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Posts from — March 2013

La Ciudad Jubilada / The Retired City – Allotments in Barcelona, Spain

Filmed on the banks of the Ripoll River, between Cerdanyola and Ripollet (Barcelona)

By Pau Faus
Jan 10, 2010
In English and Spanish
Must see! Mike

English:
The daily life of one of the many retirees who cultivate their own allotment gardens in an urban margin land that doesn’t belong to them, between rivers, highways and railroad tracks on the outskirts of Barcelona. To explore and get to know these gardens is a way of approaching one of the many autonomous practices that, from its ‘disobedience’, also shape our contemporary cities. Practices that far from being simply incidental can give us many clues about what is going on behind the supposed urban order. This work focuses on the social dimension of these self-constructed gardens, seen here as a lesson of autonomy in a society that insists on assimilating ‘Retirement’ to uselessness and dependence.

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March 31, 2013   Comments Off on La Ciudad Jubilada / The Retired City – Allotments in Barcelona, Spain

Allotment Gardens for the Unemployed

unempl

During the 1930s, allotments were provided for the unemployed and the scheme was described as ‘one of the most important social services which have been placed in the hands of local authorities.’

By Lesley Acton
Newsgrape
Feb 9, 2013

Excerpt:

By 1928, there were 300,000 unemployed miners (almost half from South Wales), of whom 200,000 – 250,000 had little or no hope of finding work in the pits again. In the winter of that year, several collieries in the area shut down and soon there were, reported The Times, ‘1,000,000 souls facing starvation.’ The miners, through no fault of their own, were victims of a failing economic and political system and allotments were seen as a way to help them. Unlike the nineteenth century, however, it was not the landed classes, the church or the government that stepped in, instead, it was the Society of Friends (SOF) (the Quakers) who set up the Coalfields Distress Committee to help and encourage men to grow-their-own food.

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March 31, 2013   Comments Off on Allotment Gardens for the Unemployed

Data Farming: Demonstrating the Benefits of Urban Agriculture [INFOGRAPHIC]

datagraph
See complete image here.

Design Trust put together a metrics framework that measured the associated activities of urban agriculture with the known benefits derived from various studies.

By Kyle Rogler
Sustainable Cities Collective
March 27, 2013

Excerpt:

Transforming underutilized land into productive urban farms was one of the many topics which were presented at the recent Kansas City Design Week. Jerome Chou, past Director of Programs at the Design Trust for Public Space, presented his unique experience with the implementation of the Five Boroughs Farm in New York City and the impact that urban agriculture can have on low-income areas of a city.

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March 30, 2013   Comments Off on Data Farming: Demonstrating the Benefits of Urban Agriculture [INFOGRAPHIC]

‘City’ journal focuses on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture

turk1

See ‘Which way for UPA in Africa? by Diana Lee-Smith’

CITY, 2013
VOL. 17, NO. 1,
Introduction Adrian Atkinson, Page 68
Which way for UPA in Africa? Diana Lee-Smith, Pages 69-84
Readjusting to reality Adrian Atkinson, Pages 85-96

Introduction
Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Part Two Introduction
By Adrian Atkinson

In the previous issue of the journal (16.6), we opened up the question of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA), a dimen-
sion of urban evolution that is currently growing almost everywhere. The papers in the past issue of City looked respectively at the political and cultural aspects of these developments as they are occurring in cities in the global North. In this issue we move into other territory.

The first paper is a review of the growth of UPA in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing particularly on whether it is genuinely addressing the needs of the poor in a situation of rapidly growing malnutrition. On this score, the paper is not optimistic, but indicates nevertheless what opportunities are opening up to increase local food production.

