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Posts from — June 2013

Bangalore, India is rediscovering its passion for gardening

talk2

Once called Garden City because of its home gardens, Bangalore is increasingly turning into a maze of apartments with no space for greenery. But simultaneously, urban farmers are emerging, growing vegetables on terraces, balconies and vacant sites. Some are even renting micro-farms in the suburbs to spend green-thumb weekends.

By Savie Karnel
Talk Magazine
June 27, 2013

Excerpt:

It was then that he came up with the idea of leasing three acres and renting out patches of it. He started Green Thumbs in April last year.

He has put up a banana plantation in one-and-a-half acres and has set aside the rest for renting out. “It is aimed to serve people living in apartments who have no backyards,” he says.

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June 30, 2013   Comments Off on Bangalore, India is rediscovering its passion for gardening

Boom of shared gardens in Rome

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Orti e giardini condivisi – Giardinieri Sovversivi Romani Fave Pecorino e Girasoli a Corviale – Foto Zappata Romana

Nolli’s Map of Rome, dating 1748, showed gardens that still existed from ancient time both within and outside the city walls.

By Zappata Romana
Press Release
June, 2013

Shared gardens in Rome had this year a 50% increase: from an initial number of 100 they passed to a record of 150, spread all over the city. It looks like the people of Rome surrounded by
abandoned public spaces and derelict so called “green urban areas”, tucked up their sleeves and brought back to life and use a good number of spaces. All this is recorded by the latest data
collected by Zappata Romana in its map on line. Zappata Romana’s web site is visited by more than 30 thousand people a year. The site in both Italian and English offers information as well as suggestions and a small handbook. Each recorded existing garden (from edible to shared gardens to guerrilla actions) has a short presentation, its location, a picture and whenever possible information is given for contacts.

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June 30, 2013   Comments Off on Boom of shared gardens in Rome

8 Landscape Architecture Firms Leading the Way in Urban Agriculture Design

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The Nelson Byrd Woltz firm designed the Urban Farm of Charlottesville in a low income area with hopes to create a sense of community, access to fresh food, and to help educate the citizens about nutrition.

“Food Projects in Urban Areas”

By Abbagail Taddei
Land 8
June 25, 2013

Excerpt:

There are few landscape architecture firms today that can say Urban Agriculture Design is on their shortlist of services offered. Most firms are capable of designing a productive space, of course, whether or not they can say they specialize in this area of design is another matter. Below are eight North American Landscape Architecture firms that are leading the way through their own advocacy and stellar Urban Agriculture projects.

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June 29, 2013   1 Comment

International Rescue Committee – Tukwila Namaste Community Garden in Washington State

burmarefu

These Bhutanese gardeners are either middle-aged or elderly women who have limited or no English.

International Rescue Committee
2013

Excerpt:

The Namaste Garden helps refugees set up a garden and grow produce for their own family or community. It allows those that are unable to work to have a meaningful activity and help support their families. It provides healthy, cheap, familiar produce for their families, food that in some instances is hard for them to buy at local grocery stores, and it’s a great opportunity to strengthen the connection to their new homes. It also encourages the families and individuals the IRC relocates to get out into the greater community and form lasting relationships with other community members, refugees and Tukwila natives alike.

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June 29, 2013   Comments Off on International Rescue Committee – Tukwila Namaste Community Garden in Washington State

Hastings Urban Farm is a half-acre farm located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Most of our produce is distributed to the community through our weekly farm-gate market

By Hives for Humanity
Video by PHS Community Services Society
The Pennsylvania Hotel
June 5, 2013
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Hastings Urban Farm (HUF) is a ½-acre farm in the heart of the Downtown Eastside. The farm provides opportunities for employment, for volunteering and for meaningful engagement in programming, to individuals struggling with poverty and addiction and other barriers to stability. Volunteers are are trained to grow vegetables and fruit for market, and are provided with fresh organic produce at discounted rates.

