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Posts from — September 2011

Vancouver Urban Farming Forum 2011 – Land Use, Policy, and Best Practices


A gathering of Vancouver’s urban farmers

Friday, November 25, 2011 (evening);
Saturday, November 26, 2011 (all day)

Introduction from the website:

Vancouver has the goal of being the Greenest City in the World by 2020. Local food and green economy are two of ten areas of focus for achieving the greenest city goals. Urban farming is in a unique position to contribute to both of these goals. The number of urban farms in Vancouver is increasing and these green businesses are leading the way in developing economically viable food production models for the urban environment.

With urban commercial food production being a relatively new occurrence in Vancouver, it is not accounted for in current city policy. There are a number of factors affecting urban farms’ ability to operate as legitimate businesses in Vancouver including land zoning and business licensing. This forum comes out of an interest from both the City and Urban Farmers to work together toward policies, best practices, and land-use decisions that can support urban farming practices now and into the future.

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September 30, 2011   10 Comments

The Plantagon greenhouse

Plantagon is a vertical greenhouse for the urban farming environment

Plantagon Greenhouse report
July 2011

Excerpt:

2.1 Urban agriculture with economic growth

Today’s greenhouses are situated far outside urban areas. The whole idea behind Plantagon is to place it in urban areas, close to the consumers, which will reduce handling costs by up to 80 percent.
Plantagon estimates that about 40 to 60 percent of an urban consumer’s food budget goes to pay for transportation and storage. Vertical greenhouses can deliver fresh, healthful organic produce directly to the consumer at a lower price.
The concept is simple and appealing in these days of awareness: fresh, ecologi- cal and cheap vegetables. no middle hands, no yesterday’s food.

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September 30, 2011   1 Comment

Swedish Embassy in Washington holds “Urban Agriculture Summit”

Urban Agriculture – How do we feed people in the urban era?

House of Sweden, 2900 K Street, NW, Washington, DC
November 16, 2011, 1 pm – 5 pm (refreshments will be served)
This is hosted by the Embassy of Sweden and Plantagon and its partners. There is no cost to attend.

As more and more people move to ever-expanding cities, farming will be pushed further away from population centers. The inevitable result of this ”urban sprawl” is longer transportation routes and less fresh products.
Especially low-income urban areas will be affected.

Join Swedish clean-tech and American know-how in a half-day seminar on how to use urban agriculture technologies to create a more sustainable city of tomorrow.

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September 30, 2011   Comments Off

Colorado’s first farm on public school grounds delivers organic produce to cafeteria


Kindergarteners hand over their class piggy bank for the farm fundraiser. They raised $20.54!

Denver Green School seeds new innovation – growing their own food

Chris Cunnyngham
Big Think
September 21, 2011

Excerpt:

A previously abandoned one-acre field behind the school has been taken over by Sprout City Farms, a project devoted to “innovative urban farms on underutilized land, rooting farmers in the city and bringing good food to neighborhoods.” The food grown is then sold back to the school to be served in the cafeteria. As you may imagine, there were lawyers involved at various steps of the process but Allen Potter, 6th Grade teacher and founding partner of the school, was quick to point out that school district lawyers “were actually our allies in this.”

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September 30, 2011   1 Comment

Young Indonesians paint the town green


The group’s goals are to encourage a green city while saving money on grocery bills (AFP/File, Romeo Gacad)

Young Indonesians are breathing new life into their polluted concrete capital city with little more than buckets of soil and seeds.

By Presi Mandari (AFP)
By Agence France-Presse
Sept 30, 2011

Excerpt:

JAKARTA — Young Indonesians are breathing new life into their polluted concrete capital city with little more than buckets of soil and seeds.

A group of mostly young professionals, known as Gardening Indonesia, has joined the global urban farming movement, converting vacant patches of land between Jakarta’s skyscrapers into lush green vegetable gardens.

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September 30, 2011   Comments Off

Zimbabwe: Let’s Embrace Urban Farming

Urban agriculture faces the prospect of growing to unprecedented levels in the near future.

By Shingai T Kawadza
The Herald
Published by the Government of Zimbabwe
30 September 2011
Shingai T Kawadza is a final year Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Rural and Urban Planning at the University of Zimbabwe.

Excerpt:

There is clear evidence that urban agriculture is increasing rapidly in urban areas, particularly in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania.

It has become an essential socio-economic activity for the urban poor particularly in Harare and a great contributor to food security and income generation for the poor families. With the 2015 deadline for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and the widespread notion of sustainable development on cards,

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September 30, 2011   1 Comment

Butler CUE Granted $230,000 for Urban Farming Project in Indianapolis, IN


Volunteers at farm.

The Butler Campus Farm (established in 2010) will serve as the city’s pilot urban farming “Hub.”

Mary Ellen Stephenson
Butler University
July 29, 2011

Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) has received a $230,000 grant from The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, to strengthen urban farming and renewal efforts in Indianapolis. The CUE grant was the largest individual award from a total $1.2 million in grants announced on July 27 and given to 17 Indiana nonprofit organizations.

