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Posts from — May 2010

Urban Farmers Upset About How a Garden Will No Longer Grow

Toby Sanchez, who founded the community garden at Brooklyn College with her husband. She said: “There weren’t many rules. ‘Take care of your garden, and don’t grow marijuana.’ ”

Take care of your garden, and don’t grow marijuana

By Kareem Fahim
New York Times
May 21, 2010


In one garden plot, a little girl and her younger brother spent their childhoods among the strawberries, poppies and sweet peas tended by their mother, a Russian immigrant who learned to farm in Siberia. In another plot, a Turkish woman grew eggplants that she took home and stuffed with meat and mint that she added to yogurt and cucumbers for her family.

On Thursday, those urban farmers and others like them went back to their plots at a community garden on the Brooklyn College campus, not to tend their plants but to uproot them. College administrators have ordered part of the garden, on a strip of land near a college entrance that they lent to the gardeners, paved over to accommodate the long-planned expansion of an athletic field.

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May 31, 2010   Comments Off on Urban Farmers Upset About How a Garden Will No Longer Grow

The First Certified Organic Rooftop Garden in the U.S. – Excellent video

The First Certified Organic Rooftop Garden in the U.S. from Conscious Living TV on Vimeo.

On this episode of Conscious Living TV, we traveled to Uncommon Ground, one of Chicago’s greenest (and tastiest) restaurants for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first certified organic rooftop garden in the U.S. with a special appearance from Chicago’s Mayor Daley.

Beyond Green: An uncommonly certified organic rooftop farm

Chicago, IL, 2009 – What began as an innovative idea hatched from a passion for sustainability has grown to become a 2500 square foot certified organic rooftop farm, rising 30 feet above Devon Avenue on the north side of Chicago.

The Midwest Organic Services Association designated the farm organic on October 16th, 2008, making it the first certified organic farm in the United States that resides on a rooftop. The organic farm boasts a grocery list of produce, from Nardello Peppers to Black Prince Tomatoes, which fuel the restaurant below. For over 18 years Uncommon Ground has upheld a farm to table mentality, building relationships with farmers from the Great Lakes region who follow sustainable and organic methods.

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May 31, 2010   Comments Off on The First Certified Organic Rooftop Garden in the U.S. – Excellent video

Urban farming: It’s not sharecropping anymore

Collie Graddick. Consultant at MN Dept of Agriculture, Board Member at Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Board Member at Preventing Harm Minnesota.

Food advocate urges Blacks to form Twin Cities farm cooperative

By Charles Hallman
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder


Collie Graddick says the time is now for neighborhoods all over the Twin Cities to set up urban farms. “A community food system, in my opinion, is a way to hopefully bring economic opportunities to inner-city communities,” explains Graddick, a Minnesota Department of Agriculture consultant, of his “neighborhood-level sustainable food system.”

This is a good fit with the growing “sustainability” movement, which Graddick, an educator and food justice advocate, believes more Blacks should understand and appreciate. He defines sustainability as simply ensuring provision of the basics needed to live.

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May 31, 2010   Comments Off on Urban farming: It’s not sharecropping anymore

Globeville Swansea Elyria Urban Agriculture Project

A Youth Corps member learns to shear a sheep.

Created and organized by Feed Denver

Local Harvest Foods is excited to donate our land for the Feed Denver urban farm and farm stand at the corner of 42nd and Steele, a true food desert, that the Feed Denver crew is dedicated to making thrive!

See more photos on the next page.

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May 30, 2010   Comments Off on Globeville Swansea Elyria Urban Agriculture Project

Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture Project, Sacramento, California

Short news clip from KTXL Fox 40 News in Sacramento, California about a farm company teaching people how to maintain crops and create their own food in an urban environment.

Past, Present, and Future of the group

Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture Project started in 2000 as a small urban organic farm located in Sacramento, California. Our story began with two young and inexperienced organic farmers who had a dream and lots of ambition. Wanting to reconnect urban dwellers with healthy food and where it comes from, Marco and I put a hand written note in the mailbox of a local Sacramento resident asking if we could grow on her land in exchange for produce. The next day a deal was struck, and Soil Born Farms was born. Seven seasons later, filled with hard work and lessons learned, Soil Born has grown and matured beyond expectations.