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June 28, 2013   Comments Off on Hastings Urban Farm is a half-acre farm located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Beatrix Potter: “We have a little garden”

mice1219

Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes

By Beatrix Potter
Author of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, etc.
Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd. 1922

We have a little garden,
A garden of our own,
And every day we water there
The seeds that we have sown.

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June 28, 2013   Comments Off on Beatrix Potter: “We have a little garden”

Urban horticulture in Africa and Asia, an efficient corner food supplier

afriperi
Complementary rural and UA vegetable flows.

Urban agriculture plays a number of environmental, social and economic functions, which still have to be recognised by the urban authorities.

By Paule Moustier
CIRAD, Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement, Montpellier, France
2007, Acta Horticulturae, nr 762:145-158

Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture is still the subject of intense debate as regards its viability, its efficiency in urban food supply relative to rural production, and the rationale for the state to protect it from urban development. The paper investigates the role of urban horticulture in the supply of African and Asian cities and the importance of maintaining proximity between farmers and consumers of vegetables. It draws on insights of spatial economics as regards physical proximity and institutional economics as regards relational proximity. It is based on market surveys in various cities of Africa and South-East Asia, especially on the origin of food products, and the relationships between buyers and purchasers.

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June 28, 2013   Comments Off on Urban horticulture in Africa and Asia, an efficient corner food supplier

For ‘refugees from urban farming craze’, a backyard to call home in Seattle

duckclucks
Ducks and Clucks, located in the backyard of owner, Tiffany Young. Photo by Credit Justin Steyer.

Ducks and Clucks takes in abused, injured, sick and discarded ducks and nurse them back to health

By Bellamy Pailthorp
KPLU

Excerpt:

“I originally rescued ducks, and tried to rescue ducks exclusively. And chickens just sort of started showing up, once the urban farming craze took off,” she said.

That was about five years ago. She quickly became the go-to person for shelters that aren’t well-equipped to handle fowl. Chickens stop laying a lot of eggs once they’re about 2 years old, Young said, but they live a lot longer.

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June 27, 2013   Comments Off on For ‘refugees from urban farming craze’, a backyard to call home in Seattle

Dallas-based Urban Farming Operation Seeks to Reduce, Reclaim and Repurpose its Way to Profitability

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Heirloom watermelon patch in repurposed buckets planted on a Dallas rooftop by Eat the Yard. Photo Credit: Eat the Yard.

The co-owners got a thorough education in farming from the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a nonprofit that helps get returning veterans funded and into farming.

By Abbie Stutzer
Seedstock
June 20, 2013

Excerpt:

Since Eat the Yard’s inception, Jeffers and Smith have worked to make the organization a complete, closed-loop system. “[We thought that] if we were going to sell to restaurants and were going to get into urban farming, we wanted to do it as off the grid and as green as we possibly could,” Jeffers said. To achieve a closed-loop system, the co-owners take compost and oil-waste from one of the Dallas restaurants with which Eat the Yard does business. Jeffers and Smith then break the materials down into compost, and grow more vegetables to sell back to the restaurant. Eventually, the duo wants to use the oil to make biodiesel to run the organization’s truck.

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June 27, 2013   Comments Off on Dallas-based Urban Farming Operation Seeks to Reduce, Reclaim and Repurpose its Way to Profitability

Missouri bill would create incentives to grow urban farming

holman
Missouri Sen. Jason Holsman, A Kansas Democrat, sponsored a bill that aims to turn abandoned properties into urban farms.

If the governor signs the legislation, Holsman hopes Kansas City can be at the forefront of a national movement toward more locally grown foods.

By Jason Hancock
Kansas City Star
June 24, 2013

Excerpt:

JEFFERSON CITY — There is no shortage of vacant lots and empty buildings in Kansas City’s urban core. For Jason Holsman, the abandoned properties look like fertile ground.

