New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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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
Nov. 25, 2010


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 on Downtown Vancouver gardens replace trash with jobs

Backyard catfish farming in Nigeria

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
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

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

The Boston Globe
November 27, 2010


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


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