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Posts from — November 2010

“Fresh Roots” CSA – East Vancouver urban farmers serve local community

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Harvest Delivered by Trevor the Trailor.

Fresh Roots – growing food in our neighborhoods, for our neighborhood, by our neighborhood

We produce and distribute organically grown food through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, using urban land to nourish Vancouver residents.

How We Do What We Do!
Fresh Roots Blog

After confirming with the landlord, ensuring all parties are happy – what is our actual urban farming process?

First. We kill the sod. We do this by collecting cardboard from dumpsters around town then laying it out on the lawn.

Important to note, we lay down the cardboard because it helps kill the sod, with the understanding that the cardboard will decompose with the sod and the following season we’ll be able to access all the scrumptious soil hidden beneath the unused grass. Our next step is to collect woodchips. We’ve been collecting from a pile up near 52nd and Main – we’ve found it to be quite a fruitful mission each time we drive that way.

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November 30, 2010   Comments Off

Successful Kelowna SPIN farm uses only a half acre – 24,643 square feet

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Green City Acres is comprised of 10 small and large farm sites

Green City Acres is a pedal powered urban farming/edible landscaping company dedicated to sustainable food production. We utilize back yards and urban spaces to grow organic produce for local distribution. All of our farming operations including farm maintenance, transportation of crops, restaurant deliveries, weekly farmers markets, and moving of our 300 lb. rototiller, are all done with our bikes and trailers. Our mission is to foster social and environmental change through the production of local organic food, with minimal use of fossil fuels, and to help, teach, and empower people to start growing their own.

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November 30, 2010   3 Comments

Indiana University course: Global Perspectives on Urban Agriculture & Food Security

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Spring 2011

Farming the City: Global Perspectives on Urban Agriculture & Food Security
(SPEA E100/V100 Spring 2011)

Course Description:
Feeding the world’s ever-increasing urban populations presents both significant challenges and surprising opportunities. As cities continue to grow, millions of individuals, families, organizations, and governments are turning to forms of urban agriculture to help meet their food security needs. Urban agriculture practices involve the growing, processing, and distribution of food and other products through intensive plant cultivation and animal husbandry in and around cities. From Cuba to Cambodia, from Toronto to Tanzania, well-established forms of urban agriculture now thrive alongside with a range of experimental projects and food security initiatives.

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November 30, 2010   2 Comments

Custom Home Magazine reports on chicken coops

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For this Seattle coop, a hinged panel opens from the outside for easy egg collection.Photo by Credit Matt Deschler. See more photos here.

All Cooped Up – The latest accessory for a custom home? A shelter for the feathered ones

By Cheryl Weber
Custom Home Magazine
September 1, 2010

Excerpt:

When architect Michael Viveiros built a house for his family 10 years ago, he added a second house, next to the garden, for his Rhode Island Reds. The chickens probably were the first ever to live in a house recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), as it won a People’s Choice Award from AIA Rhode Island. The property has since sold, and Viveiros is designing another coop to complement his new house. This one will be two stories tall and built into a hillside, with a garden shed upstairs.

“I like playing with forms typical of farm buildings, and things that are simple and handmade,” says Viveiros, a principal at Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects in Providence, R.I. “We deal so much with technology that when it comes to relaxing, I like things at the opposite end of that spectrum.”

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November 30, 2010   1 Comment

From Rust Belt to Green Belt: Urban Gardening Blooms in Cleveland


Urban gardens bloom in Cuyahoga County.

Urban agriculture in Cuyahoga County

Urban Agriculture Program Updates:

Summer Sprout: The Community Gardening Program in the City of Cleveland, Summer Sprout, is currently accepting applications for new gardens the 2011 season. Gardens involved in the program receive technical assistance and research-based education from OSU Extension and are eligible to receive seeds, soil tests, starter plants, soil, humus, reduced-rate hydrant permits and roto-tilling.

Suburban Community Gardening Program: This program aims to assist residents to start new community gardens in suburban communities of Cuyahoga County as well as supporting existing gardens through education and technical assistance.

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November 30, 2010   Comments Off

Vancouver’s FarmCity builds your raised beds for you

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After the yard renovation: we turned the space into a gourmet’s dream: a place to grow fresh veggies and herbs, just footsteps from the kitchen!