Over the last three years, the Democratic state senator from Kansas City has championed legislation that would put those properties back to use, although probably not in a way most city dwellers envision.

He wants them to become farms.

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June 26, 2013   Comments Off on Missouri bill would create incentives to grow urban farming

“All Plant Parts” camp in San Francisco

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A mosaic made by teachers, students and staff at Sanchez Elementary School.

Each scholarship for the week-long educational camp costs $300.

By Tay Wiles
Mission Local
April 9, 2013

Excerpt:

The camp takes place at Sanchez Elementary School in the Mission and is based on a curriculum created by Gill and Melanie Pepper of Education Outside, a local organization that partners with San Francisco schools to create urban gardens and environmental curricula. Over the course of this academic year, Melanie Pepper has worked with students at Sanchez to maintain a vegetable garden at the school.

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June 26, 2013   Comments Off on “All Plant Parts” camp in San Francisco

Documentary exploring what urban agriculture might mean for the future of food in Tokyo

Proposal: Growing City – A Documentary

By Nick Sugihara
Kickstarter web site

Growing City is a short documentary built from two of my great loves: growing food and Tokyo. There are a lot of problems facing modern agriculture both in Japan and across the world, and urban farming presents an interesting solution to some of the worst ones. What I’m looking for in this project is what exactly that solution might look like.

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June 26, 2013   Comments Off on Documentary exploring what urban agriculture might mean for the future of food in Tokyo

Flooded Bridgeland area of Calgary – a ruined community garden

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Two dogs are stopped by heavy flooding in the Bridgeland area.
Photograph by Barb Livingstone.

The Bow River that my dogs happily splash in near the zoo has become a muddy gush through people’s homes.

By Barb Livingstone
The Calgary Herald
June 22, 2013

Excerpts:

Cars were abandoned in the streets, water to the windows, and other people, already told to evacuate, were gathering. Others were there, watching, worried about how far the waters could rise.

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June 25, 2013   Comments Off on Flooded Bridgeland area of Calgary – a ruined community garden

Cities feeding people: an update on urban agriculture in equatorial Africa

africwom

Much ink can be wasted on policy recommendations and policy documents if the political will to make them work is missing.

By Diana Lee-Smith
Environment and Urbanization
2010 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). 483
Vol 22(2): 483–499. 2010
Diana Lee-Smith holds a Doctorate from Lund University, Sweden, and co-founded Mazingira Institute, an independent research body in Kenya where she has been involved in research, development and activist work on urban environment and development issues since 1978.

Abstract:

For several decades, a diverse literature has claimed that urban agriculture has the potential for hunger and poverty alleviation. This article reviews empirical data from equatorial Africa that touch on this assertion, updating the work on the subject published in the mid-1990s. Research, largely from East Africa but also including Cameroon in West Central Africa, appearing in several recent and currently emerging publications is assessed and compared. The article attempts to quantify the extent of urban agriculture in several cities based on the proportion of urban households involved, and assesses its statistical and qualitative relationship to urban food and nutrition security as well as its complex relationship to poverty.

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June 25, 2013   Comments Off on Cities feeding people: an update on urban agriculture in equatorial Africa

Cultivating Community in Raleigh, North Carolina

Cultivating Community from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

Video by Patrick Mustain

Excerpt from website:

Maurice Small is an urban strategist specializing in food access. In 2012 the Interfaith Food Shuttle, an organization working to fight hunger in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, invited him to Southeast Raleigh to start an urban agriculture program (Urban Ag). The Interfaith Food Shuttle secured funding for four acres of vacant land that Small is transforming into community gardens.

To help with his work, Small relies on volunteers and only two employees, Travis Taylor and Fred Jeter. Not only are Taylor and Jeter helping to build the community gardens, but the Urban Ag program has also secured 3/4 of an acre for the two of them to develop as well.

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June 24, 2013   Comments Off on Cultivating Community in Raleigh, North Carolina