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Posts from — January 2010

Agriculture, animal science classes gain a foothold in urban schools

highschoolIndependence High School’s Agriculture Department

By Jane Coaston

ST. LOUIS — Kara Dalton is attempting to control chaos. It’s Monday at the teacher’s pre-veterinary science class at Gateway Institute of Technology high school, and that means baths for the dogs, cats, bunnies, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and one elusive ferret named Riley.

On one side of the room, three students are grooming a terrier named Shadow. In the walk-in shower room for larger animals, two students hose down a black Labrador retriever. Other students are attempting to corral and bathe a large black cat. Fluffy the bunny has his cage cleaned and his toenails trimmed.

Gateway Institute of Technology, 5101 McRee Avenue, is among a growing number of suburban and urban high schools nationwide offering agricultural and animal science classes. Such classes are also offered at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in St. Louis and Edwardsville High School, among others in the region.

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January 17, 2010   Comments Off on Agriculture, animal science classes gain a foothold in urban schools

UN job posting – Urban Agriculture Expert, Monrovia, Liberia

evergreenFarm in Liberia

Closing date: 15 Feb 2010
Location: Liberia – Monrovia, Liberia

CARE is seeking an Urban Agriculture Expert for a proposed, USAID – funded, large-scale, multi-year Food and Enterprise Development Program to be based in Monrovia, Liberia. The Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program will be implemented to achieve the following objectives: 1.) increase agricultural productivity and profitability; 2.) stimulate private enterprise growth and investment; and 3.) build local technical and managerial human resources to sustain and expand accomplishments achieved under objectives one and two.

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January 17, 2010   2 Comments

Brownfields and Urban Agriculture – Assessing The Challenges (Part 1)


Interview with Mr. Clark Henry, an urban planner who serves in the City of Portland Brownfield Program

The Well Run Dry Blog
January 16, 2010


This post is a continuation of a theme I first began exploring in two previous posts, “The Chicken That Laid Leaden Eggs, and Other Horror Stories,” and “Brownfield Remediation For Urban Homesteaders.” What I discussed in those earlier posts was the problem of soil pollution in urban environments, and the impact of that pollution on efforts to practice safe and sustainable urban farming and urban food gardening.

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January 17, 2010   Comments Off on Brownfields and Urban Agriculture – Assessing The Challenges (Part 1)

Little City Gardens – cherry tomato-sized urban farm in San Francisco


“We are a partnership of two women who love to garden and want to be immersed in the dirt of our food systems.”

By Andrew Simmons
SF Weekly
Jan. 13, 2010

Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway are the guerrilla green thumbs behind Little City Gardens, a cherry tomato-sized urban farm in the Mission. Simultaneously a small salad mix business, a hub of food/community positivity, and what the farmers themselves call “a working model of food production in [the city],” Little City Gardens hooks up Bar Tartine and several local caterers with greens (delivered, quite awesomely, on foot and by bike), offers tours, conducts workshops, and generally keeps it as real as water, soil, sun, and fat, writhing earthworms.

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January 16, 2010   Comments Off on Little City Gardens – cherry tomato-sized urban farm in San Francisco

New Roots Community Farm – 80 immigrant and refugee urban farmers in San Diego

newroots1Ou and Muya. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Bob Ou, left, 43, a refugee from Cambodia, and Bilali Muya, a Somalian refugee who doesn’t know his age, share a laugh at the New Roots Community Farm in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. The two farmers have become leaders in the community, demonstrating how to bridge cultural differences and develop friendships.

In San Diego, fertile ground for the seeds of understanding

At the New Roots Community Farm, refugees plow and share — and watch friendships sprout. It’s not just a source of food, but a connection to their homelands, their new country and one another.

By Anna Gorman
LA Times
January 15, 2010

Reporting from San Diego – A slight breeze carried the scents of onion, cilantro and mint through the roadside garden.

At plot No. 17, Bob Ou picked up a well-worn can and watered rows of radishes and Asian lettuce. At plot No. 33, Bilali Muya crouched down to pull weeds from beds of carrots and sweet chard. He spotted a bright red tomato in a nearby plant, grabbed it and took a bite.

“Your tomatoes are so huge,” Ou said, warning that he might steal one when he walked by.

Muya laughed as he licked the juice off his fingers. “Don’t touch my tomatoes, buddy!”

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January 15, 2010   1 Comment

The Saturday Evening Post – magazine covers

satspring1942Victory Garden – 1942

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January 15, 2010   Comments Off on The Saturday Evening Post – magazine covers

Biking across America – Urban agriculture videos by FollowNathan

followNathanPhoto of FollowNathan.

4,300 miles from Belfast, Maine to Bellingham, Washington over the course of 5 months

“On May 10th, 2009 I set out on a cross country bicycle adventure starting in Belfast, Maine. My destination was the Washington coast and I had very little worry about what came in between. With a piqued curiosity into complex food movements, the mindset of the American Farmer and the never ending desire to see what type of obscure situations I could land myself in I packed 70 pounds of gear on my bike and set out to follow my dreams. Over 5 months time I had done what most people advised me not to do. I rode a bicycle from one ocean to the other heading East to West fully loaded.”

