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Posts from — October 2010

Japan Today’s picture of the day

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Reuters photo.

31st October, 2010

An employee harvests vegetables grown under Hybrid Electrode Fluroescent Lamps (HEFL) inside an office of Pasona Group, an employment and staffing company in Tokyo. Vegetables, fruits and rice are grown and harvested by the employees at the company’s “urban farm,” aimed at creating a working environment coexisting with nature, according to the company. 

Link here.

October 30, 2010   Comments Off

Commercial rooftop garden in Montreal is world’s first

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Lufa Farms’ rooftop greenhouse will start planting in January and its first harvest will be ready six weeks later. Photograph by: Handout, Architect’s concept

Nearly $2-million, 31,000 square-foot project

By Alison Macgregor
The Montreal Gazette
October 28, 2010

Excerpt:

If all goes well, urban locavores will have a year-round source of non-GMO, pesticide-and-herbicide-free produce by early 2011.

Lufa Farms, a Montreal company, plans to unveil the world’s first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse atop of a two-storey office building near Marche Centrale.

The nearly $2-million, 31,000 square-foot project should be completed before the end of the year and is expected to be ready for planting in January.

[Read more →]

October 29, 2010   3 Comments

Bill would exempt Detroit from Right to Farm Act, allow stricter regulation of urban agriculture

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An abandoned Detroit lot produces food instead of tax revenue. Photo by Andy McGlashen.

To support urban agriculture, the city needs a full-scale exemption from the Right to Farm Act

By Yang Zhang
Great Lakes Echo
Oct 28, 2010

Excerpt:

LANSING – Legislators from Detroit and Greenville have teamed up in an effort to ease restrictions on Detroit under the state farming laws.

A bill by Reps. Gabe Leland, D-Detroit, and Mike Huckleberry, D-Greenville, would exclude Detroit from the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which limits the legal right of neighbors to sue farmers about noise and smell complaints.

“By exempting Detroit, the city would be free to apply practical rules to urban agriculture,” said Joe Taylor, Leland’s chief of staff.

[Read more →]

October 29, 2010   Comments Off

Vanishing of the Bees

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Documentary by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein
US Release – August 21, 2010
National Honeybee Awareness Day!

Vanishing of the Bees takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film also highlights the positive changes that have resulted due to a tragic phenomenon known as “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Providing viewers with tangible solutions they can apply to their everyday lives, Vanishing of the Bees unfolds as a dramatic tale of science and mystery, illuminating the greater meaning surrounding the relationship between humankind and Mother Earth. The bees have a message – but will we listen?

[Read more →]

October 28, 2010   Comments Off

From The Office to the Farm: One Woman Makes a Drastic Career Change

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Kristin Kimball left her freelance career in Manhattan for 500 acres in northeastern New York State.

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love [Hardcover]
By Kristin Kimball (Author)
Scribner (October 12, 2010)

By Kristin Kimball
The Oprah Magazine
October 13, 2010

Excerpt:

The other day, rummaging for something in the depths of my desk, I found an eight-year-old to-do list scribbled on the back of a receipt: “Reheel black shoes. Pick up dry cleaning. Call super re: sink. Meet P for drinks.” For a minute, I sat there remembering what it was like to be a single woman in Manhattan. Now my to-do list starts with milking eight cows at dawn and ends with closing the laying hens in their coop at dusk. The dry-cleanables wore out a long time ago, and I wear heels so infrequently I’ve forgotten how to walk in them.

[Read more →]

October 28, 2010   1 Comment

New $1.1 million program to create urban farms in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood

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Kathleen Merrigan, a deputy secretary with the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funds

By Mark Gillispie
The Plain Dealer
Oct 27, 2010

Excerpt:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — By next fall, a group of fledgling farmers could be harvesting the last of their crops on what today is a bleak stretch of vacant property in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood.

Officials from the city of Cleveland, the Ohio and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Ohio State University Extension Service announced a three-year, $1.1 million pilot program Wednesday to create an urban farm at East 83rd Street and Gill Avenue.

These officials hope that the Cleveland Urban Agricultural Incubator Project will not only turn people into entrepreneurs but will help convert a food “desert” into an oasis of fruits and vegetables.

[Read more →]

October 28, 2010   Comments Off

Creating Community-Based Brownfield Redevelopment Strategies

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This coastal dumping ground is now home to a multi-purpose community centre in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii. USDSA

Includes Agriculture on Remediated Brownfields and Case Study, Urban Oaks Organic Farm

By the American Planning Association

It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the U.S. In many brownfield redevelopment projects, community groups are frequently left out of the process. However, they represent the main constituency that suffers from the negative impact of vacant and abandoned brownfield sites. The purpose of Creating Community-Based Brownfield Redevelopment Strategies is twofold: first, it is designed to help community-based organizations (CBOs) recognize that brownfields are opportunities for neighborhood revitalization,

[Read more →]

October 27, 2010   1 Comment

You can have your lawn … and eat it too

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Backyard Farm Service

By The Visual Logic team of Aron Chang, Bradley Cantrell, Natalie Yates, and Patrick Michaels.

Excerpts:

There are well over 5,000 professional lawn care companies in the United States alone, with 921,900 documented workers employed in the landscaping and groundskeeping industries. That far outnumbers the 438,490 workers in all of the farming, fishing and forestry occupations combined, or even the 633,710 police officers and sheriff officers that serve the country.