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March 30, 2013   Comments Off on ‘City’ journal focuses on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture

How Mayan civilization can inspire contemporary urban food security

mayan2

Urban gardens, agriculture, and water management: Sources of resilience for long-term food security in cities

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Barthel, S. and Isendahl, C. (2012). Urban Gardens, Agricultures and Waters: Sources of Resilience for Long-Term Food Security in Cities. Ecological Economics-in press. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.06.018

Excerpt:

Barthel and Isendahl show how urban gardens, agriculture and water management contributed to long-term food security, and in particular the importance of social memory to uphold such practices.

The idea of drawing on experiences from a civilization with its heyday more than a millennium ago may appear far-fetched, but in a time when skills related to local food and water management are rapidly vanishing, there are things to be learned from the Maya.

Barthel and Isendahl warn that we are experiencing a “global generational amnesia” about how to grow food more locally. Furthermore, agricultural production is not “the antithesis of the city”, but often an integrated urban activity that contribute to the resilience of cities.

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March 29, 2013   Comments Off on How Mayan civilization can inspire contemporary urban food security

1000 tree, one acre urban orchard coming to Vancouver

solecat
Solefood’s urban farms supply high-quality produce to farmers markets and about 30 local restaurants; fruit trees are coming soon. Photo by Catcall.

Nonprofit organization hopes more food production will help provide longer-term work for employees

By Yolande Cole
Georgia Straight
March 28, 2013

Excerpt:

In May, the social enterprise plans to expand with a one-acre urban orchard located on a city-owned site at Main Street and Terminal Avenue.

Michael Ableman, cofounder of Solefood, said the orchard will feature nearly 1,000 trees, bearing fruit such as quince, persimmon, Meyer lemons, pears, and plums.

“I think this is exciting, because it’s breaking new ground, if you will,” Ableman told the Georgia Straight by phone from his home on Salt Spring Island. “Relative to anything else in the city, it’s pretty significant, and I think that if we can prove it as a potential system, we could see these types of trees lining the boulevards of all our streets and changing the atmosphere of our cities.”

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March 29, 2013   Comments Off on 1000 tree, one acre urban orchard coming to Vancouver

Eco-Soil Veggie Mix made for urban farmers in Greater Vancouver

Promotion video features community garden organizer testimonial

Organic Veggie Soil Mix

“The only true veggie soil available in our area. Specially formulated to maximize vegetable growth. This free draining, nutrient rich soil is high in beneficial organic matter and micro-nutrients. This proprietary blend of premium PH balanced composts and an appropriate amount of sand provides for optimum growing conditions.”

Link to company website.

March 29, 2013   Comments Off on Eco-Soil Veggie Mix made for urban farmers in Greater Vancouver

Community Gardens Sprout in Israeli Desert Town


Noga zohar on community garden in beer sheva.

19 gardens are already established while an additional 4 groups are being formed

By Aya Tager
Green Profit
March 27th, 2013

Excerpt:

In September 2012, the Israeli desert city of Beersheva became the second municipality in Israel to staff the newly created post of community gardens coordinator. The multidisciplinary position was born through fruitful cooperation between two of the city’s municipality departments – environmental and welfare, following a strategic process aimed at reinforcing local community and environmental elements while encouraging activism amongst the city’s residents. This move marks a significant shift in policy as the municipality re-defined its role over the issue of community gardens around the city.

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March 28, 2013   Comments Off on Community Gardens Sprout in Israeli Desert Town

An Urban Goat Farm: Abita Springs Farm

7 goats on their property in the Cully neighborhood of Portland

By Rebecca Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
Food.Farmer.Earth.
March 27, 2013

Excerpt:

Ed Arcement and his wife Nancy love cheese. Indeed, their mutual enthusiasm for this processed food is why, in 2005, they chose to attend a national goat show in Spokane, Washington. They found themselves suddenly bidding on a particular goat, and as Ed explains during the interview, the bidding kept going up, and Nancy kept matching it. Before they knew it, they had won the bid at (about) $1100. “Variety” their first goat, was theirs!

