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Posts from — June 2010

Worm composting featured on The Ayurvedic Way – TV

See the video here. (Slow loading.)

City Farmer’s Farhat Khan explains worm composting on Ayurvedic Way TV

April 2010
The Ayurvedic Way

Farhat Khan, wormshop teacher at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, shows host Randall Mark how she composts at home with worms. Farhat teaches worm composting classes to 35 adults a session as part of the City of Vancouver’s program where residents get a fully functioning worm kit for just $25. City Farmer and the City have been holding these very popular classes for almost 20 years.

See the Ayurvedic Way TV website here.

See our worm composting videos linked in the right hand column.

June 30, 2010   Comments Off on Worm composting featured on The Ayurvedic Way – TV

More urbanites have their pick of fresh fruit

Barbara Feeney and Frank Iltis plant a fruit tree at Jessica Bullen Orchard and Quiet Garden in Madison, Wis. Photo by Steve Apps.

Fruit Tree Planting Foundation has provided trees and advice to planting projects in 20 states

By Ben Jones,
USA Today


Last fall, Eric Alperin, a San Francisco artist, heard about blackberries, plums and loquats growing on public property in his city and free for the picking.

Armed with bags and a pole device for picking fruit from tall branches, Alperin and his wife went foraging.

“It was great,” he said. “We picked as much as we could carry and had beautiful, fresh, free city fruit,” Alperin said. “I’ll definitely go (picking) again.” Fruit-picking opportunities like that are becoming more common, as volunteers in cities including Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Madison, Wis., mobilize behind a goal of planting fruit trees on public land in city parks and neighborhoods.

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June 29, 2010   Comments Off on More urbanites have their pick of fresh fruit

Tokyo Japan – Urban Farming – Veggies with a view

Architect-cum-urban-farmer Kazuki Iimura is turning Tokyo’s rooftops green. Photo by Melinda Joe

Kazuki Iimura takes gardening to a new level on Omotesando rooftops

By Melinda Joe
CNN International
29 June, 2010


On the roof of a building in Omotesando overlooking the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, tomatoes and wild strawberries are flourishing, and meter-high beanstalks are starting to produce fat, green pods. This incipient harvest is thanks to Kazuki Iimura, founder of Omotesando Farm, an urban farming project designed to utilize some of Tokyo’s most abundant open spaces: rooftops.

Iimura started Omotesando Farm last September, after the success of his first urban agriculture venture, Ginza Farm, where he turned an abandoned plot of land along a Ginza side street into a functioning rice paddy, complete with animals such as frogs and ducks that contribute to a healthy micro-ecosystem.

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June 29, 2010   1 Comment

Nuestro Barrio – Urban Farming in South Phoenix

Nicholas Cortez, urban farmer

“Our most famous Nuestro Barrio resident, Nicholas Cortez has made the news again. Showcased are several projects at his home including a greywater project done by students in this Spring’s Water Harvesting Certification class, a site design by Jaime Mazzeo, gardens by Tami Stass and community support from Wendy Reese who has seen her Master’s Degree turn into a neighborhood revitalization project.”

Nuestro Barrio is located southeast of downtown Phoenix. It encompasses Cuatro Milpas and Ann Ott neighborhoods as well as a portion of the former Golden Gate Barrio. Within Nuestro Barrio, 321 households remain with 102 privately owned vacant lots.

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June 28, 2010   Comments Off on Nuestro Barrio – Urban Farming in South Phoenix

Prince Charles’ favourite garden designer plans productive landscape

Chelsea Barracks masterplan includes food gardens. 3. Promenade garden producing fruit and vegetables tended by gardeners. 10. Community-tended productive gardens.

Prince Charles guru gives Chelsea Barracks a green makeover

By Nick McDermott
Daily Mail
14th June 2010


It was the ultra-modernist makeover that put Prince Charles at loggerheads with one of Britain’s foremost architects.
But the latest vision of Chelsea Barracks will see the site undergo a green transformation, with Prince-friendly features including beehives and a market garden.

‘It should be as productive as possible, rather than just be ornamental,’ said Mr Wilkie, who many suspect has been brought in to appease the prince. Key features include a nuttery – walnut and hazelnut trees planted around a central square – as well as fruit orchards and space for beehives.

