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New farming programme in Kenya transforms slum dwellers’ lives


Prisoners in Mombasa tend vegetables grown in sacks, a new technology that is gaining acceptance among Nairobi’s slum dwellers.

A sack containing vegetables such as sukuma wiki (kale), spinach and capsicum can feed one household for at least two months

By Bob Koigi
Business Daily Africa
January 11, 2011

Nairobi’s slum dwellers suffer some of the poorest nutrition of all Kenyans according to recent surveys by the World Food Programme, eking out an existence on typically less than a dollar a day, and with scant means of earning any better livelihood: until the arrival of a new urban farming programme that is now transforming the lives of thousands.

The novel scheme, run by Italian NGO COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale, is built to begin each family that joins the scheme on a new path of food self sufficiency and higher earnings.

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January 13, 2011   2 Comments

Brian Halweil of Worldwatch speaks about urban agriculture

State of the World 2011 Press Launch

The continent of Africa is urbanizing faster than anywhere else in the world, at a rate of 14 million people per year. Yesterday, at the launch of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet at WNYC’s The Greene Space in New York City, Nourishing the Planet co-Project Director, Brian Halweil discussed how urban agriculture will play a critical role in improving urban food security and alleviating global hunger and poverty.

Link here.

January 13, 2011   Comments Off on Brian Halweil of Worldwatch speaks about urban agriculture

Local farmers produce year round


Cold-hardy greens and even carrots are part of the Wegmans Organic Research Farm’s winter crops. Photo by Jeff Marini.

“A hoophouse can pay for itself in three years or less.”

By James Leach
Rochester City Newspaper
January 5, 2011


Up on the hill above the Romanesco bed stand two unheated hoophouses. Over near the treeline stands another. Inside them, it’s not quite summer, but it feels and smells like early spring. In the houses closest to the Romanesco patch, densely packed rows of rainbow chard, arugula, and carrots are growing directly in the soil underneath cloth-like row covers that keep in the heat and most of the moisture. The chard and the arugula look like they will be ready to harvest in a few weeks, the carrots are the length of my pinky and intensely sweet because freezing temperatures cause carrots and other root vegetables to concentrate their sugars. All of these vegetables were slated to be harvested and on sale at the Wegmans flagship store in Pittsford before Christmas.

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January 13, 2011   Comments Off on Local farmers produce year round

Responses to Chicago’s Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal


Growing Home, Inc. via Urban Food Policy.

See “Chicago’s Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal” by Nevin Cohen in Urban Food policy, Jan 6, 2011 and “A step forward for urban agriculture” by Harry Rhodes in The Chicago Tribune, Jan 12, 2011.

Excerpt from Nevin Cohen:

Treatment of Agriculture as an Interim Use

Another concern raised about Chicago’s proposed zoning ordinance changes is that urban agriculture projects that are meant to temporarily occupy vacant land slated for development would be disadvantaged by requirements for fencing and landscaping that apply to other businesses. Entrepreneurs throughout North America are experimenting with growing food in Earth Boxes, bags, and other mobile planters. A growing number of non-profit organizations would like to be able to farm sites on a temporary basis. Chicago’s own City Farm is designed to be relocated once the site it occupies is developed (although it has been in place for a decade).

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January 13, 2011   2 Comments