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Chicago’s urban farm district could be the biggest in the nation

A rendering of the planned urban farm district, which would run along the Chicago’s New ERA Trail.

11,000 vacant lots totalling 800 acres available

By Lori Rotenberk
Nov 15, 2012
Lori Rotenberk is a Chicago-based journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Chicago Wilderness Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times.


Chicago’s Black Belt area, on the historic South Side, was once a hub for jazz, blues, and literature, but today is riddled with vacant lots, poverty, and blight. Now, a new plan envisions the area as a thriving urban farm district.

In the coming weeks, the city’s planning department is expected to approve the creation of a green belt with a strong focus on urban agriculture within the neighborhood of Englewood. The plan is an element of Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development’s (DHE) Green Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, designed to shepherd and foster redevelopment in 13 square miles of the South Side. Years of disinvestment and population decline have left the area riddled with 11,000 vacant lots totaling 800 acres.

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November 16, 2012   Comments Off

TEDx – How rooftop farming will change how we eat

Mohamed Hage of Lufa Farms, Montreal

Mohamed Hage, an agriculture and technology enthusiast, is the founding president of Lufa Farms, a company that designs, builds and operates rooftop agricultural greenhouses. It was to provide fresh, local and responsible vegetables to montréalais consumers that he created the first commercial rooftop greenhouse in the world in the winter of 2011. Mohamed Hage supervises all of Lufa Farms’ daily activities, but is particularly interested in research, planning, construction and operation of the greenhouse environment.

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November 16, 2012   Comments Off

Urban Farming part of Chesapeake region conference

Maya Kosok of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore.

“Urban Farmers Unite: The Farm Alliance of Baltimore Story.”

Future Harvest A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
14th Annual “Farming for Profit and Stewardship” Conference
January 18,19, 2013 – National Conference Center – Lansdowne, VA

Friday, January 18
SESSION II – 4:15 – 5:30 pm
Urban Farmers Unite! The Farm Alliance of Baltimore Story
Maya Kosok, Baltimore, Maryland — Farm Alliance of Baltimore
Elisa Lane, Baltimore, Maryland – Whitelock Community Farm
Tyler Brown, Baltimore, Maryland – Real Food Farm

The Farm Alliance of Baltimore City launched in fall 2011 as a network of urban farmers seeking to increase the viability of urban farming and the accessibility of urban-grown foods. Founding members of the group will discuss first-year lessons ranging from securing funding, operating a joint farmers market stand and shared EBT machine, to running workshops for other new farmers, building a shared brand, and more. They will share their successes and challenges while looking at how similar networks and co-ops can support new growers, whether urban or rural.

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November 16, 2012   Comments Off