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Posts from — August 2011

Portland embraces front-yard farming

In 2009, Portland officials told Jordan Benner he had to remove this planter box from the parking strip outside his Southeast Portland home. But there were no rules that told Benner what he could build. Three years later, new city rules will allow smaller, narrower planter boxes. Photo by Jordan Benner.

Rules could go into effect this fall

By Beth Slovic
The Oregonian
August 30, 2011


Prepare to meet your future, Portlanders.

Starting soon, you could see more planter boxes springing up in parking strips between sidewalks and city streets.

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August 31, 2011   1 Comment

Australia’s Seed Savers have posted 350 video clips

Growing Oyster Mushrooms at Home. Pleurotus species here at 1300m in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The growing medium is made of rice husks, sawdust and limestone. Paulina, she uses neither insecticides nor fungicides. She sells the mushrooms to Chinese restaurants in Ranau town See video how we do it more naturally in our Australian garden on our channel.

The Seed Savers’ Network

Bit by bit we have produced 350 video clips and uploaded them to Seed Savers’ Youtube channel. We were inspired by our visits to farmers and gardeners around the world and by Seed Savers’ garden of 1000 food species in Byron Bay, Australia. We show you how we save seeds, grow and process our food; people and produce on markets in several countries and food we glean on our travels.

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August 31, 2011   1 Comment

Organic garden in Columbia, MO, brings two faiths together to raise food for needy families

From left, Larry Morrow, Mike Gordon, Molly Wright and Mary Beth Litofsky pick okra and tomatoes at the interfaith garden behind Congregation Beth Shalom. Photo by Marcia Vanderlip/Tribune.

This year, the interfaith garden has already donated more than 500 pounds of produce to The Central Pantry, St. Francis House, the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen, as well as to individual families in need.

By Marcia Vanderlip
Columbia Daily Tribune
Tuesday, August 23, 2011


On this particular Monday, the produce selection had held only a few bags of carrots until Lowenberg showed up. He brings produce to the pantry three times a week. It all comes from a 40-foot-by-50-foot garden plot of former farmland behind Congregation Beth Shalom, a Jewish house of worship. The garden there is tended by volunteers from Beth Shalom and from the Newman Center, which is a Catholic congregation.

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August 30, 2011   Comments Off on Organic garden in Columbia, MO, brings two faiths together to raise food for needy families

Urban gardens could sustain cities in Cleveland

Michael Storck and his daughters, Isabel, 10, and Zita, 4, pick produce from their plot at the Bexley Community Garden. Researchers say such urban gardens can help sustain cities. Photo by Courtney Hergesheimer | Dispatch.

Vacant lots equal lots of acreage to plant

By Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch
August 22, 2011


The researchers found that the land could generate as much as $115 million in produce each year, enough to satisfy at least 22 percent of Cleveland’s demand for fresh produce. In some scenarios, perhaps 100 percent.

“We were definitely shocked it was really possible to be self-reliant,” said Parwinder S. Grewal, who is co-author of the study and director of Ohio State’s Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development, in Wooster.

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August 30, 2011   1 Comment

City Hall joining Flint’s urban agriculture movement

Garfield-Bunche Community Service Corp. worker Treva Yarbrough (left), 19, laughs at being called the queen of the garden while working with Latavious Harris, 20, at a community garden on East Myrtle Avenue in Flint on Thursday. Photo by Ryan Garza.

Urban agriculture work can even help address public safety.

By Kristin Longley
Flint Journal
August 29, 2011


She also is part of what has become a social movement taking Flint by storm and that is winning international praise.

And, now urban gardening is also getting the official endorsement of the status quo.

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August 29, 2011   1 Comment

Wonderful film showing city farming in Mumbai, India

Urban Leaves: community farms in Mumbai

Urban Leaves Documentary
Reap what you sow, Eat what you grow,
Film made by Suma Josson.
(Must see! Mike)

Dedication by the filmmaker Suma Josson:
August 28th was my mother’s birthday. It is 2 months since she passed away. Daughter of a farmer she was a kitchen gardener growing her own vegetables and fruits wherever she moved. She carried the garden within her and the garden contained her energy. I know up there she is tending and watering a garden filled with the light of regeneration and hope. Let’s turn more earth organic in 2011.

Articles from the India Times celebrating Kitchen Garden Day

Mumbai goes green on the terrace

By Anahita Mukherji
India Times
Aug 28, 2011


MUMBAI: Planning to turn farmer? There’s no need to leave the city. Join the growing tribe of urban farmers, who grow their own food in every nook and cranny available to them in space-starved cities.

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August 28, 2011   3 Comments

Farming: The new urban adventure in Akron, Ohio

Even though this may appear to be a rural setting, Karmi James, left, and Jeff Boni are weeding their robust urban garden. Photo By Karen Schiely.

They named the minifarm Paqarina, which means “dawn” or “beginning” in the indigenous Quechua language of the Andes

By Mary Beth Breckenridge
Akron Beacon Journal
August 28, 2011


AKRON, Ohio – Karmi James and Jeff Boni brought little more than interest to their urban gardening venture.

James had done a little gardening as a kid, but neither knew much about growing food before they planted their first garden not far from the old Firestone factory in Akron, Ohio. Today, however, they’re operators of Paqarina Farm, an organic garden on Ira Avenue just south of downtown that produces fruits and vegetables to feed themselves and sell to others.

