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Posts from — November 2011

‘Urban farmers’ in India growing fruit, vegetables at home to cut dependence on market

Community Farm at Nana Nani Park. Photo by Urban Leaves in India.

“The importance and requirement for urban agriculture will only grow in the coming years as transportation costs keep increasing,” says AK Das, senior assistant director, National Horticulture Board.

By Nidhi Nath Srinivas and Pk Krishna Kumar
Economic Times India
18 Nov. 2011


NEW DELHI | KOCHI: Delhi-based homemaker Shaifali Chikermane had had enough of vegetables laced with deadly chemicals and deceptive sheen. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. Literally so, because just a few months later she has a spread of 25 pots with garlic, onion, green spinach, red spinach, peas, cauliflower, chillies, ginger and herbs growing on the terrace of her 800 sq ft flat.

Chikermane belongs to an expanding tribe of city dwellers across the country who have taken to growing vegetables and reducing dependence on the marketplace. These urban farmers are using every inch of available space for growing fresh vegetables that are salubrious for household budgets as well, especially in these times of raging food inflation.

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November 18, 2011   1 Comment

Urban Organic Agriculture : Need For South Asia

How will South Asia cities be fed?

By Kranti Prakash
Bihar, India

How will South Asia cities be fed? – Is an important question demanding attention due to rapidly growing urban population of the sub-continent. Urban and peri-urban organic agriculture is one set of activities resulting in grater food production, improved livelihood opportunities for urbanites and the enhanced environmental qualities of cities. During last decade in south Asian countries people have been experiencing rural growth rate of 17% but urban growth rate of 30% more than 6 thousand cities are in South Asia. Nearly 50000 villages have merged into cities due to urbanization. Millions of farmers had to abandon their age old practice of farming. Prices of fruits and vegetables are growing manifold.

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November 17, 2011   5 Comments

Roman guerrilla and community gardeners build a movable edible garden for those occupying Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

“Orto Errante” in Italian means wandering garden

By Silvia Cioli
Zappata Romana
Nov 16, 2011

The event on October 15th was organized in less than a week. Zappata Romana was asked by the Rome Occupy to put up an edible garden in the square near the tents next to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Zappata Romana called the people who take care of the many shared gardens in the city and the response was surprising – more than 20 groups joined and came to the appointment.

The idea was that Zappata Romana would build containers (painted recycled market wooden boxes with hemp bags and coloured garden markers) for the different contributors. The gardeners would bring earth and plants.
In one afternoon the garden was built with the enthusiastic help of everyone, passing by citizens included.

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November 17, 2011   2 Comments

Urban agriculture advocates in Montreal claim success in drive for city consultations

Montreal community garden. Photo by Andreas Sundgren.

They announced they had amassed 25,000 signatures

By Monique Beaudin,
Montreal Gazette Environment Reporter
November 15, 2011

MONTREAL – A coalition of 50 organizations has made history in Montreal by collecting the required 15,000 signatures on a petition to force the city to hold public hearings on the state of urban agriculture here.

Members of environmental, gardening and social groups spent the last three months gathering the signatures from Montreal residents. On Tuesday, they announced they had amassed 25,000 signatures.

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November 16, 2011   Comments Off on Urban agriculture advocates in Montreal claim success in drive for city consultations

Seven-year-old – Oliver’s garden grows with $20k grant from Nature’s Path Organic

2011 Gardens for Good grants – three programs share $65,000 in funding

By Danielle Wong
The Spec
November 7, 2011


Hamilton, Ontario – Oliver Allen-Cillis’s plan was simple: grow vegetables in his home garden so other children don’t have to rummage through the blue bin.

But the seven-year-old’s homegrown project to raise funds for local youth charities has outgrown his back yard, as his idea was awarded a $20,000 grant from Nature’s Path Organic.

The Cumberland Avenue resident and his family found out they were one of three winners of a North American contest and the most-voted-for Canadian entry last week.

