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Posts from — October 2012

Sandy wipes out biggest beekeeping operation in New York City

Photo by Brooklyn Grange.

Twenty-five hives each containing around 40,000 bees were torn apart Monday night.

By Susie Cagle
Oct 30, 2012


Casualties of Hurricane Sandy included 1 million unfortunate bees at the Brooklyn Grange’s Navy Yard urban farming project. Twenty-five hives each containing around 40,000 bees were torn apart Monday night.

“All our hives that were out on the pier were destroyed,” said Chase Emmons, a managing partner and the chief beekeeper at Brooklyn Grange.

An additional 10 hives located on Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm survived — but the loss is catastrophic for the city’s largest apiary. Emmons knew before the storm that the hives were at risk.

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October 31, 2012   2 Comments

Large urban farm planned for Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore

Location of proposed farms.

Turning 75 vacant lots into a large urban farm

By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun
October 24, 2012

Baltimore’s spending panel on Wednesday approved a deal to turn 75 vacant lots in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood into a large urban farm.

In a five-year deal, the Board of Estimates approved a $100 yearly lease to a partnership of two organizations — Strength to Love II and Big City Farms — for use of 75 properties in the 1800 blocks of Lorman and Kavanaugh streets for a 1.5-acre farm.

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October 31, 2012   Comments Off on Large urban farm planned for Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore

Rooftop Hospital Farms

Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm.

Now, hospitals are joining the trend too, adding farms to their rooftops to help provide patients with the freshest produce available.

Food, Nutrition and Science
From The Lempert Report
Oct 29, 2012


One thriving rooftop garden is making headlines at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island. The Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm resides on the roof of the fourth floor of Stony Brook’s Health Science tower and is managed by staff nutritionists, dietetic interns and Sustainability Studies students from the University. This year’s crop produced more than 400 pounds with 33 varietals of vegetables and herbs harvested. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the food that is grown here is served directly to hospital patients.

The farm has been so successful that it is currently serving as a model for each of the 10 community gardens throughout Suffolk County, which, like the Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm, are supported by the New York State Department of Health grant. There are plans to expand the program in 2013 to produce enough food to donate to organizations in need of fresh and healthy food.

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October 30, 2012   Comments Off on Rooftop Hospital Farms

Winnipeg Council seeks guidance on allowing urban poultry farming

Shanti McNeill, 3, carries a sign advocating the allowing of urban poultry farming at Monday’s protection and community services committee meeting. Photo by Ken Gigliotti.

When May presented the rare hen at the podium, committee chairwoman Paula Havixbeck asked security to remove May.

By Bartley Kives
Winnipeg Free Press


City councillors have asked Animal Services to consider the ramifications of allowing urban poultry farming in Winnipeg during a wild committee meeting that saw a former council candidate removed for bringing a live chicken into the council chamber.

Council’s protection and community services committee voted Monday morning to ask Winnipeg’s Animal Services special operating agency to study whether any changes governing urban poultry should be incorporated into a new animal bylaw. This followed an Oct. 24 council motion authored by Daniel McIntyre Coun. Harvey Smith, who is interested in the food-security benefits of urban poultry.

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October 30, 2012   Comments Off on Winnipeg Council seeks guidance on allowing urban poultry farming

First commercial vertical farm opens in Singapore

The farm currently has 120 vertical towers, and hopes to increase the number to 300 by next year.

By Olivia Siong
Channel News Asia
24 October 2012
(Must see. Mike)


SINGAPORE: Singapore now has its first commercial vertical farm, which means more local options for vegetables.

The technique uses aluminium towers that are as tall as nine metres, and vegetables are grown in troughs at multiple levels.

The technique utilises space better — an advantage for land-scarce Singapore.

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October 29, 2012   2 Comments

Urban Agriculture in Basel, Switzerland

Permaculture Community Garden Landhof

“It makes sense to convert dead lawn.”

