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Posts from — March 2010

Spitalfields City Farm’s twin goats, Bentley and Bramble, to race in The Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race

racegoat
Photo by gentle author.

Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race

By the gentle author
Spitalfields Life
March 23, 2010

Excerpt:

With the Spitalfields City Farm still reeling from the break-in and nocturnal abduction of a ferret last week, I think Helen Galland, the animals’ manager, was relieved to take a break and enjoy a relaxed chat about the psychological dynamic between Bentley & Bramble, the twin goats that are such popular personalities at the farm. Bentley, of the shaggy locks and extravagant goatee pictured below, and his sister Bramble, the model of inscrutable charm pictured above, were born here in 2005 into the Shoreditch pedigree herd. Living off surplus vegetables from Sainsburys in Whitechapel and stale beigels from Mr Sammy’s Beigel Shop in Brick Lane, the lucky siblings enjoy a fine life down on the farm, constantly surrounded by young admirers.

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March 31, 2010   Comments Off

Mobile, urban farm under development in San Diego

mobilePole bean teepee in progress

The Farm Proper

The Farm Proper (est. January 2010) is a mobile, urban farm under development in the lot outside The Bakery, a collaborative studio space shared by Set & Drift and mi-workshop in Barrio Logan, San Diego.

The Farm Proper is an experimental project created by a collaborative of artists, designers, and backyard growers as a replicable model for an urban farm.

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March 31, 2010   Comments Off

The Buzz About Big City Beekeepers

beeLAKirk Anderson addresses members of Backward Beekeepers, an organization in Los Angeles that meets monthly to swap stories about urban beekeeping. Photo: Ben Murray

TakePart looks at city beekeepers

By Salvatore Cardoni
TakePart Social Action Network
March 30, 2010

Excerpt:

It’s a resplendent Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, that rare smog-free day. You decide to charbroil some burgers for lunch. You creek open the lid of your backyard grill and…bzzZZZzzzz! A bee-hive! In ten seconds flat, you’ve hi-tailed it back into the house, slammed the door, and Googled “exterminator.”

Best to kill those sons-a-beeswax before they swarm, right? Wrong!

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March 30, 2010   Comments Off

Agriculture 2.0 Silicon Valley – venture capitalists listen to city farmers

ag2March 24, 2010. Agriculture 2.0 Silicon Valley, co-hosted by NewSeed Advisors, US Venture Partners, and SPIN Farming, brought together hundreds of growers, entrepreneurs, investors, retailers, industry experts, and journalists, all united by the common goal of driving the growth of sustainable agriculture and healthful food systems.

Silicon Valley investors place bets on sustainable ag – big money on small ag – Event held on March 24

By Todd Woody
Grist
26 March 2010

Excerpts:

“We want to create an opportunity for a market, not a movement,” said Roxanne Christensen of SPIN Farming, which promotes the creation of urban microfarms.

Of course, the killer app would be to power urban microfarms with renewable energy, noted Mike Yohay, founder of Cityscape Farms, a San Francisco startup developing rooftop greenhouses that use hydroponics and aquaponics technology to grow food without soil and fertilize it with fish waste.

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March 30, 2010   1 Comment

Health benefits of ‘grow your own’ food in urban areas: implications for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management?

allotment

Implications for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management?

By Jonathan R Leake 1 , Andrew Adam-Bradford 2 and Janette E Rigby 3
1 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
2 Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
3 National Centre for Geocomputation, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Environmental Health
Published: 21 December 2009

Excerpts:

Abstract

Compelling evidence of major health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and outdoor interaction with ‘greenspace’ have emerged in the past decade – all of which combine to give major potential health benefits from ‘grow-your-own’ (GYO) in urban areas. However, neither current risk assessment models nor risk management strategies for GYO in allotments and gardens give any consideration to these health benefits, despite their potential often to more than fully compensate the risks. Although urban environments are more contaminated by heavy metals, arsenic, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins than most rural agricultural areas, evidence is lacking for adverse health outcomes of GYO in UK urban areas.

