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Posts from — April 2009

Google Headquarters has an Organic Food Garden


Google Garden Plantingg
Executive Sous-Chef Jennifer Johnston leads a team of volunteers to plant a Growing Connection garden on Google’s campus.

The Google Garden consists of 100 EarthBoxes all planted with vegetables and herbs from different regions of the world.  The Garden was planned in cooperation with the Chefs at Google, and made possible with support from Google and the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County and volunteers from Google, University of California – Cooperative Extension, EarthBox, and TGC. 

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April 30, 2009   Comments Off

New York Local – Eating the fruits of the five boroughs.

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David Graves is the originator and keeper of rooftop beehives all over the city. Photograph by Josef Astor.

by Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker
September 3, 2007

Twelve-thirty on a beautiful summer day, and the chicken committee of the City Chicken Project is meeting at the Garden of Happiness, in the Crotona neighborhood of the Bronx. The chicken committee is devoted to the proliferation of egg-laying chickens in the outer boroughs, giving hens to people and having them raise the birds in community gardens and eat and even sell the eggs (“passing on the gift,” as this is called in the project), and thereby gain experience of chicken, eggs, and community—or fowl, food, and fellowship, as one of the more alliterative-minded organizers has said. It is the pet program of Just Food, a small organization that is administered by a startlingly young-looking woman named Jacquie Berger, who is silently monitoring the proceedings.

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April 29, 2009   1 Comment

World War II Poster – plant food gardens

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Larger version here.

World War II poster promoting home gardens so that food can be sent to refugees freed from Axis regions. 1944.

April 28, 2009   Comments Off

London’s Mayor to plant runner beans in the shadow of City Hall

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Green Boris Johnson sends vegetables to the Tower

By Chris Gourlay
The Sunday Times
April 19, 2009

THE rooftops and open areas around some of the capital’s most famous attractions could soon be sprouting crops of vegetables under plans drawn up by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.

His advisers hope to convert unused plots of land around the Tower of London, Marble Arch and on the roof of the Hayward gallery into public vegetable patches as a model of sustainable living. Johnson will lead the way by planting runner beans in the shadow of City Hall.

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April 28, 2009   Comments Off

Chef at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront hotel harvests apples

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Photo by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Geographic

A chef at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront hotel harvests apples ripening among skyscrapers. Hotel accountants say the roof garden produces fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey worth about $16,000 annually.

One of a series of beautiful Roof Garden photos in National Geographic magazine found here.

Visit Diane Cook and Len Jenshel website here.

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April 28, 2009   1 Comment

Rice used to brew sake, growing on roof in Tokyo

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Photo by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Geographic

Wasted space in the modern metropolis may become productive “farmland” thanks to advances in waterproofing green roofs. Some of the rice used to brew Japan’s popular Hakutsuru sake grows atop the company’s Tokyo office.

One of a series of beautiful Roof Garden photos in National Geographic magazine found here.

Visit Diane Cook and Len Jenshel website here.

April 28, 2009   Comments Off

Urban Farming Grows Up

October 22, 2008

Discovery Channel’s Matt Danzico investigates vertical farming, an agricultural concept aimed at growing food and raising animals in skyscrapers in city centers.

April 23, 2009   Comments Off

Video – In An Absolut World Cities Farm


Part 1. See HD version here. (Click HQ icon when at YouTube site.)

(I believe these creative visions are funded by Absolut Vodka.)

In An Absolut World, Cities Farm. (Parts 1 and 2)

Lehua Chong sent this information about the videos.

Short videos by organic chef / eco-artist Jim Denevan.

“The video features footage and interviews from a dinner that Jim hosted to raise awareness about and show the potential of urban farming.  He hosted a dinner for about 120 eco-chic New Yorkers and prepared a five course menu composed entirely of ingredients from the five boroughs.  Some of the menu items included Rockaway Striped Bass with Bronx Collard Greens, Brooklyn Cranberry Beans, and even cocktails with muddled berries foraged from Central Park.

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April 23, 2009   Comments Off

Seed sales growing as garden boom hits B.C.

April 22, 2009
By Lisa Johnson
CBC News

Several B.C. seed and plant retailers say business is blooming this year, and the recession, rising food prices and star power may be feeding British Columbians’ growing enthusiasm for gardening.

West Coast Seeds owner Jeanette McCall told CBC News she had expected a busy year at the Delta facility, shipping vegetable and flower seeds to customers, but not this busy.

Stocks of packaged seeds that were supposed to last all season were running out before March.

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April 23, 2009   Comments Off

Earth Day at the Vancouver Compost Garden – Honda’s Insight Introduced in Canada

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Earth Day
April 22, 2009

Garry Sowerby, who is in the “Guinness Book of World Records” for the record time of driving around the world, visited us at the Vancouver Compost Garden this Earth Day morning, as part of his cross-country trip to introduce the country to Honda’s ‘greenest’ car, the Insight.

