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Posts from — July 2013

Daily Mail – London: ‘We’re the urban bumpkins!’

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I keep pigs in the heart of London: Mother-of-three Kelly Gray.

Four ‘urban bumpkins’ – women desperate to live like rural folk, even in the heart of the city.

By Diana Appleyard
Daily Mail
3 June 2012

Excerpt:

Last Christmas we made a momentous decision — to buy two piglets. Since then, our neighbours have become used to the sound of the pigs grunting, our chickens clucking and ducklings quacking. Our neighbours are very tolerant — and I keep them sweet by giving them fresh eggs. Like most city dwellers, we didn’t think it possible to keep farm animals in the heart of London, but then I heard about a lady called Olivia who sells micro pigs from her home nearby.

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July 31, 2013   Comments Off on Daily Mail – London: ‘We’re the urban bumpkins!’

Green Light for San Francisco’s New Urban Agriculture Program

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Treasure Island Job Corps Farm. Photo by Eli Zigas.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has given the green light for the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) to take the lead coordinating the city’s support of urban agriculture.

By Eli Zigas
Food Systems And Urban Agriculture Program Manager
SPUR
July 17, 2013

Excerpt:

With its approval, the board of supervisors is setting up an institutional structure for urban agriculture support. The on-the-ground work is now set to begin. The program’s first year will be crucial, and SPUR recommends prioritizing a number of projects to demonstrate early success. They include:

Clearly establishing the urban agriculture program as an initiative that works across agencies and assists gardeners and farmers of all types.

Operating as a “one-stop-shop” for urban agriculture that provides the public with a single point of entry when seeking assistance for projects on public or private land.

[Read more →]

July 31, 2013   Comments Off on Green Light for San Francisco’s New Urban Agriculture Program

New York City’s First Rooftop Farm – circa 1904

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Click on image for larger file. Ansonia Hotel rooftop, 2109 Broadway, New York City.

Erected between 1899 and 1904, it was the first air-conditioned hotel in New York.

Excerpt from ‘The Building of the Upper West Side’ by Steven Gaines

“The farm on the roof,” Weddie Stokes wrote years later, “included about 500 chicken, many ducks, about six goats and a small bear.” Every day, a bellhop delivered free fresh eggs to all the tenants, and any surplus was sold cheaply to the public in the basement arcade. Not much about this feature charmed the city fathers, however, and in 1907, the Department of Health shut down the farm in the sky. The animals went to Central Park and lived happily ever after.

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July 30, 2013   Comments Off on New York City’s First Rooftop Farm – circa 1904

Garden beautifies downtown Denver neighborhood while also producing food for residents

Mandil’s gift of space to develop a garden is much appreciated and well utilized by the surrounding neighborhood.

By Mitch Jelniker, Keely Walker
The Denver Channel
July 23, 2013

Excerpt:

“I pretty much stop by every day,” said Purkalitis.

It sounds like a lot of work, but this Denver Urban Garden, right in the heart of an historic Elati Street neighborhood, is a dream come true for Eric and two of his friends.

“I think it teaches people where their food comes from, and it is very therapeutic,” said volunteer Monty Lambie.

Lambie is another driving force behind this community garden’s success.

It is a garden that produces food.

[Read more →]

July 30, 2013   Comments Off on Garden beautifies downtown Denver neighborhood while also producing food for residents

Millions in seed funds have New Yorkers going back to the soil.

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Ben Flanner and Anastasia Cole Plakias of Brooklyn Grange work the soil at their rooftop farm in the Navy Yard. Photo by Buck Ennis.

Gotham farmers sprout cash crops

By Adrianne Pasquarelli
Crain’s New York Business
July 28, 2013
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

When Whole Foods debuts its long-awaited Brooklyn location in the Gowanus neighborhood this year, it will boast another first—a commercial-scale rooftop farm. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse facility, operated by local grower Gotham Greens, will produce the Butterhead lettuce, tomatoes and herbs that consumers will find downstairs in the vegetable aisle.

“Our climate-controlled greenhouse can grow 365 days of the year,” said Gotham Greens Chief Executive Viraj Puri, noting that the produce from the company’s existing Greenpoint, Brooklyn, facility sells at more than 30 local establishments—most of them supermarkets. “We can do the volume and consistency and reliability that big chains require.”