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March 30, 2010   Comments Off

“Allegheny Grows” Initiative to Promote Urban Farming

braddockAllegheny Grows is an outgrowth of the County’s successful partnership with Grow Pittsburgh to create the Braddock Urban Farm, which turned eight vacant lots in the heart of the borough into a 20,000 square-foot farm with 90 raised beds.

Onorato Launches “Allegheny Grows” Initiative to Promote Urban Farming and Community Gardening

March 25, 2010

Excerpt:

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato today launched “Allegheny Grows,” a new initiative to encourage urban farming and community gardening on vacant lots and blighted properties. Allegheny Grows will offer startup materials, as well as technical and educational assistance to municipalities that show significant interest in developing urban farms and community gardens.

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March 30, 2010   1 Comment

France’s Global Mag reports on Kitchen Gardening on the Internet

Se faire un potager écolo

By Hélène Seingier, Journaliste
March 29, 2010
Global Mag

Faire son potager écolo sans avoir la main verte? Internet vous y aide. De nombreux sites vous expliquent comment faire pousser quelques fruits et légumes sans recourir aux produits chimiques, que vous viviez à la campagne ou en ville.

Vous vous sentez la main verte? Alors rendez-vous sur le site de Terre vivante (FR), magazine de jardinage écologique depuis des décennies. Plus généraliste, Gerbeaud (FR) vous propose aussi des conseils sans chimie.

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March 29, 2010   Comments Off

Guardian lists 10 top City Farms in Britain

cow

The best city farms

The Guardian
29 March 2010

You don’t need to drag your family to the countryside to let them stroke sheep, feed chickens and ride donkeys. We’ve picked the ten best urban places that give you a taste of the good life.

Excerpt:

Heeley City Farm, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Sheffield, a city that has come a long way since The Full Monty, plays host to a cracking little four-acre farm. Alongside the sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and what have you, there are more exotic creatures including chipmunks, snakes, tarantulas and degus (think guinea pig but odder). Children under eight have their own playground, while the rather groovy cafe offers inexpensive home cooking with loads of their home grown organic veggies thrown in and an impressive line in cakes.

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March 29, 2010   Comments Off

How one NGO in the heart of sprawling Sao Paulo has taken it upon itself to feed the masses

sanpauloBrazilian Estevao Silva da Conceicao jokes with his daughter at the garden of his house at Paraisopolis favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Opinion: Let’s hear it for urban agriculture

By Sara Franklin
GlobalPost
March 29, 2010

Excerpt:

In the sprawling megalopolis of Sao Paulo, Brazil, I recently witnessed how a humble NGO is quietly transforming an entire region of the city by building micro-enterprises out of organic farms and gardens.

Sao Paulo is the world’s third largest metropolitan area, trailing only Tokyo and Mexico City in size. In recent decades, Sao Paulo has grown at an alarming rate. As big agribusinesses buy up land that has historically been used for subsistence agriculture, rural Brazilians — particularly those in the northeast — are displaced from their homes and forced to migrate toward cities, particularly those in the more prosperous southern part of the country.

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March 29, 2010   Comments Off

City of Philadelphia offers sub-acre plots for urban farming

manatfarmManatawna Farm Site

Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Request for Information, to identify city farmers to manage small plot commercial, chemical–free farms at Manatawna Farm.

Excerpts:

The Program at Manatawna Farm offers emerging or established farmers the opportunity to explore the advantages of commercial, chemical-free urban farming by providing farmers more land than is traditionally available in the City for growing crops. The Program removes many of the start-up barriers farmers typically encounter, including, but not limited to, access to land, capital improvements, equipment and utilities, and isolation. The site is zoned and primed for agricultural use and will be prepared for commercial farming through identified grant funds. The site will be operated as a commercial farming venture and in turn support entrepreneurial farming initiatives.

