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Posts from — August 2013

Bangkok, Thailand: Edible algae—coming to a rooftop near you?

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A worker checks a spirulina farm on the top of a hotel in Bangkok on June 24, 2013.

The empty space on top of Bangkok’s many skyscrapers provide suitable growing conditions for spirulina as the constant high temperatures and sunlight are ideal breeding conditions.

By William Davies
Phys Org
Aug 27, 2013

Excerpt:

On a hotel rooftop in Bangkok, dozens of barrels of green liquid bubble under the sun—the latest innovation in urban farming.

Proponents of the edible algae known as spirulina say it could help provide a sustainable source of protein as an alternative to meat.

Three times a week, Patsakorn Thaveeuchukorn harvests the green algae in the barrels.

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August 31, 2013   Comments Off on Bangkok, Thailand: Edible algae—coming to a rooftop near you?

North St. Louis Urban Farming Will Continue, Doesn’t Harbor Criminals


See the video news story here.

Neighbors were concerned about getting mugged by ne’er-do-wells hiding in the corn stalks.

By Nancy Stiles
Riverfront Times
Aug. 26 2013

Excerpt:

As part of developer Paul McKee’s embattled north city regeneration plan, cornfields have popped up near St. Louis Place Park in vacant lots between St. Louis and Cass Avenues. It’s not the first urban farm around town, and hopefully it won’t be the last. A local group, Family Roots, is leasing 60 acres of space from McKee’s company. Sounds great, right? Apparently some local busybodies are worried the corn might provide hiding places for criminals. Because if anything is linked to a rise in crime, it’s totally corn.

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August 31, 2013   Comments Off on North St. Louis Urban Farming Will Continue, Doesn’t Harbor Criminals

The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook

eatabug

Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin [Paperback]

By David George Gordon
Ten Speed Press
2nd edition (July 16 2013)
136 pages

With its stylish new package, updated information on the health and environmental benefits of insect eating, and breed-your-own instructions, this new edition of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook is the go-to resource for anyone interested in becoming an entomological epicure.

For many Americans, eating a lowly insect is something you’d only do on a dare. But with naturalist and noted bug chef David George Gordon, bug-eating is fun, exciting, and downright delicious!

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August 30, 2013   Comments Off on The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook

No urban farming allowed in Muskegon, Michigan

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Pygmy goat kid. Photo by Anna EldenBrady.

A Muskegon Police officer showed up at their door and handed Joshua a ticket for the goats that they keep in the yard behind their house

By John Amrhein
Natural News
August 11, 2013

Excerpt:

The story begins 3 years ago when Joshua and Anna decided to move to the city of Muskegon (38,000 residents) because they thought it would be friendly to urban farming. They bought a house at a tax sale and have since been able to acquire several other vacant city lots and are working to establish soil fertility and grow more vegetables every year. After a recent decision to move a local farmers market out of their neighborhood and into downtown Muskegon, Joshua and Anna decided it was time to set up a farm market, to give residents of their neighborhood more options for purchasing fresh local food.

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August 30, 2013   Comments Off on No urban farming allowed in Muskegon, Michigan

Urban Agriculture and Ethiopian Jews


French news report showing the Kalisher Community Garden.

The Kalisher garden enables the Ethiopian community to dig deep, to vitalize and enrich the landscape, to stay connected with their past culture, and to look forward to a bright future in their new homeland.

By Doni Kaye
Forward
Aug 28, 2013

Excerpt:

This scene encapsulates a typical gardening session at the Kalisher Community Garden located near one of Beer Sheba’s absorption centers designated for families of immigrants from Ethiopia. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work in urban agriculture spaces located near several centers of Israel’s recent immigrant communities, many from Ethiopia. During this time, I have seen how these urban gardens encourage intermingling between community members; yield produce which offers families with an additional source of income; and affords residents with supplemental food options.

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August 29, 2013   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture and Ethiopian Jews

India’s city farmers celebrate World Kitchen Gardeners’ Day

hanggarden
In the name of health many youngsters in Bangalore are turning to kitchen gardening.

As land prices went up in the city, people built up on every inch available, leaving no space for a garden; apartments took over.

