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Posts from — May 2012

From Gangs to Gardens: How Community Agriculture Transformed Quesada Avenue

Flowers bloom alongside Quesada Avenue. Photo by Katherine Gustafson.

Ten years ago, the residents of the crime-ridden neighborhood started planting gardens—and everything changed.

By Katherine Gustafson
Yes Magazine
May 30, 2012


In 2002, two neighbors armed with spades and seeds changed everything for crime-addled Quesada Avenue in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point area. The street had been ground zero for the area’s drug trade and its attendant violence. But when Annette Smith and Karl Paige began planting flowers on a small section of the trash-filled median strip, Quesada Gardens Initiative was born. Over the course of the next decade, the community-enrichment project profoundly altered the face of this once-blighted neighborhood.

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May 31, 2012   Comments Off on From Gangs to Gardens: How Community Agriculture Transformed Quesada Avenue

A 30,000-Square-Foot Community Garden, on a Seattle Parking Garage

Photo by Nicole Kistler.

The first community-managed food production garden on a rooftop in the country

By Sarah Deweerdt
The Atlantic Cities
May 29, 2012


When the organizers of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair imagined the future, they probably didn’t envision, among the jet packs and routine space travel, tomatoes growing on the roof of a parking garage.

But 50 years later, that’s exactly what’s about to happen a few blocks from the Space Needle, where residents are building a 30,000-square-foot community garden atop a two-story structure once intended for fair visitors’ cars.

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May 31, 2012   1 Comment

The Garden Gateway Project – South LA – Trailer

June 1st – Documentary Film Screening – Sprouting Gardens in a Food Desert

By Adam Joe, Mindy Guilford
Music by Trent Raznor and Atticus Ross, Mumford and Sons

Trailer for an upcoming documentary on the non-profit Community Services Unlimited, the food desert of south central Los Angeles, and food justice.
Produced as part of a directed research project at USC and USC’s Comparative Literature Department.

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May 30, 2012   Comments Off on The Garden Gateway Project – South LA – Trailer

Edible Landscaping – Urban Food Gardens That Look Great

By Senga Lindsay
Harbour Publishing
June 2012

Award-winning landscape architect Senga Lindsay has seen garden design trends come and go in her twenty years of working in the field, but by far the most prevalent has been the resurgence of interest in edible gardening.

While interest in sustainable food practices is spreading, for urban dwellers who don’t have much space or suburbanites who aren’t ready to rip out the front lawn and replace it with hills of potatoes, growing any significant amount of food can seem like an impossible endeavour. But it doesn’t have to be! Edible Landscaping demonstrates just how simple it can be to grow a stash of tasty vegetables, fruits and herbs while creating a beautiful green space.

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May 30, 2012   1 Comment

An Australian nursery that hires the disabled

A thriving best-practice disability enterprise

By Mandy Nolan
Issue 26-50


On Saturday June 2 the Byron Bay Herb Nursery celebrates 20 years in the game.

As anyone who runs a commercial venture knows, two decades in a highly competitive industry is a great achievement. It’s not unusual for operators to open and close quickly, often within the same month.

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May 30, 2012   1 Comment

Willkommen im Schrebergarten

Click image for full-screen catalogue.

Schrebergärten’, groups of small fenced allotment gardens

When travelling through Germany by train, they can be seen everywhere in the vicinity of large cities: ‘Schrebergärten’, groups of small fenced allotment gardens, all in perfect alignment to each other.

But why are they called ‘Schreber’ gardens? The first allotment gardens in Germany, to be known as ‘Schrebergärten’ originated in Leipzig. They were established as school gardens by Dr. Karl Gsell, who named them after his physician father in law, Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber. However, Schreber was never personally involved in developing this initiative. It was Ernst Innocent Hauschild, a school principal, whose interest led to the founding of the first Schrebergarten Association in 1864.

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May 30, 2012   Comments Off on Willkommen im Schrebergarten

An Allotment in a Royal Park

Kensington Gardens Allotment

The Londoner
May 28, 2012


Some of London’s large parks are so huge that even regular visitors are likely to miss out on some of their features, and when visiting Kensington Gardens over the weekend I made a new discovery. In this most salubrious of royal parks there’s a little spot that’s rather more practical and mundane than you’d expect – an allotment!

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May 30, 2012   Comments Off on An Allotment in a Royal Park

Urban Agriculture Takes Root at Garza’s Gardens

“Ms. Cason knows that the garden program won’t keep students from indulging in fast food …”

By Roxanne Rathge
May 28, 2012


High school lessons on government and the economy can all too often be boring and tedious, but for the past twelve years, Martha Cason has led the Garza’s Gardens program at Garza Independence High School in a way that erases the tedium. Instead, concepts of government, economy, horticulture, and sustainability escape the realm of theory and become real-life practice.