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May 30, 2010   Comments Off on Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture Project, Sacramento, California

‘Part Time Farmer’ by the Corrigan Brothers and Pete Creighton

View the song ‘Part Time Farmer’ here.

A New Musical Genre “Rural”

The song “ My carrots aren’t straight enough for the Supermarket” tells the story of the pressure on vegetable farmers to conform to supermarket specifications.

Has Urban had it’s day? Are we tired of drive by shootings and gangsters . Well the Irish Band who had the international hit and have over six million you tube hits with “There’s no one as Irish as Barack Obama” think so. They are pioneering a new musical Genre called Rural. Instead of gang war and angry homies there will be tractors, cows, sheep, eggs, rural pubs, marts and farmers markets. Lead singer Ger Corrigan explained “Rural has arrived and we want to sing the praises of the country. We see joy in the smell of cow dung; we see love and vocation in the work of the vet. We love misshapen vegetables and we want to celebrate that in song”.

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May 30, 2010   Comments Off on ‘Part Time Farmer’ by the Corrigan Brothers and Pete Creighton

City Slickers Take to the Crops, With Song

Zoë Wonfor is among those helping at Sylvester Manor, a farm on Shelter Island. Photo by Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times

Farms welcome volunteers

By Kathryn Shattuck
New York Times
May 28, 2010


It was prime growing weather on Shelter Island, N.Y., as a breeze blew in from Dering Harbor, and Bennett Konesni was tending to his field of dreams: three neatly planted acres of bok choy, cauliflower, kale, Asian mustard greens, spinach, garlic, lettuce, onions, potatoes and leeks, with room for the peppers, eggplants and 15 varieties of tomatoes soon to be transplanted. Coming to a plot of leafy snap peas, inspiration struck. Suddenly he erupted in a full-throttle rendition of “Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow”: “Do you, or I, or anyone know/How oats, peas, beans and barley grow?”

Was anyone listening to his impromptu serenade? Who cared?

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May 29, 2010   Comments Off on City Slickers Take to the Crops, With Song

Canada to shut down six prison farms

Inmates working. Photo By Marc Vasconcellos.

Save Our Prison Farms

This new Save Our Prison Farms website has been set up by the national campaign team to respond to growing public concern over the immanent shut down of Canada’s six prison farms. We believe that our government will reverse its misguided policy decision as it continues to discover that the vast majority of Canadians of all political stripes support this productive, cost effective, rehabilitative farm-based program.


Canada’s six prison farms are located at,

• Pittsburgh and Frontenac Institutions in Kingston, Ontario
• Westmorland Institution in Dorchester, New Brunswick
• Rockwood Institution in Stoney Mountain near Winnipeg, Manitoba
• Riverbend Institution near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
• Bowden Institution in Innisfail near Calgary, Alberta

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May 29, 2010   6 Comments

Buffalo’s Public Market to have 70 growing beds on rooftop

“All of the 70 boxes – with the help of WNY Americorps will be finished on Tuesday – we should have 18 built by Saturday. They will be built and filled with top quality compost ready to go next week.”

The Broadway Market: Moving Forward

Todd Schoepflin
Buffalo Rising
May 5, 2010 8:2

Tom Kerr has been executive director of Broadway Market

“Tom was especially enthusiastic about plans for a roof garden. The market is looking to connect with families, individuals, and community groups to become “plot owners.” The market will provide materials along with educational workshops on seeding, planting, fertilizers, pest management, pickling and canning. Owners will have the option to sell their harvest at the market. There is already a commitment to more than a dozen gardening plots.

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May 28, 2010   Comments Off on Buffalo’s Public Market to have 70 growing beds on rooftop

The Digital Garden on Leetsdale


Community-permaculture garden hybrid that is infused with digital media in Glendale, Colorado

By Leo Kacenjar,
The Wild Green Yonder
Mar 25, 2010


The Digital Garden on Leetsdale is an experimental space that works to combine the positive environmental and individually empowering effects of a community garden with the discursive potential of digital media. The goal will be that digital installations like a wireless hub, computing lab, online communal space (content management system) and various thematic digital art pieces, in combination with a working sustainability park and community garden, will bolster dialogue. Sustainable structures, serving as common area and storage will be functional testaments to environmentally friendly building techniques. The conversational potential of this juxtaposition promises to be beneficial and unique. Topics like sustainable design, networked civic engagement, and urban reclamation will all arise in context of the green space.

