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Posts from — December 2010

Using Multispectral Analysis in GIS to Model the Potential for Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia

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Figure 1.1 – Ownership Distribution of Vacant Parcels within the City of Philadelphia: Three-Quarters of the 40,000 Vacant Parcels Located within the City are Privately Controlled. From “Vacant Land Management in Philadelphia” Report. Nov. 2010.

GIS and the Potential for Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia

“This research will help city planners, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and citizens understand how urban agriculture can contribute to creating a sustainable food system in a major North American city.”

By Dmochowski, J. E.; Cooper, W. P.
AA(Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; janeed@sas.upenn.edu), AB(Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; willc@sas.upenn.edu)
American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010,
12/2010

Abstract

In the context of growing concerns about the international food system’s dependence on fossil fuels, soil degradation, climate change, and other diverse issues, a number of initiatives have arisen to develop and implement sustainable agricultural practices. Many seeking to reform the food system look to urban agriculture as a means to create localized, sustainable agricultural production, while simultaneously providing a locus for community building, encouraging better nutrition, and promoting the rebirth of depressed urban areas. The actual impact of such system, however, is not well understood, and many critics of urban agriculture regard its implementation as impractical and unrealistic.

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December 18, 2010   Comments Off on Using Multispectral Analysis in GIS to Model the Potential for Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia

Minneapolis Urban Agriculture Policy Plan is now available for Public Review

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A draft of the Urban Agriculture Policy Plan is available for public review and comment between December 9, 2010 and January 31, 2011. The City of Minneapolis encourages stakeholders to read the draft plan document which is a land use and policy guide for urban agriculture in our city. The plan contains recommendations related to land use, zoning, access to land, and design options among others.

Excerpt:

1. Amend the zoning code to better accommodate urban agriculture uses.

1.1 Define the following terms in the zoning code: community gardens, market gardens, urban farms, aquaculture, and anaerobic digesters. Further evaluate the appropriate zoning districts for these uses based on the guidance below:

Allow market gardens in a variety of zoning districts, including low density residential areas.

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December 17, 2010   1 Comment

Summit Report – 1st Global Summit on Metropolitan Agriculture

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28-30 September 2010, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Excerpt from Summit Report:

MetroAg and UrbanAg

A key concern and question for MetroAg is how well it is differentiated from Urban Agriculture. Many of the stakeholders participating in city workshops and attending the Summit are UrbanAg practitioners, so this distinction is important if MetroAg is not to become confused with the former.

The concern is valid, as three interviewees noted:

“The Summit made it clear for me that Metropolitan Agriculture is an economic activity, carried out by professionals, that also delivers on people and planet values. Urban Agriculture is often not about agriculture as an economic activity, but primarily about producing food, in combination with social values like community building.

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December 17, 2010   Comments Off on Summit Report – 1st Global Summit on Metropolitan Agriculture

BBC TV comedy “Accidental Farmer” – actress Ashley Jensen has chicken phobia

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Ashley Jensen, best known for her role in television series “Extras”, in a flap over chicken shoot

(UKPA) – Dec. 12, 2010
The Press Association

Extras star Ashley Jensen has admitted she was in a flap as she filmed a new farm-set comedy – due to a phobia of chickens.

Jensen plays a media luvvie who swaps high heels for wellington boots in BBC comedy Accidental Farmer.

She said she was “excited” about working with animals for the first time but when she got down to filming the chickens really ruffled her feathers.

She said: “There was a hairy moment for me when I had to go into a chicken coop. I was fine with 12 bullocks and a 13ft pile of manure, that was a doddle – I did my milkmaids badge in the Guides – but the bit for me was the blimming chickens in the chicken coop.”

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December 16, 2010   3 Comments

Ideas for Christmas

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City Girl Farming gift labels.

“I’ve got a downloadable set of ‘farm’ gift labels–there’s 3 different designs and they’re formatted 9 per page. You can download the pdf file here, and print them on your home printer. Use them on your canning goods or other homemade goodies you give this holiday season.”

Link here.

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December 16, 2010   2 Comments

Community garden at Waterview Apartments in Victoria, BC, for formerly homeless and at risk residents

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Waterview Community Garden Project

Report to Investors Group, Victoria Branch
Pacifica Housing Advisory Association
Report compiled by David Stott, Project Coordinator
December 14, 2010

The following report outlines the progress of the Waterview Community Garden Project, which took place between February and November, 2010. The project was dedicated to the creation of a community garden at Waterview Apartments in Victoria, a 49 unit residence whose tenants are formerly homeless and at risk Victoria residents.

What the project achieved

A total of 12 tenants began taking part in Waterview community garden project in February of this year. Each tenant had a different challenge or disability including various types of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or chronic depression-physical disabilities such as 10% vision;

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December 15, 2010   1 Comment

Tribute to Jac Smit featured in Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

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Washington, DC; Jac’s Presentation on Urban Agriculture at Wilson Center with Photo of Del-Mar-VA Greenhouse in Background; 2002; Photo by Wilson Center PR Department.

Issue 2 – Jac Smit tributes: On the past and the future of the urban agriculture movement Agriculture Movement

Reflections in tribute to Jac Smit
by Anne C. Bellows, Joe Nasr (editors); Diana Lee-Smith, Luc J. A. Mougeot, Michael Levenston, Peter Mann, Katherine Brown, Jerry Kaufman (contributors)
Volume 1 Issue 2 JAFSCD
December 2010
Highly recommended. Historical perspective on urban agriculture. Mike

Subscribe to the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) here.

