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Posts from — April 2013

Apps for urban agriculture and market gardens

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soilappSoilWeb App.

Who Let the Bugs Out, SoilWeb app, ID Weeds app, Growing Degree Days app

By Frank Gublo
Michigan State University Extension and MSU Product Cente
April 27, 2013

Excerpt:

Technology can help the urban grower manage their market gardens

Technology has become increasingly important in agriculture production in recent years. With the advent of portable devices, technology can be taken to the field and used for a various production management functions with regard to weed and insect management, growing degree days, and soils characteristics. Mobile applications on smart phones and other devices are another tool to aid in a grower’s decision-making process.

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April 30, 2013   Comments Off on Apps for urban agriculture and market gardens

Burke Mountain Community Garden Opens in Coquitlam, BC

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BurkelargeClick on image to enlarge.

64 community garden beds (2 wheelchair accessible beds & 4 kid-friendly height beds)

By Chris Reid
Shifting Growth
April 28, 2013

Shifting Growth and The Foothills at Burke Mountain proudly unveiled the new Burke Mountain Community Garden this Sunday April 28, 2013. The garden is a growing space for the community with a goal to build healthy, resilient, and welcoming communities in and around the garden.

The garden was created as a temporary garden. The long-term future last use will be evaluated at a later date, allowing an opportunity to create a temporary community garden for residents of Burke Mountain. All infrastructure and garden beds were filled off site and simply placed pre-assembled on-site.

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April 30, 2013   Comments Off on Burke Mountain Community Garden Opens in Coquitlam, BC

The Crop Crate Company in Boston Helps City-Dwellers Get Growing

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One advantage of using a Crop Crate over planting vegetables directly into your yard is that much of the local soil may be contaminated.

By Elyse Andrews
Sommerville Beat
April 30 2013

Excerpt:

Crop Crates are orchard-style crates used to grow vegetables, herbs or flowers. The company builds them in two sizes, 4-feet by 5-feet or 2-feet by 3-feet (both are about 36-inches high), then delivers them to your house, school or business and fills them with organic material.

“Living in the city, I’ve always wanted to have my own garden and wasn’t able to do that,” said Chris Nicholl, Crop Crate founder and Arlington resident. Nicholl has find memories of being a kid in Medford growing vegetables with his family in their yard. He wanted to bring that same experience to people living in the city today, so The Crop Crate Company was born.

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April 30, 2013   Comments Off on The Crop Crate Company in Boston Helps City-Dwellers Get Growing

Bike-a-Bee Beekeeper Expands Urban Farming Project

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Jana Kinsman transports her beekeeping equipment on Bullitt cargo bikes. Photo by Jana Kinsman.

Chicago beekeeper wants to provide the community with a visual example of bees, because so many people grow up being afraid of them.

By Janet Rausa Fuller
DNAinfo
April 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Last year was rough for Jana Kinsman’s bees.

Kinsman, 27, set up 10 beehives in community gardens and other spaces across the city last summer, the first step in her fledgling urban farming project dubbed Bike a Bee.

She traveled to the hives by bicycle. Residents welcomed their new neighbors.

That was the easy part.

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April 29, 2013   Comments Off on Bike-a-Bee Beekeeper Expands Urban Farming Project

‘Urban Agriculture Policy Making’ amongst courses offered at Ryerson University

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Five courses are being offered online through Ryerson University’s Food Security Certificate

The courses start on May 4th, 2013

Two of those courses are particularly relevant for anyone interested in urban issues: Urban Food Security, and Urban Agriculture Policy Making. Instructors include leading experts in these topics, among them the coordinator of the Toronto Food Policy Council, the director of the Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security, and the manager of the Vancouver Food Strategy.

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April 29, 2013   Comments Off on ‘Urban Agriculture Policy Making’ amongst courses offered at Ryerson University

Dublin Urban Farm

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At the former Chocolate factory in Dublin city

By gabig58
ulcommunityroofgarden
April 28, 2013

Excerpt:

Started last year as a FundIt project, the Dublin Urban Farm occupies 400sqm’s of rooftop space at the former Chocolate factory in Dublin city centre. Its objective: researching and demonstrating intensive urban growing techniques. According to the project description on FundIt, the urban farm “will host events & community groups and provide hands-on workshops that teach responsible food production, carpentry, energy-saving systems, ecological cycles, and community self-sufficiency observing organic & pesticide free practices”.

