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Posts from — March 2012

NYC’s first urban farming shop opens April 4th

Huge delivery from Countryside Organics: chicken and rabbit feed, organic compost, soil amendments and cover crops! Photo from their Facebook site.

Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply in New York City

Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply is a pop-up shop dedicated to urban farming! A collaborative effort between the folks behind Brooklyn Grange, Domestic Construction and Brooklyn Homesteader, Hayseed’s will supply soil, compost, tools, seeds, books, chicken and rabbit feed, beekeeping supplies as well as other locally made, farm related sundries.

Don’t have a farm? Want to grow food anyway in your backyard on on a rooftop? Come by and we’ll inspire you with ways to grow food with little to no outdoor space. Hayseed’s will offer weekend workshops, classes and events through from April to June on subjects like Beekeeping, Backyard Livestock, Vermicomposting, Seed Starting, Garden Planning and more!

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March 31, 2012   Comments Off on NYC’s first urban farming shop opens April 4th

Pure Green Magazine – The Everything Roof in Toronto

Illustration by Lauren Pirie.

The Everything Roof was developed as a platform to showcase creative approaches to sustainability and community space in this city

Pure Green Magazine Blog
March 30, 2012


There is a long list of environmental benefits attached to this project—some of them are pretty direct, like replacing the black tar roof with green space, which means more carbon-consuming, oxygen-creating plant life, and it helps to reduce the “heat island” effect that these dead space roofs contribute to. We’ll also be using the food that’s produced on-site in our educational programming (there is a meal preparation component) as well as selling it through the on-site weekly office market and ground-floor cafe at Centre for Social Innovation.

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World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Planned For Brooklyn Making New York The Model For Urban Agriculture

Rendering of Federal Building #2 Redevelopment.

BrightFarms’ Unique Business Model Provides Retailers with Fresh, Local Produce Year-Round

Press Release

NEW YORK, NY, March 29, 2012 – It was announced today that a multi-acre farm will be built on 100,000 square feet of rooftop space in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park—making it the largest rooftop farm in the world. The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse is being built by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with Salmar Properties LLC. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, which will cultivate a new national model for urban agriculture.

The rooftop farm will be built on Federal Building #2, renamed Liberty View Industrial Plaza, an 8-story 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse building. Salmar Properties’ redevelopment of the building, coupled with BrightFarms’ visionary rooftop design, is part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to revitalize Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront.

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March 30, 2012   4 Comments

‘Our Seeds’ – one hour documentary released on the Net

Following this English with Portuguese subtitled edition, online versions in French, Chinese and Japanese will be made available.

Now online. Full version of “Our Seeds” shot in eleven countries.

By Seed Savers directors, Michel and Jude Fanton

In September 2008 Seed Savers released “Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi”, a 57 minute documentary that celebrates traditional food plants the people that grow them. It has been fitted with Chinese Japanese and Portuguese subtitles.

There are developed instructive motion graphics and a rich sound track, mostly indigenous music recorded on-location. Audio is English or Pacific Pigin. Subtitles are in English or French.

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March 30, 2012   Comments Off on ‘Our Seeds’ – one hour documentary released on the Net

Urban Farming in Ethiopia

Plan Canada’s contribution

Plan Canada President and CEO, Rosemary McCarney, visits an urban farming project in Ethiopia. Plan provides families with high-grade seeds, tools, and training so that they’re able to grow food to eat or to sell in the market for income.

About Plan:
Founded in 1937, we are one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, we have only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.

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March 29, 2012   1 Comment

Urban agriculture in Brazil’s favelas

A community urban garden project in Zona Leste. Photo © ONG Organização Cidades sem Fome.

Deep in the heart of favela (shanty town) communities in the metropolis of Sao Paulo, Brazil, seeds of transformation are beginning to sprout

Positive News
Mar 27, 2012


Established in 2004 by local social entrepreneur Hans Dieter Temp, an organisation called Cidades sem Fome (Cities Without Hunger) is working to reduce hunger and joblessness among some of the most economically deprived areas of Sao Paulo, through urban agriculture.

Local community members are given the tools and training to start producing fruit and vegetables on unused land acquired by the organisation. This not only brings much needed quality produce and food security to the community, but it is also addressing the issue of unemployment – a constant problem in Brazil’s favelas.

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Growums – a gardening kit for kids

Six specially-themed gardens including Herb, Pizza, Salad, Stir-fry, Taco and Ratatouille

As the nation struggles with childhood obesity, Growums has been right on target to help parents and schools give families a real taste for healthy eating through the gardening experience: where our food comes from and the responsibility it takes to grow it. It starts with the Growums Garden Kits, but the company founders go way beyond retail to deliver the message through national partnerships and fundraising options.

Studies have shown, definitively, that children who grow their own vegetables, are more likely to eat them. With the First Lady’s announcement of the new MyPlate food diagram as an important tool in the battle against childhood obesity, Growums provides a unique and exciting option with specially-themed garden kits for kids that combine learning and fun; all with a little help from an animated cast of herb and vegetable characters at

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March 28, 2012   5 Comments

100 Years Ago – New York City Farmers in 1912!

The Sun, Sunday, May 12, 1912 – Real Farmers Tilling New York City Soil

(Must read article. Very entertaining and informative piece about the state of urban farming in New York and other US cities. Mike)


The first of these five farms was started just ten years ago by Mrs. Henry Parsons in what is now De Witt Clinton Park. At that time it might have been described as the sink of Hell’s Kitchen. It was an open waste place at Fifty-fourth street and Twelfth avenue. While not attractive to anyone else it was the cherished haunt of a local gang known as the ‘Sons of Rest’, from their partiality to a life of glorious leisure unbroken except by thieving and trips to jail. When the police heard there was going to be a garden on that vacant plot they got ready for extra trouble.