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August 28, 2011   1 Comment

Like Portland, Boulder rethinking concept of urban farming

Local leaders working to broaden use of community gardens

By Heath Urie
Daily Camera


Hunched over the miniature jungle growing along the street near his University Hill home in Boulder, Scott Hoffenberg plucked a glistening purple object from the ground and shook off bits of dirt.

“This is the first eggplant of the year,” Hoffenberg said. “In a couple weeks, we should be pulling 100 to 150 of these off each week.”

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August 28, 2011   Comments Off on Like Portland, Boulder rethinking concept of urban farming

City Chase explores Vancouver’s Compost Garden, for charity

See City Chase adventurers in action in this video.

A unique urban adventure: counting worms, learning about composting

City Chase brought a few hundred explorers to the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden as part of a unique urban adventure. Participants had to dig through our worm bins and find 10 worms and also answer questions about the composting process. It was a wonderful way to introduce people to home composting.

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August 27, 2011   Comments Off on City Chase explores Vancouver’s Compost Garden, for charity

GrowMobile – Farming Made Fun

Grow Mobile visits up to 3 schools a week in Rochester and 9 surrounding counties

“The Grow Mobile Van is an educational tool that is part of the Foodlink / Green Living Technologies (GLTi) partnership to promote Urban Agriculture and Healthy Eating. The Grow Mobile is retro-fitted with multiple technologies including a working hydroponic system that grows starter plants for the GLTi Mobile Edible Walls also fitted into the van. Complete with worm teas for organic fertilizer and indoor grow lights, the van is operational 12 months of the year.

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August 27, 2011   Comments Off on GrowMobile – Farming Made Fun

James Comer of Kentucky Announces Urban Agriculture Initiative

Jamie is married to Tamara Jo (TJ). They have three children, including one born just weeks ago, and are members of the First Baptist Church of Tompkinsville.

Member of the House of Representatives, Comer Plans to create an Office of Urban Agriculture if elected Agricultural Commissioner

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 26, 2011) – James Comer has unveiled his plan to enhance agriculture in Kentucky’s urban communities.

The Comer administration will reorganize the entire Kentucky Department of Agriculture to streamline the agency, make it more efficient, and position the KDA to meet the needs of Kentucky Agriculture for the new agriculture economy of the future. One part of that strategy includes plans to create the Office of Urban Agriculture. The new office will place a priority on enacting the Comer Urban Agriculture Initiative.

Initially the Comer Urban Agriculture Initiative will:

•begin with a pilot project in Louisville and Lexington

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August 27, 2011   Comments Off on James Comer of Kentucky Announces Urban Agriculture Initiative

‘BoysGrow’ cultivates inner-city boys through farming in Kansas City

They produce their own salsa that is sold in six grocery stores around the metro.

By: Curtis Jay
NBC News


KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Near the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas, a small farm sits that produces more than just vegetables.

It also cultivates the lives of inner-city boys through a program called “BoysGrow” , founded by John Gordon, Jr., “We’re instilling respect, pride into these guys they already have it.. now they’re part of something.”

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August 26, 2011   Comments Off on ‘BoysGrow’ cultivates inner-city boys through farming in Kansas City

Jake Gyllenhaal Teaches Inner-City Kids about Sustainable Farming and Healthy Eating

Hunters Point Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco.

Today show’s Jenna Bush Hager (Jenna Bush) visits school garden for celebration of Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary

Rosemina Nazarali
August 25, 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal has teamed up with Chef Alice Waters to teach Bay Area inner-city youth about sustainable farming and eating healthier.

“I grew up around gardens and growing my own food, my family did that a lot and that was real source of community,” the Source Code actor said. “Growing up, more than anything, I got to know my mother and father and my sister and they got to know me at the dinner table.”

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August 26, 2011   Comments Off on Jake Gyllenhaal Teaches Inner-City Kids about Sustainable Farming and Healthy Eating

Alice Waters: Edible Education – a short film

See the film here.

The Mother of the Locavore Movement Serves Up Her Gastronomic Curriculum

A short film by Lisa Eisner
Aug 24, 2011

Restaurateur Alice Waters expounds on the inspiration guiding The Edible Schoolyard in today’s short film by Lisa Eisner. Waters’ pioneering project at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, California, has transformed a vacant lot into flourishing community farmland, combining horticulture, gastronomy and education. Visit any of the myriad farm-to-table restaurants defining the modern culinary scene, from Dan Barber’s Blue Hill to Suzanne Goin’s Lucques, and you’ll trace the chefs’ collective methodology back to Waters.

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August 25, 2011   Comments Off on Alice Waters: Edible Education – a short film

Replacing a high school edible wall in LA

Urban Farming Food Chain Edible Wall

The Urban Farming™ Food Chain Edible Wall project was originally launched in 2008 at four downtown and Skid Row locations in Los Angeles. These are vertical farming gardens – from 24 to 30 feet long x 6 feet high – growing fresh, healthy produce at locations in the Skid Row and downtown areas. We need to replace the existing wall panel system that’s deteriorating at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex (high school) with the new, improved more durable system we’re now using, ASAP!!

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August 25, 2011   1 Comment