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Posts from — February 2013

South Central Los Angeles community garden pioneer Ron Finley speaks at TedX Vancouver today


Video from TEDTalentSearch. June 2012.

Fashion Innovator. Manic Collector. Renegade Gardener. Visionary. Community Activist.

Excerpt from Day 3 at TED-Vancouver
Vancouver Sun Feb 28, 2013

South Central Los Angeles community garden pioneer Ron Finley is talking about guerilla gardening in a neighbourhood, a “food desert” where “drive-ins are killing more people than drive-bys.” In salty, provocative language he points out LA has 26 square miles of vacant land.

His LA Green Grounds has made a profound difference. “Raising food is a license to print money.”

Finley’s group now has 20 different gardens. “If kids grow kale, they eat kale. If they raise tomatoes, they eat tomatoes.” Vancouver’s farmers’ markets and DTES community gardens advocates should talk to this guy. “If you want to meet with me, come to the garden witha shovel where we can plant some shit.” He describes his group as “a rag-tag bunch of renegades” who want to raise food for their community.

[Read more →]

February 28, 2013   Comments Off

Pale ale called ‘Prima Donna’ made from garden grown hops in London

brixbeer
“Brewed in South London for South Londoners.”

Hop plants were grown in gardens, parks, pots and community areas across South London

From Oct 2012’s debut as heard in a forum:

“I travelled to the far flung outposts of East Dulwich tonight to try out the Brixton Beer and it was well worth the trip. It had sold out in at least two pubs too. A success!”

“Prima Donna is a great pint, nice tart bitter.”

“Draft House told me it was the quickest selling pint they can remember – sold the whole barrel in less than 6 hours!”

“We’re thinking of experimenting with growing barley next year and doing a honey ale with Lambeth honey as well.”

[Read more →]

February 28, 2013   Comments Off

Chicago’s The Plant and Iron Street Farm

indoor farm
Indoor farm.

The Urban Farm: A New American Frontier

By Erin Sund
Food and Nutrition Magazine
February 26, 2013

Excerpt:

Growing Power’s Erika Allen is a board member of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, a network working to improve Chicago residents’ access to “culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound and affordable food that is grown through environmentally sustainable practices.”

CFPAC addresses key issues facing the growth of Chicago agriculture. For example, composting is heavily regulated because it can attract rodents and generate seepage if done incorrectly. Obtaining the proper city licenses for indoor farming is also a challenge, according to The Plant’s Hoekstra. “The City of Chicago had never seen an indoor farm and wasn’t sure how to license us, but after a number of meetings and a lot of inspections, the requirements have been clarified and we’re moving forward with success,” she says.

[Read more →]

February 28, 2013   Comments Off

Condos versus Community Gardens in Vancouver, BC

cotonw
Photo by Hella Delicious.

Condos vs Cottonwood Community Garden – Vancouver’s City hall’s viaduct removal plan could accelerate gentrification and hit Downtown Eastside’s green space and food system

By Peter Driftmier
Megaphone
Feb 26, 2013

Excerpt:

While many community gardens have a visibly white and middle-class dominated constituency, multiracial working-class and low-income gardeners are among the community gardening movement’s active long-term membership, especially in the greater Downtown Eastside. Indeed, community gardening can be a vital survival strategy for low-income people.

With the $610 per month for an ‘expected-to-work’ adult’s social assistance payment, that leaves little for food after shelter, transit, clothes and a phone for finding work. This leaves a maximum $26 per week that the government says should be left for food after these minimum expenses. That is less than half the conservative amount deemed necessary by the Dietitians of Canada in order for an adult to sustain a basic healthful diet.

[Read more →]

February 27, 2013   Comments Off

Orlando, Florida, leaders move toward allowing vegetable gardens in front yards

jason
Watch Jason and Jennifer Helvenston speak about their garden and the troubles they’ve had. Video here.

College Park residents find themselves struggling with city of Orlando code enforcement after turning their front yard into a garden.

By Mark Schlueb
Orlando Sentinel
February 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Orlando leaders moved closer Monday to allowing residents to plant vegetables in their front yards, but gardeners remain worried that City Hall’s benevolence will come with too many rules.

The City Council directed planners to come up with an ordinance that specifically allows front-yard vegetable gardens, something about which city code is now silent.

The discussion started last year, after College Park homeowners Jason and Jennifer Helvenston dug up their front lawn and replaced it with tomatoes, kale, carrots, beets and other vegetables. The owner of the property next door complained to the city, and a code enforcement officer ordered the Helvenstons to nix the veggies and replace it with grass.

