Christmas this year. Here is Jane’s letter, which continues on the next page.

Email from Jane Dudderar Gorsuch.

Hello, Mr, Michael Levenston. I am writing to thank you for the time and effort it took for you to post the Victory Garden movie. My name is Jane Dudderar Gorsuch and I am the girl in that movie. I had never seen the movie before, – only still pictures, so this was quite a treat. I was 16 years old then and am 83 now. The movie brought back a lot of the details that were lost over the years. My family gave it to me for Christmas, and we all (22) huddled around to see their old grandmother being a “movie star”!!!!

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January 27, 2009   Comments Off on Jane Gorsuch, now 83, was 16 in this 1942 Victory Garden movie

Three Documentaries on Urban Community Gardens in Buenos Aires, Berlin and South Africa

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3 DVDs, Spanish/English, each film lasts 35-45 min.
By Ella von der Haide

In a series of documentaries, Ella von der Haide features urban Community Gardens in Cities in South Africa, Argentina and Germany.

Urban community gardening is a phenomenon that is spreading throughout the world. More and more people are coming together, in order to shape their surroundings and to produce organic food. In addition to gardening itself, there is a great number of social, pedagogical, and political reasons for establishing community gardens, which depend upon the natural and social context of the garden itself, and the imagination and ends of the group.

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January 23, 2009   Comments Off on Three Documentaries on Urban Community Gardens in Buenos Aires, Berlin and South Africa

The Case for Agricultural Urbanism and Municipal Supported Agriculture

Agricultural Urbanism and Municipal Supported Agriculture: A New Food System Path for Sustainable Cities

By Kent Mullinix, Deborah Henderson, Mark Holland,
Janine de la Salle, Edward Porter and Patricia Fleming
White Paper Submitted for the Surrey Regional Econommic Summit 8/30/2008 (12 pages)

Agricultural Urbanism espouses the full integration of agriculture and the food system within the planning, design, development and function of our communities. It is an agri-food system intended to connect urbanites, in real and meaningful ways, to their environment and a human enterprise undeniably crucial to their well- being. It is also a way of reducing vulnerability and dependence on an ecologically unsound and increasingly vulnerable global agri-food system.

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January 22, 2009   1 Comment

Urban agriculture in Mwanza, Tanzania

Book cover image: Food, Culture, and Survival in an African City by Karen Coen Flynn, 2005

Urban agriculture in Mwanza, Tanzania
Published in Africa,  Fall, 2001  by Karen Coen Flynn

Karen Flynn is on the faculty of the Department of Classical Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Akron, Ohio. She received her doctorate in anthropology from Harvard in 1997 for a thesis on ‘Food Provisioning in Urban Mwanza’.


Many people living in Mwanza, Tanzania, provision themselves through urban agriculture – the planting of crops and raising of animals in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as in the countryside. This article compares Mwanza’s urban farmers with those in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ghana. Like Zimbabwe’s urban agriculturalists, more and more of Mwanza’s are not among the poorest of the poor. Much like Ghana’s urban farmers, those in Mwanza are often middle and upper-class males with access to scarce land and inputs. Urban cultivators in Mwanza differ from those in Kenya and Zambia with regard to gender, socio-economic class and the factors motivating their farming activities.

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January 20, 2009   Comments Off on Urban agriculture in Mwanza, Tanzania

The Independent (UK) says – Grow your own: The seeds of change

Alan Titchmarsh helped to popularise landscaping, which has given way to ‘edible gardening’, favoured by a younger generation. Photo from The Independent.

As shoppers feel the pinch, more Britons are tearing out the decking and turning their lawns into vegetable plots.

By Rachel Shields
The Independent UK
18 January 2009

The nation’s landscape is changing before our eyes. Record numbers of people are preparing to dig up their manicured lawns and privet hedges. Even the most modish gardens are sporting freshly dug vegetable beds, sapling fruit trees and nascent compost heaps.

Fruit and vegetable seed sellers last week reported record sales, with many saying that they cannot keep up with a sudden rise in demand. Meanwhile, the landscape gardening industry is in crisis, with many firms laying off staff.

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January 19, 2009   Comments Off on The Independent (UK) says – Grow your own: The seeds of change

Growing Grains in the City – kids learn to make bread

Watch Growing Grains in the City – kids learn to make bread

Ian Lai, a chef and urban agriculture consultant, has been teaching children how to make bread. But what is so unusual and especially in a city, is that all the grains used to make the bread are grown in the city. Wheat, barley, spelt, flax, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa are grown at the Terra Nova Garden site in Richmond.

