New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Once upon a life: Michael Morpurgo – Farms for City Children

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Children’s writer Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded farms for city children in 1976 at Nethercott, deep in Devon river country. They now operate three working farms: Treginnis Isaf on the Pembrokeshire coast opened twenty years ago and Wick Court in Gloucestershire opened in 1997. They aim to expand the horizons of children from towns and cities all over the country by offering them a week in the countryside living together on one of their farms. Illustration by Brian Gallagher.

Once upon a life

By Michael Morpurgo
The Observer
11 July, 2010

Michael Morpurgo and his wife were determined to change the lives of inner-city children by giving them an experience they’d never forget. The poet and author recalls how they started their first kids’ farm in Devon – and how one of the visiting children inspired his greatest literary work.

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October 1, 2010   Comments Off on Once upon a life: Michael Morpurgo – Farms for City Children

Four papers about Agriculture on the Edge

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Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Photo by phatpuppycreations. See link to site here.

Agriculture on the edge: strategies to abate urban encroachment onto agricultural lands by promoting viable human-scale agriculture as an integral element of urbanization
By Patrick M. Condon, Kent Mullinix, Arthur Fallick and Mike Harcourt
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8 (1&2) 2010
Link here.

Agriculture on the Edge – The urgent need to abate urban encroachment on agricultural lands by promoting viable agriculture as an integral element of urbanization.
By Patrick M. Condon and Kent Mullinix
Discussion Paper – Revised Feb 25, 2009
Link here.

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October 1, 2010   1 Comment

First school in the Boston area to grow food on its walls and fences

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Cambridgeport School students show their dirtied hands from planting colorful chard, peppers, cabbages and rosemary into a 7-foot growing frame for the school’s display on living edible walls at the CitySprouts School Garden Celebration, to be held Saturday at the Tobin School. Photo by Kristen Emack.

Cambridgeport kids bring ‘edible walls’ to CitySprouts celebration Saturday

By Monica Velgos
Cambridge Day
October 1, 2010
Monica Velgos is a parent at Cambridgeport School, a member of its garden committee and a contributing editor to Food Arts magazine

Excerpt;

One of Cambridgeport School’s greatest assets is how snugly it fits in its Area IV neighborhood, surrounded so closely by the homes of many of its 300 students. But last spring, when the school’s garden committee sought space on the grounds to grow vegetables, that closeness presented a monumental challenge.

Spots large enough had too much building shade, spots filled with light were too close to play equipment. A few parents who supported Walk/Ride initiatives protested any bike racks being moved, and teachers couldn’t spare even one sunny parking space, given the extreme parking problems they already faced. The only choice seemed to be up, but not on the roof. On the walls.

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October 1, 2010   Comments Off on First school in the Boston area to grow food on its walls and fences

Agrarianism is newly popular among urbanites, and with good reason. The trend may bear big benefits in small towns, too

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Diagram of a country community center. Including school, church, town hall and industrial plant. Circular 84 Office of Experimental Stations. From Country Life and the Country School, 1912, via Daily Yonder.

Local Food Boom Should Yield Rural Fruit

By Timothy Collins
Daily Yonder
Aug 22, 2010

Excerpt:

The heart of Duany’s proposal is that a dependable local food supply, raised by human hands with a minimum of fossil energy, is not only doable — it may be necessary: Duany calls it, “circling the wagons” against ecological disasters brewing around the globe.

As a rural observer who has seen far too many slums – both rural and urban – I don’t want to pooh-pooh Duany’s idea. Putting aside for now its ironic, perhaps dismissive, overtones for rural America, the idea has tremendous merit, whether we’re sliding toward ecological perdition or not. In fact, many cities and towns have died, and any idea that can help stem the waste resulting from those deaths deserves a hearing, especially in smaller rural towns, the original walkable communities.

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October 1, 2010   Comments Off on Agrarianism is newly popular among urbanites, and with good reason. The trend may bear big benefits in small towns, too

Guerrilla gardening transforms a vacant lot in Montreal

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The garden today. Emily Wilkinson and Torsten Hermann played a key role in transforming the vacant lot into a community garden. Gazette photo: Bryanna Bradley

I am just trying to give something back
 
By Michelle Lalonde
Montreal Gazette
Aug. 10 2010

Excerpt:

During the past three summers, residents of a certain block of Delinelle St. in St. Henri have watched, first with skepticism, then wonder, as Torsten Hermann, Emily Wilkinson and friends have transformed a garbage-strewn vacant lot into a pretty little park and garden full of flowering plants, edible herbs, berries and vegetables.

The lot doesn’t belong to Hermann or Wilkinson, or any of the other so-called “guerrilla gardeners” who decided to get together and tend to this abandoned urban space. But the lot has been vacant for about 18 years, by Hermann’s calculation, ever since a fire burned down two row houses at the spot.

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October 1, 2010   Comments Off on Guerrilla gardening transforms a vacant lot in Montreal