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Posts from — March 2009

BBC recording – Cuba and Urban Gardening

Photos by John M. Morgan and Faith Morgan 2004

Sunday 15 March 2009
Recordings: 26 minutes

Dusty Gedge, London TV (BBC).

Roberto Perez, Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation de la Naturaleza Y el Hombre in Cuba.

Vilda Figeroa, for 30 years a nutritionist at the Cuban Government Research Institute.

Justo Torres Lazo, urban farmer in Havana.

Madelaine Vasquez, food researcher, writer and presenter of the weekly TV programme “Con Sabor”

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March 31, 2009   Comments Off on BBC recording – Cuba and Urban Gardening

California’s State Capitol to get Edible Garden says wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The California State Capitol is in a park in the heart of Sacramento. Larger image here.

Maria Shriver announces plan for garden

By Mary MacVean
March 25, 2009
LA Times

Just days after Michelle Obama broke ground for a vegetable garden on the White House lawn, California’s first lady announced that Sacramento is getting a public edible garden too.

Maria Shriver announced Monday that a garden will be planted in May in a flower bed on the east end of Capitol Park in Sacramento.

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March 26, 2009   Comments Off on California’s State Capitol to get Edible Garden says wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

City Farmer News – Now an Apple Webapp


City Farmer’s webapp can be placed on an iPhone or iPodTouch. Presently Apple has sold over 30 million of these devices. City Farmer’s webapp is a RRS reader, which allows readers to keep up with the latest headlines from City Farmer News.

“Web applications — or web apps — combine the power of the Internet with the simplicity of Multi-Touch technology, all on a 3.5-inch screen. iPhone and iPod touch let you easily flick through news on Digg, play Sudoku or Bejeweled with a finger tap, and quickly check movie times, train schedules, and favorite blogs.

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March 25, 2009   2 Comments

Michelle Obama Launches First White House Vegetable Garden Since World War II


Twenty-six elementary schoolchildren wielded shovels, rakes, pitchforks and wheelbarrows to help first lady Michelle Obama break ground on a produce and herb garden on the White House grounds. Spinach, broccoli, lettuces, kale and collard greens will be among the crops to be planted in the coming week. The first harvest is expected by late April. A beehive also is part of the project. Assistant chef Sam Kass says some produce will be cooked in the White House kitchen and some will be given to a local soup kitchen where Obama recently helped serve lunch. Obama told the students that her family has talked about planting such a garden since they moved to the White House.

More Photos on next page.

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March 21, 2009   1 Comment

White House Will Get a Vegetable Garden

Sam Kass, left, an assistant chef, and Dale Haney, a gardener, at the site where Michelle Obama will plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s.

Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden

New York Times
Published: March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn’t like them) but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.

In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

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March 19, 2009   Comments Off on White House Will Get a Vegetable Garden

Edible Schoolyard, A Universal Idea by Alice Waters


By Alice Waters
Photographs by David Liittschwager
80 color photographs
Published in December, 2008

Edible Schoolyard — One of America’s most influential chefs, Alice Waters created a revolution in 1971 when she introduced local, organic fare at her Berkeley, California, restaurant, Chez Panisse. Twenty-five years later, she and a small group of teachers and volunteers turned over long-abandoned soil at an urban middle school in Berkeley and planted the Edible Schoolyard.

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March 19, 2009   Comments Off on Edible Schoolyard, A Universal Idea by Alice Waters

Jac Smit, the ‘Father of Urban Agriculture’ – His new web site


Interviews with Jac – audio files.
Jac Smit, the ‘Father of Urban Agriculture’ is the pioneer who virtually created the concept of urban agriculture.  In a 2009 interview with Franz Jaggar, Jac recounts his first-hand experiences. 

Segment #1: Jac and Urban Agriculture – The Beginnings        
“Urban Agriculture” grew out of Jac’s term paper at Harvard University.  Then, while working in India for the Ford Foundation, Jac had a chance to put his ideas into practice even while the concept of growing food in city gardens and plots was virtually unheard of.  Length 4:56.

Segment #2: From Backyard ‘Farmer’ to Harvard
Jac explains how he was ‘farming’ in third grade, and that interest drove him through high school, service in the Korean War, and into graduate school at Harvard University. Length 3:25.

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March 18, 2009   Comments Off on Jac Smit, the ‘Father of Urban Agriculture’ – His new web site

What we do at The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden


30 Page Photo Album

Since 1990, the City of Vancouver and City Farmer Society have been working together at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, to teach Vancouver residents how they can ‘go green’ at home. Composting is part of a larger City strategy named ‘Grow Natural’, which shows the public how to “save time, money and the environment by using natural yard care techniques.”

The Vancouver Compost Garden works in cooperation with a variety of City Departments (Solid Waste, Water Design, Parks, Health, Streets, Green Streets) to inform the public about these strategies, which include back yard and worm composting, water conservation (rain barrels, drip irrigation, permeable surfaces) safe pest control and natural lawn care. All of these ‘green’ activities overlap and involve other topics as well.

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March 12, 2009   Comments Off on What we do at The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

What does your chicken coop look like?