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March 28, 2013   Comments Off on An Urban Goat Farm: Abita Springs Farm

Urban farm on Vancouver School Board property first of its kind in Canada

Growing food and selling it back into the neighbourhood as well as institutional cafeterias

By Emily Jackson
Metro News
March 26, 2013

Excerpt:

By next fall, Vancouver Technical Secondary School students will be able to eat fresh kale, arugula and turnips harvested from the school’s field.

The eastside high school is the first in the country to host a commercial urban farm on school board property, Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society director Ilana Labow said as she and a team of student volunteers broke ground on the garden on Tuesday. While her society has helped with school gardens before, this is the first larger scale farm.

It’s an idea so appetizing to other schools that Labow has already had calls from across North America asking how to replicate Fresh Roots’ agreement with the school board.

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March 28, 2013   Comments Off on Urban farm on Vancouver School Board property first of its kind in Canada

Vancouver Park Board experiments with Korean pine as new urban food source

pine

Delicious pine nuts possibly coming to Vancouver neighbourhoods

By Bill Stephen
City Arborist
City of Vancouver
March 27, 2013

The Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) is a prodigious provider of the staple food – the pine nut. Harvested by ancient and contemporary cultures throughout temperate eastern Asia, it is rich in unsaturated oils and flavour. It is used in its pulverized form as a soup stock, and has many purported medicinal uses.

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March 27, 2013   Comments Off on Vancouver Park Board experiments with Korean pine as new urban food source

Urban Gardening For Dummies

urgardum

Written by The National Gardening Association

By Paul Simon, Charlie Nardozzi
For Dummies
January 2013
Paul Simon is a nationally recognized landscape architect, public artist, horticulturist, master gardener, and urban designer. Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, speaker, and radio and television personality.

Learn to:

Make the most of limited space with vertical growing tips, rooftop gardens, and more

Add beauty and color to your landscape with annuals, perennials, and bulbs

Grow the freshest, healthiest produce possible

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March 27, 2013   1 Comment

Five Tips for Launching an Urban Garden

gard2peop
A staff member (left) and youth intern (right) walk through East New York Farms in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Natasha Bowens.

In the end, the goal of urban community gardens and the key to their success is the same, says Singer: “It’s about growing community.”

By Rhea Kennedy
Civil Eats
March 26, 2013

Excerpt:

Americans cultivate an estimated 18,000 community gardens, and now more of their growing is taking place in city lots and building rooftops. Urban gardeners see numerous benefits, from a heightened sense of empowerment to a lighter grocery bill to lowered crime rates. Yet challenges to such projects inevitably spring up like crab grass.

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March 27, 2013   Comments Off on Five Tips for Launching an Urban Garden

Eat Up – The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture

eatup

Lauren Mandel works as a Project Manager and Rooftop Agriculture Specialist at the Philadelphia-based green roof firm Roofmeadow

By Lauren Mandel
New Society Publishers
April 2013

Soaring prices and concerns about chemical-laden fruits and vegetables increasingly drive us to grow our own healthy food close to home. In cities however, vanishing ground space and contaminated soils spur farmers, activists, and restaurateurs to look to the skyline for a solution. The hunger for local food has reached new heights, and rooftops can provide the space that cities need to bring fresh, organic produce to tables across North America.

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March 26, 2013   1 Comment

Hobby gardeners in Vancouver are finding their patches of green in shared spaces

urbanist
Interview begins at minute 14:20

Interview about ‘Sharing Backyards’ in Vancouver BC

By Jodie Martinson
Monocle – The Urbanist about the cities we live in
Episode 75
21 Mar 2013

Jodie Martinson speaks with gardener Stephanie Hodges about her experiences with shared garden space. Sharing Backyards Vancouver is a City Farmer project.

This Urbanist episode: “Share deal: a special episode looking at car sharing, office sharing, table sharing, and mingling in cities around the world.”

Listen to the show here. Go to minute 14:20 for the sharing gardens interview.

March 26, 2013   Comments Off on Hobby gardeners in Vancouver are finding their patches of green in shared spaces