Gary says, “We are doing an environmental program called Insight into Canada that hinges on a month-long environmental journey across Canada starting on April 21 in Victoria. The drive will be implemented in a new Honda Insight Hybrid and will see 25 teams of journalists hand the car off over 25 legs on the trek.”

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April 22, 2009   Comments Off

Webisode features Vancouver’s Sharing Backyards Project


(Wait a few seconds after starting this video. It will say ‘the current item is not currently available’ but it will soon play.)
The 100-mile diet? How about the 100-metre diet? The cheapest way to enjoy local food is to grow it! Share your backyard with others and learn how to grow your own food while developing a self-sustained lifestyle. Link to Food Network here.

Director/Editor: Maayan Cohen
Camera: Maayan Cohen, Galit Mastai

Sharing Backyards

City Farmer’s Vancouver Sharing Backyards web site is featured in this webisode for the new TV show “The 100 Mile Challenge” on the Food Network. Elizabeth Leboe of North Vancouver and Marjorie Carroll, the woman who shares her garden, are featured. Also featured is the man who started Sharing Backyards in Victoria, who built the City Farmer Vancouver Page, a visionary coder, Patrick Hayes. Christopher Hawkins is now coordinating an expansion of Sharing Backyards to many cities in North America.

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April 22, 2009   Comments Off

Will the introduction of large corporate farms defile the great assets of Urban Agriculture?

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Image from Growing in Detroit here

The Maturation of Urban Agriculture

By Marc Couillais
The Where Blog
April 21, 2009

Urban Agriculture is maturing, and like any concerned parent, those of us with a vested interest are worried about the path she will take and the choices she will make in these crucial developmental years. She’s not quite ready to leave home, but she certainly isn’t interested in hanging with the ‘rents all weekend. That corporate bloke has been coming around a lot more lately, whispering sweet nothings in her ear and chumming it up with Dad in the den.

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April 22, 2009   Comments Off

White House cow provided milk and butter to President Taft 1910-13

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Pauline, pet cow of President Taft on lawn, in front of the State, War and Navy Building, Washington, D.C. between 1910 and 1913

White House Cow Arrives
Pauline Wayne, 3d, Comes Safely from Wisconsin – A Calf Expected

Washington, Nov 3, 1910
New York Times

Pauline Wayne, 3d, the much-talked of new White House cow, has at last reached Washington and taken up her domestic duties as provider of milk and butter for President Taft’s household. Pauline is a Holstein-Frisian cow of registered stock, her number in the bovine blue book being 115,580.

She came from the stock farm of Senator Issac Stephenson of Wisconsin, and was on the road from Kenosha just two days. Pauline arrived in a big crate, none the worse for her long journey in an express car.

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April 19, 2009   Comments Off

From the Economist – Demand for garden plots is growing faster than supply

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27th August 1948: Mr John Hodder and his wife, aged 86 and 80 respectively at work in their allotment in Fulham, London. Photo by William Vanderson

Allotments – Take this job and shovel it

Apr 8th 2009
From The Economist

As spring makes its usual staggered start, the Fielding Street allotments, off south-east London’s Walworth Road on a second world war bomb site, are buzzing. Plotholders—a mixed bunch of beekeepers, university lecturers, Zambian migrants and “Nyudies” (new yuppie diggers) alongside the London-Irish flat-cappers of old—are making up for winter neglect. Exotic tubers and decorative blooms jostle carrots, spuds and beans in plots that range from pocket handkerchief to half a football pitch in size. For the privilege, the allotment society pays a nominal rental to Southwark Council, which owns the land.

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April 18, 2009   Comments Off

Japanese Government to boost indoor cultivation – Housed vegetable growing will ‘create jobs, aid food security’

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Tokyo, Japan. A man tends a tomato plant in Pasona O2, an artificially lit and computer controlled greenhouse built in the basement of a high rise building in the business district of Tokyo on February 15, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. Pasona Inc, a human resources service company, built the greenhouse in order to introduce the pleasure of agriculture also to train aspiring farmers in the city. The basement space was once used as a vault by Resona Bank Limited. Photo by Junko Kimura

Japanese Government to boost indoor cultivation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Apr. 10, 2009

The government is set to launch full-scale efforts to promote indoor agricultural facilities to ensure stable cultivation of fruits and vegetables, government officials said.

As part of a three-year plan to boost the number of indoor growing facilities about fourfold, to 150, and raise production about fivefold, the government will offer incentives including low-interest financing and a capital investment tax credit, the officials said.

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April 10, 2009   3 Comments