Payable over three years, the grant also represents the largest gift Butler University has ever received from The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.

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September 30, 2011   Comments Off

Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution

Forthcoming February 15, 2012

By Jennifer Cockrall-king
Prometheus Books
15 Feb 2012

About the Author:
Jennifer Cockrall-King (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) is a freelance journalist and niche food writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, National Post, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, and other major publications. She is also a contributor to A Good Catch: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from Canada’s Top Chefs, and she is the former cofounder, publisher, and editor of The Edible Prairie Journal.

When you’re standing in the midst of a supermarket, it’s hard to imagine that you’re looking at a failing industrial food system. The abundance all around you looks impressive but is really a facade. In fact, there’s just a three-day supply of food available for any given city due to complex, just-in-time international supply chains. The system is not only vulnerable, given the reality of food scares, international crises, terrorist attacks, economic upheavals, and natural disasters, but it is also environmentally unsustainable for the long term.

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September 29, 2011   2 Comments

Urban Agriculture Grows in Baltimore


Gardeners at Boone Street urban farm and community garden. See more photos at The Baltimore DIY Squad here.

“It has brought the community together for something positive.”

By Alison Kitchens
Capital News Service
Sept 29, 2011

Excerpt:

In Baltimore, urban agriculture has the potential to help improve conditions in some of the city’s “food deserts,” said Anne Palmer, program director of Eating for the Future at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

The center defines “food deserts” as areas in cities where residents are below the poverty level and do not have easy access to healthy foods at supermarkets within walking distance, about a quarter of a mile.

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September 29, 2011   1 Comment

Youngstown, Ohio – Introduces Iron Roots Urban Farm


Ed McColly and Liberty Merill coordinate the Iron Roots Urban Farm program.

“We value the importance of neighborhood revitalization”

By Maraline Kubik
Business Journal Daily
Sept. 29, 2011

Excerpt:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. showcased its latest project — an urban farm and training center on the city’s southwest side — Wednesday morning during an unveiling ceremony for the new venture’s logo.

Iron Roots Urban Farm is located on a 2.5-acre homestead at the corner of Canfield Road and Reel Avenue on the city’s southwest side that had been vacant for years. By next spring, it will be transformed into a fully operational urban farm and training site for YNDC’s market gardener and green jobs training programs, reported Presley L. Gillespie, YNDC executive director.

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September 29, 2011   Comments Off

British Columbia – Critics pan Lantzville mayor’s urban agriculture solutions


Mayor Colin Haime.

He (the Mayor) still doesn’t believe that current residential lots are the appropriate place to grow food because of the conflicts between neighbours growing food creates, namely composting and manure practices.

By Toby Gorman
Nanaimo News Bulletin
September 28, 2011

Excerpt:

Better use of Lantzville’s Agricultural Land Reserves could solve the community’s urban agriculture issue, but critics say Mayor Colin Haime’s plan won’t take root.

Over the last 10 months, a group of urban agriculture supporters demanded council amend its zoning bylaw to allow small-scale farming on residential lots.

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September 28, 2011   Comments Off

Urbavore’s Brooke Salvaggio – Kansas City


Dan Heryer, Brooke Salvaggio and son Percy have had a busy season. From Facebook: Badseed.

Four questions

By Jonathan Bender
Pitch
Sep 28, 2011

Excerpt:

What’s in store for the season and the future of the farm?

This incredibly challenging season is wrapping up with a bang. We are currently laying out more vegetable plots and will begin the laborious construction of a deer fence in several weeks. The deer have destroyed an estimated $13,000 worth of crops this year.

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September 28, 2011   Comments Off

Welfare Politics: Is Urban Farming the Answer?


Malik Yakini. D-Town is a two acre farm operated by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

“We would encourage everyone to start growing something”

By Bankole Thompson
Michigan Chronicle
28 September 2011

Excerpt:

Is urban farming the answer to an economy in Detroit that has left some jobless, homeless and others with no other means to make a living for their families?

Malik Yakini, a longtime Detroit advocate, entrepreneur, educator and pioneer of Africancentered education, said while urban farming is not the whole answer because “the situation we face is a very complex situation, it is part of the answer for the economy we are dealing with.”

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September 28, 2011   1 Comment

EPA: Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

United States Environmental Protection Agency
September 2011
77 pages

The Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook provides a framework for any organization or community interested in developing an urban farm on cleaned brownfields or vacant lands, food access, or community development challenges. The handbook provides guidance on how to assemble marketing, operating, and financial strategies to communicate your urban farm project to potential partners and funders. Questionnaires related to each section as well as financial spreadsheets are also included in this toolkit.

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September 27, 2011   1 Comment

EPA: Brownfields and Urban Agriculture

Interim Guidelines for Safe Gardening Practices

United States Environmental Protection Agency
Summer 2011
22 pages

This report presents a process and set of recommendations for developing agricultural reuse projects on sites with an environmental history. Potential gardeners, state environmental agencies and regulators can use this process to determine how to address the risks inherent to redeveloping brownfields for agricultural reuses while being protective of human health.

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September 27, 2011   Comments Off