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Posts from — July 2011

Hollywood stars Attend Second School Gardens Luncheon

Amy Smart, Matthew Rhys, Beau Garrett and Malin Akerman attend the Environmental Media Association’s Second Annual School Gardens Luncheon. The School Garden Program sponsors and supports the building of gardens in urban schools across the country. Behind them is a garden that is currently being built at University High School in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Maury Phillips from Wireimage.

Environmental Media Association’s Young Hollywood Board and their School Gardens Program

The Impact of the Young Hollywood Board

Young actors and actresses serve as role models to millions of people, especially youth. Through their actions, celebrities can inspire youth in their formative years, and EMA has recruited celebrities to the program to mentor and actively engage the students in the garden programs.

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July 31, 2011   Comments Off on Hollywood stars Attend Second School Gardens Luncheon

A tour of urban farms in St. Louis

New Roots sign. Photo by by MadPainter.

Whereas community gardens are more about feeding individuals or families, urban farms feed the larger community.

By Madalyn Painter
St. Louis Public Radio
July 30, 2011


The next stop was a visit to the first urban farm in St. Louis, New Roots Urban Farm, a farming collective located in the St. Louis Place neighborhood north of downtown St. Louis.

At the corner of Sarah Street and Martin Luther King Drive we found the Bee Sweet Urban Orchard, the site of several half-century-old fruit trees and now the home to 48 fruit trees and a vegetable garden. The site serves as a component of Mark Twain Community Resource Center’s Hip-Hop Health program for kids.

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Across the San Francisco Bay Area, urban farming is in season

Brooke Budner, 30, co-founder of Little City Gardens, San Francisco’s first urban commercial farm, harvests chard for weekly customers. Photo by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times

Cities are changing ordinances to permit sales of home-grown produce as residents demand access to high-quality food and greater connection to the source.

By Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2011


The urban farming movement is driven by people’s craving for a connection to their food source and for more affordable organic fare, said San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance co-coordinator Eli Zigas, and it “is forcing cities to think about how to bring back activities that we pushed out of cities a long time ago.”

Across the Bay, Esperanza Pallana is party to what may be a broader set of changes. Her compact yard abuts a gas station in Oakland’s Lake Merritt neighborhood and overflows with hops for beer, kale, peanuts, dwarf pears, bees, hens and Vienna Blue rabbits — first cultivated for meat in the early 20th century.

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GrowHaus Offers Oasis of Produce in Inner City Denver

GrowHaus – An interactive urban farm and marketplace

CBS4 Denver
July 29, 2011

From the farm website:

Our growing operations are separated into two spaces: the Hydrofarm is a commercial facility designed to maximize yield for our neighbors and generate earned income, while Growasis is a demonstration farm for education and food security.


Growasis is our hands-on demonstration farm where we host year-round public workshops, service learning events, and community programming. Growasis currently consists of 1,000 square feet in a corner of our greenhouse, where we have been able to perform basic renovations. It contains the following elements:

Two aquaponics systems, where we raise fish and plants together in a recirculating high-yield setup

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July 31, 2011   1 Comment

Plowing Over: Can Urban Farming Save Detroit and Other Declining Cities? Will the Law Allow It?

East Side, Detroit 2008. Photo by James Griffioen.

American Bar Association weighs in

By Kristin Choo
American Bar Association Journal
Aug 1, 2011


But Orsi of the Sustainable Economies Law Center suggests that urban agriculture is just one part of what should be a larger movement toward sustainable approaches to food production. She argues that the best place to grow food is on the outskirts of cities, where densities are low enough to allow larger farms that are close enough to urban centers to avoid the energy costs of long-distance transport.

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July 30, 2011   1 Comment

Free for All: Urban Homestead Service Mark Spurs Trademark Scuffle

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen co-authored The Urban Homestead. Photo by AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes.

William McGeveran says the Dervaes Institute likely overshot whatever trademark rights it ever had

By Arin Greenwood
American Bar Association Journal
Aug 1, 2011


Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a technology-focused civil liberties group in San Francisco, has taken up the cause for three parties who received takedown notices from the Dervaes Institute: Urban homesteaders Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne, who co-wrote the book The Urban Homestead, and the couple’s publisher, Process Media.

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“Urban” town with population of only 3528 rejects chickens

Couple has seven hens on a one acre property in Ontario town of Campbellford

By Mark Hoult, Qmi Agency
Northumberland Today
July 28, 2011


Councillors Kim McNeil and Eugene Brahaney said they are firmly opposed to allowing farm animals on urban properties.

“What concerns me is, how do we as a municipality police it, what kind of work is it going to put on us in terms of policing,” McNeil said. “In Toronto maybe yes, but here there are farms all around and all kinds of eggs. So I would not support it.”