By Pascale Hofmeier.
Sept 12, 2012

Excerpts translated by Google:

“We want an edible city.” The Urban Agriculture Network Basel was founded two years ago and has to promote the goal of agriculture in the city. The association has been involved in about 25 projects and was honored for his commitment to the factor-5-Audience Award.

On a Farm Community Garden is very popular. About 50 people participate regularly in the garden.

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October 29, 2012   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in Basel, Switzerland

Vancouver Pastry chef gets kids to grow, cook and eat their veggies

Merri Schwartz wants to make sustainable practices integral to living and cooking in Vancouver. Photograph by Joshua McVeity.

Growing Chefs! program pairs volunteer chefs with elementary school classrooms

By Fred Lee
Vancouver Courier
October 26, 2012


How did a pastry chef get interested in what kids eat?

I was lucky enough to be raised by amazing parents-back to the land hippies who grew huge gardens and made everything from scratch. So many kids don’t have that privilege. When I started working in fine dining, I became aware of this vast store of knowledge among chefs about sustainability, nutrition, agriculture. and no way to share it. I wanted to provide a way for chefs to engage with the community and share what they knew, and working with kids only made sense. It’s not only an effective way to create lasting change, but it’s so much fun!

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October 28, 2012   Comments Off on Vancouver Pastry chef gets kids to grow, cook and eat their veggies

‘The Urban Farming Show’ in Mumbai, India

Terrace Garden. Photo by Earthoholics.

The Urban Farming Show… Lets Plant, Grow & Eat!

Date: 2nd, 3rd, 4th November
Earthoholics and Home Collectives

Through this show we wish to promote growing one’s own food organically on rooftops, box grills, balconies and empty city spaces on an individual to a community level.

People can shop for a wide range of Orchids by Orchids Flora Pune, exclusive Bonsai plants by SSurup Bonsais, Terrariums or bottle gardens and medicinal plants by Go Green Nursery, vegetable sapplings, herb plants, pest repellant plants by Vriksha Nursery, gardeninig tools, pots, square foot gardening kits, accesories and much more. They can get access to the best of water proofing and kitchen garden set up services and also living walls/vertical garden consultants.

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October 28, 2012   1 Comment

Gazans produce fish, vegetables in tiny rooftop spaces

Gazans produce fish, vegetables in tiny rooftop spaces

Abu Ahmed looks out over a sea of grey, empty Gaza rooftops, and smiles as he looks back at the lush greenery sprouting in tubs and pipes on top of his apartment building.

By Sara Hussein
Agence France-Presse
26 Oct 2012


He is part of a United Nations agency project to introduce cutting-edge urban agriculture to Gaza City, teaching Palestinians to farm without soil in the space available to them in one of the world’s most densely populated places.

Most of his rooftop is given over to an aquaponic system, which produces food by linking fish tanks of tilapia with gravel-filled planters.

The integrated system feeds the water from the fish tanks into the plant beds, where Abu Ahmed’s crops — lettuce, peppers, broccoli, celery and herbs — are fertilised by waste produced by the tilapia.

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October 27, 2012   Comments Off on Gazans produce fish, vegetables in tiny rooftop spaces

Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming

The Guelph Urban Organic Farm is a 1 hectare learning and research facility established by the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph.

Research and learning
One example of collaborative, hands-on research and learning is a new vermicomposting initiative by the Guelph Worm Composting Network. Students from across disciplines come to the farm to learn about sustainable urban food production, heritage seed production, permaculture, food security, fair trade and year-round food production. The farm is also base camp and lecture space for the B.Sc.(Agr) Organic Agriculture major, an increasingly popular program in the Ontario Agriculture College. The produce is served at P.J.’s Restaurant on campus.

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October 27, 2012   Comments Off on Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming

New Farmer’s Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

New small farmers are key to building new farmers markets. Cultivating those new farmers in small or emerging farmers markets can help those farmers advance to larger, more successful markets.

By Randii MacNear and Shelly G. Keller
Davis Farmers Market Association
32 pages


You will learn why farmers markets are good for small farmers, and the traits of successful farmers market sellers. You will learn how to examine your readiness to sell at farmers markets and how to plan, including researching markets, estimating costs, connecting with farmers market managers, creating a farmers market stand that works, delivering good customer service, expanding your market, and tracking and evaluating results.