FarmCity Food Garden Construction

The photo above: Our clients had a perfectly nice back yard – a small patch of lawn and a few trees behind their half of a recently-built duplex. But they never used the space except to dutifully mow the lawn or rake the leaves. What they really love doing is cooking – so they dreamed instead of a gourmet’s kitchen garden: fresh veggies and herbs, just steps from their kitchen!

Our job was to make this possible – so we built 4 raised beds, comprising some 115 square feet of growing space (that’s a lot of fresh greens, herbs and veggies!). And because it would be a hassle to mow between the beds, we installed river rock paths.

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November 29, 2010   1 Comment

The Dinner Garden has provided seeds to 48,000 families since 2009

For $61 in seeds, we can grow about $1.3 million worth of vegetables

The Dinner Garden provides seeds, gardening supplies, and gardening advice free of charge to all people in the United States of America. We assist those in need in establishing food security for their families. Our goal is for people to plant home, neighborhood, and container gardens so they can use the vegetables they grow for food and income.

Since beginning our mission in early 2009, we have provided seeds to over 48,000 families and over 120 community gardens! We have reached into all 50 states, from Maine to Hawaii and Texas to Alaska! Our volunteers and partners are hard at work, packaging and delivering seeds in many of these states. We have received donations from all over the country from individuals. We have also received seeds, gardening supplies, and cash donations from numerous companies.

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November 28, 2010   2 Comments

Downtown Vancouver gardens replace trash with jobs

The high cost of local food from UBCjournalism on Vimeo.

The city granted $100,000 to develop the urban farm SOLEfood

Produced by Daniel Guillemette, Michelle Ha, and Grant Burns
UBC Journalism News Service
Thunderbird.ca
Nov. 25, 2010

Excerpt:

SOLEFood farm trains and employs 12 Downtown Eastside residents at wages up to $12 per hour. It produces 10,000 pounds of vegetables and fruit a year, then sells it back at wholesale prices to the community through farmer’s markets and at retail prices through local establishments such as The Potluck Cafe.

But it also costs the city hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, which the city must look elsewhere to make up.

Shirley Chan, the CEO of Building Opportunites with Business, a non-profit organization that helped establish the SOLEfood garden, said there should be more attention to how the city makes up the lost revenue. “The tax benefit means that land owners save money but the city has to collect [the lost revenue] from other tax payers,” Chan said.

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November 27, 2010   Comments Off

Backyard catfish farming in Nigeria

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Watch the video here. The photo above is by Emmanuel Audu. His website is Catfish Farming in Nigeria here.

Nigeria has to import fish to make up for the short fall in their domestic catch. But in downtown Lagos there is solution: farming lungfish, also know as catfish

Excerpt from: “Nigeria: Catfish Farming – a Reliable Investment”

By Taiwo Bernard
Vanguard
14 April 2009

Lagos — Many species of fish are farm produced all over the world, but Catfish is taking the lead because of its uniqueness.

Data available shows that 260 million kilogrammes of Catfish was produced compared to five million kilogrammes of Tilapia, 7.7 million kilogrammes of Crawfish/ Crayfish/Shrimp; 2.68 million kilogrammes of Trout; and 50 million kilogrammes of Salmon in the United States of America alone.

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November 27, 2010   31 Comments

Boston should be fruitful and lead in urban farming

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A harvest at The Food Project’s West Cottage Farm in Dorchester, MA. Greig Cranna Photography. Link to story: On the lookout for lead.

A vision that should grow as tall as corn, as aromatic as basil, and as bright as a tomato

Editorial
The Boston Globe
November 27, 2010

Excerpt:

City Fresh Foods in Roxbury is already proving the viability of the concept, farming crops this past summer on land owned by the Sportsmen’s Tennis Club on Blue Hill Avenue. The lettuce, arugula, basil, spinach, beets, broccoli, and mesclun mix were purchased by local restaurants, food services, and the Boston Harbor Hotel. “There is a net gain on so many levels,” City Fresh founder Glynn Lloyd said. “You’re taking land that’s been sitting for 30, 40 years, and otherwise would be sitting for another 30 or 40. You’re producing fresh, local, non-chemical products, hopefully creating some jobs and reducing the carbon footprint. When gasoline went crazy a couple years ago, even Walmart was looking at local produce. We’re trying to be a little bit ahead of the curve.”