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May 29, 2012   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Takes Root at Garza’s Gardens

Urban development with the gardening spade: an outline of urban food planning

Complete paper in German

By Philipp Stierand,
Dortmund May 2012
Complete paper in German here.

Abstract in English

A return to the local level in food policy.
In the current industrial food system local and regional supply structures have lost their relevance. Following the disappearance of the local food system, local food policy disappeared as well. Due to new challenges including rising problems on the local level and market failures concerning environmental and health issues, local food policy is becoming necessary again. Especially in the US urban and regional planning is seen as a part of this policy.

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May 29, 2012   Comments Off on Urban development with the gardening spade: an outline of urban food planning

The Shoestring City Ranch, 4 1/2-acres in the centre of bustling Long Beach, California

It’s home to “sheep, chickens, guinea hens, rabbits, doves, ducks, goats of various caprine persuasions and Poncho the donkeys.

Located in the heart of Long Beach, the Shoestring City Ranch provides free and low cost rural experiences to city kids

By Judy and Kate
Long Beach Post
27 May 2012


Children also come for school projects and credits. They learn to feed the animals, milk the goats, and even walk them (do you say “hoof” instead of “heel?). Kids also learn that bunnies and baby chicks aren’t Easter novelties. The rabbit hutch has a library from which to learn about and read to the bunnies. The APA-ABA Youth Poultry Club’s philosophy and program inspires the bond between the little human chickadees and the little feathered chick’s who would rather be scratching around in the dirt than foraging in a front yard near traffic. At Shoestring City Ranch, the guinea hens and chickens are observed before and after they hatch, and each participating child gets to adopt one and care for him or her on the ranch.

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May 28, 2012   1 Comment

‘Leisure Agriculture’ is in vogue in China

The latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Agriculture indicate that, at the end of 2011, more than 700 million tourists from across the country had participated in various leisure agriculture activities.

Web Editor Zhang


It is a fresh, weekend morning after a night of rain at a farm ranch located in Huairou District in suburban Beijing. A number of people are busy working in the fields, planting new seeds, watering vegetables, and harvesting. But these happy workers aren’t actual farmers, but rather city dwellers who choose to spend their weekends farming.

And it’s not only white-collar workers who want to escape the city of steel and concrete; the majority of these “occasional farmers” are retirees. Jia Yanming once conducted research with electron microscopes at the China Science Academy before she retired. Together with her husband, Jia now rents an 800 square meter vegetable greenhouse in Huairou. Jia tells us why she decided to move to the countryside four years ago:

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May 28, 2012   Comments Off on ‘Leisure Agriculture’ is in vogue in China

City-dwellers can be farming pros with this illustrated farm guide

Farm Anatomy
By Pink Olive
Oct. 2011

What’s the difference between a weanling and a yearling, or a farrow and a barrow? Country and city mice alike will delight in Julia Rothman’s charming illustrated guide to the curious parts and pieces of rural living. Dissecting everything from tractors and pigs to fences, hay bales, crop rotation patterns, and farm tools, Rothman gives a richly entertaining tour of the quirky details of country life.

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May 27, 2012   Comments Off on City-dwellers can be farming pros with this illustrated farm guide

Ridwan Kamil, architect – Saving Cities With Urban Farming

TEDxBandung – in the Indonesian language

Oct. 2011

Ridwan Kamil is one of the biggest names in modern Indonesian architecture. As an architect with a love for green, he uses creative design to solve urban issues. He is famously known as the designer of Aceh’s tsunami museum and Rasuna Epicentrum (Jakarta). His house was made from 30,000 used Red Bull bottles. In 2009 he was received the Top Ten Business Architecture Award from BCI Asia and Architect of the Year from Elle Decor Magazine.

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May 27, 2012   1 Comment

How to build a raised bed?

By TheUrbanFarmersTV
May 26, 2012

The Urban Farmers follows two everyday blokes, Jim and Joel, on their journey towards urban self sufficiency.

Materials used:
3m treated pine sleepers
(Bed dimensions 3m x 1m)
100mm galv batton screws
(to bind the sleepers)

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May 26, 2012   2 Comments

Webinar featuring Tim Blank, creator of the Tower Garden

One hour Webinar about an aeroponic vertical growing system

Webinar hosted by Dr. Mitra Ray
May 9th, 2012

The Tower Garden is a proprietary aeroponic vertical growing system that allows any-and-everyone to garden easily and efficiently. The whole family can get involved in growing your own nutrient-rich produce safely and sustainably. Listen to Tim discuss how he came to develop the Tower Garden, and to hear about his dream of making vertical farming a reality for people all over the world.

Link here.

May 26, 2012   Comments Off on Webinar featuring Tim Blank, creator of the Tower Garden