This how-to guide shares what we know from our personal perspectives: that of a 30-year veteran farmers market manager, and a 30-year marketing professional, who work together to promote and grow farmers markets and small farms.

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October 27, 2012   Comments Off on New Farmer’s Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

Seattle Releases ‘Food Action Plan’

Primary Author, Sharon Lerman – Research Support, Katy Haima. Oct 2012. 38 pages.

Seattle Looks to Grow Urban Agriculture

By Hanna Raskin
Seattle Weekly
Oct. 25 2012
(Must see. Mike)


Underutilized city-owned land could be leased to commercial farmers if certain provisions of the Seattle Food Action Plan, released yesterday by Mayor McGinn’s office in conjunction with Food Day, are enacted.

“I think there are some potentially significant items in this plan,” says Seattle Tilth executive director Andrea Dwyer, pointing to recommendations in the 28-page document such as “develop additional site criteria to more readily identify vacant or underused parcels suitable for urban agriculture” and “lease underutilized City-owned land to urban farmers through the Seattle Farms program.”

When people think about growing food in the city, Dwyer says, “people think about backyard gardens or P-Patches. It would be a new venture for commercial farmers to grow (in the city) with the idea of building a business. This is a definite departure.”

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October 26, 2012   Comments Off on Seattle Releases ‘Food Action Plan’

First ever roof farm at a medical facility in Hawaii

Medical Center roof farm ready for planting.

Kailua’s Castle Medical Center to unveil roof farm Oct 28

Hawaii News Now
Oct 25, 2012


Along with the celebration, Castle Medical Center is unveiling to the public the Nation’s FIRST ever roof farm at a medical facility. Tours will be given at the event.

Learn the advantages of roof top farming and how it will reduce cost to the medical center, grow its own nutritional vegetables and make it available to the community.

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October 26, 2012   Comments Off on First ever roof farm at a medical facility in Hawaii

As local urban farm movement matures in Cleveland, so too do strategies for year-round success

Carlton Jackson and Todd Alexander, co-owners of Tunnel Vision Hoops, working on a hoop house in Ohio City.

In recent years, Cleveland’s growing urban farming scene has gained national recognition as a creative response to the problems of foreclosure and vacancy.

By Lee Chilcote
Freshwater Cleveland
Oct 25, 2012


On a pair of empty city lots that once grew pop bottles, weeds and trash, Elle Adams of City Rising Farm in Hough recently broke ground on an 8,000-square-foot market garden that will be used to teach teenagers how to grow their own food.

“The neighborhood is a food desert — there’s no grocery store within a mile of here,” says Adams, who launched her farm as an alternative to the corner stores that sell only canned goods. “At first, people didn’t know what cherry tomatoes were. They’d say, ‘What is that?’ There’s a whole generation that grew up without a grocery store.”

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October 26, 2012   Comments Off on As local urban farm movement matures in Cleveland, so too do strategies for year-round success

Growing Urban Agriculture: Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Food and Revitalizing Communities

48 page report by Policy Link.

A vibrant movement is changing the landscape, economic outlook, and vitality of cities across the country

By Allison Hagey, Solana Rice, Rebecca Flournoy
©2012 by PolicyLink


Policy Considerations and Recommendations

Advocates and policymakers are instituting policies to support urban agriculture. While some of these policies support low-income communities and communities of color, there is still room to advocate for policies that focus more on the very communities that stand to greatly benefit from urban farms in their neighborhoods.

Examples of supportive policies include the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, which has inventoried land for urban farming with a concentration on low-income communities and individuals of color. The Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI), a federal grant program, assists cities with redeveloping abandoned, idled, and underused industrial and commercial facilities. The program primarily targets the redevelopment of such brownfields sites that increase economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals.

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October 25, 2012   Comments Off on Growing Urban Agriculture: Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Food and Revitalizing Communities