Backyard Chickens in Densely Populated Communities

Prepared for the Shorewood Village Board

“I was a little surprised at the lack of smell. With only a little effort, there’s little to no smell in the coop area, and certainly nothing that would carry over to my neighbors. The birds are quiet most of the time. [They] can squawk loudly after laying an egg, but still it’s not as obnoxious as a barking dog.”
-Carl Wacker, Madison chicken owner

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March 12, 2009   1 Comment

Lets’ Grow a Garden by Gyo Fujikawa – 1978


It looks like spring is here!
Let’s grow a garden,
full of good and tasty vegetables.
We start by
getting little packets of seeds,
and tiny, leafy
seedlings all ready
to plant.

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March 10, 2009   Comments Off on Lets’ Grow a Garden by Gyo Fujikawa – 1978

Vitalizing the Vacant: The Logistics and Benefits of Middle- to Large-Scale Agricultural Production in Urban Land

Troy Gardens, Jan. 2003, Site Plan (Overall)

Annie Myers conducted a research project focused upon urban farms and city planning, for the course City Planning 252 (”Land Use Controls”)
May 2008, CP252, Professor Fred Etzel
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Urban and Regional Planning

An urban farm is considered to be one or more sites within the boundaries of a city, where the soil is cultivated for edible plants, and where the food produced is shared (whether for-profit or not, by sales or donation) with individuals other than the farmers themselves. The existing sites currently known as urban farms usually occupy a total of at least 1/4 acre (or 10,890 ft2) and have established a formal food distribution system, often selling through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), at farmers markets, and to local restaurants.

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March 7, 2009   Comments Off on Vitalizing the Vacant: The Logistics and Benefits of Middle- to Large-Scale Agricultural Production in Urban Land

Vancouver City Hall beats White House to the green punch

Photo caption: Environmental activist Karen Wristen (front) and City Farmers Sharon Slack (left), Carole Christopher (back) and Michael Levenston stand in the City Hall plot that will be reserved for a community garden to grow food.
Photo by Bill Keay, Vancouver Sun

By Doug Ward
The Vancouver Sun
7 Mar 2009

Plot set aside for community garden

Barack Obama’s got nothing on Gregor Robertson when it comes to having green cred with the local food movement.

Organic food activists in the United States have been urging the new president to install a community garden at the White House.

A few days ago, Vancouver’s new mayor announced that a portion of the city hall lawn, just north of the main city hall building, will be converted into a community garden for people to grow food.

“Vancouver has really beat Obama on this one,” said Mike Levenston, executive director of the City Farmer Society.

The idea of bringing agriculture to 12th and Cambie comes from Robertson’s Greenest City Action Team, which has been charged with making Vancouver the greenest city in the world.

“If we want Vancouver to be a truly sustainable city, City Hall needs to lead the way,” said Robertson.

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March 7, 2009   Comments Off on Vancouver City Hall beats White House to the green punch

Vancouver City Council votes to allow chickens in yards

Dane Chauvel kept chickens in his Kitsilano backyard for about a decade before he was caught infringing on city bylaws. But a bylaw change Thursday means he can keep the chickens legally. Photo: Jenelle Schneider/Vancouver Sun

From Barn Yard to Backyard
ByLaws: Urban hens have a patch of of grass to call home again after Vancouver City Council votes to allow animals in yards

By Catherine Rolfsen
Vancouver Sun
March 6 2009

It’s no yolk as city welcomes chickens home.

Two of three feathered friends sent off to a Langley farm will come back to roost in Kitsilano backyard

Now living in exile in Langley, the two birds will soon be legally allowed back in their coop in Chauvel’s Kitsilano backyard after Vancouver city council voted unanimously Thursday to change city bylaws to legalize the keeping of urban hens.

“I think they’re probably dying to come home,” Chauvel said.

He explained that his family had three birds in their Kitsilano backyard for about a decade, despite bylaws forbidding the keeping of chickens in the city.

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March 6, 2009   3 Comments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “The Peoples Garden” At USDA

(At 3:11 of the video above: “Bringing vegetable gardens in – the compost from the cafeterias will be used to fertilize, to grow vegetables, that can then be sold back at a local farmer’s market.)

From the USDA Press Release
February 12, 2009

This garden will add 612 square feet of planted space to an existing garden traditionally planted to ornamentals, bringing the total size to more than 2,500 square feet.

“The People’s Garden” represents forward-thinking ideas and actions.

• We’ll grow a large assortment of fruits and vegetables, symbolizing USDA’s commitment to promote healthful diets and fight childhood obesity.

• We’ll demonstrate for landowners the kind of conservation practices our farmers use each and every day.

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March 4, 2009   1 Comment

Movie Actor Jake Gyllenhaal inspects seedlings for the school garden

Feb 19, 2009 – Manual Arts High School: Jake Gyllenhaal inspects seedlings for the school garden

As a kick-off to their green school initiative, Global Green USA was joined by Jake Gyllenhaal for Green Service Day at Manual Arts High School.

Gyllenhaal and Global Green CEO Matt Petersen inspected a garden, composting effort, and other initiatives taking place at the school. The organization hopes to raise money to help schools around the country become more sustainable and add programs that teach green skills for future jobs.

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March 3, 2009   Comments Off on Movie Actor Jake Gyllenhaal inspects seedlings for the school garden