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Posts from — August 2009

Buster English: The Green Thumb – New York Times Photos and Audio

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For 15 years, Mr. English, 55, has been growing neatly planted rows of vegetables in a public housing project in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Buster English: The Green Thumb

Interviewed and produced by Rogene Fisher and Sarah Kramer.
Photographed by Todd Heisler

Mr. English began gardening as a teenager with his grandfather in South Carolina, then took it up again to “stay out of trouble” after moving to the Walt Whitman Houses. He lives with his three teenage daughters (his son lives with a grandmother), and calls his plot of land the Cabbage Patch.

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August 30, 2009   Comments Off

Biosphere Home Farming from Philips designers

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See larger image here.

by Clive van Heerden, August 6, 2009

Looking into the economics and politics of rising food prices and theories about impending food shortages led us to create the “food farm” to test peoples sensitivity to the issue. We wanted to develop something initially that would supplement the nutritional needs of a family living in high rise accommodation, without drawing electricity or gas.

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August 28, 2009   1 Comment

Fire Escape Gardening in Manhattan

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Photo of fire escape gardener. “When I was planning my fire escape garden I planted cherry tomatoes thinking the plant would be small and perfect for the small space — not so much.”

by Mike Lieberman (Canarsiebk)

My goal of having this site is to inspire you to start gardening and growing your own food. If I’m doing it, why can’t you?

Don’t have the space? Check out my fire escape garden. Not much room there, but I’m getting it done.

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August 28, 2009   Comments Off

Chicago’s Local Food – video – Growing Cities Series

Chicago’s Local Food – Growing Cities Series from Dave Budge on Vimeo.

by Dave Budge

Local food is great for a lot of reasons, the least of which is that it tastes rad. We got to speak to some farmers and chefs while in Chicago about their experiences growing and using local Illinois food.

This is part 2 of the “Growing Cities” documentary series shot while traveling in the USA and Canada – June 2009. 2 person crew. Canon 5DmkII and Zoom H4n. Music is “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens

August 27, 2009   Comments Off

Rooftop Farms, a 6,000 square foot organic vegetable farm in Brooklyn, New York.

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From Brooklyn Supper blog. Photo by Elizabeth Stark ©2008-2009. All rights reserved. See larger image here at Brooklyn Supper.

This is a roof of a warehouse in Greenpoint, which is now covered with 200,000 pounds of soil, 1,000 earthworms, and an abundance of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

By Wendy Goodman
New York Magazine
June 21, 2009

“There are 1,000 worms in here,” Annie Novak says, cracking the lid on a box filled with scraps of newspaper and small squirmy things. The earthworms are about to be relocated to the soil spread across this warehouse roof 50 feet above the Greenpoint sidewalk, where, Novak hopes, they’ll get to work aerating the soil. Urban gardens are nothing new, but the scale, location, and imagination of Rooftop Farms—the name of this project—is stunning.

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August 26, 2009   Comments Off

City Farmer donates garden produce to Family Place

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See larger photo here. Photo by Michael Levenston

Our garden veggies and fruit go to West Side Family Place

Head gardener Sharon Slack drives five minutes from the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden to donate freshly harvested organic food to Family Place.

West Side Family Place in Kitsilano is a resource centre dedicated to supporting families with young children. It is a place to meet new friends, gain a sense of community, and to receive ongoing assistance that helps families to raise healthy, happy children.

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August 26, 2009   Comments Off

Paris rooftops swarm with bees as urban honey industry takes off

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Photo by Franco Zecchin. Paris, the urban beekeeper Jean Paucton removing frames from the hive atop the Opera Garnier.

By Charles Bremner in Paris
The Times
August 18, 2009

Tourists are not the only species swarming on the Champs Élysées this August. Also enjoying the sunshine are squadrons of bees, part of a fast-multiplying population that is making honey a new Parisian industry.

The Tuileries, Luxembourg and other lesser gardens of Paris are now home to hundreds of thousands of bees that are far more productive than their country cousins.

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August 25, 2009   Comments Off

Growing Grains at City Farmer

This year, Maria experimented to see if she could grow wheat, flax and quinoa at our Vancouver Compost Garden, and she succeeded. The wheat and flax were purchased from a local seed company, Salt Spring Seeds. The wheat varieties are named Red Fife, Marquis, Kamut and Blue Tinge Ethiopian. The flax is named Golden Flax. The quinoa was purchased from a local organic bulk food store.

