New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Middle class guilt fuels boom in beekeeping

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Bees have been around for 110 million years or so, but it was only a couple of thousand years ago that we started to grasp their potential for helping humanity Photo: Getty

Middle class guilt about the decline of the countryside is fuelling a boom in amateur beekeepers, with a doubling in the number of hives over the last couple of years.

By Louise Gray,
Environment Correspondent, The Telegraph
21 Nov. 2010

Excerpt:

The decline of the honey bee has dominated headlines for the last few years. Hives were hit by a strange condition known as colony collapse disorder (CCD) and numbers were estimated to have halved in 20 years.

Conservationists warned that without the honey bee to pollinate trees and plants the countryside suffers and even food security may be in danger.

The warnings have had such an effect that the number of people keeping bees has doubled since 2007 and most are keeping more hives.

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November 21, 2010   1 Comment

Lantzville, BC, shuts down Dirk Becker’s urban farm

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Dirk Becker will fight a Lantzville bylaw that threatens to shut down his urban farm.

Local food advocate shocked by district’s orders to stop growing produce on his property

By Derek Spalding,
Nanaimo Daily News
November 20, 2010

Excerpt:

Well-known urban farmer and local food production advocate Dirk Becker has been ordered to shut down his 2.5-acre Lantzville farm because of a home business bylaw that does not include agriculture in its regulations.

People can grow food for personal consumption, but they cannot sell the food for profit, according to the district’s bylaws.

Becker and his partner, Nicole Shaw, spent five years transforming their property into a rich urban farm that produces an abundance of fresh food.

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November 21, 2010   12 Comments

Tryon Life Educational Farm situated between urban (city) and rural (forest)

Tyron Life Community Farm in Portland

The Farm is nestled against Tryon Creek State Park, 650 acres of diverse forest with a creek running through it. It is Oregon’s only state park located within a major metropolitan area and is frequented by Portland area residents. A representative from the Portland Permaculture Guild wrote, “TLC Farm is in a unique position to be able to demonstrate the reality of living off the land while also remaining closely connected to a large urban center.”

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November 21, 2010   Comments Off on Tryon Life Educational Farm situated between urban (city) and rural (forest)

Vision for Watts garden: Infuse agriculture into an urban landscape

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SCI-Arc student Janica Ley’s collage proposes that the Mudtown site, 2.5 acres near the Jordan Downs housing project, become a farm. Ley was one of 13 students who came up with site ideas, some realistic, some whimsical. Photo by Janica Ley.

An architecture instructor challenges his class to generate ideas on how to infuse agriculture into an urban landscape.

By Mary MacVean,
Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2010

Excerpt:

After the City Council placed a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of South Los Angeles, the questions of food and health and justice became topics for an architect to consider.

What role might urban architecture play in helping to feed the inner city? That was a question professor Michael Pinto, teaching in the Community Design Program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, asked his students.

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November 21, 2010   1 Comment

Urban agriculture in Korea and in English public open spaces and parks

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Photo by Tom Turner.

Open space land

By Tom Turner
Gardenvisit.com
Nov. 18, 2010
Tom Turner (MA, Dip LA, MLI), a landscape architect and garden historian based in London, UK.

Excerpt:

If the above open space was in England it would surely be managed as vacant park-land, for two reasons (1) views of grassland are thought to have public health benefits, because it was once believed that dirty air (rather than dirty water) was the cause of infectious disease (2) because it is believed that any food which is not fenced-in will be harvested by marauding gangs of thieving youths.

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November 21, 2010   Comments Off on Urban agriculture in Korea and in English public open spaces and parks