New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

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Forthcoming March 2011

by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, Gary Nabhan
Chelsea Green Publishing Company

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus).

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January 25, 2011   Comments Off on Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

Toronto 1915: The Patriotism of Production

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In the spring of 1915, The Vacant Lots Cultivation Association in conjunction with the Toronto Rotary Club established over 80 garden allotments across the City of Toronto in under-utilized and vacant spaces.

From Soiled and Seeded Magazine
Issue 2 – Winter 2011

Excerpt:

Below is an article reproduced from The Rotarian, Volume VII, No. 5 November 1915, describing the success of the project’s inaugural year. The accompanying photos, not appearing in the original publication, are located in the City of Toronto Archives.

Vacant Lot Cultivation Yields $5,700
By B. A. Trestrail, Toronto Rotary Club

The land donated by citizens for public use for this purpose was divided into approximately one-eighth acre lots. A supply of ten varieties of vegetable seeds, a peck of seed potatoes, two dozen tomato plants and fifty cabbage plants were furnished free with each allotment.

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January 25, 2011   Comments Off on Toronto 1915: The Patriotism of Production

Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create

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Upcoming book title – April 2011

By Renee Wilkinson
Fulcrum Publishing

Renee Wilkinson was raised as part of a long generation of homesteaders dating back to her great-grandparents in 1852. She calls herself a city girl at heart, and living in Portland, Oregon, has allowed her to straddle city and country life at the same time. Follow Renee as she shares the life of a city homesteader, or as she would say, “City chick gets her hands dirty on her urban homestead, planting an edible garden, raising backyard chickens, preserving the harvest, and working toward a greener future.”

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January 25, 2011   1 Comment

What Works: Urban Agriculture

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“Vertical gardens” helped Nairobi families survive when unrest after the 2008 elections shut down roads and prevented food from coming into the cities. Photo credit: Bernard Pollack.

Nourishing the Planet asks What Works?

By Mara Schechter
WorldWatch
2011-01-25

Excerpt:

Small urban gardens can help women, who compose the majority of urban farmers. Urban Harvest, an initiative to enhance urban agriculture’s potential and food security supports community farms and projects in Kenya. These help women improve their income and networks of information and skills. In Kibera, the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa, located in Nairobi, over 1,000, mainly female, farmers now grow food quickly and in small spaces by filling tall sacks with soil and poking holes on different levels to plant seeds.

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January 25, 2011   Comments Off on What Works: Urban Agriculture