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Posts from — February 2011

American swimmer with 11 Olympic medals writes about her urban chickens

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Natalie Coughlin became the first American female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympics.

February 23, 2011
Natalie Coughlin’s Blog
Natalie Anne Coughlin is an American swimmer known for winning 11 Olympic medals.


I’ve always loved eggs. Nearly every meet growing up started with my mom making me my favorite pre-meet meal: fried eggs and rice with soy sauce. Despite what we were told during the late eighties and early nineties, eggs are very healthy. Not only are they a cheap and affordable source of protein, but they are also a great source of lutein, choline, omega-3 fatty acids in addition to a variety of other vitamins and minerals. The cholesterol in eggs is only a problem for those who already have heart troubles or high cholesterol.

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February 28, 2011   1 Comment

Roof deck vegetable gardens eyed for urban centers – Philippines Department of Agriculture

Roof deck veggie garden in Austin, TX, US. By Bercy Chen Studio LP.

“We can map these to identify areas for food production”

Feb 26, 2011

Director Silvino Tejada of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soil and Water Management said he plans to talk to owners and administrators of buildings in Metro Manila so the agency can help them and their tenants develop vegetable gardening even on roofdecks.

He said such action is needed since Metro Manila’s vegetable supply is jeopardized when calamities strike due to difficulty in raising and transporting the produce.

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February 28, 2011   Comments Off on Roof deck vegetable gardens eyed for urban centers – Philippines Department of Agriculture

Urban farmers anxious about Lantzville council’s approach

“We’re on pins and needles”

By Toby Gorman
Nanaimo News Bulletin
February 26, 2011


Supporters of urban agriculture in Lantzville are growing concerned the district’s approach to a zoning issue won’t solve the problem.

On Monday, the District of Lantzville hosts a public hearing to consider temporary use permits for all zones, which would permit activities not otherwise allowed under current zoning laws.

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February 27, 2011   Comments Off on Urban farmers anxious about Lantzville council’s approach

Major news! “Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Sustainable Cities” – now online


Classic 1996 United Nations publication now available online in new 2001 edition for all to read.

Book by: Jac Smit Joe Nasr Annu Ratta, 2001

Foreword By Joe Nasr
Washington, D.C.
February 1, 2011
(A used copy of this book was selling for over $100 on Amazon Books. Mike)


This book, Urban Agriculture: Food Jobs and Sustainable Cities, is based on research undertaken by the authors, in particular a series of study trips in 1991-1992 by Jac Smit, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report on these studies was expanded into a book, published in 1996 by the UNDP, as a contribution to the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II). The book was an immediate success, quickly becoming the second-most popular publication by UNDP. It has come to be seen as the standard text on the subject.

Unfortunately, as a result of this success, the book quickly went out of print. Therefore, UNDP commissioned the original authors to undertake a new edition. In addition to updating it, the authors sought to fill in some of the gaps in the first edition and to reinforce the presence of some of the emerging topics in this field. The work on the new edition was completed by 2001, producing a manuscript that was nearly fifty percent longer than the original edition.

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February 26, 2011   1 Comment

Farming inside the box: Urban agriculture of aquaponics


See Video here. Take a tour of an aquaponics farm with Professor Alison Gise Johnson of Chicago State University and Frank Lockom of the Plant. Both help run research farms, growing leafy greens such as mint, basil, chard, and lettuce with waste water from aquaculture.

Aquaponics is an ancient idea. The Aztecs practiced a form of it.

Bu Emily Gadekand, Michelle M. Schefer
Medill Reports
Feb 25, 2011


Snow falls outside a nondescript one-story warehouse on Chicago’s South Side. But inside, it’s the growing season. Hundreds of fish swarm and fight for food in tanks surrounded by beds of basil, rainbow chard, and mint. The scene may hold the key to creating a year-round source of fresh, local food in Chicago.

The warehouse is Chicago State University’s Aquaponics Facility, the first urban aquaponics farm in Chicago. The facility may be the first step in spurring a whole new type of urban farming in the city.

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February 26, 2011   1 Comment

San Francisco Near Adoption of Urban Agriculture Planning Code


Michael Pollan in his garden. The New York Times via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Policies, plans, and programs for sustainable urban food systems

By Nevin Cohen
Urbanism News
Feb. 25, 2011


If enacted by the city’s Board of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor, as anticipated, the city’s planning code would for the first time clearly define the status of urban agriculture in San Francisco by identifying where small and large scale farms can be located, letting property owners, urban farmers, and ordinary people know exactly what kinds of agricultural uses are allowed in any given place.

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February 26, 2011   Comments Off on San Francisco Near Adoption of Urban Agriculture Planning Code

Master’s Thesis – Urban Farming in Vancouver


There is a new generation of urban agriculture emerging in North America

By Sharla Stolhandske
Degree of Master of Urban Studies
in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
© 2011 Simon Fraser University
151 pages


There is a new generation of urban agriculture emerging in North America. Labelled urban farming, this modern urban agriculture industry is tapping into the economic potential for local, organic food. An ethnographic study of six urban farmers growing food in Metro Vancouver reveals that the act of growing and marketing food in the city is an expanding and dedicated business. The study focused particularly on newly emerging highly urbanized farm enterprises in the Vancouver area. Urban farmers are embedded in the community as land stewards, local suppliers of seasonal vegetables and educators.

