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Posts from — May 2010

Our future FarmVille? Urban, community gardens are growing in Orlando, Florida

MaryLou.jpgMary Lou Basham waters her garden at Orlando’s Festival Park recently. Photo by Jacob Langston.

City dwellers use their green thumbs to strengthen neighborhood bonds in community gardens

By Victor Manuel Ramos,
Orlando Sentinel
May 21, 2010


Amaury Diaz is proud to show off the shoots of tomatoes, bell peppers, pumpkins and black-eyed peas that he planted two weeks ago.

“This is my farm,” a beaming Diaz says as he leans down to inspect their leaves and feel the soil before watering.

The 72-year-old painter who lives in downtown Orlando is not admiring an expanse of crops. His “farm” is a 4-by-12 foot dirt patch surrounded by chain-link fence on city property.

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May 23, 2010   1 Comment

Detroit has an estimated 40 square miles of vacant property — more than 25,000 acres

det2.jpgWork crews clear out an empty lot in Detroit. Photo by Carlos Osorio.

Farming invades Detroit – Triscuit and nonprofit group combine efforts

Associated Press
May 22, 2010


A nonprofit that puts vacant urban land to use for growing food will kick off work next week on one of several new community gardens it’s planning for the Detroit area under a nationwide partnership with Kraft Foods Inc.’s Triscuit brand.

In Detroit, residents increasingly are working to transform vacant, often-blighted land into gardens and small farms. Urban Farming has been part of that push since 2005, when it put its first gardens in the ground.

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May 23, 2010   1 Comment

Urban Cowboy


Denver Urban Homesteading

Sara Rubin
The Atlantic Magazine
May 21 2010


In this era of farmers’ markets and slow food, city dwellers are turning to the Internet to learn about old-timey self-reliance–how to butcher chickens, milk goats, or dye fabrics. But a new re-skilling center, Denver Urban Homesteading, offers hands-on classes on topics from cooking to fish farming. The center also provides heirloom seeds, chicken coops, and mini-greenhouses and sells its own canned and dried goods at a year-round market. James Bertini, founder of Denver Urban Homesteading, spoke with The Atlantic about how big city folk can live off the land.

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May 22, 2010   Comments Off on Urban Cowboy

Photos of Urban Farming in Anyang, South Korea



Photos posted by Mauricio on May 21, 2010

Anyang is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It is located approximately 25 km south of Seoul

As with most towns and cities in South Korea, Anyang has experienced tremendous urban growth during the past few decades. Ten years after the Korean War ended, the area’s population was still largely rural and its landscape agricultural. It was well known for it’s grape growing and today the city mascot is a grape figure known as ‘Podong-i’.

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May 22, 2010   Comments Off on Photos of Urban Farming in Anyang, South Korea

Milwaukee urban farmer attends White House State Dinner

Urban farmer Will Allen invited to White House State Dinner

Sarah Platt
FOX6 Reporter
May 21, 2010

Few Americans will ever receive an invitation to a White House State Dinner, but a Milwaukee man and his wife found themselves there this week.

Will Allen, urban farmer and CEO of Growing Power, recently graced the pages of Time Magazine, dubbed one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Allen was honored for his movement to growing healthy food in low-income neighborhoods.

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May 21, 2010   Comments Off on Milwaukee urban farmer attends White House State Dinner

Paris wakes up and the Champs-Elysees becomes a garden


Olive trees, flowers, vegetables and cows … The Champs Elysees turns green this weekend

By Carole Bilien and Marina Torre
May 20, 2010

Excerpt: article in French.
Translation service here.

Plus de d’un million de personnes sont attendues les 23 et 24 mai sur les Champs-Elysées qui se mettent au vert pour présenter la production agricole, l’élevage et la forêt française.

Baptisé «Nature Capitale», cet événement, dont l’accès sera gratuit, se tient alors que le secteur est confronté à une crise profonde et que se discute actuellement une nouvelle loi sur l’agriculture.

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May 20, 2010   Comments Off on Paris wakes up and the Champs-Elysees becomes a garden

Is the Urban Farming Movement Here to Stay?

Photo by restless.kahuku

The Green Plate

Vanessa Barrington’s weekly column, The Green Plate, on the environmental, social, and political issues related to what and how we eat.
May 20, 2010


Urban farming has the potential to help us take charge of the foods we eat, green our cities, build community, and increase food security for urban residents.

Everyday, there’s articles about backyard chickens, bee keeping, or urban yard sharing. Clearly urban agriculture is at the top of the trend pile. But is it just a trend, or a part of a sustainable future?

Last week I attended a panel discussion in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club (presented by INFORUM), about how today’s urban farming movement began and where it’s going. Attendees were treated to a variety of perspectives from four pitchfork-toting farmerpreneur leaders of the urban farming movement in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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May 20, 2010   Comments Off on Is the Urban Farming Movement Here to Stay?

Urban farming is not always the right answer


Chicago’s very urban Logan Square

Kaid Benfield’s Blog
May 20, 2010


Urban farming is all the rage, and not without reason, as more and more city dwellers are taking an interest in growing some of their own food, or at least buying as locally as possible, and as we search for creative uses for city properties not occupied by buildings.  I’m on record as supporting neighborhood ‘victory gardens’ in particular, along with such initiatives as the University of Cincinnati’s small (1.24 acres) urban farm on a municipal lot in a residential portion of that city.  I have also celebrated neighborhood community gardens in such residential areas as Denver’s Highlands’ Garden Village, Seattle’s High Point, and Old North St. Louis.