On the following page see:

A Closer Look at Community Growers an Urban and Rooftop Garden in Milwaukee, WI

Gretchen Mead of The Victory Garden Initiative Talks About Urban Gardening and Sustainability in Milwaukee

Lots To Gardens Ari Rosenberg Speaks About Sustainability and Agriculture

Meagan of Gather ‘Round Farm in Cleveland Ohio Talks About Urban Farming, Using Waste and the Local Food Chain

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January 14, 2010   1 Comment

Calling for the Urban Farm Czar


The Urban Agriculture Revolution

By Jason F. McLennan
Trim Tab – Cascadia’s magazine for transformative people and design
Winter 2009/2010


As urban and suburban agriculture gains momentum, it will need oversite. One possible solution would be to establish “Municipal Farmers’ or Urban Farm Czars in every community just like there are city planners or police commissioners. These officials would rank high in local government, reporting straight to the mayor or city manager, and have direct access to all key municipal departments.

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January 13, 2010   Comments Off on Calling for the Urban Farm Czar

Badger School for Urban Agriculture and Community

badger2See larger image of the plan here.

A project that will transform a vacant school building on Madison’s Southside into a state-of-the art urban agriculture and community center campus.

The exterior areas of the site will include the following components:

Community Gardens serving the local neighborhood

Education Gardens serving as an outdoor classroom for students from around Dane County

Edible Landscape including perennials such as nut and fruit trees and berries

Innovative Storm Water Management that views stormwater as a resource

Rain Gardens for infiltration of stormwater

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January 13, 2010   Comments Off on Badger School for Urban Agriculture and Community

The spade is as valuable as the rifle

rocklandThe Rockland County Patriotic Society on their way to charge a ten-acre plot and convert it into a vegetable garden. They believe the spade is as valuable as the rifle.

How the stay-at-homes can provide the sinews of war for America and our European Allies

Popular Science Magazine 1917

America turns to the soil in earnest. Even women are responding to the call for active service. Mrs. Ruth Litt, the wealthy suffragist, has turned over her 135-acre farm for cultivation, the work to be done entirely by women.

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January 12, 2010   Comments Off on The spade is as valuable as the rifle

Landgrab City – farm in urban square in Shenzhen, China

grab1Photo by Dezeen.

Landgrab City

By Joseph Grima, Jeffrey Johnson, José Esparza
December 2009 – January 2010
2009 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism

From the China-lab site:

Landgrab City is an installation commissioned by the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism and located on Shenzhenwan Avenue (Nanshan), a busy shopping district in the city of Shenzhen. Conceived as an experimental investigation into the full extent of Shenzhen’s spatial footprint, the installation is comprised of two parts: an aerial photograph of one of the city’s densest areas, home to approximately 4.5m people, and a plot of cultivated land divided into small lots. This land is a representation, at the same scale as the city itself, of the amount of territory necessary to provide the food consumed by the inhabitants of the portion of city sampled in the map, projected to 2027 (the year China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s leading economy). Each lot represents the extent of a single food group’s footprint: vegetables, cereals, fruit, pasture (for livestock), and so on.

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January 12, 2010   2 Comments

The National Trust – Space to Grow – Why people need gardens


By The National Trust


Gardens connect people with food

21 per cent of people have taken up gardening to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

The Trust now cares for 26 working kitchen gardens, from Trengwainton, Cornwall, to Wallington, Northumberland. At the magnificent 2.5 acre kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court in Devon we work with local schools who now come on a regular basis to tend their plots and learn about growing

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January 11, 2010   1 Comment

Petition – Hands off the land at Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham, UK


Started in 1979, Nottingham urban farm needs help

The Petition

Stonebridge City Farm being pressured by the city council to give up of 10% of the farms land as a condition of renewing the lease for the farm. The council wants the land to be used by the farms neighbours to park cars in front of their houses.

After a “consultation” with 31 neighbours next to the farm it is said that 15 neighbours wanted this parking scheme. Were the 10,000 visitors to the farm last year consulted? It appears not.

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January 11, 2010   1 Comment

South Bronx New York housing complex will feature a 10,000 square foot fully integrated rooftop farm


Blue Sea Developments and BrightFarm Systems

The Blue Sea Development Corporation has a reputation for integrating emerging environmental technologies into high quality, affordable housing developments across New York City.

Their new state of the art affordable housing complex planned for the South Bronx, NY, will feature a 10,000 square feet (930 sq meters) fully integrated rooftop farm, designed by BrightFarm Systems.

The greenhouse will use left-over heat from the residential portion of the building and water harvested from the greenhouse roof. The farm will be used to provide fresh, perishable vegetables to a local non-profit food cooperative.

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January 11, 2010   Comments Off on South Bronx New York housing complex will feature a 10,000 square foot fully integrated rooftop farm

Is the growing of marijuana for medicinal use an urban agriculture issue?


Rancho Cordova eyes ordinance on pot growing

By Loretta Kalb
The Sacramento Bee
Jan. 10, 2010

When the persistent “skunk” smell of marijuana became too much for Linda Kurtz, she did what she said she had to do.

She went to Rancho Cordova City Hall and asked the City Council to protect her from the smell coming from her neighbor’s backyard marijuana plants.

In so doing, she brought the city to the forefront of the next big issue facing marijuana producers and municipal regulators in California.

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January 10, 2010   Comments Off on Is the growing of marijuana for medicinal use an urban agriculture issue?