By Bhumika K.
The Hindi
Aug. 24, 2013

Excerpt:

Manikandan, a 33-year-old software engineer has just quit his job to become a full-time urban agriculturist. He doesn’t have a garden; he grows veggies in pots and drums on his terrace! Many home gardening enthusiasts in Bangalore religiously follow his blog where he’s known only as ‘Geekgardener’. He never buys tomatoes for his rasam. His terrace garden provides it. And once, when he had a bumper crop of 48 kg of cucumber, he gave them to friends, family, and then sold what was left to a nearby supermarket!

[Read more →]

August 29, 2013   Comments Off on India’s city farmers celebrate World Kitchen Gardeners’ Day

Bangalore’s active roof farmers

vijay
Vijay Satish’s kitchen uses the produce from his garden. Photographs by Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint.

With a blossoming kitchen gardeners’ club, many in the original garden city are growing what they eat

By Pavitra Jayaraman
Live Mint
Aug. 24 2013

Excerpt:

Vijay Satish’s day begins on his rooftop terrace at 6am. “I think of it as my meditation time. That’s the kind of peace tending to my kitchen garden gives me,” he says. His 1,000 sq. ft terrace is lined with pots. Satish points out 13 types of tomatoes (only a third of the varieties one can grow, we are told), zucchini, bhut jolokia chillies and yellow-coloured brinjal. “You can grow almost anything from across the world in Bangalore. It’s the best place to be a gardener,” says Satish.

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August 28, 2013   Comments Off on Bangalore’s active roof farmers

Vancouver Urban Farming Society utilizes community surveyors to conduct research

urfrmvan

Goal: To learn about people’s perceptions and experiences with urban farming.

Excerpts from Vancouver Urban Farming Society project:

Community Surveyor Tasks:

• Attend a mandatory orientation;
• Engage with a minimum of 10 members of the public from their neighbourhood to complete the Urban Farming Public Perceptions community survey;
• Work with research coordinators to give back survey information in a timely manner.

A $100 honorarium will be given to all community surveyors who successfully complete the minimum quota of surveys for their neighbourhood.

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August 28, 2013   Comments Off on Vancouver Urban Farming Society utilizes community surveyors to conduct research

Vancouver cops go beyond the kale of duty on rooftop garden

kalecop
Vancouver Police rooftop vegetable garden at VPD headquarters in Vancouver, B.C. Photo by Carmine Marinelli, 24 Hours.

“They find some kind of creative outlet when they need a break from the daily grind.”

By David P. Ball
24 hours Vancouver
August 21, 2013

Excerpt:

Vancouver police have opened a new rooftop vegetable garden to help officers reduce stress.

And for the coordinator of the force’s crisis negotiation team, tending the crop doesn’t just put greens on her dinner table.

“My job can be high stress at times,” said Const. Cinda Michael. “It’s wonderful to be able to take a few minutes out of my day, pull some weeds, water some plants and decompress, and get back to work — and have fresh vegetables to take home in the evening for dinner.”

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August 27, 2013   Comments Off on Vancouver cops go beyond the kale of duty on rooftop garden

Britain’s ‘Gardening against the Odds’ Awards

barrack
Positive growth: Barracks Lane Community Garden, Oxford.

Green thumbs are making their mark all across the country

By Lindsay Swan
The Telegraph
21 Aug 2013

Excerpt:

By 2003, the 24 derelict council garages behind Annie Davy’s home in the Cowley area of Oxford had long since ceased to house cars and were used for what Annie describes as “dark play”: drug taking, prostitution and hiding stolen goods. The site was full of burnt-out cars, asbestos and rubbish. A man had died there of a drug overdose.

Members of the community started to campaign for the eyesore to be cleaned up, and the idea of the Barracks Lane Community Garden took root.

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August 27, 2013   Comments Off on Britain’s ‘Gardening against the Odds’ Awards

India’s Vani Murthy – ‘Once you compost, you HAVE to garden!’

vani
Vani Murthy.

“We care for a cleaner and greener Bangalore.”

