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Urban agriculture gets policy-level support in Sri Lanka’s Western Province

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As a first step, a farmer company was set up to manage micro-loans through a revolving fund.

Water is a critical resource in urban settings, with the poor often being forced to endure unreliable supplies and contaminated wells.

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Issue 16 – 2013

Excerpt:

The urban poor in South Asia often lack livelihood opportunities and adequate nutrition. One way to address both these shortcomings is to encourage urban farming. Projects facilitated by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of the partners of the Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) Foundation, assisted urban gardeners and entrepreneurs in Gampaha, Sri Lanka, with marketing, business planning and agricultural water management. The initiative led to a policy amendment in Sri Lanka’s Western Province followed by a process to incorporate urban agriculture in the National Agriculture Policy.

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February 10, 2013   Comments Off

The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl

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Photographs by Tamara Staples
Chronicle Books
Feb 6 2013

With backyard chicken keeping and urban farming at an all-time high, the proudest of purebred poultry take center stage once again in this fully revised and expanded edition of the classic The Fairest Fowl, now retitled The Magnificent Chicken. Updated in hardcover with even more chickens and an enlarged resource section, this celebration of the wonder, peculiarity, and magnificence of championship chickens showcases more than 40 astonishing breeds in glamorous photos—many brand new—and informative text, while an introduction by Ira Glass explores the finer points of poultry shows and chicken portraiture.

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February 10, 2013   Comments Off

The Neighborhood Farm: An Urban Farming Initiative in and around Needham, Massachusetts

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Painting by Abbi Canney.

Kate Canney wasn’t going to let living in a suburban environment keep her from gardening. She created The Neighborhood Farm to pursue her passion.

By Farm Aid
Mother Earth News
February 7, 2013

Excerpt:

Faced with the challenge of land access in a suburban environment just outside of Boston, Kate formed the idea to use private yards within the community as her starting ground. The idea has since sprouted into The Neighborhood Farm: nearly four acres of gardens spread among seven different spaces dedicated to growing produce that Kate sells at local farmers markets.

Access to farmland is a challenge that plagues prospective farmers nationwide. The 2007 National Resources Inventory Report found, “Every minute, America has been losing more than an acre of farmland to urban sprawl and development.”

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February 10, 2013   Comments Off