[Read more →]

February 27, 2013   Comments Off

Venice School Urban Garden

Mark Twain Middle School, a Title 1 school where 83% of students get assistance with meals

By MeiMei Fox
Huffington Post
Feb 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Mark Twain Middle School’s Seed to Plate Program in Venice, Los Angeles is a model for school nutrition programs in the L.A. Unified School District and across the nation. The garden serves as not only a source of healthy food for the students, but also as a classroom. The children learn entrepreneurship by selling their produce at a local farmer’s market; math by counting loaves of bread baked from the wheat harvest; and history by studying Aztec and Mayan agricultural techniques.

[Read more →]

February 27, 2013   Comments Off

Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett addresses dual challenges of property foreclosures and insufficient healthy food access through city farming


This video is part of Milwaukee’s entry in the Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection, a partnership between The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Pairing the capital assets of vacant lots and foreclosed houses with individuals and organizations promoting the growth, processing, distribution, and consumption of locally-produced food

By Mayor Tom Barrett
Huffington Post
Mayors Challenge Finalist: Milwaukee, WI
Feb 2013

Excerpt:

What if cities like Milwaukee that have significant portfolios of foreclosed real estate could leverage those properties to improve public health and re-knit struggling neighborhoods into the tapestry of a thriving city?

American cities need a new model and vision for the management and future use of foreclosed properties that turn vacant lots and boarded-up buildings into a foundation for improved community nutrition and neighborhood revitalization.

Imagine vacant lots becoming orchards, gardens, and small farms. Envision foreclosed houses repurposed as small-scale food processing centers and neighborhood nutrition education sites where people connect to prepare and share healthy food. Imagine neighborhoods where foreclosed properties become assets in a campaign to improve healthy food access and demand.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2013   Comments Off

Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

gaininggr

Forthcoming May 21, 2013

By Forrest Pritchard (Author), Joel Salatin (Foreword)
Lyons Press,
May 21, 2013
288 pages

With humor and pathos, Forrest Pritchard recounts his ambitious and often hilarious endeavors to save his family’s seventh-generation farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Through many a trial and error, he not only saves Smith Meadows from insolvency but turns it into a leading light in the sustainable, grass-fed, organic farm-to-market community.

There is nothing young Farmer Pritchard won’t try. Whether he’s selling firewood and straw, raising free-range chickens and hogs, or acquiring a flock of Barbados Blackbelly sheep, his learning curve is steep and always entertaining. Pritchard’s world crackles with colorful local characters—farm hands, butchers, market managers, customers, fellow vendors, pet goats, policemen—bringing the story to warm, communal life.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2013   Comments Off

Vancouver urban farmer wants to create jobs and reduce global warming

When we eat food that’s been grown without chemicals, close to where we live, we reduce our fossil inputs and our emissions by 70%.

By Philip Be’er
Home Harvest Farms

Excerpt:

What are we not being told about the short term impacts of global warming on the Vancouver area!! Learn how urban farming will contribute to the deceleration of global warming and could protect the value of property in Richmond and Delta while creating a billion green jobs around the world.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2013   Comments Off

An Urban Farm on the Rooftop of Affordable-housing Project in Harlem

sugarhill
Sugar Hill Housing in Harlem will provide 124 units of affordable housing. It will finish construction in December.

A Role Model for New York City’s Affordable Housing

By Ronda Kaysen
Architectural Record
Feb 14, 2013

Excerpt:

An urban farm on the rooftop of a David Adjaye–designed affordable-housing project in Harlem will provide fresh produce and income for the building sometime after construction has been completed in December. An $80 million development in the historic New York City neighborhood, Sugar Hill Housing will offer 124 units of rental housing for low-income adults and families. Adjaye’s stepped-profile design, with a rose-embossed, textured precast-concrete facade, makes it the latest example in a trend to replace bland institutional architecture typical of affordable housing with creative and striking design.

[Read more →]

February 25, 2013   Comments Off

A Garden Rises at South Street Seaport, Lower Manhttan: Morali Architects’ Vegetative Tower

moreli
Standing 70 stories and nearly 1000 feet, is a new proposed development at 80 South Street.

The tower will feature “vegetative roofs,” which won’t just be for show — ”we’re working with Don Pintabona, Robert DeNiro’s chef. We’re working on a shared kitchen and vertical farming,”

By Stephen Jacob Smith
New York Observer
Feb 8, 2013

Excerpt:

Santiago Calatrava’s 1,123-foot tower of cubes at 80 South Street has been dead for almost five years, but Cord Meyer (of Forest Hills fame) has selected a local designer to revive the site: Morali Architects.