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June 28, 2010   Comments Off on Prince Charles’ favourite garden designer plans productive landscape

Baltimore Chefs take local produce to a new level — the roof

Alan Morstein, owner of Regi’s American Bistro on Light Street in Federal Hill, shows off the 55-plant rooftop tomato garden atop his restaurant. Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.

Chefs, inspired by local-foods movement, aren’t just buying from farmers
they want to be the farmer

By Laura Vozzella
The Baltimore Sun
June 22, 2010


High atop Regi’s American Bistro in Federal Hill, 55 tomato plants grow in large pots, strategically located along support beams so they don’t strain the rowhouse roof.

Looking for a more affordable, dependable source for the tasty heirloom varieties that can fetch $4 to $5 a pound at area farmers’ markets, Regi’s owner Alan Morstein this spring created a rooftop tomato farmette that he proudly shows off to diners. Regi’s chefs Mike Broglio and Ben Troast have grown used to them, traipsing through the prep area to reach the roof.

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June 28, 2010   Comments Off on Baltimore Chefs take local produce to a new level — the roof

Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Gardens Research Delegation to CUBA, November 12 – 21, 2010


Eco Cuba Exchange invites you to participate on a Global Exchange research delegation to study Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Gardens in Cuba.

Global Exchange organizes regular delegations of professors and practitioners of organic agriculture to Cuba, some of whom have subsequently developed ongoing exchange programs through their universities and communities. There is no lack of enthusiasm. It is only the U.S. embargo that interferes with the full development of these joint projects.

Program Highlights:

Scale Model of the city of Havana
Meet with Cuban Architect/City Planner
City Tour/urban gardens/farmer’s markets
Ministry of Agriculture

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June 28, 2010   Comments Off on Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Gardens Research Delegation to CUBA, November 12 – 21, 2010

Vancouver Board of Education School Food Garden Policy Statement – June 2010


The Vancouver Board of Education therefore encourages and supports the development of school food gardens

By Kevin Millsip, VSB Sustainability, Brent Mansfield of Think and Eat Green at School and Sarah Carten at Vancouver Coastal Health. 2010

The Vancouver Board of Education recognizes the important role school food gardens can play in students’ learning. Garden-based learning can enhance academic achievement through integration of hands-on experiences into diverse subjects such as math, science, nutrition and environmental education. Garden- based learning also allows students to discover and experience fresh, healthy food and to make healthy food choices.

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June 28, 2010   Comments Off on Vancouver Board of Education School Food Garden Policy Statement – June 2010

Urban farms: can you source a complete meal from inside the London’s M25?

King’s Cross beekeeper Orlando Clarke Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer

From quail in the East End to honey bees in King’s Cross, Carole Cadwalladr goes in search of all the ingredients for a meal sourced as close as possible to her London home

By Carole Cadwalladr
The Observer
20 June 2010


It’s an exhausting and not very environmentally friendly business tracking down London’s urban farmers. I criss-cross the city spending what seems like the entire bank holiday stuck in traffic, wondering why this had ever seemed like a good idea.

Which is also pretty much what Oliver Rowe, the chef at London restaurant Konstam, says when I tell him I’m writing about urban agriculture, and am planning to source a meal from within the M25. “Somebody told me you’d rung,” he says. “And I thought, that’s what we do every day.” It’s true, localism is one of food’s most fashionable buzzwords these days, alongside seasonality and provenance, and Konstam prides itself on sourcing 80%of its ingredients from the Greater London area.

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June 28, 2010   1 Comment

Michael Hansen – brilliant urban agriculture photographer

Gardens of Park Place, Birmingham, AL. See larger image here.

Breaking Through Concrete continues to impress!

Michael Hanson is an award winning photographer based in Seattle, WA and was recently named one of the World’s Top Travel Photographers by Popular Photography Magazine.

In the midst of a summer sleeping on buses or in chain hotels throughout the Appalachians while playing baseball in the Atlanta Braves minor league organization, Michael started to make pictures. The unique environment, personalities, and lifestyle of minor league dovetailed with Michael’s sensibility for documentary photography. Over the two years he played with the Braves, Michael shot a series that sparked his post-baseball photography career.

