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‘We won the vote in Council!’ – for Long Term Security for Community Gardens in Vancouver BC

Councillor Adriane Carr puts forth motion. 27 speakers speak in support.

Motion calling for City staff to look into options for long term security for community gardens

By Rose-Marie Larsson
Strathcona Gardens Blog
November 29, 2012

Dear Friends,

Councillors voted unanimously for Councillor Adriane Carr’s motion calling for City staff to look into options for long term security for community gardens, especially for older, established gardens like Cottonwood and Strathcona.

We had long line-up (27) of wonderful, eloquent speakers – gardeners of all ages from Cottonwood, Strathcona, Purple Thistle and the Environmental Youth Alliance, former Councillor Ellen Woodsworth (COPE), Celia Brauer from The False Creek Watershed Society and UBC Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Land and Food Systems Art Bomke among them. Peter Driftmier read a letter signed by 16 of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Food Networks and Neighbourhood Food Network Coordinators.

This is a step forward for all of Vancouver’s community gardens – and for Cottonwood and Strathcona, which were recognized for their particular value to the Green City. More on what this means and what we need to do next to make the most of this opening soon!

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November 30, 2012   1 Comment

A Vacant Lot Offers Refugees a Taste of Home in Phoenix

Mohamed Isaac prepares his area for planting this month. Photo by Joshua Lott for The New York Times.

A plan to revitalize a vacant lot in Phoenix has offered refugees a place to grow produce.

By Fernanda Santos
New York Times
November 26, 2012


PHOENIX — Hussein Al Hamka is going to farm his famous cucumbers on a 15-acre vacant lot in the heart of this city, where nearly half of all lots sit empty and unused.

If his piece of fertilized dirt had a price tag, it would cost much more than he could ever dream of affording; the lot is valued at $25 million, or at least it was before the housing market collapsed and it was left undeveloped. To survive, Mr. Hamka, 50, an Iraqi refugee three years into his life in the United States, grows and sells cucumbers just like the ones he ate in his home country.

On Friday, Fidele Komezusenge, 25, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, picked rocks from the loose soil in the raised beds next to Mr. Hamka’s. Mr. Komezusenge was planning to plant carrot and cabbage seeds, his first farming foray since arriving in the United States in June. Nearby, Safala Chhetri, 50, a refugee from Bhutan who arrived in 2009, wavered between planting spinach or kale, but then decided to give onions a second chance.

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November 30, 2012   1 Comment

‘Aquaponic’ garden in New York’s FBushwick’s Moore Street Market

Yemi Amu, one of the founders of Oko Farms, swears by aquaponic farms and gardens because they use less water and provide both fish and vegetables. Photo by Stefano Giovannini.

Amu and Boe plan to build a greenhouse to contain the fish farm, which they say can thrive even during a chilly Brooklyn winter.

By Danielle Furfaro
The Brooklyn Paper
Nov 21, 2012


Yemi Amu believes that fish poop can change the world — or at the very least change an abandoned Bushwick lot into a thriving farm.

She and her partner Jonathan Boe have spent the past year setting up small aquaponic gardens — closed systems that use fish feces and water to feed plants — and now they’re planning their masterwork: a fish poop-powered urban farm at the Moore Street Market in Bushwick.

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November 30, 2012   1 Comment