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May 20, 2010   Comments Off on Urban farming is not always the right answer

Guerrilla farming on a traffic island

telegraph.jpgBearing fruit: John-Paul Flintoff plants apple trees on a traffic island in west London Photo by Geoff Pugh

Guerrilla farming: John-Paul Flintoff tries to bring a little bit of the country to a busy London road

By John-Paul Flintoff
The Telegraph UK
May 20, 2010


Welcome to one of the busiest roads in London. I’m standing beside three lanes of heavy traffic and the cars are hurtling past – but that’s tremendous, because it means the drivers are too busy to notice me.

A fluorescent yellow jacket is not everybody’s idea of a disguise, but I’m wearing my bright cycling top so that if anybody notices me they might think I’m a contractor working for the local authority. After all, surely only somebody working for the council would dig a hole beside a busy road and plant an apple tree. That’s what I’m doing, in my ongoing attempt to turn the town into the country.

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May 20, 2010   Comments Off on Guerrilla farming on a traffic island

Urban agriculture, poverty, and food security: Empirical evidence from a sample of developing countries


By Alberto Zezza and Luca Tasciottia
Agricultural Development Economics Division,
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
Available online 14 May 2010.


Urban agriculture may have a role to play in addressing urban food insecurity problems, which are bound to become increasingly important with the secular trend towards the urbanization of poverty and of population in developing regions. Our understanding of the importance, nature and food security implications of urban agriculture is however plagued by a lack of good quality, reliable data. While studies based on survey data do exist for several major cities, much of the evidence is still qualitative if not anecdotal. Using a recently created dataset bringing together comparable, nationally representative household survey data for 15 developing or transition countries, this paper analyzes in a comparative international perspective the importance of urban agriculture for the urban poor and food insecure.

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May 20, 2010   Comments Off on Urban agriculture, poverty, and food security: Empirical evidence from a sample of developing countries

Writer Manny Howard and his ‘Empire of Dirt’

Video by Simon and Schuster

Radio Interview with author Manny Howard

The Takeaway is a national morning news program that invites listeners to be part of the American conversation. Hosts John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee, along with partners The New York Times, BBC World Service, WNYC, Public Radio International and WGBH Boston, deliver news and analysis and help you prepare for the day ahead.?May 19, 2010

For this week’s food segment, we talk with Manny Howard, a man who turned his tiny New York City backyard into a farm, complete with produce and livestock.

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May 20, 2010   1 Comment

Lessons from Cuba’s Urban and Sub-Urban Farming Revolution


Farmer-to-Farmer Movement, traditional knowledge sharing and the value of cooperation versus competition

By Jennifer Cockrall-King
May 18, 2010


I’ve been to Cuba twice now, once in 2007 and just very recently (where I met and roomed with the amazing Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It, and the blogger behind La Vida Locavore). Both times, I’ve been in Cuba to research their agricultural models, especially their urban agricultural models, as I’m writing a book on the global movement of urban agriculture.

Jill and I participated in a conference and research tour from May 5 to 15, 2010, organized by the Asociacion Cubana de Tecnicos Agricolas y Forestales. and Jill is doing a mind-blowing job of chronicling our day-to-day adventures on the farms and our other wanderings on La Vida Locavore, so check it out for blow-by-blow visits to the farms.

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May 19, 2010   Comments Off on Lessons from Cuba’s Urban and Sub-Urban Farming Revolution

Saskatoon city council frees 150 vacant lots for gardens

Paul Merriman, CEO of the Saskatoon Food Bank, sifts through the dirt on vacant property in the 900 block of Third Avenue North, where potatoes will be planted for the food bank. Photograph by Gord Waldner

150 lots citywide are now available for food production

By David Hutton
The StarPhoenix
May 18, 2010

Milton Taylor was sick of staring at dandelions.

The sprawling three-acres of city-owned land across from his photography business on Third Avenue North had long been an unsightly mess of weeds and litter. So, five years ago, as a test project, Taylor planted a small potato patch on a corner of the land at the edge of the north downtown in City Park, donating the 250 pounds of harvested potatoes to the Saskatoon Food Bank.

“I didn’t get a lot, but I got something,” Taylor said.

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May 19, 2010   Comments Off on Saskatoon city council frees 150 vacant lots for gardens

An Urban Farming Pioneer Sows His Own Legacy

johnJohn Ameroso at a farm he started on Governor’s Island. Photo by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

“Anybody doing urban agriculture today should thank him personally”

By Tracie McMllan
New York Times
May 18, 2010


John Ameroso didn’t hoe the rows of vegetables that help feed the Bronx at the Padre Plaza Success Garden in the borough’s Mott Haven section. He didn’t pick any tomatoes from the vines at the Brooklyn Rescue Mission’s farm. And he didn’t turn the composting bins that kept East New York Farms! fertile ground for collards, cilantro and chard.

But he’s responsible for all of it, along with the rest of more than 18 tons of produce grown in city lots for market last year.

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May 18, 2010   Comments Off on An Urban Farming Pioneer Sows His Own Legacy

Greenaid-Seedbomb Vending for Greener Cities!


The Greenaid dispensary

Made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, “seedbombs” are becoming an increasingly popular means combating the many forgotten grey spaces we encounter everyday-from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians. They can be thrown anonymously into these derelict urban sites to temporarily reclaim and transform them into places worth looking at and caring for.

The Greenaid dispensary simply makes these guerrilla gardening efforts more accessible to all by appropriating the existing distribution system of the quarter-operated gumball machine. With a simple edict, “Change for Change”, the Greenaid initiative encourages urban dwellers of any age to become casual activists by taking part in the incremental beautification of their environment using only the loose coins in their pocket.

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May 18, 2010   Comments Off on Greenaid-Seedbomb Vending for Greener Cities!