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Posts from — July 2010

Green Roofed Farm City Combines Agriculture and Urban Density

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Photo credits: Studio Shift

Studio Shift’s proposal, Milano Stadt Krone

By Bridgette Meinhold
Inhabitat
07/30/10

Excerpt:

A sponsored exhibition by the Architectural and Urban Forum (AUFO) of Milan asked 12 firms to imagine how increased density could be achieved while providing more public space and agriculture to support a growing Milan. Studio Shift’s proposal, Milano Stadt Krone, suggests that residences and an urban farm can be layered on top of each other, working in a harmonious pair to provide better quality of life for the people of Milan.

The Lombardy region of Italy contains one sixth of all the Italian population and is responsible for one third of the nation’s agricultural output, which makes it critical that the region continue to pump out food for the rest of the country without sacrificing land for residential, commercial or industrial uses.

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July 31, 2010   Comments Off

Urban farming takes root at MGM Grand – $1 million project

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Jeff Jackson of the MGM Grand, left, walks with Rebecca Salminen Witt of The Greening of Detroit and Michigan State Rep. Bert Johnson. Photo by Max Ortiz, The Detroit News.

$1 million project – Partnership with nonprofit to educate area school kids

Tim Devaney
The Detroit News
July 31, 2010

Excerpt:

Detroit — MGM Grand Detroit casino and The Greening of Detroit said Friday that they plan a $1 million project to build and complete the downtown area’s first urban farm by late next year.

The Grand Garden — announced with the city’s skyscrapers as a backdrop — is crucial for the city’s development of a community-driven food system, organizers said.

Detroit is one of a growing number of metropolitan areas that is reintroducing agriculture. Detroit’s neighborhoods are already filled with more than 1,200 urban farms and gardens, Grand Garden organizers said.

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July 31, 2010   Comments Off

Community garden project takes root to supply food for needy

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Shui Im, 88, waters the zucchini plants he’s cared for in the all-volunteer community garden in Poway as part of the Backyard Produce Project. Photo by Peggy Peattie

San Diego garden

By Vincent Rossi
The Union Tribune
July 30, 2010

Excerpt:

Early this year, Sunshine Care owner Sam Stelletello offered a vacant lot on his facility’s grounds for the Backyard Produce Project to use to develop its own garden. Stelletello’s offer included access to Sunshine Care’s water supply and help from his horticultural staff.

In March, Radatz and other volunteers went to work on transforming the weed-strewn field into a working garden.

“It’s really grass-roots,” said Radatz on a recent day at the garden. “We started out asking questions like, ‘Does anybody have a hoe?’?”

[Read more →]

July 31, 2010   Comments Off

1,000 New Gardens Missoula, Montana

1,000 New Gardens

1,000 New Gardens is a network of aspiring green thumbs in Missoula, Montana who are interested in sharecropping, canning, pickling and growing organic vegetables together. We are encouraging the conversion (of lawn space in people’s back and front yards) into productive sustenance patches. Volunteers are helping to organize events centered around beginning gardeners, including Seed Ordering potlucks and Dig Days. In 2010, our goal is to attract 40 new gardeners to the network.

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July 30, 2010   1 Comment

An Assessment of the Contribution of Urban Crop Agriculture in Nigerian Cities: A Case Study of Enugu Metropolis, Enugu State, Nigeria

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The city of Enugu from the hills on the west side of the city.

An Assessment of the Contribution of Urban Crop Agriculture in Nigerian Cities: A Case Study of Enugu Metropolis, Enugu State, Nigeria

Authors: J. M. Chaha; E. A. Onwubuyaa; A. N. Asadua
Affiliation: a Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Published in: Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, Volume 11, Issue 3 July 2010 , pages 233 – 247

Abstract

This study examined the contribution of urban crop agriculture in Enugu metropolis, Enugu State. A questionnaire/interview schedule was used to collect information from 60 urban agriculture (UA) farmers. Respondents were engaged in UA to provide food for family members (97%), for extra income (91.67%), and to pay children’s school fees (85.45%).

