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Posts from — February 2012

Social gardening enterprise Young Urban Farmers CSA wins $10K in ClimateSpark Challenge

L to R: Andrea, Chris, Tahlia, Madeline, Geron, Kate, Stella at the gala.

Wong expects to have between 20 and 25 gardens operating in Toronto this year.

By Edward Keenan
Yonge Street
February 22, 2012


When the winners of the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge were announced early this month, local “mini-farming” social enterprise Young Urban Farmers CSA (YUFCSA) got a $10,000 shot in the arm. More than that, says the organization’s sales manager and board president Chris Wong, they got valuable community feedback and advice during the process of working through the competition.

“It was very helpful for us, as I’d guess it was for most or all of the participants.”

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February 29, 2012   1 Comment

A finalist in Atlanta’s Trinity Avenue Urban Farm Design Competition

B+C Studio and Farmer D team – their design for the farm

Team Leader – Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe – Farmer D Consulting
Team Design Lead – Sean J Murphy – B+C Studio
Team Planning Lead – Greg Ramsey – Village Habitat Design
Team Lead Architect – Lew Oliver – Lew Oliver, Inc.


Our concept was for an urban garden and farm containing multiple plots and ADA accessible paths shaped and arranged to match the roads and blocks of downtown Atlanta. When viewed from the surrounding high rises and Atlanta City Hall, the garden presents itself as a map of the downtown core of Atlanta. You can easily make out the Fairlie Poplar area which is the pedestrian plaza in the center of the site as well as the domed green house which represents the GA Dome. The most challenging aspect was selecting the right area and scale of the map to create effective plot sizes in the 1 acre site.

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February 29, 2012   Comments Off on A finalist in Atlanta’s Trinity Avenue Urban Farm Design Competition

Boston’s would-be chicken farmers lay out case

Steven Gag’s young neighbors in Roslindale help him raise his chickens for their eggs. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff.

By David Abel
Boston Globe
Feb 27, 2012


The movement began in a Roslindale backyard with a bird named Yolanda.

The white-feathered hen with the pink wattle came to Boston as an outlaw, a sprightly chick that had to keep a low profile as she produced a bounty of eggs.

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February 29, 2012   Comments Off on Boston’s would-be chicken farmers lay out case

Made by Hand Films presents “The Beekeeper” – NO 3

Gorgeous film about an urban beekeeper in Brooklyn

Directed and Produced By
Keith “Keef” Ehrlich
Director Of Photography
Joshua Kraszewski
Alessandro Cortini

Local farmer Megan Paska has witnessed beekeeping as it morphed from an illegal (and possibly crazy) habit to a sustainable, community-supported skill. Mirroring beekeeping’s own ascendance, she found more than just a living: “This is the first time in my life when I’ve just felt absolutely on the right path.”

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February 29, 2012   Comments Off on Made by Hand Films presents “The Beekeeper” – NO 3

Developer Stewart Beal launches urban farming business with a social mission

Lauren Maloney at the future CityFARM at 103 N. Adams St. in Ypsilanti.

Joining demolition, construction and property management companies in the Beal Group is CityFARM, an urban farming company dedicated to fighting hunger and promoting urban farming in Ann Arbor, MI.

By Tom Perkins
Feb 27, 2012


The business plans to charge $32 an hour for Maloney’s services, and the four available packages run between $700 and $4,000.

The smallest of the package provides a 40-square-foot raised bed that includes all the soil and fertilizer. CityFARM also takes care of any weeding, mulching, tilling and other preparation work. Once the bed is installed, CityFARM provides the seeds, a bamboo trellis, an irrigation system and tomato stakes.

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February 28, 2012   1 Comment

Urban Farming with Kids: Seeking Simplicity Through Seeds, Chicks, and More

Seattle Tilth has grown from offering two chicken workshops to 17, with an average of 20 attendees at each class.

Written by Jen Betterley
Parent Map
February 25, 2012


If you ask 17-year-old Nina Finley about her 300-square-meter Seattle farm, she’ll mention the gorgeous view of the downtown skyline; how she can hear the rumble of nearby traffic; her show rabbit, Coalslaw, her five chickens and three ducks, of course; and how this backyard plot has been a place of refuge for her for nearly a decade.

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February 28, 2012   Comments Off on Urban Farming with Kids: Seeking Simplicity Through Seeds, Chicks, and More

Urban Agriculture Minneapolis Needs Your Voice

Though historically there is more land available in low-income neighborhoods to support the growing trend of urban farms, that’s not the only place you’re likely to see urban farms springing up.

By Anna Cioffi
Simple Good and Tasty


With phenomenal potential such as this in cities across the country, why wouldn’t City Council members in Minneapolis embrace these zoning code changes? The reasons are shaky at best. City Council members who are opposed to allowing market gardening (smaller scale urban farming in residential areas), cite disturbance of the “character” of the residential neighborhood. These worries could be addressed easily by giving neighbors and neighborhoods the right to decide what standards urban farms, market gardens and community gardens need to meet in their neighborhood.

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February 27, 2012   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Minneapolis Needs Your Voice

The Essential Allotment Guide: How to Get the Best out of Your Plot

By John Harrison
Publisher: Right Way
26 Mar 2009

The complete introduction to acquiring an allotment and getting the most from it, by the bestselling author of Vegetable Growing Month-by-Month.

John Harrison has been growing vegetables on his own allotment for many years.He uses many organic methods, working with nature rather than against it.He is passionate about the quality of our food and the ecology that supports us all on this planet.cHe has been a member of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now known as Garden Organic) since 1976 and is also a member of the National Vegetable Society, currently serving as Secretary for Crewe and Nantwich District.

