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Posts from — November 2011

Peri-Urban Agriculture With Family Business Gardens in Hambantota, Sri Lanka

At present, 75% of occupying families have been gaining benefits from the Family Business Garden

By Thilak T. Ranasinghe, PhD.
Consultant/Advisor for Urban Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods


Technology Adoption: – It is great that residents adopted new crop cultivations, creation of live-vertical-cultivation-structures, and use of artificial shade during drought periods and soil improvement methodologies in the process of technology adoption. Micro-irrigation demonstrations were conducted so as to reduce water bills and also production costs. The adoption levels were high although majority of the residents were strangers to scientific agriculture or if not for any form of micro-agriculture.

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November 30, 2011   Comments Off on Peri-Urban Agriculture With Family Business Gardens in Hambantota, Sri Lanka

Call for Abstracts – What are the challenges of future urban agriculture?

Agriculture in an urbanizing society – International Conference on Multifunctional Agriculture and Urban-Rural Relations

The Netherlands
1 – 4 April 2012

What are the challenges of future urban agriculture?

Urban agriculture is defined as producing food and food products within the city, or in the city fringe, and simultaneously provide non-food products and services for city dwellers. Urban agriculture is as old as our cities, but lost its function swiftly in the 19th century mainly due to new means of conservation, processing and transportation of food. Today, urban agriculture, in all its diversity, is regaining its function as local food producer and processor, in both developing and developed cities worldwide.

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November 30, 2011   Comments Off on Call for Abstracts – What are the challenges of future urban agriculture?

“Edible City” movie now online!

Andrew Hasse – Director – Edible City

Email from Andrew Hasse
Director/Edible City
(Must see videos. Mike)

It’s been a very long time since the last update on Edible City, and for that I am very sorry and deeply humbled. The process of assembling and editing the amazing material we’ve collected over the past few years has been at times inspiring, at times challenging, and has even caused a few moments of panic and despair.

I’m happy to say, however, that I’ve broken on through to the other side, and am now making great progress! A rough cut has recently been completed, and sections of it are viewable on the new website,

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November 30, 2011   Comments Off on “Edible City” movie now online!

Census and Economics of Vancouver’s Urban Farms

Vegetable Vancouver 2010: An Urban Farming Census. See the two page flyer PDF here. (1.7 MB)

An Urban Farming Census – Project Description

By Marc Schutzbank, MSc. Candidate
University of British Columbia
November, 2010
Presented at the Vancouver Urban Farming Forum

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index is at the highest level ever recorded. Wheat crops have failed in Russia and in China due to severe heat and draught. International food access issues are stirring local public and private responses, one of which is urban farming. To ascertain the community impacts of urban farming, I propose the development of an urban farming census to measure the economic, social and environmental outcomes of urban farming.

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November 28, 2011   1 Comment

Photos of 26 Urban Farms posted at the “Vancouver Urban Farming Forum”

Contributing to Vancouver’s goal of being the Greenest City in the World

Collected and presented by Joanna Clark
For “Vancouver Urban Farming Forum”
Nov. 26, 2011

This past weekend The Vancouver Urban Farming Forum gave urban farmers, policy makers, and food security advocates an opportunity to gather together to discuss urban farming in the context of land use, municipal policy, and best practices.

The Farms:

Fresh Roots Urban Farm

Urban Digs

The Orchard Garden

Inner City Farms

Giddy Up & Grow

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November 28, 2011   Comments Off on Photos of 26 Urban Farms posted at the “Vancouver Urban Farming Forum”

The Olkowskis inspired City Farmer 34 years ago

Photo of Bill in his backyard in Acton St, Berkeley, California around 1975. In March 1975 the Olkowskis published “The City People’s Book of Raising Food”.

And we’ve just heard from Bill and Helga Olkowski!

From Bill’s email:

You may remember us as the authors of the “City Peoples Book of Raising Food” back in the 1970’s.  We gave a talk in Seattle for the Pea Patch Group then encouraging people to set up community and backyard gardens.  I remember this talk as one of the high points of our life because it went like this:

We were giving a rousing talk about how important urban agriculture is and could be for the following reasons:

1) it can save money,
2) it can save gasoline normally spent going to the market and traveling for fun,
3) it produces clean food without pesticides,
4) it’s good for the ecosystem since it uses compost from food wastes, and
5) it reduces the amounts of waste vegetable matter thus saving space in dumps.

At the end we asked for questions and the great question arose: “Who is going to do all this?”

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November 28, 2011   1 Comment

Cover Story “onearth” Magazine – Urban Farming in Africa

The Constant Gardeners – Confronting climate change and poverty, a new crop of city farmers comes of age in Africa

By Jocelyn C. Zuckerman
November 23, 2011


But as Njenga is happy to show me, they’re finding new ways to cope. We meet up with Catherine Wangui, a friendly 25-year-old sporting a newsboy cap, who tells us how, about four years ago, representatives of the French nongovernmental organization Solidarités International, which does emergency relief and reconstruction work around the world, came here and distributed old flour sacks to some of the women. They explained how to fill them with soil and rocks before poking holes in the sides and pushing in seeds.

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November 27, 2011   2 Comments

Trent University Students to Build Root Cellar

From the Field to the Cellar, to the Table

Trent Alumni Magazine
Spring 2011


The construction, which will take 4-6 weeks, is just the first example of the opportunities for community building which the cellar will make possible.