Anthony Morali released elevation drawings of his 998-foot, 300,000-square foot design, which will feature apartments rising from a hotel base with garden space integrated into the tower.

In a phone conversation with The Observer Mr. Morali described his design to us. “It has some of the features of segmentation” in common with Calatrava’s tower, he said, “but what we’re really trying to do is integrate sustainability and gardens.”

[Read more →]

February 25, 2013   Comments Off

‘Green Shack’ for South Africa includes vertical vegetable garden

shack1
(Brilliant concept. Mike)

Corrugated iron and timber need not represent poverty and oppression.

By Stephen Lamb and Andrew Lord
Touching the Earth Lightly
Feb 2013

Excerpt:

To explain the concept, hold in your mind a cube. Like the shack, the cube has six sides. Human-hearted design looks to address the issues of fire, flooding, food security and insulation by exploring design opportunities for each of these six sides.

The first side of the cube is the floor. We raise the shack off the ground to respond to the issue of flooding. Communities around the world have been doing this for thousands of years. This is not a new concept.

The next two sides of the cube represent the sun-facing walls of the shack. On these two sides The Green Shack suggests they be wrapped with a fire-proof boarding, covered by a vertical thriving organic vegetable garden. This wall garden creates food for the household. This wall is drip irrigated using a low tech, slow-release gravity fed system via a pipe made of re-cycled car tires. Rain water is also captured off the roof and stored on site. The slow-drip nature of the irrigation system ensures that the wall is constantly wet.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2013   Comments Off

Sky Vegetables’ 8000 sq. ft. hydroponic roof farm opens in New York

arborClick on image for larger file.

“Local, fresh, nutritious food is what the people of the cities need. And there is no reason why we can’t turn all of these rooftops into living farms.”

From AGRI-TECTURE:
Buildings That Grow Food
Feb 21, 2012

Excerpt:

A new Bronx building will soon have residents going green in more ways than one. Known as “Arbor House”, the nearly $38 million project built on land purchased from the New York City Housing Authority’s Forest Houses property in Morrisania boasts a hydroponic rooftop farm for growing fresh vegetables. The eight-story building located at 770 East 166th Street features 124 units of affordable housing and a variety of green perks like a living green wall in the lobby and “stair music”, in the hopes that people will take the stairs and get some exercise.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2013   Comments Off

Chan Kwan-tin’s farm in Pokfulam Village, Hong Kong

HK1
‘A Real Urban Farm’ in Hong Kong. Pokfulam is a residential area on Hong Kong Island, at the western end of the Southern District.

“Pokfulam is like an oasis in the desert, and there is nothing else like it on Hong Kong Island.”

By Grace Tsoi
Hong Long Asia Cities
Feb 21, 2013

Excerpt:

The death of agriculture in Hong Kong is an unquestionable fact. It is hard to believe that farming is still a regular activity in Pokfulam Village—a place that is so close to the urban heart of our city.

While a few households are still tilling the soil in Pokfulam Village, Chan Kwan-tin’s farm is the most eye-catching of them all. There is a large patch of green in front of his little house where he grows a dozen varieties of vegetables, ranging from turnips to watercress. This is Chan’s proudest project; he single-handedly transformed the barren land into a flourishing farm. He carefully carved the fields into rows and planted different vegetables in each area. Across the fields he has hung some colorful, fluffy dolls to keep the birds at bay. Chan’s farm is comprised of two parts that are connected by concrete paths and stone steps. Chan built them all by himself, and the stone stairs are a special point of pride.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2013   Comments Off

Farming the City: Food as a Tool for Today’s Urbanization

roofbook

Book forthcoming April 2013

Edited by Francesca Miazzo, Mark Minkjan
Valiz/Transcity
240 pages

The Farming the City project began in November 2010 as an initiative of the Amsterdam-based organization CITIES, bringing city dwellers and urban farmers together to explore inspirational ways of producing, storing, cooking, preserving, distributing and sharing food. Since then, it has fostered urban farming projects all over the world, to great acclaim, and with considerable press coverage. Farming the City: Food as a Tool for Today’s Urbanization looks at this booming global phenomenon, considering in detail 30 projects, from City Growers’ transformation of empty spaces in Boston to Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in New York and FarmScape in Los Angeles; from the People’s Supermarket in London to cultivating the interiors of shipping containers in Rotterdam.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2013   Comments Off