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Posts from — May 2009

Comic Richard Lewis supports food growing on walls

Richard Lewis, Actor/Comedian, giving a speech at the Urban Farming Food Chain launch.

The Urban Farming Food Chain

“Urban Farming has established the Urban Farming Food Chain™, a vertical farming project. The Food Chain consists of “edible” food-producing wall panels mounted on walls of buildings, growing fresh organic produce. The wall systems of the Food Chain concept are as “links” connecting to each location by intention and design, as well as presenting a new definition for the familiar term, ‘food chain’. Los Angeles is the pilot city for the Urban Farming Food Chain, a project we will replicate in other cities.

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May 27, 2009   Comments Off on Comic Richard Lewis supports food growing on walls

Harvest Time – 1943 Whiskey Ad

Slightly larger image here.
Advertisement from the Victory Garden era.

Harvest Time, 1943
America makes the best of everything!

Americans are making the best use of their week-ends and vacations by helping bring in the crops. And many are making the best use of Schenley Royal Reserve by saving it for special occasions. All the Schenley distilleries are producing vital alcohol for war purposes only.

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May 27, 2009   Comments Off on Harvest Time – 1943 Whiskey Ad

Growing Green: An Inventory of Public Lands Suitable for Community Gardening in Seattle, Washington


Prepared by Megan Horst
University of Washington, College of Architecture and Urban Planning
July 1, 2008. 74 pages


Planners and policy-makers in the United States and around the world are increasingly recognizing the importance of food systems planning. Effective food systems planning at the local and regional levels offers tools to address some of the major challenges faced by modern cities, including high rates of joblessness, poverty, and hunger along with growing environmental problems related to fossil fuel dependency and resource consumption. Urban agriculture, mainly in the form of community gardens, is one of the many food systems planning strategies that different cities have been using to address these kinds of problems.

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May 26, 2009   1 Comment

Vertical Farming – Video of experts in conversation – from the National Building Museum

For the Greener Good: Vertical Farming from National Building Museum on Vimeo.

Presenter(s): Dickson Despommier, Robin Elmslie Osler, Carolyn Steel, and J. William Thompson
Date Recorded: April 29, 2009
Duration: 01:29:59

Sponsored by: The Home Depot Foundation

Learn about the future of urban food production with Robin Osler, Elmslie Osler Architects; Dickson Despommier, Professor of Public Health, Columbia University; Carolyn Steel, Author of Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives; and J. William Thompson, FASLA , editor, Landscape Architecture magazine.

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May 24, 2009   Comments Off on Vertical Farming – Video of experts in conversation – from the National Building Museum

Campbell’s – Help Grow Your Own Soup


Help Goodness Grow

“At Campbell, we believe quality ingredients are grown from the ground up – and make truly delicious soup. That’s why, for over 70 years we’ve painstakingly cultivated seeds for tomatoes that go into our delicious soup.

“Now you can get seeds we use for growing tomatoes. Your request will help Campbell donate seeds to plants gardens in communities and schools across America. This is all part of our commitment to the National FFA Organization, which is dedicated to developing our future leaders through agricultural education.

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May 24, 2009   Comments Off on Campbell’s – Help Grow Your Own Soup

Can a City Girl Live Off Wild Food For a Week in Portland?

Photo: “Wild Girl” Becky Lerner
Both the white and blue flowers in the photo above are camas. The white one will kill you, but the blue one is food. The native people of the Portland area considered blue camas root a staple. It took three days of cooking in underground fire pits to make it edible. The bulb is said to taste like a sugary, sweet potato.

From May 24 through May 30, local “Wild Girl” Becky Lerner will be eating an entirely wild diet as she forages from sidewalks, parks, wilderness areas and yards in Portland. There will be no dumpster diving or mooching off gardens – Lerner will be surviving on wild edibles only.

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May 20, 2009   1 Comment

Dragonfly Skyscraper Farm – an urban agriculture proposal for New York City


Dragonfly, A Metabolic Farm For Urban Agriculture
New York City 2009
By Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Excerpts from Vincent Callebaut Architectures:

Architecture has to serve a new agriculture and to design for the new social desire for ecologic mutation and food autonomy! The Dragonfly project suggests building a prototype of an urban farm offering a mixed programme of housing, offices and laboratories using ecological engineering, and farming spaces, which are vertically laid out in several floors and partly cultivated by its own inhabitants. This vertical farm utilizes sustainable applications of organic agriculture based on the intensive production varied according to the rhythm of the seasons. This nourishing agriculture is in favour of the reuse of biodegradable waste and the keeping energy and renewable resources for planning of an ecosystemic densification.