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July 29, 2013   Comments Off on Millions in seed funds have New Yorkers going back to the soil.

Phoenix Project to Turn Vacant Lots into Community Spaces

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Volunteers add compost to the lot’s soil. Photo: Keep Phoenix Beautiful/PHX Renews.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton came up with a plan to turn these empty areas into temporary community spaces

By Kathryn Sukalich
Earth 911
July 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Many urban areas face the dilemma of what to do with vacant lots, and Phoenix is no exception. According to a report from 2000 by the Brookings Institution, vacant lots make up 42.6 percent of land in the city.

To combat this problem, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton came up with a plan to turn these empty areas into temporary community spaces that include things like gardens, educational demonstrations and public art.

[Read more →]

July 29, 2013   Comments Off on Phoenix Project to Turn Vacant Lots into Community Spaces

Brooklyn Parking Lot Converted to Urban Farm

kaleface
Photo by samthebrand.

North Brooklyn Farms at Havemeyer Park

Excerpts:

After three months of construction Havemeyer Park opened to the public this past week. The former parking lot of the historic Domino Sugar Factory, on Kent Avenue between S. 3rd and S. 4th, along the Williamsburg waterfront has now been converted into an urban farm run by North Brooklyn Farms, Brooklyn’s first (legal) mountain bike park built by Dellavalle Designs, and a reading room and 8,000 square foot lawn built by Bobby Redd for all to enjoy.

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July 28, 2013   Comments Off on Brooklyn Parking Lot Converted to Urban Farm

Job Posting: Online Instructor: Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens

PotterLettuceBed
Illustration by Beatrice Potter.

St. Lawrence College is looking for an instructor to teach “CSSL 30: Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens”.

Employer: St. Lawrence College
Location of work: anywhere in Canada
Course: Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens
Send your resume and cover letter to (in one file) to
jpenner@sl.on.ca by Friday August 9th, 2012.

Are you passionate about interactive community learning? Adept in online learning environments? Engaged in and knowledgeable about urban agriculture and community gardens in Canada and worldwide?

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July 28, 2013   Comments Off on Job Posting: Online Instructor: Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens

Urban farming practices developed in France in 1850 still are used in cities today

hightun

The success of the gardeners of France, from the late 1600’s through the early 1900’s, established urban gardening practices that endure into the 21st century.

By Randy Bell
Michigan State University Extension
June 20, 2013

Excerpt:

Hoop houses (also known as high tunnels) are modernized versions of the cold frame devices used in France in the 19th century. Cornell University and the Regional Farm and Food project published, “High Tunnels,” a useful resource guide for hoop houses. It says, “High tunnels are inexpensive, passive solar structures designed to extend the growing season and intensify production. By protecting crops from potentially damaging weather conditions (frost, temperature fluctuations, precipitation, wind, or excess moisture that delays planting or cultivation), high tunnels also reduce risk and enhance the quality of the harvest.”

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July 27, 2013   Comments Off on Urban farming practices developed in France in 1850 still are used in cities today

Don’t just go green, grow green In Bangalore, India

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Proud gardener:Jayanagar resident Vijay Satish admires his handiwork. Photo by Niharika Hema Raj.

Many Bangaloreans are turning to gardening to beat stress and veggie prices

By Tania Singla
The Hindu
July 23, 2013

Excerpt:

Garden City (Bangalore) has always had gardening enthusiasts. But, as gracious homes with vast backyards make way for glass-and-chrome edifices, Bangaloreans are looking at more modest spaces to have a go at gardening. So today’s green thumbs have a go at it through vegetable and fruit patches they grow in their backyards, terraces and even balconies. Kitchen gardens don’t cost much and don’t require a lot of time too. Depending on the varieties you want to grow, just an initial investment of Rs. 2,000 can get to started.

Jayanagar resident Vijay Satish says his organic garden meets 90 per cent of his kitchen needs.

