New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Income from Your Backyard: Farm to Main Street

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Photo: 1900 garden produce, Alberta.

By Jac Smit
Jan. 16, 2009

Backyard gardening, poultry or small livestock is today mostly presented as supplementing household nutrition and/or income. A lot of the media presents it as a hobby, which has some health and economic sideline benefits.

My personal history began as a teenager. My brother and I grew vegetables on a half acre, with USDA 4-H advice. We sold to two markets; retail at a roadside/intersection stand and wholesale to a girl’s summer camp. My father delivered.

At about the same time my ‘uncle Ben’ supported his family by growing tobacco in his small backyard in Amsterdam during the German occupation. He sold to German soldiers for cash. And he kept a few chickens for family protein.

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February 9, 2009   Comments Off on Income from Your Backyard: Farm to Main Street

Added Value’s Red Hook Community Farm in South Brooklyn, New York

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Added Value’s mission is to promote the sustainable development of Red Hook Brooklyn, by nurturing a new generation of youth leaders. We work towards this goal by creating opportunities for South Brooklyn’s youth to expand their knowledge base, develop new skills and positively engage with their community through the operation of a socially responsible urban farming enterprise. In six years Added Value has trained more than 120 young people, while founding the Red Hook Farmers’ Market and CSA and growing a local food system. In addition to our core urban agriculture activities, Added Value runs farm based learning programs for more than 250 elementary school students each week.

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February 9, 2009   Comments Off on Added Value’s Red Hook Community Farm in South Brooklyn, New York

Nuestras Raíces promotes urban agriculture in Holyoke, Massachusetts

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Photo: La Finquita community garden.

Urban agriculture has proven to be an effective way to promote community development because it is a way for the residents of downtown Holyoke to maintain a connection to their culture while putting down roots in their new home. Most of our members grew up on the farms of rural Puerto Rico and many first came to the Northeast as migrant farm workers.

Though they may live in the city now, they are farmers at heart. They have lifetimes of experience in agriculture and it is part of their heritage. Projects based on agriculture, such as markets and community gardens, build on the skills and knowledge that participants already have, and are proud to have the opportunity to use to improve their community and to teach to a younger generation.

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February 9, 2009   Comments Off on Nuestras Raíces promotes urban agriculture in Holyoke, Massachusetts