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From Parking Lot to Paradise – the Revenge of Urban Agriculture

Volunteers working on construction of the 103rd Street Community garden in New York City. Photograph by SCAPE. Click on image for larger file.

It is transformational expressions that reclaim, heal, interpret and make productive once blighted neighborhoods, abandoned shopping malls, parking lots and unused roof tops.

By Charles A. Birnbaum
President, The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Huffington Post


Urban agriculture during my baby boomer childhood in New York City, when postwar agricultural production became increasingly industrialized, amounted to simple school projects like rooting an avocado pit or a potato in the base of a sawn off milk carton. Today, however, we have home food production, urban farming, productive gardens, or whatever else you might want to call this movement – and it’s hot.

We are now witnessing an amazing convergence between the 1970s-era urban community garden movement pioneered by Liz Christy in New York and Alice Waters’ pioneering and influential fresh food efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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March 18, 2013   Comments Off on From Parking Lot to Paradise – the Revenge of Urban Agriculture

Three part documentary about Cuba’s urban agriculture – “Révolution verte urbaine”

Part 3 of 3. See all video here part way down the page.

60 minutes of footage in Spanish with French subtitles

Semences – Les Racines du Nouveau Monde
Agriculture Urbaine, Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba
By Nicolas van Caloen and Juan Pablo Lepore
Collectif Documentaire Semences
Uploaded on Dec 12, 2011
(Must see. Mike)

En 1959 c’est la révolution à Cuba. Les États-Unis, mécontent de ce pied de nez révolutionnaire, décide d’imposer un embargo international contre Cuba qui sera ainsi forcé de se tourner vers l’URSS afin de maintenir ses exportations et importations. En 1989, c’est la chute de l’URSS, Cuba se retrouve dans une situation économique très précaire créant un problème de sécurité alimentaire. Pour solutionner ce problème, Cuba choisit de développer l’agriculture urbaine et écologique. 20 ans plus tard, Cuba est un leader mondial en la matière. Dans ce documentaire, avec l’aide de l’INIFAT (Instituto de Investigaciones Fundamentales en la Agricultura Tropical), nous montrons l’ampleur, la diversité et l’ingéniosité des projets d’agriculture urbaine dans la région de La Habana. Une nouvelle révolution verte est en cours!

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March 18, 2013   Comments Off on Three part documentary about Cuba’s urban agriculture – “Révolution verte urbaine”

Urban Ag: Taking Steps Toward Political Ecology

Tenderloin People’s Garden

Practitioners of urban agriculture have a lot to be proud of, including forming part of a “food movement,” which is increasing in size and influence.

By Antonio Roman-Alcalá
Civil Eats
March 5, 2013


The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA), which I helped found in 2010, has increasingly been involved in the practice of changing municipal policy to support UA. In doing this work, the SFUAA has had to confront what it means to represent populations doing UA, while—whether intentionally or not—not representing other, more marginalized populations in San Francisco.

Though “food justice” motivates many in the SFUAA, the reality of our organization has been that many of SF’s poorest populations (the people most at risk of food insecurity, as well as the vicissitudes of gentrifying neighborhoods and inflating housing costs) are inadvertently left out of these policy discussions. With this in mind, the SFUAA recently adopted a position statement on gentrification and its relation to urban agriculture.

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March 18, 2013   Comments Off on Urban Ag: Taking Steps Toward Political Ecology