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November 16, 2011   Comments Off on Seven-year-old – Oliver’s garden grows with $20k grant from Nature’s Path Organic

Villarreal Family Farm to expand in St. Louis City

Villarreal Family Farm plans to produce enough food to support a year-round CSA


Villarreal Family Farm strives to provide naturally and locally-grown produce, eggs and poultry to all members of our community by developing plans for a full-scale, commercial, urban farm, located at 4539 Delmar Blvd. to serve as a hub for urban food production, distribution, sustainable living and education. This urban farm will be the first urban agricultural venture of this type in the city of St. Louis. Villarreal Family Farm seeks to bring naturally-grown food closer to the consumer, while educating the community on the health and environmental benefits of naturally-grown foods, the economic and environmental benefits of locally grown food as well as building personal agricultural and job skills.

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November 16, 2011   Comments Off on Villarreal Family Farm to expand in St. Louis City

9 year old “Kid” reporter covers urban gardens in Vancouver

(Very cute. Mike)

She talks with Andrea Reimer, City Councillor

Kid reporter Tia, 9, reports on the Good Green News in the city of Vancouver – Find out why Vancouver helped bring over 400 community garden plots to the city!

November 15, 2011   Comments Off on 9 year old “Kid” reporter covers urban gardens in Vancouver

Karin Jager – City Farmer’s Poster

Almost 30 years ago Karin created our ‘Urban Gardens’ poster

How thrilling — to meet for the first time Karin Jager, whose beautiful poster has graced our office walls for three decades. Over the years, we’ve mailed this colourful rooftop vision out to hundreds of gardeners around the world. Many of them have told us how much they love it.

Karin was hired by Environment Canada in the early 1980’s to create a poster for us soon after she graduated from design school. Some years later she was hired by the United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP) to design their logo, a masterpiece in my view, depicting a hand holding rice, maize and wheat. The idea that our tiny non-profit society is somehow related to the massive WFP is wonderful, – both organizations aiming to make food accessible to those in need.

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November 15, 2011   Comments Off on Karin Jager – City Farmer’s Poster

Micro-gardens in Cairo’s City of the Dead

Photos by Liveinslums.


From Abitare
Nov. 2011

Project General Direction: Gaetano Berni – Silvia Orazi (Ong Liveinslums)
Scientific Coordination: Dr. Agronomo Tommaso Sposito – Prof. Elisabetta Bianchessi – Dr. Agronomo Fabio Campana In Collaboration With Prof. Claudia Sorlini (Cooperation Area Representative – Milan Università Degli Studi – Faculty Of Agriculture ) And With Prof. Franco Sangiorgi (Department Of Agricultural Engineering -– Milan Università Degli Studi)

The microjardins are vegetable gardens without soil, realized using mineral layers that replace the fertile soil: these transportable vegetable gardens are placed within containers obtained from recycled materials. This method of cultivating without soil in the City of Dead, besides solving the problem of fertilizing sand, also prevents desecration of the burial places while creating easy transportable structures, very practical in case the owner needs to leave the area.

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November 14, 2011   Comments Off on Micro-gardens in Cairo’s City of the Dead

Animal Architecture Awards

Farmland World – a chain of agro-tourist resorts

By Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer of Design With Company, with Katharine Bayer and Hugh Swiatek

Farmland World is a chain of agro-tourist resorts sprinkled across the American Midwestern countryside. Part theme park and part working farm, guests arrive to the resort via train and stay as part of 1-day, 3-day or 5-day experience packages. Capitalizing on both recent investments in high-speed rail infrastructure and the plentiful subsidies for farming, the network of resorts combines crowd-sourced farm labor with eco-tainment.

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November 14, 2011   Comments Off on Animal Architecture Awards

Kitchen Gardens of Australia: Eighteen Productive Gardens for Inspiration and Practical Advice

Eighteen diverse kitchen gardens, from subtropical Queensland to the arid zone of central Australia, from the suburbs of Adelaide to the countryside of rural Victoria and Tasmania.