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April 29, 2013   Comments Off on Dublin Urban Farm

Abbotsford, British Columbia reaps lessons from community gardens

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aboot
Community gardens, like this one on DeLair Road in Abbotsford, are thriving and there’s a waiting list for garden plots. Photograph by: John Van Putten.

Reimer Middle School plants a garden for the nearby community

By Christina Toth
The Abottsford Times
April 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Five years ago, there were maybe 10 from Langley to Agassiz, and now there are 28 and counting, but that’s not a surprise to community garden crusader Kayla Feenstra.

People crave to feel the soil, to be in the fresh air, and to fuss over tender green things. While growing one’s own grub is important, there is also a social component for those who yearn for green thumb fellowship, especially for those who are retired and have downsized into an apartment, said Feenstra.

“They don’t have land anymore but are itching to get their hands into the dirt,” she said.

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April 28, 2013   Comments Off on Abbotsford, British Columbia reaps lessons from community gardens

Okaloosa County, Florida elementary school teaching students urban agriculture

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newsooo
See news report about the garden here.

“I cooked collards for sixty 5th graders in my classroom and out of 60 kids, 60 ate them. And 57 loved them. Now that’s a miracle,” Sherri said.

By Laura Hussey
ABC WEAR
April 27 2013,

High prices in the produce aisle won’t be a problem for a group of Okaloosa County kids. They’re learning to grow their own food in a garden that was dedicated Friday. Look, we have tomatoes!

Matter of fact, looks like a bountiful crop at Edwins Elementary and the gardeners are all under 12 years old. Urban agriculture is a fast-growing movement.

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April 28, 2013   Comments Off on Okaloosa County, Florida elementary school teaching students urban agriculture

The Ancient Urban Food Gardens of Sana’a, Yemen

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sanaa1See larger image here. “What is remarkable, in the intensely urban setting of Sana‘a — a walled metropolis crowded with towers today, and the place where the Sabaeans built the 10-story Palace of Ghumdan some two millennia ago — is that not only the words survive: So, too, do the gardens.”

Miqshamah (plural: maqaashim), the garden where they grow their produce, all have an origin just as old but better preserved: qshmt, the Sabaic word for a vegetable plot.

By Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Saudi Aramco World
Jan/Feb 2006
Tim Mackintosh-Smith lives in an ancient tower house off the “Market of the Cows” in the old city of San’a, Yemen. He is the author of the Yemen: Travels in Dictionaryland (1997) and Yemen: The Unknown Arabia (2000). He is one of the foremost scholars of the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battutah. Mackintosh-Smith has published a trilogy recounting his journeys in “the footnotes” of Ibn Battutah; Travels with A Tangerine (2001), The Hall of a Thousand Columns (2005) and Landfalls (2010).

Excerpt:

The Italian writer Alberto Moravia once described Sana‘a as a “Venice of dust.” Since his visit, the streets have been paved with stone, and the dust is less in evidence. But the first impression is still one of sun-dried palazzos, of deep-cut streets flowing with people but devoid of moisture and vegetation. Amid this, it’s easy to overlook the quiet spaces in between. And that is the only way most of the city’s gardens can be seen at all: by overlooking them. Climb to the fifth floor of my house, and two gardens reveal themselves. To the east is Maryam’s, the miqshamah of Khudayr Mosque, a rectangle of green—mostly chives (bay’ah), the dominant garden crop—subdivided by little banks of raised earth. To the west, there is Bustan Na’man.

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April 27, 2013   Comments Off on The Ancient Urban Food Gardens of Sana’a, Yemen

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman believes that urban agriculture is about taking communities back

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joec

“Councilman Cimperman is one of the country’s leading policy formulators in regards to urban agriculture.”

Excerpt from Joe Cimperman’s website:

Urban agriculture in Cleveland began when a residential property was sold to a land developer who wanted to evict the low-income residents and raze the building. In order to develop the property, the developer needed to destroy a community garden located adjacent to the property.