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July 27, 2013   Comments Off on Don’t just go green, grow green In Bangalore, India

Metroscape: Urban Agriculture in Portlandia

portlandia

32 page magazine all about urban agriculture

Publisher: Sheila Martin
Editor-in-Chief: Meg Merrick
Editor: Tracy Dillon
Metroscape – Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies
Sept 2013

Excerpt from the Publisher’s Greeting:

Closely linked to the Portland region’s ethos of environmental consciousness, sustainability, and self-sufficiency, the relatively recent influx of chickens, goats, honey bees, and other farm animals into the backyards of many Portland metro neighborhoods is part of what makes Portland, Portland. As Kurt Spickerman honeybees, and other farm animals into the backyards of many Portland metro reports, urban animals are not only providing locally sourced food options, but as companions, educators, and community builders, these farm-to-city transplants are increasingly shaping the metro region’s identity and sense of place.

Nicole Iroz-Elardo sets the national stage in her article, “Poultry and the Press,” by demonstrating the rapidly rising interest in urban chickens across the country and points out that not everyone is in love with the reality of egg-layers in their neighborhoods.

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July 26, 2013   Comments Off on Metroscape: Urban Agriculture in Portlandia

Bladensburg, Maryland, Gets First Farm On Grounds Of Low-Income Apartments

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Photo by Jacob Fenston.

“On three acres, you could probably raise enough food for — and this is an estimate — most of the people in this apartment complex.”

By Jacob Fenston
Wamu
July 19, 2013

Excerpt:

Bladensburg mayor Walter James is a big supporter of the farm. He says right now, there just isn’t a lot of healthy food available in his town. What there are a lot of, he says, are fast food options and convenience stores.

“We want to kind of change that and bring more healthy things to the community,” he says.

So, for years, he’s wanted to start an urban farm in town. One day, he was out riding his bike, and came pedaling up the hill to Autumn Woods.

“They had this open space, and I was like, you know, that would be a good location.”

[Read more →]

July 26, 2013   Comments Off on Bladensburg, Maryland, Gets First Farm On Grounds Of Low-Income Apartments

Roll Out ‘Nourishmat’ Food Gardens

19 herb/vegetable types, built-in irrigation, 82 seedballs, weed barrier, planting guide

By Phil & John – Earth Starter
Kickstarter
July 2013
(Must See. Mike)

Excerpts:

The Nourishmat and Herbmat gardens are reusable and last around 5 year. Users can reorder seedball refills after harvesting ($1.99-$3.79 depending on seedball number) and a full-season 82 seedball refill for $44.95. A seedball will last two years if kept in a dark, dry place.

Built-in Irrigation (optional)
Nourishmat gardens come with or without irrigation. Link up a hose to the built-in irrigation and turn on the water. You can use a hose timer or manually turn the hose on for 10-15 minutes per day depending on weather conditions making sure that all of the seedballs get watered.

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July 25, 2013   Comments Off on Roll Out ‘Nourishmat’ Food Gardens

Leasing Abandoned City Lots in Saint Paul and Minneapolis

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Farmers planting tomatoes on one of Stone’s Throw Urban Farm’s plots. Photo Credit: Stone’s Throw Urban Farm.

“We’re working towards making a model of our farm where we have a rural arm and an urban arm.” – Stone’s Throw Urban Farm

By Trish Popovitch
Seedstock
July 10, 2013

Excerpt:

In finding the lots to support their urban farming enterprise, the team sought to combat one of the main downfalls to starting an urban farm business: the high cost of land within the city limits. Hanson explains that rather than paying exorbitant rents for prime lots, the farmers drive around the city searching for empty space.

“Often times we see vacant lots in our neighborhood especially, and here in Ramsey County we have a tax look up system and you can look up a property’s tax information online and then find the owner. Often it has their contact information listed, or you can find it in the White Pages and that’s kind of how we come by a lot of lots,” shares Hanson.

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July 25, 2013   Comments Off on Leasing Abandoned City Lots in Saint Paul and Minneapolis

India: Assam government to promote roof-top vegetable gardening in urban areas

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Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said that it is the first time that the state government has taken such a scheme.

Post.jagran.com/
18 Jul 2013

Guwahati: In a bid to increase production of fresh vegetables, the Assam government has taken an initiative to promote roof-top vegetable gardening for urban residents. Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said that it is the first time that the state government has taken such a scheme.

The government will offer some packages to the selected urban citizens of Guwahati and Jorhat initially and later extend it to other urban areas of the state, he said. The state Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing has been entrusted to implement this programme.

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July 24, 2013   Comments Off on India: Assam government to promote roof-top vegetable gardening in urban areas