New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Parks and other green environments are an essential component of a healthy human habitat

Much like eating greens provides essential nutrients, so does seeing and being around green

By Frances E. (Ming) Kuo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director, Landscape and Human Health Laboratory University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2010

Excerpt from the Executive Summary

This monograph presents an overview of what scientists have discovered about the relationship between nature and human health, focusing on the most compelling findings. It focuses on three classic indicators of health drawn from animal research. Studies of laboratory and zoo animals, as well as animals in the wild living in degraded and fragmented habitat tells us that organisms living in unfit habitats undergo social, psychological, and physical breakdown. The scientific study of what Richard Louv has coined “nature deficit disorder” in people mirrors the animal research on unfit habitats. When we compare people with more versus less ready access to parks and other green environments, we find that they exhibit differences in well-being and functioning in each of the three trademark domains: social, psychological, and physical health.

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September 22, 2011   Comments Off on Parks and other green environments are an essential component of a healthy human habitat

Stepping up to the challenge of farming in heart of the city in Milton Keynes, England


Sheep grazing in cityscape. Some 300 lambs and 350 Mule ewes graze the parkland across 35 fields in Milton Keynes. Source: Farmers Guardian.

It is a logistical challenge running livestock in the heart of a thriving city

Farmers Guradian
20 September 2011

Excerpt:

The aim? To care for the city’s parks and green spaces and run a sustainable farming enterprise in view of the public. An ambitious aim, some might even say crazy, but whatever the opinion, it’s a work in progress.

The initiative is the brainchild of self-funding charity The Parks Trust and local fourth-generation livestock farmer, Luke Stacey.

The intention is to manage the land well, progress it to a good environmental standard and educate local residents about farming within an urban location.

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September 22, 2011   Comments Off on Stepping up to the challenge of farming in heart of the city in Milton Keynes, England

Green Scene: New Chicago ordinance encourages urban farmers to start planting


The Chicago Lights Urban Farm in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, a garden run in collaboration with Growing Power Inc. Image via ChicagoLights.org.

An opportunity to train youth, create economic development and create tax revenue for the city.

By Judith Nemes
Chicago Business, Crain’s Blogs
Sept 22, 2011

Excerpts:

Crain’s: Why is this new ordinance getting rave reviews from the urban farming community?

Ms. Allen: It legitimizes urban agriculture as an enterprise or a business that hasn’t been on the books before. Chicago always had farms within the city limits, but the new ordinance creates a space where we can begin to create economic opportunities within our communities, especially in areas where food deserts are a direct result of unemployment and little economic opportunity.

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September 22, 2011   Comments Off on Green Scene: New Chicago ordinance encourages urban farmers to start planting

East Vancouver tenants challenge explicit orders to remove their garden


Jodi Peters and Jeffery Radke are fighting back against orders to tear down their garden. Photo by Matthew Burrows.

Tenants challenge explicit orders to remove their veggie patch.

By Matthew Burrows
Georgia Straight
September 14, 2011

Excerpt:

Two gardening renters in East Vancouver are headed to provincial arbitration on September 30. This will come after their landlords demanded they dig up their extensive vegetable garden, and remove a greenhouse and rain barrel, along with other instructions sent in writing on August 5 and 14.

“It was like an absolute slap in the face,” Jodi Peters, project coordinator with the Environmental Youth Alliance and an avid gardener, told the Georgia Straight while sitting in the back yard of their multi-unit dwelling at 1922 Adanac Street.

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September 22, 2011   Comments Off on East Vancouver tenants challenge explicit orders to remove their garden

Urban farming’s trendy frugality is drawing converts in an age of economic uncertainty


Andrée Collier Zaleska, an urban farmer in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff.

The rise of urban farming

By Kendra Nordin
The Christian Science Monitor
September 21, 2011

Excerpt:

Meet the urban homesteader. Slowly, across the past decade, more Americans like Peterson have been proving that growing and preserving food is possible in all kinds of populated settings. City dwellers are practicing sustainable living at new levels beyond shopping for organic carrots and recycling bottles. Whether it is a tilapia farm in garden tubs in Kansas City, Mo., beekeeping in Chicago, or jars of homemade pickles in an apartment pantry in Austin, Texas, urban homesteaders are rebelling against the industrial food system by shouldering more of the responsibility for producing their own food.

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September 22, 2011   Comments Off on Urban farming’s trendy frugality is drawing converts in an age of economic uncertainty

Another great urban agriculture video from Whole Foods Market


Grow – Episode 4 – Itty Bitty Farm in San Francisco

‘Itty Bitty Farm in the City’ – Chickens, miniature goats and a vegetable patch share Heidi and Ute’s home in the midst of the Excelsior district in San Francisco. They find much more than basic sustenance in this mini urban farm of theirs and get creative with ways to exercise the goats.

September 22, 2011   Comments Off on Another great urban agriculture video from Whole Foods Market