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July 30, 2010   Comments Off

Touring Montreal’s Urban Agriculture

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Touring Montreal’s Urban Agriculture

By Amanda S.
The Mindful Table
July 30, 2010

I love the concept of urban agriculture. We really don’t need a lot of space to grow some of our own food in the city. I keep a small garden that could probably sustain me through most of the summer. Not to mention how nice it is to reach for a tomato or pepper and know that it was picked fresh just minutes ago. Yum.

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July 30, 2010   1 Comment

Reducing San Francisco’s crime by growing food



Alemany Farm: Video story above

Huffington Post
07-29-10

Alemany Farm is a four acre organic paradise amidst the urban sprawl of one of San Francisco’s worst crime areas.

Executive Director Alice Carruthers says her vision with the non-profit “was to slow the crime down.” Since the farm began in 1991, families have been able to put fresh organic food on their tables and find a safe haven from the hostile environment where their children play and learn about the environment.

Link here.

July 30, 2010   Comments Off

The Guardian asks – Are vertical farms the future of urban food?

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Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Artist unknown.

With more mouths to feed and increasing demands on land, Duncan Graham-Rowe looks to see if high rise city blocks will be the source of tomorrow’s supper

Duncan Graham-Rowe
The Guardian
29 July 2010
Duncan Graham-Rowe is a former staff writer for the New Scientist and a regular contributor to The Economist and The Guardian.

Excerpt:

The vaults rose up as high as the city walls, bearing reeds richly bedded in bitumen and gypsum. The layered galleries peered each beyond its neighbour to reach the sunlight, and water drawn from the river was pumped through conduits up to the highest level. The topsoil was thick enough to root even the largest trees…

These were the renowned Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as described by the Greek historians Diodorus and Callisthenes, and the earliest example of vertical farming – at least according to Dan Caiger-Smith. His company, Valcent, is taking the concept into the 21st century, recently launching the first farm of its kind at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

[Read more →]

July 29, 2010   Comments Off

Urban agriculture in Boston – growing promise, weeding challenges

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City Growers, Boston. Our mission is to transform vacant lots in Boston into sustainable urban farms. Photo by City Growers

Food Project’s 4 acres in 7 urban communities and 36 additional suburban acres

By Jacqueline Church
Good Eater Collaborative
Jul 27, 2010

Excerpt:

Today, urban agriculture, “urban ag”, is not simply about delicious, local food, it’s about creating new food production and delivery systems, it’s about public health and food justice. Boston chefs, community advocates and entrepreneurs are broadening the dialog and shortening the distance between farm and table. Never mind the 100 mile diet, how about 100 blocks, or 100 steps?

Meet a few new urban farmers, giving us a window into the promises and the challenges of urban agriculture in its many forms.

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July 29, 2010   Comments Off

Find a roof for your urban agriculture business

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Seglet – revenue from rooftops.

Owners – How can I profit from my roof?

For owners of property: Seglet is your opportunity to make money from your unused rooftop space. Your roof space is now valuable. Companies or individuals may rent, lease, or engage in a partnership with you for Solar Panels, Vegetable Gardens, Wind Energy, or Creative Uses.

Agriculture Flat Lease
With a flat lease, the commercial agriculturalist will rent the space from a property owner, then produce the food and sell to local grocery stores, farmers markets, Walmarts, and restaurants.

Agriculture Profit Share
With a profit share, the commercial agriculturalist will split the profits of the produce sold with the owner of the property. There are many arrangements within this, some that involve some upfront cost for the owner, and some that don’t involve an upfront cost.

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July 28, 2010   Comments Off

Urban gardening experiment in downtown Houston takes off; part of eating-local trend

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A row of potted herb and vegetable plants are seen lined up outside the public works building in downtown Houston. The garden, a cooperative effort by city officials and nonprofit group, is part of a trend in cities across the county, where gardens are being used as tools for economic development and community-building, and to support the growing local-foods movement. AP Photo by Pat Sullivan.