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March 28, 2010   Comments Off

The Business of Urban Agriculture

business

UM-Dearborn and Crain’s Detroit Business present a discussion

April 7, 2010
Dearborn, Michigan

Panelists:

Patty Cantrell
Senior Policy Specialist, Entrepreneurial Agriculture, Michigan Land Use Institute. Patty Cantrell is a senior policy specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute, where she has led development of northwest Michigan’s nationally recognized Taste the Local Difference program. The program includes local food marketing, farm-to-school facilitation, and farm business development.

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March 28, 2010   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture Center teaches residents to build chicken coops

buildingBobby Johnson, Laurie Florio and Jaye Wright construct a chicken coop Saturday at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture’s workshop. The coop was built with wood from an old deck and scrap metal that was found on Paris Road. Photo by Valerie Mosley

Building a chicken coop in class

By Jessica Stephens
Missourian
March 28, 2010

Excerpt:

COLUMBIA — As Jaye Wright and Laurie Florio walked up the driveway to the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Billy Froescher asked them, “You here to get dirty?”

“Oh yeah!” Wright answered.

Both Wright and Florio were building a chicken coop for the first time, but so was Froescher, who led the Saturday workshop on building coops for urban hens. Froescher was no stranger to construction, but he had not built a coop before.

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March 28, 2010   Comments Off

Kenya – Bag an urban farm

bagfarmMembers of the Brickstone self-help group at their urban farming demonstration plot in Mathare, Nairobi. Photo by Salla Himberg/IRIN

Bag a farm

By IRIN: Humanitarian news and analysis.
A project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
NAIROBI, 18 February 2010

Excerpt:

Faced with high food prices, low income and barely a patch of arable land, hundreds of residents of Nairobi’s densely populated slums have adopted a novel form of intensive agriculture: a farm in a sack.

Ex-convict John King’ori is hoping the project, run by Italian NGO COOPI, will help him go straight after eight years behind bars for a violent robbery.

King’ori chairs the Juja Road Self-Help Group, whose 76 members, also mostly former prisoners, are among the 1,000 households in Mathare and Huruma hoping their sacks will provide a sustainable source of vegetables such as kale, spinach, capsicum and onions.

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March 27, 2010   1 Comment

Agricultura Urbana Ciudad Bolívar

bolivia

Agricultura Urbana Ciudad Bolívar

Ana María Niño. Coordinadora General Del Proyecto
Luis Edurdo Tiboche S. Recopilación Y Textos
March 2010
9000 words in Spanish

Presentación.

La Agricultura Urbana en Ciudad Bolívar se ha venido consolidando en los últimos años. Desde el año 2005, durante la Administración Distrital del Alcalde Luis Eduardo Garzón, cuando se dio comienzo al Proyecto Piloto de Agricultura Urbana enmarcado dentro de la Política Pública de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional SAN, más y más Agricultores se han sumado a esta tarea de producir alimentos orgánicos que contribuyan a minimizar problemas de Hambre y eleven la calidad Nutricional de grandes grupos de nuestra población. Y a este propósito, interpretando los postulados enmarcados dentro de los Planes de Desarrollo Local se han vinculado en forma entusiasta las últimas administraciones Locales.

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March 27, 2010   2 Comments

Digging Deeper Competition – A feast of urban agriculture projects!

yourgardenYour Garden. How about picking up a batch of fresh tomatoes for dinner tonight from your living room.

21 urban agriculture entries!
See them all.

The competition – Problem Space:

Within San Francisco and many urban areas, the potential for using community gardens, backyard gardens, vacant or under-utilized lots, parks, greenhouses, and rooftops for food cultivation is significant. Urban agriculture is known to encourage community wide benefits in urban neighborhoods as well as wellness and business opportunities on an individual scale.

Practicing urban agriculture promotes health, creates gathering spaces for cultural exchange and recreation, revitalizes and beautifies abandoned areas, and provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and active work. What seems to be an obvious opportunity with a multitude of benefits has not brought in the level of interest, support and complimentary application that it could be.

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March 26, 2010   Comments Off