Excerpt:

The relationship between food and cities is newly maturing after decades in the shadows, with urban agriculture acting as a pivotal lynch pin in the development. To comprehend this reemergence, one must understand the role that Jac Smit, who passed away in 2009, played in it. His curiosity and vision pursued the ramifications of urban agriculture on planning for social, financial, and environmental systems and infrastructures, in and near cities, including job creation, food production and nutrition enhancement, gray – and wastewater recycling, urban composting, air cooling and cleaning, and the presence of a framework of green zones.

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December 15, 2010   Comments Off on Tribute to Jac Smit featured in Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

What U.S. Municipalities Can Learn From San Francisco’s Urban Farming Movement

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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission photo.

I have jumped at the opportunity to see what my agency can do with our 75,000 acres of land outside our City boundaries and 1,400 or so within the 49 square miles of San Francisco itself.

By Francesca Vietor, President
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
In The Huffington Post
December 14, 2010

Excerpt:

Last year my 26-year-old niece left her job as an executive assistant at a well-known advertising agency to become an apprentice gardener at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Now, when she moves back to San Francisco, she wants to talk her neighbors into tearing down the fences separating their yards so they can build a community garden. She wants to make soap and dye wool to make a living. She and nearly all of the twenty-somethings I meet want to spend the day with their hands in the dirt, not in front of a computer screen; they want food and financial security, they are interested in homesteading, and they are crazy about urban farming.

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December 15, 2010   Comments Off on What U.S. Municipalities Can Learn From San Francisco’s Urban Farming Movement

ResilientCITY: New film coming from maker of End of Suburbia documentaries

ResilientCITY Short trailer

“Welcome to ResilientCITY, the third and definitive documentary project in the END of SUBURBIA trilogy. This is a rough cut of the trailer we will be releasing in early 2011.”

Gregory Greene – director/writer is a Toronto-based filmmaker with a background in social and political documentaries.

Link to website here.

December 14, 2010   Comments Off on ResilientCITY: New film coming from maker of End of Suburbia documentaries

Historic cow tunnels of New York

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1877. Upper right, “Tunnel From Dock”. Part of image: The Manhattan abattoir. By Kingsbury, V. L., artist. Harper’s weekly : a journal of civilization. Link.

The development of urban foodways in New York City

Archaeological Documentary Study No. 7 Line Extension/ Hudson Yards Rezoning, New York, New York
April 13, 2004

Excerpt:

Historically, meat marketing and processing facilities in Manhattan were established along the shoreline to facilitate the movement of livestock and feed since the waterfront, with accessible transportation routes, was ideal for receiving goods from Long Island, upstate New York, New Jersey, and eventually the Midwest. Manhattan’s supply of beef in the 19th and 20th centuries came from local slaughterhouses, with livestock arriving by rail at terminals on the west shore of the Hudson River. Large stock pens were maintained primarily in New Jersey, where the cattle were kept until needed by the slaughterhouses in Manhattan.

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December 14, 2010   1 Comment

Milwaukee Urban Farming Group Helps Unemployed

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See video here.

Growing Power has made available market baskets filled with local produce

By The WTMJ News Team
Dec 14, 2010

MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee urban farming group is trying to make sure more people have food during the holiday season.

Growing Power has made available market baskets filled with local produce for those who need it most.

Each basket includes enough fresh fruit, vegetables, butter and milk to feed a family of four for a week.

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December 14, 2010   1 Comment

New video: Jules Dervaes and his family at their Urban Homestead in Pasadena, California

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Model Urban Farm – Excellent 8 minute video

Reporter/Producer: Val Zavala
Video by SoCal Connected (KCET Public Television)
December 10, 2010
Highly recommended. Mike

Anchor Val Zavala visits an urban farmer in Pasadena whose family-run farm allows them to harvest enough not only to feed themselves but also to sell to local restaurants.

Visit Urban Homestead here.

December 14, 2010   2 Comments

Planet 100 Presents: Urban Farming Uncovered

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Video visit with urban permaculture farmer. Video here.

Edendale Farms grows enough food to feed its neighbors

By Team Planet Green
Dec 13, 2010

Excerpt:

Situated on a suburban street in Silverlake near downtown Los Angeles, Edendale Farms grows enough food to feed its neighbors. A former architect, owner David Khan was inspired to start the farm after taking a course in permaculture.

Edendale uses the principles of permaculture to grow seasonal fruits and vegetables for 10 to 15 neighboring families. The farm mimics nature ensuring it is a zero waste site.

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December 14, 2010   Comments Off on Planet 100 Presents: Urban Farming Uncovered

Style Hunter: urban farming!

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From Fashion at
Grazia Magazine
Dec 14, 2010

With her khaki green Céline tote, Louise Redpath, 26, is not only the envy of the Grazia office, but she brings her traditional Barbour jacket right into the present. We like the green-on-green tones alongside indigo skinnies from Topshop and black Russell & Bromley boots. Her pop of red lippy adds that final flourish. A*.

From Comments:

I love the green colour palette! With the hint of gold that she includes on her bag and necklace, and the pop of red lipstick, the outfit looks really bright and chic!

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December 14, 2010   Comments Off on Style Hunter: urban farming!

Urban agriculture charter school gets approval in Madison

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120 total students by 2013

State Journal Staff
Wisconsin State Journal
Dec. 13, 2010

Excerpt:

The Madison School Board on Monday night approved a South Side neighborhood charter school geared toward urban agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the Badger Rock Middle School proposal and enter contract negotiations for what will be the district’s third charter school.

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December 14, 2010   Comments Off on Urban agriculture charter school gets approval in Madison