Kavya Chandra
The Alternative
Aug 21, 2013

Excerpt:

Her airy terrace is a clear giveaway of Vani Murthy’s interests. The space is filled with planting beds and pots. A stout snake gourd hangs over some basil plants. Every conceivable local vegetable, herb and fruit seems to be flourishing here – beans, chillies, cauliflowers, gourds, tomatoes. Four composting solutions are in operation, with another one on trial. Many people come to visit her terrace, hoping to start their own gardens or composting efforts. Her visitors are usually treated to a hot cup of coffee, and plenty of encouraging words about the feasibility of composting and cultivating a vegetable garden.

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August 26, 2013   Comments Off on India’s Vani Murthy – ‘Once you compost, you HAVE to garden!’

Why it’s a “no brainer” that community gardens should be built into urban design

nuts4

The Potential Weight Control Benefits of Community Gardening

By Melissa Sweet
Crikey
Aug. 18, 2013

Excerpt:

People who participate in community gardening are more likely to be in a healthy weight range than people from comparable backgrounds who are not involved with community gardens, a study in the US has found.

It’s worth noting though that the design of the study means it is capable only of showing an association between community gardening and having a healthy weight. It does not prove cause and effect, and one possibility is that the findings simply reflect that people who engage with community gardening are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle anyway.

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August 26, 2013   Comments Off on Why it’s a “no brainer” that community gardens should be built into urban design

Snoop Dog’s (Lion’s) Mind Gardens in Jamaica and the USA

“My dream is to plant Mind Gardens around the whole globe.”

Excerpts from his website:

Launched in Kingston, Jamaica in late 2012, Mind Gardens is Snoop Lion’s non-profit initiative. After spending time in Jamaica to record his reggae album, Reincarnated, Snoop was inspired to give back to the community. He began by establishing sustainable, organic community gardens that would provide fresh fruits and vegetables to school-aged children in the underserved communities of Trench Town and Tivoli Gardens. Through Mind Gardens, he brings underserved communities the proper tools and resources to cultivate their own nutritional alternatives healthy bodies, AND healthy minds. With two gardens underway in Jamaica, Snoop Lion has decided to spread his Mind Garden initiative to the United States.

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August 25, 2013   Comments Off on Snoop Dog’s (Lion’s) Mind Gardens in Jamaica and the USA

Urban farming start-up grows deeper roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan

mich6
Uptown Farm in Eastown is growing more than organic greens. Photo Courtesy Uptown Farm. See larger file by clicking image.

Eastown entrepreneur has turned an experiment into a growing venture.

By David Czurak
GRBJ
August 16, 2013

Excerpt:

“I was inspired by the chemical-free produce growing where a vacant lot once stood,” said Mike Hughes, owner of Doorganics.

Hughes was so inspired that he decided to get more involved in the urban-farming movement. He now sponsors a 5,000-square-foot urban farm on a lot behind his business at Fuller Avenue and Michigan Street NE.

“I took a look at the land around my business and knew we could play a larger role,” said Hughes.

[Read more →]

August 25, 2013   Comments Off on Urban farming start-up grows deeper roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan

A renter in Boston struggles to make a garden her own

bostonrent

There are eight community gardens in Somerville, which is where I live, and it seems like someone has to die before a new plot opens up.

By Nicole Cammorata
Boston Globe
Aug. 14, 2013

Excerpt:

Being a renter-gardener isn’t easy, especially not for someone who spends her free time daydreaming about the grandeur of farming and the romance of living off the land. This land is not my own, after all. I’ve been living on the top floor of a triple-decker for three years now, and have been forced to settle into a kind of peaceful acceptance of my limitations. There are eight community gardens in Somerville, which is where I live, and it seems like someone has to die before a new plot opens up. (I am in line behind about 50 other people for a spot.)

There’s a swath of grass next to our house where I’ve built a raised bed. I made sure to check that I was allowed to garden on this space before building anything, of course. But when my third and fourth calls to the landlord went unanswered, I decided to go rogue, figuring that the lack of a “no” was permission enough. At the time, I had been reading Novella Carpenter’s excellent memoir about urban farming, called “Farm City,” and was inspired by her creative agricultural pursuits in Oakland.

[Read more →]

August 25, 2013   Comments Off on A renter in Boston struggles to make a garden her own