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May 28, 2010   Comments Off on The Digital Garden on Leetsdale

Imogen Heap – live improvisation for Urban Farming


Live improvisation charity downloads

Each night of her tour, Imogen records a completely improvised song. These songs are then made available as digital downloads shortly after the shows. All proceeds from sales go to local charities.

Listen to her song here.

May 28, 2010   Comments Off on Imogen Heap – live improvisation for Urban Farming

Urban farming: A way out of the job market in Nigeria

Kitchen garden, Nigeria. See larger image here.

One place where urban farming can easily be noticed in the country is Lagos

By Chioma Pius
Nigerian Compass
28 May, 2010


All seasons the year round, the place is ever green. It cuts the picture of a well cultivated and taken care of green belt. And almost round the clock, an array of workers scurry about bearing water cans, their brown bodies glistering with sweat.

The crowd on this belt however varies in composition depending on the time of the day. Some women could be sighted holding heated discussions with their male counterparts. Which ever way one looks at it, the fact remains that a bustling business holds here daily. Welcome to a part of the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State where urban farming thrives.

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May 28, 2010   1 Comment

Future Farm City

See video of the project here.

Growing Opportunities for Urban Agriculture

Future Farm City
Knowlton School of Architecture
May 17th – June4th

FUTURE FARM CITY: Growing Opportunities for Urban Agriculture
Design Research led by Brian Holland, KSA LeFevre Fellow 2009-10(with ARCH 844 and LARCH 644)

Over the last half-century, changes in American farming practices and urban development patterns have achieved near total territorial and cultural segregation between the activities of food production and consumption. In particular, the agricultural regions of the Midwest are often characterized by dense monocultures of commodity crops and fragmented communities of part-time farmers who often must sell their land to pay the bills, or commute to nearby towns and cities to seek additional work. Meanwhile, urban dwellers often possess little understanding of where their food comes from or how it is produced.

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May 28, 2010   Comments Off on Future Farm City

Locavore: From Farmers’ fields To Rooftop Gardens


How Canadians are Changing the way we eat

by Sarah Elton
Harper Collins Publishers Ltd
March 2010

Strawberries in January, fresh tomatoes year-round and New Zealand lamb at all times — these well-travelled foods have a carbon footprint the size of an SUV. But there is a burgeoning local food movement taking place in Canadian cities, farms and shops that is changing both the way we eat and the way we think about food.

Locavore describes how foodies, 100-milers, urbanites, farmers, gardeners and chefs across Canada are creating a new local food order that is sustainable and can feed us all. Combining front-line reporting, shrewd analysis and passionate food writing to delight the gastronome, Locavore shows how the pieces of a post-industrial food system are being assembled into something infinitely better.

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May 27, 2010   Comments Off on Locavore: From Farmers’ fields To Rooftop Gardens

Rent-a-Chicken business


Kids Up North: Rent-a-Chicken in Traverse City, Northern Michigan, Makes Urban Farming Child’s Play

By Kate Bassett
May 25, 2010

Join the growing flock of Traverse City families who have signed up to rent a chicken from Leslie Suitor, who along with her husband Mark, started a Rent-a-Chicken, a new company that has parents and children clucking with joy.


MyNorth: How exactly does one get into the business of renting chickens?

Leslie Suitor (Mother Hen): Well, for us, it happened like a snowball. We live in the country and already had chickens. When the Traverse City ordinance changed last year (allowing up to four hens per city parcel), friends started asking us a ton of questions about how to raise them. There was a lot of interest, but people were leery too, especially about how to care for baby chicks. We did have some friends take the plunge—and they spent a lot of money to do so—and it got me thinking. What if we made chickens available that weren’t babies? That would eliminate a lot of the costs. And that led to wondering if we should just rent chickens, let people check them out for the summer and see where it goes. Before I knew it, we had a basement full of baby chicks all winter long.

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May 27, 2010   Comments Off on Rent-a-Chicken business