Downtown Houston Container Vegetable Garden Project

Monica Rhor
For The Associated Press
July 27, 2010

Excerpt:

HOUSTON — A funny thing happened after Keiji Asakura suggested the creation of a vegetable garden in the middle of the concrete corridor and skyscraper canyon that is downtown Houston.

It actually came to fruition — with a swiftness that stunned the landscape architect and the nonprofit group that shared his vision.

Within three weeks, seeds, plants and container pots had been donated, city officials had hopped on board, and a nascent garden had sprouted outside the 25-story Bob Lanier Public Works Building.

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July 27, 2010   Comments Off

Botanical Gardens Are Turning Away From Flowers

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Jazz Monde serving a Pollinator (green tea liqueur, soda water and Sprite), a signature cocktail offered at the Camellia Lounge at Descanso Gardens near Los Angeles. Photo by Jonathan Alcorn for The New York Times

In 2009, 35 percent of American households had some kind of food garden, up from 31 percent in 2008

By Judith H. Dobrzynski
New York Times
July 26, 2010

Excerpts:

For the last quarter century, the Cleveland Botanical Garden went all out for its biennial Flower Show, the largest outdoor garden show in North America. With themed gardens harking back to the Roman empire, or an 18th-century English estate, the event would draw 25,000 to 30,000 visitors.

But in 2009, the Flower Show was postponed and then abandoned when the botanical garden could not find sponsors. This year, the garden has different plans. From Sept. 24 to 26, it is inaugurating the “RIPE! Food and Garden Festival,” which celebrates the trend of locally grown food — and is supported in part by the Cleveland Clinic and Heinen’s, a supermarket chain.

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July 27, 2010   Comments Off

Urban Agtivist: Cultivating an Urban Agroecology

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Entrepreneurs are seeking sustainability and equitability in San Francisco’s urban ag movement

By Sarah Rich
Edible San Francisco
25 July 2010

Excerpt:

In a region where people are passionate about the advancement of urban farming, it’s only natural that our local food magazine would dedicate some ink in each issue to talking about this noble pursuit. This is the first installment in Edible SF’s new urban agriculture column, where we’ll explore everything from window-box tomato cultivation to pending city policies around farms on public land. If you have suggestions for a little-known local endeavor or a pressing issue you’d like to see covered here, please get in touch.

[Read more →]

July 27, 2010   Comments Off

Community Garden Tour in Lexington, Kentucky

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Stops at five community gardens – bike or bus

Thursday July 29, 2010
5:00 to 8:00pm (8-9:30pm dinner)
Sustainable Communities Network

In the words of Ginny Ramsey of The Catholic Action Center, “Urban gardening is a way to empower neighborhoods and individuals in the creation of a community hub while eating healthier and regaining a connection to our food source.”

Sumaya Rashid of Virginia Place says “ I was inspired by the 2009 Garden Tour and knew I had to help lead the effort to have one at Virginia Place. My daughter loves the garden and enjoys being out there everyday. Our garden plots have been a wonderful addition to the bonding of mothers and children”.

[Read more →]

July 27, 2010   Comments Off

Lay’s, maker of potato chips, sends mobile farm to cities across USA

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Lay’s Mobile Farm in New York’s Times Square. Photo by dianebondareff.

Multi-City Experiential Tour to Feature Lay’s U.S. Potato Farmers; Brand to Donate Thousands of Plants to Help Grow Community Gardens Nationwide

Lay’s press release
July 26, 2010

Lay’s®, America’s favorite potato chip and a leading brand from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, unveiled today a mobile greenhouse designed to bring a rural farm experience to the center of metropolitan areas across the country. The six-city “Lay’s Mobile Farm” tour kicks-off this morning in New York City’s iconic Times Square and will then travel to five other major cities throughout the U.S. – Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas. The campaign marks another phase of the brand’s strategy to celebrate the people and communities across the country that produce its line of potato chips.

[Read more →]

July 26, 2010   Comments Off