Illegally, the developer evicted the community gardeners whose families had been gardening at that location since World War II. When researching this, Councilman Cimperman discovered that the City of Cleveland did not have a zoning code to protect community gardeners. By standing up for residents, Councilman Cimperman, initiated the urban garden zoning legislation – the first zoning classification for urban gardening in the United States.

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April 27, 2013   Comments Off on Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman believes that urban agriculture is about taking communities back

Twenty New Community Gardens To Be Created in New York

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Halsey St. Ralph & Howard Community Garden. By Hayward Prudhomme.

Parks Department’s GreenThumb Now Accepting Applications for New Gardens for Healthy Communities

Excerpt:

The Mayor’s Obesity Task Force was convened in January 2012 to combat the obesity epidemic, which is a leading cause of preventable deaths in NYC second only to tobacco. In May of 2012, the Mayor’s Obesity Task Force report was issued, identifying 26 initiatives to address obesity. Initiative #15 is to create new community garden sites via the Parks Department’s GreenThumb program. Community gardening is a way to improve access to healthy and fresh food, enhance residents’ health and quality of life and connect people to where their food comes from.

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April 26, 2013   Comments Off on Twenty New Community Gardens To Be Created in New York

Dr Viswanath K Narayan champions organic terrace gardening in Bangalore, India

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vish

South India receives ample sunshine that’s great for growing vegetables

By Elizabeth Soumya
PostNoon
March 11, 2013

Excerpt:

Oota in Kannada means food. Thota means garden. When I dropped in at a fair called ‘Oota from your thota’ or ‘grub from your garden’ when translated, I found that it was hugely popular. Shoppers were wandering around with concentrated efforts to stack up on supplies that are otherwise a tad difficult to come by. Some were ordering sacks of compost, many were picking up herbs from stalls that had signs such as ‘celery plants for `5’. A couple from Coorg, who had travelled to Bangalore for the fair, was selling soapnut (natural detergent), ginger and bananas grown on their farms. Somewhere behind plants of tomatoes and double beans was Vishwanath K Narayan, the man who, along with a team of food growers or urban gardeners, started organising the fair in 2011.

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April 26, 2013   Comments Off on Dr Viswanath K Narayan champions organic terrace gardening in Bangalore, India

Sixty urban farms and gardens featured in Cultivate Kansas City Tour

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2013 Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour anticipates 5,000 participants

Events and activities begin June 15, 2013.

Experience urban agriculture across the Kansas City Metro during this weeklong community event featuring acclaimed food writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman

Sixty urban farms and gardens across the Kansas City Metro are opening their fields to the public and showing off their bounty during the fifth biennial Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour. Events and activities begin June 15 with the Urban Grown Crop Mob volunteer event and culminate the following weekend with the self-guided tour. The official kick off will be hosted by the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library on Monday, June 17, at 6 p.m.

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April 26, 2013   Comments Off on Sixty urban farms and gardens featured in Cultivate Kansas City Tour

CBS News reports: Rooftop farms – the future of agriculture?

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Gotham Greens and Brooklyn Grange are featured

By Jessica Hartogs
Cbs News
April 22, 2013

Excerpt:

With the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations forecasting urban areas to account for 70 percent of the world population in 2050, perhaps building farms in cities isn’t such a crazy idea.

Urban farmers say this type of farming is much more productive for the environment, cutting out greenhouse gas emissions, transportation costs, while the food remains fresher and has a longer shelf-life, not to mention making use of space that would otherwise remain under-utilized.

The produce is grown in optimum conditions where temperature, air and hydration are all monitored.

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April 25, 2013   Comments Off on CBS News reports: Rooftop farms – the future of agriculture?

Vegetable Literacy

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veglit

Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes

By Deborah Madison
Ten Speed Press
Forthcoming March 13, 2012

In her latest cookbook, Deborah Madison, America’s leading authority on vegetarian cooking and author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, reveals the surprising relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs within the same botanical families, and how understanding these connections can help home cooks see everyday vegetables in new light.

For over three decades, Deborah Madison has been at the vanguard of the vegetarian cooking movement, authoring classic books on the subject and emboldening millions of readers to cook simple, elegant, plant-based food.

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April 25, 2013   Comments Off on Vegetable Literacy