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Posts from — March 2011

5 Questions With Carlton Jackson: Lessons From An Urban Agriculture Start-Up Business

Carlton is co-founder of Tunnel Vision Hoops LLC

By John Reinhardt
Grown in the City
March 31st, 2011


This is not your usual start-up story. Tunnel Vision Hoops LLC is a partnership of myself, Todd Alexander & Michael Walton. All three of us have been working in and around sustainable issues for years in different capacities advocating for local food and urban agriculture. Todd and Michael each operate urban farms in Cleveland. The three of us met for the first time at the 2009 Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Conference in the Local Food Task Force and became instant friends.

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March 31, 2011   2 Comments

Green Acres: Urban Farms continue to sprout in Cleveland

The Ohio City Fresh Food Collaborative is a 6 acre urban farm incubator on the west side of Cleveland. Located near the West Side Market and a cluster of restaurants that support local farmers, the farm incubator provides garden plots for Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority residents, a market garden for Central Roots urban farm, and the Refugee Response/REAP program which provides market garden plots for refugees. Shot and edited by Brad Masi.

“Over the next three to five years we want to have about 10 farms going, and we want to employ about 100 people.”

By Christopher Johnston
Fresh Water
Mar. 31, 2011


By shifting one quarter of Northeast Ohio’s food-buying needs from out-of-state sources to local food producers — a paradigm known as “the 25-percent shift” — we can put one out of eight unemployed people in the region back to work. That’s 27,664 new jobs, an increase in annual regional output by $4.2 billion, and $126 million in added state and local tax collections.

Granted, that “shift” is no simple nudge. It requires overcoming numerous obstacles, from increasing available credit to motivating more consumers to buy local.

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March 31, 2011   2 Comments

Urban Agro Structure in Jerusalem

Nature – Agriculture – City

Via Evolo – Architecture Magazine
March 30, 2011

Finalist, 2011 Skyscraper Competition
Michael Leef, Tahel Shaar


The Towers: This system grows vertically, to create new housing towers in a new way.

The towers that we designed have a vertical and continuous system of agricultural fields on the southern facade. They provide the central cores of each of the three buildings that rise above. These cores are where systems such as water and filtering run through.

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March 31, 2011   4 Comments

Welthungerhife Introduces Democracy, Governance to Urban/Peri-urban Farmers in Liberia

Cross-section of Dixville Urban and Peri-urban Farmers.

German-Agro Action Manager Urges Mutual Aid to Farmer Groups

By Edwin M. Fayia III
Liberian Observer
March 31, 2011


An international non-governmental organization working in Liberia’s agriculture sector, has begun encouraging farmers to choose their leaders through the democratic process.

Welthungerhilfe, (formerly German Agro-Action) from March 25- 28, 2011, worked with forty two Urban Farmer Associations to elect their leaders in Dixville, Montserrado County and Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

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March 31, 2011   3 Comments

CNN – A farm on every rooftop

A CNN video report

March 24, 2011

Vertical farming is a revolutionary idea that would enable cities to feed themselves.
Note (Mike): See a 15,000 sq. ft. rooftop greenhouse under construction in New York City by Gotham Greens. Viraj Puri describes the project.

March 31, 2011   2 Comments

Vegetable Gardening for British Columbia

By Laura Peters
Lone Pine Publishing
February 2011

Laura Peters is a certified, seasoned Master Gardener, garden writer and photographer with over 30 gardening books to her credit. She has worked in almost every aspect of the horticultural industry in a career that has spanned more than 20 years. She passionately believes in organic gardening and food security, and she loves to share her knowledge with fellow gardeners and environmentalists alike.

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March 30, 2011   Comments Off on Vegetable Gardening for British Columbia

How bees make honey – French cartoon

Minuscule – The private lives of insects – more than 80 in the series

By Hélène Giraud, Thomas Szabo
Produced by Phillipe Delarue

From Wikipedia

Minuscule is a growing collection of short animations that follow the day-to-day existence of anthropomorphic insects. The characters are modelled on computer in 3D and are then set against real scenery. Each animation has a short, self-contained and often humorous storyline. The audio is a combination of genuine insect and ambient recordings, and sound effects such as car or helicopter or aircraft engines, synthesized buzzings etc.

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March 30, 2011   Comments Off on How bees make honey – French cartoon

Novella Carpenter’s Farmstand Canceled Due to the City of Oakland

“I’m supposed to get a Conditional Use Permit for growing chard. The annual fee: $2500.”

By Novella Carpenter
Ghost Town Farm Blog
March 29, 2011


I thought I was just being paranoid, but it looks like the City of Oakland workers do read my blog (hi guys!) and will be coming to the pop up farmstand to bust me for illegal activities.

Here’s the deal: After getting off the plane from Salt Lake City and making my way home to a cup of tea, I sit down at my kitchen table and I see this guy in a City of Oakland car taking photos of my garden. I go down and he said I’m out of compliance for “agricultural activities”. I’m supposed to get a Conditional Use Permit for growing chard. The annual fee: $2500.