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February 27, 2012   Comments Off on The Essential Allotment Guide: How to Get the Best out of Your Plot

Help Girls Move From Gangs To Urban Farming In LA

For women, incarceration rates have increased by 57% between 1995-2005


Support training for young women at the Homegirl Cafe, as they learn urban farming techniques and grow organic produce while leading community workshops on gardening and nutrition in low-income communities and in low-income schools

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February 26, 2012   1 Comment

Cuban Experience in Urban Agriculture Applied in Mexico

Floating gardens of Xochimilco are located within Mexico City, 28 kilometres south of the city center.

Cuban technicians are regularly coming every six months to inspect the program

Por Deisy Francis Mexidor
Prensa Latina News Agency
26 de febrero de 2012

Mexico, Feb 26 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban sustainable agriculture system is now an inspiration in Mexico City, where yards, waste lands and plots have been transformed into urban gardens.

For a city like Mexico – among the largest in the world – the possibility to have urban gardens seemed inconceivable for some people, said Rosa Marquez, head of the Ministry of Rural Development and Equality for Communities (SEDEREC).

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February 26, 2012   Comments Off on Cuban Experience in Urban Agriculture Applied in Mexico

Campus Edible Garden Initiative – one of 15 finalists in White House “Champions of Change” Challenge

A meeting with Young Americans in the White House.

President Obama: “All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. I hope this challenge shines a light on their efforts, and inspires Americans of all ages to get involved in their communities.”

The top five finalists will be named Campus Champions of Change, and will be invited to the White House for a culminating event.

The UMass Amherst Permaculture Committee, has been selected as 1 of 15 finalists (out of 1000+ applications!) for the Campus Champions of Change Challenge, a national award hosted by none other than the White House! The general public is now voting for which teams will get A Trip To The White House and also be featured on MTV’s program “The Deans List.”

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February 25, 2012   Comments Off on Campus Edible Garden Initiative – one of 15 finalists in White House “Champions of Change” Challenge

“Sky Farm” – hanging spheres growing food

Designer’s solution for the minimalistic space that’s available for growing food

By Manuel Dreesmann

With the growth of cities, the height of the buildings is rising. And so there are less gardening spaces but more balconies. So my idea is to use this minimal space on the balcony to grow your own food. But most of the balconies offer small space for gardening. The space on the floor is mostly needed for placing your chair and tables. But they offer a lot of unused space above your head. This is the space for the skyfarm!

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February 24, 2012   Comments Off on “Sky Farm” – hanging spheres growing food

Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch – Organic farming/gardening pioneers

Coleman’s farm stand. Imagine a fleet of these travelling throughout the city.

“What we do here is the most subversive activity we could possibly engage in, we are feeding ourselves, number one.”

By Anne Raver
New York Times
February 22, 2012


By the time they eyed each other over the tomatoes, Mr. Coleman had already published his first book, “The New Organic Grower,” and taken delegations of scientists to Europe to observe the success of intensive organic farming. Ms. Damrosch had appeared on “The Victory Garden,” the popular WGBH public television series that promoted composting and intensive gardening, and she had published a book, “Theme Gardens.” Over the years, they have both continued to write: Ms. Damrosch’s book “A Garden Primer” is a bible for gardeners; Mr. Coleman’s “Four Season Harvest” and “The Winter Harvest Handbook” explain his organic methods in detail.

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February 24, 2012   1 Comment

From Record Store to Mushroom Farm

Visitors can also observe how repurposed coffee grounds from nearby cafes (including Starbucks) become the compost that catalyzes urban agricultural practices such as this one.

Architizer News
February 23, 2012


Olson Kundig Architects’ [storefront], Seattle’s homegrown gallery for urban experimentation, has been overhauled once again. Last month, it was a music lover’s haven, rekindling the cultural narratives of the world’s fast-disappearing record stores by inviting visitors to browse through neatly filed vinyl collections and stage listening parties. Their latest experiment takes advantage of the city’s thriving coffee culture, taking the form of an indoor mushroom farm nourished by nutrient-rich coffee grounds salvaged by local baristas

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February 24, 2012   Comments Off on From Record Store to Mushroom Farm

SPORE Magazine: Urban Agriculture – City Farmers

Just outside HLM Fass, in northern downtown Dakar (Senegal), urban dwellers are keeping sheep to subsidise their incomes.

Urban agriculture helps improve nutrition and incomes for city dwellers, providing food grown locally, eliminating transportation from rural areas and creating job opportunities. But it it is crucial to improve health-related practices so that food is safe to eat.

This dossier was compiled with the help of Busani Bafana (Zimbabwe), Isaiah Esipisu (Kenya), Geoffrey Kamadi (Kenya), Wallace Mawire (Zimbabwe), Damion Mitchell (Jamaica), Angella Nabwowe (Uganda), Charles Njeru (Kenya) and Andy Taitt (Barbados).
SPORE #157
Feb-Mar 2012


Tyres and old plastic pots planted with vegetables and sacks rigged up to make vertical gardens. These are just some of the techniques being used by a new generation of urban farmers, who are developing inventive ways to make the most of limited space to produce food. Jennifer Daley lives on the outskirts of the densely populated town of Mandeville in Jamaica. With no access to agricultural land, she uses wheelbarrows and just about anything that can contain soil to grow her crops. Sheila Hope-Harewood farms in a suburban area of the parish of St Michael in what is becoming the newest urban centre in Barbados. She has a drip irrigation system and grows guava, lemon, pomegranate, ackee, sugar apple, mango and banana, as well as a variety of vegetables that she sells at a stall in the local market.

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February 24, 2012   Comments Off on SPORE Magazine: Urban Agriculture – City Farmers