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November 27, 2010   Comments Off

The Farmery – a four story urban vertical farming and retailing system

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The Farmery grows gourmet mushrooms inside the shipping containers and small canopy crops such as greens, strawberries and herbs

The Farmery reinvents small farming to better compete in an industrial farm economy by providing an environmentally sustainable growing and food retailing system that encourages the growth and success of small, environmentally sustainable farms.

The Farmery is a four story urban vertical farming and retailing system that allows for small scale, local, organic, community driven agriculture, with the efficiency and profitability of a large industrial farm, without the limitations of climate or availability of agricultural land. The Farmery will reduce constructions costs through pre-manufactured construction methods using low cost shipping containers. Crops grown at the Farmery include specialty mushrooms, greens, herbs, and strawberries. Additional products will be provided by local farmers in the area, who will acheive greater control over their prices by selling them at the Farmery.

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November 27, 2010   Comments Off

Farmers on 57th cultivate land at a Vancouver facility for 120 adults with disabilities

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March 3, 2009. The very beginning. Katherine and Jen cut sod and begin rolling, in preparation for the market gardens.

Each month the market garden supplies fresh produce to the Pearson Community kitchen

Farmers on 57th at George Pearson Centre
Vancouver, BC
Summary, November 2010

George Pearson Centre is a home for 120 adults with disabilities. The people who live here require specialized assistance as a result of disability, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, or a variety of other conditions.

Market Gardens

In our market gardens, 5 hard working young urban farmers have transformed lawn into a ½ acre organic urban farm—first selling at Farmer’s markets in 2009, then shifting to a CSA (Community supported Agriculture) program in 2010. Participating families receive a fresh-picked organic harvest box each week through spring/summer, and their children see where and how their food is grown.

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November 26, 2010   Comments Off

On a Manhattan School Rooftop, Hydroponic Greens for Little Gardeners

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Sidsel Robards, left, and Manuela Zamora, founders of the greenhouse atop the Manhattan School for Children. Photo by Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times.

The project is about making science both accessible and exciting “in a natural way”

By Kerri MacDonald
New York Times
November 22, 2010

Excerpt:

Shakira Castronovo stood in a classroom at the Manhattan School for Children on West 93rd Street on a recent afternoon and hushed a squirming group of kindergartners perched around a blue carpet.

“Where do you think I picked this?” she asked, pinching a leafy-looking thing between her index finger and thumb. “It was picked fresh just few minutes ago.”

Someone wondered if it had come from the recess yard. Maybe from a farmers market? A minute later, a little girl in pink came up with the answer. “Greenhouse!” she shrieked as her hand shot into the air.

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November 26, 2010   2 Comments

5 Urban Farms Reshaping the Food World in New Orleans

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From Our School At Blair Grocery.

New Orleans is taking city-grown food from farm stand to standing resource

By Tracie McMillan, an award-winning food and poverty journalist.
The Atlantic
Nov.12, 2010

Excerpt:

Enter the next generation of urban farmers, most of whom operate through the New Orleans Food and Farm Network (NOFFN). NOFFN had launched prior to Katrina, planting its first food gardens in NOLA’s Hollygrove neighborhood days before the storm. Post-Katrina, the dire lack of food in the city compelled NOFFN to switch gears; the group made national headlines with its DIY food maps of the city in the weeks after the storm. More recently, the group has gotten its hands dirty in the Big Easy’s soil: planting farms, launching markets, and even training new farmers in the business of urban gardening.

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November 26, 2010   Comments Off

Backyard farming fight has high stakes countrywide

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Our values have to be decided by the public

By Derek Spalding,
Nanaimo Daily news
November 26, 2010

Excerpt:

The shutdown of a rural farm on residential property in Lantzville has sent ripples through the urban farming network across the country.

Bylaw officers ordered Dirk Becker and Nicole Shaw to stop growing food on their Fernmar Road farm because it violated home-business regulations that do not include agriculture. Lantzville politicians say they want to grant Becker and Shaw a temporary-use permit while they consult the community about zoning regulations and urban farming.

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November 26, 2010   2 Comments