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January 16, 2009   Comments Off on Growing Grains in the City – kids learn to make bread

Landshare in the UK – Linking people who want to grow their own food to space where they can grow it


What is Landshare?

With allotment waiting lists massively over-subscribed and people right across the country keener than ever to grow their own fruit and veg, the aim for Landshare is to become a UK wide initiative to make British land more productive and fresh local produce more accessible to all. But all of this depends on people like you registering their interest now.

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January 15, 2009   2 Comments

1940 – Ploughing Land Beside Parliament Building in Northern Ireland – part of ‘Grow More Food’ Campaign

Photo by M McNeill
18 Mar 1940

Ploughing Land
A tractor ploughing land beside Parliament Building (official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons in Northern Ireland) on the Stormont Estate. The Northern Ireland Government is having the land ploughed as part of the ‘Grow More Food’ campaign.

January 13, 2009   Comments Off on 1940 – Ploughing Land Beside Parliament Building in Northern Ireland – part of ‘Grow More Food’ Campaign

Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture


Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture
Exhibit: February 25th – April 30th 2009 – Free Admission
Opening reception: March 3rd 2009
Design Exchange, Toronto

Exhibition Overview

This exhibition will show how the design of cities and buildings is enabling the production of food in the city. It will explore the role that creative design professionals have in relation to the food system of cities, and the impact that agricultural issues will have on the design of urban spaces and buildings as society addresses the issues of a more sustainable pattern of living. The focus will be on how the increasing interest in growing food within the city, supplying food locally, and food security in general is changing urban design and built form.

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January 12, 2009   Comments Off on Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture

1700’s – The Food Gardens at the Fortress of Louisbourg

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From the Fortress of Louisbourg by SchoolNet

Founded in 1713 for its cod fishery, Louisbourg enjoyed three peaceful decades as a French colonial seaport. New Englanders captured the town in 1745, but watched its return to France three years later. The peace was shortlived and in 1758, the British captured the town a second time. In 1760, Louisbourg’s fortifications were destroyed and the small British garrison left the fortress eight years later.

Food Gardens

When the French first arrived in Louisbourg, they found the soil to be of below average quality for their gardening. The poor soil combined with the harsh climate inhibited the residents from growing the vegetables and herbs in the quantity or quality of which they were accustomed to in France. Consequently townspeople would often bring soil from other parts of the island and mix it with the original soil in their gardens. The resulting gardens, known as potagers, had an assortment of vegetables and herbs which were used as dyes as well as for cooking and medicinal purposes. Typical vegetables grown were: cabbages, turnip, carrots, beans, and peas. Common herbs were: mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

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January 9, 2009   1 Comment

1920 – Gardening on vacant lot, Calgary, Alberta.


Calgary Vacant Lots Gardening Club was formed in 1914, membership cost $1.00 (dollar) per year. From 1920 onwards, prizes were awarded. Photo Date: [ca. 1920]

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January 6, 2009   1 Comment

The Role of Home Gardens in Feeding the World and Sequestering Carbon


By Michael Pilarski
Founder and Director of Friends of the Trees Society
January 1, 2009
13,700 word paper.

This article explores the role of home gardens in world food production. The thesis of the article is that home gardens have the potential to become the dominant food supply for humanity. A case is made that home gardens could grow 50% of humanity’s food supply on less then 10% of the world’s arable farmland. Home gardens are one of the most reliable, efficient and democratic ways of producing food ever invented. Agriculture has repeatedly degraded its natural resource base and collapsed many societies in the past. Modern, industrial agriculture is not suited to these changing times and is liable to increasing breakdown within the next decade.

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January 5, 2009   Comments Off on The Role of Home Gardens in Feeding the World and Sequestering Carbon

São Paulo, Brazil – Cities Without Hunger – With employment and income, it all begins in a garden.


Already 13 gardens, 665 persons with direct benefit, 2,660 persons with indirect benefit, 48 professional training courses taught.

São Paulo, a superlative metropolis, boasting impressive numbers revealing of its grandeur, riches, and differences too. A city that together with other 38 municipalities forms the so-called Greater São Paulo, awarding it the title of the world’s fourth largest conurbation, with 19 million inhabitants, while São Paulo city alone is home to eleven million people.

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January 4, 2009   Comments Off on São Paulo, Brazil – Cities Without Hunger – With employment and income, it all begins in a garden.