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June 26, 2010   Comments Off on Michael Hansen – brilliant urban agriculture photographer

Organic City Farm in Chandigarh, India

Flower Sherbet. The lad from Udaipur brought enthusiasm and ideas galore. Upon his suggestion we went for a neighbourhood flower gathering spree and returned to make the first batch of hibiscus sherbet.

Secret Sacred Garden

By Moonstar Kaur Doad
Urban Organic Farmer
Punjab, Chandigarh, India

Flower Sherbet

Soak 35 flowers in 1 kg lemon juice for 6 hours approximately. Squeeze the juice out with a muslin cloth and mix 1 kg powdered sugar. Voila. Ready for the summer, instant hit with friends and family.

Only job remains to return to the neighbours with small bottled sherbet, so they realise the importance of their gardens and hopefully inspire them to start sher-betting!

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June 25, 2010   3 Comments

Part-time planters turning yards and vacant lots into patches of plenty

At his home in Mission Hills, Paul del Castillo tends to his crop of silver queen corn that he is growing in his front yard. Castillo figures the crops should be ready for harvest by the end of July. Photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda

City folk getting taste for farming in San Diego

By Peter Rowe
Union Tribune
June 24, 2010


Paul del Castillo’s corn farm is a mere 60 green, tasseled stalks. David Krimmel’s wheat farm bears a closer resemblance to an abandoned lot than a stirring vision of amber waves of grain.

These aren’t your traditional “America the Beautiful” images.

But fans of urban agriculture insist these midcity minifarms possess an unconventional beauty.

“The woman next door was ecstatic about it,” Krimmel said of his crop, rising in the middle of a residential North Park block. “This used to be a lot of weeds. Now it’s a lot of wheat.”

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June 25, 2010   Comments Off on Part-time planters turning yards and vacant lots into patches of plenty

Feature-length documentary in production about urban agriculture in both the First and Third Worlds

‘Food Not Lawns’ documentary fundraising teaser

By Karney Hatch

This is the fundraising teaser for the upcoming documentary “Food Not Lawns”. The documentary examines the efforts of a variety of individuals and organizations in Los Angeles to replace lawns with food-producing gardens. It also looks at larger-scale urban agriculture projects such as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm operating in North Hollywood.

The second focus of the film will be to examine the success of urban agriculture in Havana, Cuba, with an eye towards transferring the ideas and methods that have worked in this “Third World” city to urban centers in the United States and elsewhere in the “First World”.

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June 24, 2010   Comments Off on Feature-length documentary in production about urban agriculture in both the First and Third Worlds

How would you implement urban farming in Salt Lake City?

Urban Farming, Salt Lake Style from The Hive

By The Hive
Salt Lake City Public Library
June 24, 2010

The Hive is a new initiative at the Salt Lake City Public Library, an “Archive of Identity” designed to present a portrait of Salt Lake City through its stories.

Steven Swanson combines urban gardening with inner city basketball in Sugar House. Robert Eckman from the University District keeps chickens and bees and cultivates vegetables in a community garden. Lisa McClauahan of Highland Park would like to see people who don’t harvest their fruit offer it to the public through a website. And Kenvin Lyman has kept rabbits, chickens, goats and bees during the 43 years he has gardened in the Avenues.

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June 24, 2010   Comments Off on How would you implement urban farming in Salt Lake City?

Toronto’s Greenest City sprouts in Parkdale

Yonge Street’s videographer Rose Bianchini went to Parkdale to see what Greenest City is up to in that neigbourhood.

Greenest City

Greenest City is an award-winning charitable organization that grows local organic food, youth leaders and healthy, sustainable communities with a focus on Toronto’s Parkdale-High Park neighbourhood. Our animated, community-driven initiatives are grounded in urban agriculture.

Why focus on food? Because we believe that food and urban agriculture offer opportunities to connect people to nature, to each other and to new skills, simultaneously addressing a variety of critical urban issues.

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June 24, 2010   Comments Off on Toronto’s Greenest City sprouts in Parkdale