Thus, there already exists a system of decentralized farming with local providers attuned to the microclimates and conditions of their respective service areas, one that relies upon a highly mobile infrastructure of trucks and portable equipment to farm grass and maintain yards for millions of Americans.

[Read more →]

October 27, 2010   Comments Off

Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference

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Going Green and Growing Health, Wealth, and Justice

November 19-21 at Brooklyn College. New York City. This November, the first annual conference to forge food, farming, and policy solutions for the Black Community will convene at Brooklyn College in New York City, convening farmers, gardeners, activists, students, and the community leaders from across the nation.

Why focus on food, farming and justice NOW?

The health and livelihoods of African Americans are in danger, and our increasing alienation from our food sources is to blame.

Our farmers are in peril:

In 1920, over 14% of U.S, farmers were African American.
In 2007, less than 2% of U.S. farmers are African American.
Only 110 of more than 56,000 farmers in New York State are African American.

[Read more →]

October 27, 2010   2 Comments

Celebrating Urban Agriculture in Cambridge, MA

Cambridge Urban Agriculture Fair

By Nathan
Captain Planet
October 25, 2010

Excerpt:

Tomato plants growing in old coolers, herb gardens outside of kitchen windows, and pies made from fruit found around town. This is the world of urban agriculture: a counter-intuitive paring of words with the potential to bring a connection to the land, to the heart of the city.

Cambridge, MA is one city where urban agriculture is catching on. The work of many of these spare time farmers was on display in Harvard Square at the Cambridge Urban Agricultural Fair. From contests to find the best (and ugliest) produce in the city, to pickling and canning demonstrations, to delicious local fare and local music, hundreds of people came out learn, celebrate, and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of the labor of their friends and neighbors.

[Read more →]

October 26, 2010   Comments Off

Chinese man grows rice on roof

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Peng Qiugen’s neighbors harvest rice on his 120-square-metre roof paddy Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media.

A Chinese man has grown rice on the roof of his house because his city lacked the open space he needed

By Charlotte Bailey
The Telegraph
30 Oct 2008

Excerpt:

Peng Qiugen decided to plant rice on the roof of his four storey house in Shaoxing in east China’s Zhejiang province as a novel way to farm in the overcrowded city.

Mr Qiugen planted the rice back in May on his 120-square-metre roof paddy and his crop is now ready to be harvested.

[Read more →]

October 26, 2010   Comments Off

Growing Crops in the City: Urban Agriculture Aims at Helping Seattle’s at-Risk Youth

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Direct Marketing Alternatives in an Urban Setting: A Case Study of Seattle Youth Garden Works

By Mykel Taylor, Doug Young, and Carol Miles

Except from news release:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 25, 2010) — A case study published in the 2010 Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education by professors at Washington State University examines the challenges one organization faced in maintaining an urban market garden. The journal is published by the American Society of Agronomy.

Since 1995, Seattle Youth Garden Works (SYGW) has employed young homeless individuals or those involved in the juvenile justice system. SYGW offers teens and young adults the opportunity to work, develop social skills, and eventually find stable employment or return to school. Uniting social programs and urban agriculture has been used in many cities with the aim of reducing poverty and increasing food security.

[Read more →]

October 26, 2010   Comments Off

“Urban Agriculture Takes Root” in Clearinghouse Review – Journal of poverty Law and Policy

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Advocates should determine applicable zoning codes and potential prohibitions on agricultural activities

By William Kraus
Clearinghouse REVIEW Journal of Poverty Law and Policy
Sept-Oct 2010 Vol 44, No. 5-6
Former volunteer attorney, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and now associate, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Summary:

Defined loosely as localized small-scale agriculture within an urban setting, urban agriculture is changing the way we think about land use while offering possibilities for those living in poverty. All across the country, farms and gardens are springing up in backyards, abandoned lots, and in the shadows of once great symbols of industrial progress. The potential benefits are vast and range from improved nutrition to job creation, increased home values to improved public safety, and educational opportunities to community ownership.

[Read more →]

October 25, 2010   Comments Off

Beehive Tower by Rory Newel & Lucy Richardson

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The hexagonal mega structural lattice – a strong theme of food and flower harvesting

The 220m high Beehive Tower on Heron Quay is inspired by natural beehives, particularly the hexagonal forms of the honeycomb. The ‘Hive’ aims to establish within Canary Wharf a community of city dwellers who love gardening. With a strong theme of food and flower harvesting, the hexagonal mega structural lattice of this tower provides a system in which residential villages and adjacent central greenhouse spaces can provide community interaction.

[Read more →]

October 25, 2010   1 Comment

Sky farming is a novel idea that won’t work

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Construction, lighting, and heating costs make it outrageously expensive. Traditional farming, on the other hand, has made technological advances that make it ever more competitive and efficient.

By Dennis Avery
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)
Oct 21, 2010

Excerpt:

The proposed Sky-Farm was to produce fruit, vegetables, pigs and chickens. However, you couldn’t grow enough feed in greenhouse conditions to support more than a few pigs or chickens, so you’d have to import most of their feed. Think about four pounds of grain for each pound of pork you harvest. Would it really be less expensive to ship millions of tons of grain into downtown New York than to truck in some pork chops?

[Read more →]

October 25, 2010   2 Comments