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February 25, 2011   3 Comments

Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship Program in Portland, Oregon

Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA) program

Multnomah County, in partnership with Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service, is excited to announce the pilot year of the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA) program. The program is an 8-month, season-long training for aspiring urban farmers and community land stewards. It is designed to give a new generation of beginning farmers the foundation they need to break into the field of sustainable small-scale, urban farming.

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February 24, 2011   1 Comment

Chicago’s new Mayor Rahm Emanuel will expand urban agriculture

President Obama supports his former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Expand Urban Agriculture

For centuries, Chicago’s fertile land has been used to grow fresh produce and create employment opportunities. But today, city government stands in the way of a renaissance of local food production by limiting the size and revenue potential of these enterprises. Rahm wants to break down these barriers and help local businesses and non-profits to secure land, sell their produce on-site, and create after-school and job training opportunities. The initiative will focus expansion on Chicago’s south and west sides where large food deserts prevent communities from accessing fresh and healthy produce.

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February 24, 2011   Comments Off on Chicago’s new Mayor Rahm Emanuel will expand urban agriculture

‘Until the 1950s, Los Angeles County was the top agricultural county in the U.S.’

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Today, urban agriculture is making a comeback

By Zach Behrens
February 11, 2011


“Until the 1950s, Los Angeles County was the top agricultural county in the U.S. From approximately 1910 to 1955, this was it; it was bigger than Iowa or any of those Midwestern states in terms of its agriculture. We grew everything here,” Surls explained. “It sort of dates back to the founding of Los Angeles when people first came and looked at Los Angeles as a potential site for a mission. They saw that it had great soil, they saw that things grew well here and they thought, ‘ah ha, perfect place for farming.’ So that’s how it started.”

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February 23, 2011   Comments Off on ‘Until the 1950s, Los Angeles County was the top agricultural county in the U.S.’

Urban agriculture innovations feed Sub-Saharan African cities

Recent innovations in urban agriculture production technologies promote space and waste management

By Toni Bacala
Media Global
23 Feb, 2011


“There is increasing recognition of the urbanization of the world and the role that urban and peri-urban agriculture plays to provide food supplies for the population that is most vulnerable in cities,” Daniel Gustafson, Director of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office for North America told MediaGlobal.

Urban growth has been tightly linked with the rise of slum population. In sub-Saharan Africa, the swelling of urban population with migrants displaced from conflict and natural disasters has pushed many people to the slums, which is now 62 percent of its urban populace.

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February 23, 2011   2 Comments

Bayview Greenwaste provides fertile ground for San Francisco’s urban agriculture revolution

Sanjay Bhas and his mulch at Bayview Greenwaste.

Bayview mulch has been a boon for private backyard gardens, too.

By Matt Baume
22 Feb. 2011


Sanjay Bhas founded Bayview Greenwaste in 1998. The company, located on the city’s southern waterfront, collects plant waste — for a fee — and then grinds the organic matter into mulch that it gives away for free to anyone who wants it. Nonprofits, municipalities, private citizens, schools, and power plants (which burn organic matter instead of coal) count themselves among the company’s beneficiaries.

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February 22, 2011   Comments Off on Bayview Greenwaste provides fertile ground for San Francisco’s urban agriculture revolution

Philippine Department of Agriculture to promote urban gardening nationwide

Allotment Garden Project in Cagayan D’Oro, Philipines.

“We can farm 365 days a year so let us use this opportunity.”

By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
PIA Press Release
February 22, 2011

MANILA, Feb. 22 (PIA) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to launch next month its nationwide urban gardening initiative to help boost food security of the country.

According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, the public, especially the urban dwellers, must use every opportunity to grow their own food even in tight spaces only.

Alcala said growing vegetables in containers or vacant lots can be very helpful, particularly during catastrophes when transport of produce from farms becomes difficult and costly.

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February 22, 2011   5 Comments

Funds to develop urban gardens for commercial market sale of fruit and produce

Gardening for Greenbacks – City of Cleveland

What do I need to apply?

Have an established sales presence; or successfully complete market garden training; and have an executed lease for a farmer’s market or other venue; or have contracts for sales of produce to local venues.

Eligible Applicants

Grants up to $3,000 for eligible costs which include:
tools, purchase of display tables and booths, irrigation systems, rain barrels, greenhouses, signage.

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February 22, 2011   1 Comment

What Urban Rooftop Gardening Could Do For The Middle East

With so many flat roofs across the Middle East, surely the region is ripe for a bit of rooftop gardening?

By Arwa Aburawa
Green Prophet
December 15th, 2010


Neveen Metwally, a researcher at the Central Laboratory for Agriculture Climate in Cairo, Egypt spoke to IRIN about urban gardening in the region. She explained that city dwellers must be convinced of the benefits of urban horticulture by focusing on the needs of ordinary people and the benefits that urban agriculture brings to them. “I can say to someone, ‘A rooftop garden will help the environment’, and they’ll say, ‘No, thank you – I just want to feed my family’. So I must identify and communicate benefits that are of interest to that person.”

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February 20, 2011   1 Comment