The ground there was so hard no ordinary plow could penetrate it; so the intrepid Mrs. Parsons secured the use of a street breaking plow and with its aid the surface was turned up. It proved to be a a fearsome conglomerate of bottles, cans, wire, rags and lime, all of which was carted off bodily.

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Food Forward’s premiere episode, “Urban Agriculture Across America,” will air nationally on PBS in April

Director: Greg Roden
Creator Producers: Stett Holbrook and Brian Greene
Phototography: David Lindstrom

Shot entirely on location, from the rooftop farms of New York City to the food deserts of Detroit, Food Forward features food rebel John Mooney, whose space-age hydroponic farm on top of a historic building in the West Village of Manhattan, is a window into the future of rooftop farming. In Milwaukee, viewers meet the biggest name in urban agriculture, Will Allen, who is inspiring a new generation of aquaponic innovators.

“We’ve all heard what’s wrong with the way we eat. Our program goes beyond celebrity chefs, cooking competitions and recipes to reveal the compelling stories and inspired solutions from Americans striving to create a more just, sustainable and delicious alternative to how and what we eat,” said Greg Roden, director of Food Forward.

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March 28, 2012   Comments Off on Food Forward’s premiere episode, “Urban Agriculture Across America,” will air nationally on PBS in April

No vacancy: Unleashing the potential of empty urban land

462 Halsey Community Gardens.

596 Acres is looking to expand into New York’s other four boroughs.

By Sarah Goodyear
Mar 27, 2012


Tia Jackson’s family has lived on the same block of Halsey Street in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood for five generations. Kristen Rapp is a newcomer. Jackson is black. Rapp is white. In a part of town where the gentrification process has been grinding along painfully for years, the two might never have met if not for a sign on a fence on a vacant lot, left there by the members of a group called 596 Acres.

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March 27, 2012   Comments Off on No vacancy: Unleashing the potential of empty urban land

The California Academy of Sciences – “Urban Farming”

Science in Action. October 4, 2011.

Science in Action – Urban Farming – San Franciscans are getting their hands dirty! Farms are popping up all over our fair city.

Science in Action strives to make science accessible for everyone and discuss its relevance in our everyday lives. We bring you science news through media screens and live chats on the museum floor, this Science Today website, podcasts, and monthly Nightlife programming.

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March 27, 2012   Comments Off on The California Academy of Sciences – “Urban Farming”

Hantz Farms: Two Weeks From Buying 200 Vacant Acres in Detroit

John Hantz, CEO of Hantz Farms LLC, stands in front of a small vegetable garden at his home in the historic Indian Village neighborhood of Detroit. Photo by John T. Greilick.

City is close to signing deal with for-profit group to beautify neighborhoods, allow city to grow tax base

By Sarah Cox
Detroit News
March 21, 2012,


John Hantz has inched ahead with his plan to create a for-profit farm in Detroit, where profit’s often viewed as a dirty word.

But nature may be Hantz’s most effective advocate, as the city’s urban landscape reverts to primal weeds and decaying timbers.

City officials and Hantz both say they’re on the cusp of signing an agreement within the next two weeks. If City Council approves the deal, Hantz, a financial services magnate and Detroit resident, will buy about 200 acres of vacant land on the city’s east side, in an area surrounding Indian Village.

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March 27, 2012   Comments Off on Hantz Farms: Two Weeks From Buying 200 Vacant Acres in Detroit

Monash University students to create a community market garden in Melbourne, Australia.

Monash university students (left) Bianca Jewell and Ali Majokah plan to tranform this paddock into a farm. Photo: Joe Armao.

Students cultivate an idea to feed body and mind

By Benjamin Preiss
The Age
March 27, 2012


If Ali Majokah’s plan succeeds, an empty paddock in Melbourne’s south-east will become a sprawling city farm tended by an army of volunteer students.

Monash University has allowed a group of students to use the vacant land in Clayton, which they will turn into a community market garden.

Once complete, it could be one of the biggest city farms in suburban Melbourne. The students will start in a small section of the sloping field, which is bigger than four football ovals, and fan out across the property.

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March 26, 2012   Comments Off on Monash University students to create a community market garden in Melbourne, Australia.

English MC “Tempa T” – his urban farming manifesto

“UK politicians are boring & out of touch, so we’re nominating Tempa T for the next mayor of London.”

“He’s a man of the people; last week he called out high housing prices – now he’s going off on urban farming in the video above.”

From Wikipedia:
Nicky Nyarko-Dei, known by his stage name Tempa T and also Tempz, is a Ghanaian and English Grime MC originating from East london and member of underground Grime Crew “Slew Dem Crew”. Tempa T is particularly known for excitable nature, his angry lyrics, raw energy, muscles and the hype that he creates with his tracks.

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March 26, 2012   Comments Off on English MC “Tempa T” – his urban farming manifesto

Cape Town’s Women Take the Lead in Farm-Focused Social Enterprise

Photo by Brett Jefferson Stott.

Abalimi trains individuals in their target group—the disadvantaged, poor, and unemployed who “don’t fit to the western European model for getting jobs”

By rosiespinks
Good Business
March 23, 2012


Tuesday mornings are always busy for the staff of Abalimi Bezekhaya, an urban agriculture project operating in the sprawling townships of Cape Town, South Africa.

Each Tuesday, peppers, eggplants, cabbages, beets, and the like are collected from dozens of community gardens to be sorted, boxed and driven to 25 pickup points around the city. On a particular Tuesday in February though, there is a problem. The list of recipes distributed with each box includes one that calls for leeks, but leeks are nowhere to be found.

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March 26, 2012   Comments Off on Cape Town’s Women Take the Lead in Farm-Focused Social Enterprise