New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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£669 ($1068 Canadian) worth of food grown on this patio, balcony and windowsill

Food growing balcony paradise © Vertical Veg by Sarah Cuttle.

Gardener Mark Ridsdill Smith

Vertical Veg is a not-for-profit enterprise that aims to inspire people to grow high yields of food in small spaces.

Can you grow £500 worth of food without a garden or an allotment? That’s the target Mark set himself on 1 May this year – all from his 9 x 6 foot north-west facing balcony and six window sills in Tufnell Park, North London. By 8 October he’d already beaten his target by £169, growing food worth £669.

“Few people realise just how much you can grow in a tiny space” says Mark. “This year my balcony and window sills have produced the equivalent of 100 bags of salad, 120 packets of herbs and 92 punnets of tomatoes – as well as runner beans, courgettes, mange tout, carrots, potatoes, blueberries and strawberries. The harvest weighs 66 kilos or 145 pounds in total – and there is still more to come.”

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October 12, 2010   7 Comments

From Seed to Table: Developing urban agriculture value chains


Urban Agriculture Magazine no 24

RUAF team: Marielle Dubbeling, Femke Hoekstra, René van Veenhuizen

Some urban farmers seek to enhance their income by engaging more directly or more efficiently in processing and marketing. But many of these, often poor, urban farmers are not able to sufficiently invest in starting a business, often do not undertake a proper analysis of market demand and tend to choose industries that have low entry costs, such as poultry production and food preparation.

This pattern generally leads to rapid market saturation, low levels of productivity and competition that drives down returns to the business owners (Campbell, 2009). Value chain analysis and value chain development help connecting urban and periurban producers with urban markets in a more sustainable way. In this Magazine you will find examples of different forms of value chains and value chain development in urban agriculture.

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October 12, 2010   Comments Off on From Seed to Table: Developing urban agriculture value chains