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August 24, 2009   2 Comments

A Farm on Every Floor – New York Times

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By Dickson D. Despommier
Op-Ed Contributor
New York Times
August 23, 2009

If climate change and population growth progress at their current pace, in roughly 50 years farming as we know it will no longer exist. This means that the majority of people could soon be without enough food or water. But there is a solution that is surprisingly within reach: Move most farming into cities, and grow crops in tall, specially constructed buildings. It’s called vertical farming.

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August 24, 2009   Comments Off

200 Urban Farms in Havana


Havana relies on 200 urban farms known as organoponicos

The vegetable gardeners of Havana

By Sarah Murch
BBC Two’s Future of Food
August 2009

Climate change, drought, population growth – they could all threaten future food supplies. But global agriculture, with its dependence on fuel and fertilisers is also highly vulnerable to an oil shortage, as Cuba found out 20 years ago.

Around Cuba’s capital Havana, it is quite remarkable how often you see a neatly tended plot of land right in the heart of the city.

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August 23, 2009   Comments Off

Keeping Bees at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

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Graeme Evans, director of housekeeping at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront hotel, opens a hive last week to show off the bees and their honey to guests. A beekeeper, Evans keeps beehives on a deck at the hotel. And no, he doesn’t wear protective gear. Photograph by Gerry Kahrmann, The Province

Bees cause buzz at Fairmont hotel

Three hives on third-floor deck provide kitchen with honey, guests with stories

By Christina Montgomery,
The Province Newspaper
June 7, 2009

Graeme Evans is undoubtedly Vancouver’s nattiest – and most hospitable – beekeeper.

You won’t catch Evans in one of those bulky, netted helmets and spacesuits that most of his colleagues don when tending their hives. He looks after his trio of nests while wearing a dapper, crisply pressed suit. And tie.

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August 22, 2009   1 Comment

Danish stamps commemorate allotment gardens

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Denmark has more leisure and allotment gardeners for its population than any other country. The tradition for this type of gardening dates back to the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century the aim of the leisure and allotment gardens was to secure better conditions for working people and in 1884 the first association of leisure and allotment owners was founded.

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August 19, 2009   Comments Off

Live Dining by Nicole Fournier

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Live Dining is a planting, harvesting, preparing, composting, cooking, dining performance, a concept

Nicole Fournier
Visual, Interdisplinary and Performance Artist
Founder and Executive Director of InTerreArt

It is about creating a context of integrating a dining-kitchen room installation in a location where plants grow, and where the dining kitchen furniture touch the earth (the ground). Within the dining-kitchen room installation, participants perform the outdoor actions of harvesting, in the same location as the indoor domestic and intimate actions of preparing, cooking and eating.

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August 19, 2009   Comments Off

Sophos Vancouver Rooftop Community Garden – just beginning

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by Patricia Tribolet

A wild notion I had to convert the existing flower/dead bush beds on the rooftop of the Sophos Vancouver building into a Vegetable Community Garden shared by anyone at Sophos willing to keep it.

We have aproximately 300 people working in this building as a part of Sophos.

The reason why I started this was because I wanted to grow veggies… I started with small pots on the windows next to my desk on the 5th floor with herbs, tomatoes and peppers.

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August 19, 2009   1 Comment

Grow It Yourself (GIY) Ireland – new national food-grower’s network

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Waterford will host the launch of a new national food-grower’s network called GIY Ireland on Saturday, September 12th 2009 as part of the Waterford Harvest Festival.

As the interest in home-produced food reaches fever pitch, a new organisation called GIY Ireland is aiming to inspire people to get growing and give them the knowledge they need to do so successfully.  On September 12th 2009 Waterford Institute of Technology will be the venue for the launch of this unique organisation which aims to establish food growers groups in every town and county in Ireland.  GIY networks aims to recreate the camaraderie of allotment growing for back-garden vegetable growers by getting them together on a regular basis to talk, learn from each other and exchange tips, war-stories and produce.

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August 19, 2009   Comments Off