By Kate Herd
Penguin Books Australia,
Hardback, 232 pages


Twenty years ago my stepfather was horrified when my mother planted corn in our ‘nice’ and ‘respectable’ front garden in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. For him it was embarrassing; it smacked of urban peasantry: ‘What will the neighbours think?’ Thankfully, vegie gardens are again a more accepted part of the urban landscape. Groovy inner-city cafes boast their own potagers and there are monthly neighbourhood vegetable ‘swap-meets’ where fresh unused or excess backyard produce is swapped for the different surplus of others. The busy city family doesn’t even need to get its hands dirty to benefit from its own garden any more – you can pay companies to install and maintain your vegetable garden for you.

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November 14, 2011   Comments Off on Kitchen Gardens of Australia: Eighteen Productive Gardens for Inspiration and Practical Advice

The rise of the inner-city farmer in Sydney, Australia

Indira Naidoo embarks on a mission to transform her tiny thirteen-floor balcony into a bountiful kitchen garden. Penguin Books Australia, 31/10/2011, Paperback, 224 pages.

The Edible Balcony charts a year in the life of Indira’s balcony garden and gives a season-by-season account of the triumphs and challenges she faces.

Roslyn Grundy
Sydney Morning Herald
November 14, 2011


Naidoo’s balcony vegie patch was an idea that could easily have withered on the vine. “A lot of people in apartments just automatically rule themselves out,” says Naidoo. “They just think, ‘Well, there’s nothing I can grow in an apartment so I won’t even think about it. I’ll fantasise about one day having a tree change or a sea change and having my little plot of land somewhere, but it’s not going to happen while I live in the city.'”

One of 261 people former US vice-president Al Gore trained in 2009 to educate the public on climate change, Naidoo is involved in communicating complex scientific and political concepts relating to climate change, carbon trading and consumer food miles.

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November 14, 2011   Comments Off on The rise of the inner-city farmer in Sydney, Australia

Urban farming promises to slash food miles

Urban farms could put a substantial amount of fresh produce on our tables without the long journeys.

By Fabian Schmidt


Volkmar Keuter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in the German town of Oberhausen says cities are full of unused potential to grow food.

“You might have some kind of production going on underneath a roof. Certain industrial installations that produce heat could be used as a greenhouse in winter,” he told Deutsche Welle.

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November 13, 2011   1 Comment

San Diego residents push for new urban agriculture rules

San Diegans are getting excited as the urban agriculture ordinance works its way through the city’s long and winding government system

By Jill Richardson
Oct 29, 2011


An advocacy group formed calling itself the 1 in 10 Coalition, in reference to their hope that — once the rules changed — one in 10 people in San Diego would be able to get at least some of their food locally. One of the group’s leaders was Parke Troutman, who had written a PhD dissertation on land-use politics in the city and county of San Diego. “[It] was a land-use issue, and only a few of us had experience with that,” he recalls.

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November 13, 2011   Comments Off on San Diego residents push for new urban agriculture rules

Back to the Future – A road map for tomorrow’s cities

August 1925 issue of Popular Science Monthly.

“There’s a big difference between gardening and farming. Some activities are essentially rural and some urban, and we need to reestablish this distinction.”

By James Howard Kunstler
Published in the July/August 2011 issue of Orion magazine
James Howard Kunstler is probably best known as the author of “The Long Emergency” (The Atlantic Monthly Press 2005), and “The Geography of Nowhere” (Simon and Schuster, 1993).


Speaking of technofantasies, another popular proposal is for skyscraper farms. The fiasco of suburbia sowed a lot of confusion in how we think about our human habitat. It hopelessly muddled the distinction between urban and rural. A manifestation of this confusion is the notion that we should focus our resources on growing food in “vertical farms” in the midst of our cities.

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November 13, 2011   1 Comment