The cellar will be constructed using sustainable building practices. The foundation and the walls will be made from compressed bags of earth and it will be built with a green roof. The green roof will offer insulation to the vegetables below and opportunities for educational programming.

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November 27, 2011   Comments Off on Trent University Students to Build Root Cellar

Urban farming: Students in Texas raise, show and sell livestock at local schools

Alex Kipple, 17, lets her lamb into one of the livestock pens at McNeil High School on Friday. Kipple and dozens of other McNeil students participate in the school’s FFA chapter, where the students learn about agriculture and are responsible for the care of their animals. Photo by Kelly West.

1,000 Texas Future Farmers of America chapters in public schools

By Andrea Ball
The American Statesman
Nov. 26, 2011


The pigs are squealing, the chickens clucking, the lambs playing, the goats bleating, and the steers standing in their pen. It’s a typical morning at McNeil High School.

Livestock at school? In a part of Central Texas where people are more likely to work at Dell than run a farm?

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November 27, 2011   Comments Off on Urban farming: Students in Texas raise, show and sell livestock at local schools

Urban Agriculture – Casablanca – International Design

L’agence IND nous propose un nouvel outil de développement urbain pour Casablanca

By Mohamed Achraf Sehnoun
Nov 22, 2011


Par le biais d’un concept original “Agriculture urbaine”, les architectes tentent de doter les habitants des douars de Casablanca ( population mixte issue de la campagne) d’une boîte à outils leurs permettant de diminuer leurs dépenses, d’améliorer leurs train de vie et de les responsabiliser vis à vis de leurs devoirs de citoyen.

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November 25, 2011   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture – Casablanca – International Design

Asphalt and Asparagus: Growing food in the city with Curtis Stone

He informed the crowd that he added another $5,000 into the business to top the season at over $65,000 in sales

By Javan
Permaculture BC


Victoria, BC. – Over 80 people came out to listen and ask questions of Curtis Stone, a Kelowna urban SPIN farming.

Curtis has been a practicing SPIN farmer now for over two seasons. In his first season a $8,000 investment yielded $20,000 in profit. This year he informed the crowd that he added another $5,000 into the business to top the season at over $65,000 in sales.

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November 24, 2011   2 Comments

Bangalore’s urban agriculture boom

Bangalore urban farming. Photo by Kimm St Thomas.

Bangaloreans are starting a movement to grow organic food for their families.

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara |
New Internationalist
Nov 25, 2011


Before it hit the headlines in the mid nineties, as a high-tech international ‘IT city’, which Bangalored jobs from all around the globe, Bangalore was known as ‘India’s garden city’, a pensioner’s paradise. It was a charming little town, sleepy and laid back. Everyone took pride in their gardens. Even now, apart from the terrible infrastructure because the city couldn’t cope with the huge influx of people who flooded in to run the IT centres, the old parts of Bangalore town are still charming. Quiet, safe neighbourhoods filled with trees, flowers, cottages, tiled roofs, and nice old houses: generally a far nicer city than Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata.

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November 24, 2011   1 Comment

Aspiring urban farmers can now apply for the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship program

“The amount of opportunities to get involved in small scale and urban scale farming surprised me.”

Multnomah County, Oregon

Aspiring urban farmers, listen up: Multnomah County, in partnership with Oregon State University Extension Service, is offering classroom training and hands-on, in-field apprenticeships with local farmers during an eight-month program in 2012.

The application period for the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA), which is in its second year, opened on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The program provides season-long training for the next generation of beginning farmers who want to participate in small-scale, urban farming. Apprenticeships start April 4, 2012.

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November 24, 2011   Comments Off on Aspiring urban farmers can now apply for the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship program

Proposed Multilevel Elevated Urban Farm in Atlanta

Atlanta Artist and Arts Educator’s Design Selected As Semifinalist In Mayor’s Trinity Avenue Farm Design Competition

Press Release
By Meisha Card
Team Elevate

Atlanta, GA – On August 24, 2011 Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed along with City of Atlanta Officials, the University of Georgia and Wal-Mart Representatives announced an Urban Farm Design Competition to transform 0.8 acres of land located directly across from City Hall into a thriving demonstration farm. The farm would be a key component in the City of Atlanta’s Power to Change sustainability plan. Visual Artist Lillian Blades and Arts Educator Meisha Card responded to the call in designing an elevated urban farm they hope will serve as a center for sustainable farm education and a source of inspiration for individuals from all walks of life. They enlisted the help of The Epsten Group and Breedlove Land Planning to bring their design to life and collectively entered the competition as Team Elevate.

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November 24, 2011   1 Comment

How community gardens are growing on Toronto’s public housing projects

Community residents distribute the fruit of their labour at the Firgrove Crescent public housing development. Photo by David Trattles.

“Our main focus was to make sure that food was accessible to our community at reasonable prices.”

By Clifton Joseph
with photography by David Trattles
Canadian Geographic
Oct 2011


Jamaican-born single mother Janet Young and her teenage daughter Andrene are working opposite ends of their plot. Andrene has gloves on and is pulling out weeds from around the tomatoes, while Janet is disentangling big leafy green vines from some of the other plants. “Steups!” she hisses, kissing her teeth. “I gotta tell you, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never plant the zucchini next to the callaloo or the peppers, because it takes so much space that it overpowers anything else that’s too close to it. You’ve got to give the zucchini space!

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November 23, 2011   Comments Off on How community gardens are growing on Toronto’s public housing projects