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July 29, 2011   1 Comment

‘Dreaded’ Wolf Spider at our Compost Garden in Vancouver

Watch Heidi catch a Wolf Spider!

I spotted a rather large Wolf Spider in the compost toilet shed yesterday and knew that the gardeners wouldn’t be happy to come across it unexpectedly. Heidi volunteered to move the unwanted eight-eyed Arachnid and I caught the daring act on video.

During my 30 years at the Compost Garden, various staff have shared with me their fear of the spider, a great insect hunter. Theirs is a common phobia, some feeling it more than others.

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Associated Press Video: Woman Becomes Farmer in Chicago

Associated Press
July 28, 2011

Carolyn Ioder is all about urban agriculture, keeping bees and raising goats and chickens within the city limits of Chicago. She is interested in green living and locally produced food.

July 29, 2011   3 Comments

Peter Ladner – author of forthcoming book ‘The Urban Food Revolution’

Peter Ladner, in his yard that he converted into a food garden, has written a book that details the changes people and policymakers in Canada are making to regain control of our food. Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, PNG, Vancouver Sun.

Former Vancouver councillor offers ideas on how cities can gain control over what they eat

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 28, 2011


What would a city approaching food self-sufficiency look like?

Peter Ladner’s soon-to-be released book The Urban Food Revolution offers tantalizing glimpses of urban environments that successfully integrate commercial enterprise, low-impact living spaces and agricultural productivity. Balcony gardens, urban market gardens, rooftop beehives, vertical greenhouses and aquaponics, and acres of lawn converted to high-value herb and vegetable production are all being employed with success somewhere. Why not everywhere?

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Shepard Fairey creates poster for the documentary ‘Urban Roots’

A T-Shirt of Fairey’s Urban Roots image – 100% of profits will go to putting farms in schools

“I created this poster for the documentary Urban Roots. It’s a great film and I know from working with these same folks on the 11th Hour that they are great grassroots activists. A portion of the proceeds from this poster go to Urban Roots Action.”

Urban Roots and it’s action to put farms in schools is getting a big push from Shepard Fairey who has generously created a poster to support the action and will donate proceeds from his artwork.

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July 28, 2011   1 Comment

Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture

Courses held at Prince George’s Community College in Edmonston, Maryland

By Renee Catacalos
Director of Strategic Communications, ECO City Farms
July 27, 2011

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website, “every family needs a farmer.” With about 2.2 million farms for 308 million Americans, we need a lot of new farmers. At the same time that more consumers, restaurants and retailers are demanding locally grown foods, fewer Americans grow up on farms and learn the necessary skills to make farming a career.
ECO City Farms offers a local solution through its Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture training program, presented in partnership with Prince George’s Community College. The program is the first of its kind in the region and provides a comprehensive introduction to starting an urban farm.

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July 27, 2011   1 Comment

70 community gardens in Paris, France

Inauguration du jardin de l’Univert. Crédit photo: Nad Charvier.

Paris compte près de 70 jardins partagés

Ces parcelles de terrain gracieusement mises à disposition par la Ville de Paris sont devenues en quelques années les lieux de rendez-vous et de détente préférés des jardiniers amateurs de Paris. Gagnés sur des friches urbaines (jardin de l’Aqueduc ), aménagés sur des toits de gymnase(le Jardin sur le Toit ) …des jardins fleurissent au sein de la capitale.

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San Diego is studying the potential impacts of urban agriculture on the local food system

San Diego City College’s Seeds at City Urban Farm. Link here.

“Retail farms”

By Dave Rice
San Diego Reader
July 26, 2011


San Diego is studying the potential impacts of urban agriculture on the local food system. A report issued to the City Council’s Committee on Land Use and Housing dated July 12 covered three potential changes to zoning law that would bring healthier food into the community.

The first point addressed concerned the creation of a new land use designation: “retail farms.” These farms would be fewer than 4 acres in size, and would have a minimum of 1,000 square feet of retail space for each acre of land used. Using vertical growing techniques, produce could be grown using 85% less water and 70% less land than a conventional farm.

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July 27, 2011   1 Comment

Mayor Emanuel Announces Plan to Create Jobs, Spur Economic Development and Increase Urban Agriculture Throughout Chicago


Proposed reforms will expand access to healthy food options in food deserts

Mayor’s Press Office
July 26, 2011

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the City will introduce an ordinance on Thursday to expand community gardens and urban farms to promote economic development, job creation and increase access to healthy food options in food deserts.

“It is unacceptable that thousands of Chicagoans live in communities that lack access to fresh foods,” said Mayor Emanuel, while at the ribbon-cutting for the urban farm Iron Street Farm. “I am committed to adopting innovative solutions that will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables while creating jobs in order to ensure Chicagoans have the food options they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

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