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May 20, 2009   2 Comments

1889 – My Handkerchief Garden – A City Farmer in the 1800’s


My Handkerchief Garden, 1889
By Barnard, Charles, 1838-1920
New York, Garden Publishing
62 pages

Excerpts below:

At last it was found ; a six-room house with a mere handkerchief of a garden, measuring about one-thirtieth of an acre, or about as big as a city back yard. The soil was a wet, heavy clay, full of stones, and shaded by a number of tall trees growing on the next lot. In March, 1887, we moved to the place, and on the twenty-first we paid twenty-five cents for one ounce of Tennis Ball Lettuce seed. So it was the scrap of a garden began, and thereon does hang the more or less learned remarks that make this book.

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May 13, 2009   2 Comments

The Russian Peasant And His Turnip


See the story unfold on the next page. (Read more)

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May 12, 2009   Comments Off on The Russian Peasant And His Turnip

Architectural design competition submissions highlight urban agriculture

Community Catalyst submission by Garon Sebastien and Chris Foyd – Vancouver

How far we have come — urban farming entering the mainstream design and planning world! These urban agriculture submissions would have been unheard of just a few years ago! (Mike)

Form Shift: an architectural ideas design competition

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver – a jointly-sponsored open ideas competition.

Over the past 20 years, the approach to community planning, zoning, density, transportation and housing in Vancouver has yielded substantial improvements. Continued improvement, however, requires ongoing innovation and creativity. Good intentions need to be reflected in tangible urban design.

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May 10, 2009   1 Comment

City Farmer worm composting tips

See this video in High Definition. Click here.

We talk ‘worms’ every day of the week at City Farmer at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden – “Where can I buys worms?” “How can I get rid of fruit flies?” “Where can I get a worm bin?” “How much food waste can I add to my worm bin?” and so on.

Lauren answers some of those question in the above six minute video, shot in high definition at the Garden. All the basics are outlined, so if you’ve ever considered composting with worms, watch this video.

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May 10, 2009   Comments Off on City Farmer worm composting tips

Building a Food Garden at Portland’s City Hall


Photos by Steve Cohen.
Must-see photo set(116) of building the Portland garden here.

City Hall hopes new garden puts food on the table
Food grown in Southwest Fourth Avenue plot will be donated to feed hungry

The Portland Tribune
May 5, 2009

Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Nick Fish inaugurated a new food garden on the east side of City Hall at a Tuesday morning ceremony attended by gardeners and representatives of food banks.

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May 9, 2009   Comments Off on Building a Food Garden at Portland’s City Hall

1990 Backyard Compost Video from Metro Vancouver

Here’s The Dirt – Guide To Composting – GVRD (Metro Vancouver) – 1990

City Farmer has been promoting home composting at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden for almost 20 years. This video was created in 1990 by Marianne Pengelly for the GVRD (our regional government) and shows how we spoke about composting then. Our City Farmer staff at the time included Gill Elcock, Lorenzo Mele and Susan Ray.

Some of our instructions have changed over the years. Current information is available from our Compost Hotline: 604.736.2250 in Vancouver.

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May 8, 2009   Comments Off on 1990 Backyard Compost Video from Metro Vancouver

RUAF Update 11 – Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security


RUAF Update # 11
May 2009


The RUAF Cities Farming for the Future programme ended in 2008 with very positive results. Activities of RUAF continued in most of the cities in the follow up programme From Seed to Table (see below). The final report, has been finalised and a summary can be found at soon.

Some of the overall results of the activities that have been implemented over the past period include:

– Twenty universities and other educational centres that were involved in RUAF-CFF have taken initiatives to include urban agriculture in their regular programme and are developing curricula and training modules, using the RUAF training materials as a starting point. In addition capacity has been built in urban agriculture of in total 206 trainers from 17 countries of which about one third are women.

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May 8, 2009   Comments Off on RUAF Update 11 – Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security

(1945) – Radio clip talks about the Victory Gardens at the General Engineering plant, Scarborough, Ontario.

Mary Pickford posing with a group of employees during her visit to the General Engineering Company (Canada) munitions factory, June 5, 1943
Larger image here.

Let’s Visit (1945) – This clip talks about the Victory Gardens at the General Engineering plant, Scarborough.

To listen to this excerpt in “wav” format (538K) click here.

See more about wartime production and women in war work here.

May 7, 2009   Comments Off on (1945) – Radio clip talks about the Victory Gardens at the General Engineering plant, Scarborough, Ontario.