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March 30, 2011   2 Comments

$5000 photo fellowship topic: “Urban Agriculture in New York City.”

2011 Photo Urbanism Fellowship: Call for Submissions

The Design Trust for Public Space is now accepting submissions from New York-based photographers for the 2011 Photo Urbanism Fellowship. The 2011 fellowship will focus on the topic of “urban agriculture in New York City.” The resulting photographs will inform the current Design Trust project, Five Borough Farm, but the fellow will have full artistic vision over how they approach and interpret the topic.

The Photo Urbanism fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend, a public presentation, and a Design Trust publication dedicated to the fellow’s work at the conclusion of the fellowship. The fellow must be based in New York City in order to concentrate on the specific local content of the program, and is expected to complete their project within one year.

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Urban Agriculture in the City of Baltimore: Request For Qualifications

The younger girls of BUGS learned how to become guerilla gardeners last week. Photo by Bugs: Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students.

Non-profit and for-profit farmers are being invited to submit their qualifications for the right to negotiate five-year leases for parcels of city-owned vacant land

RFQ Issued: March 25, 2011 Application Deadline: May 6, 2011
Issued by: Baltimore City Department of Planning And Department of Housing and Community Development

The Baltimore City Department of Planning (DOP), in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), invites Statements of Qualifications (the RFQ) from farmers to participate in the development of a certain selection of pre-identified city-owned vacant and underutilized properties throughout the City of Baltimore for the purpose of urban agriculture. This offering is intended to 1) develop successful entrepreneurial urban farms throughout the City of Baltimore, 2) ameliorate the problem of food deserts in Baltimore City neighborhoods, 3) transform vacant and unused land to achieve economic, social and environmental benefits.

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March 29, 2011   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in the City of Baltimore: Request For Qualifications

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Forthcoming April 27, 2011

Written by Rachel Kaplan with K. Ruby Blume. Photos, maps and original artwork by K. Ruby Blume. Drawings by Marco Aidala.
Skyhorse Publishing (April 27, 2011)

Urban homesteading is a growing movement in this country, part of the global re-imagining of culture on the other side of governmental indifference and corporate greed. Concerned about climate change and peak oil? Thinking about localizing your food sources? Wondering how to manage water, waste and energy better? Trying to raise your children with positive, life-centered values? Interested in community building and local self-reliance? Looking for resources for taking care of yourself while taking care of the world?

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March 29, 2011   1 Comment

“Urban Homesteading” – Should one be able to trademark an activity?

Listen to the show here.

Food Chain Radio Show looks at the subject

Interview with: K. Ruby Blume, Director of the Institute of Urban Homesteading, and Patrick Reilly, Intellectual Property Attorney

A Property Impropriety?
By Michael Olson
Food Chain Radio Show #721
March 26, 2011

City folk have been “urban homesteading” since the early 1980s. But then the Dervaes family trademarked the term, and now no one else may play. This leads us to ask… Should one be able to trademark an activity?

Topics include a look into the activity of urban homesteading; how this activity came to be the intellectual property of a family in Pasadena; and whether this ownership is, or is not, a property impropriety.

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March 29, 2011   3 Comments

Man creates backyard-farm in Terre Haute, Indiana

Urban farmer grows crops right in backyard:

Urban farmer grows crops right in backyard

By Matt Gregory
Mar 27, 2011


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – He doesn’t own a combine or even a more than an acre, but Kevin Levesque has crops.

“This is our little backyard farm, I gotta keep enough room for the kids and the puppy dogs, “ Levesque said.

From his house right here in Terre Haute, Levesque grows enough produce to cut right into the family’s grocery bills. He calls himself an “Urban Homesteader.”

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March 29, 2011   1 Comment

Patron Saints of Vegetable Gardens

Saint Fiacre is the patron Saint of Gardeners. Image from “The Armchair Book of Gardens” by Jane Billinghurst.

St. Fiacre is the patron saint of herb and vegetable gardens, men who like to garden and taxi cab drivers

By Karen Holcomb,
eHow com
Dec 2010


Vegetable gardens have several patron saints, according to “Butler’s Lives of the Saints” and Catholic Online’s database of saints. They include St. Werenfrid, patron saint of vegetable gardens; St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers and large gardens; St. Fiacre, patron saint of herb and vegetable gardens; and St. Patrick, who is not only the patron saint of the Irish, but also of organic gardening.

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March 28, 2011   Comments Off on Patron Saints of Vegetable Gardens

Food Safety Scares Drive Some City Chinese Back to the Farm

China has been rocked by numerous food scandals in recent years

By Grace Ng
Jakarta Globe -Straits Times Indonesia
March 27, 2011


Beijing. Communes are making a comeback in rural China, but they are no longer driven by the Communist Party with the aim of building a socialist paradise.

Unlike Maoist-era collective farming, modern city folk are banding together to grow their own crops in response to rising food safety concerns.

Health-conscious young Chinese, with money to spare, are joining what are called “happy farms” proliferating by the thousands across the country.

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March 28, 2011   Comments Off on Food Safety Scares Drive Some City Chinese Back to the Farm