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Posts from — September 2013

President Obama’s New Puppy, ‘Sunny’, Romps in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden

sunnyobam

“There have been a couple accidents,” President Obama admitted to CNN, saying Sunny has relieved herself on the floor of the historic mansion.

Photos/Story by Eddie Gehman Kohan
Obama Foodorama
Sept 25, 2013

Excerpt:

Washington, DC – A little more than a month after arriving at the White House to become the newest Obama, Sunny, the First Family’s Portuguese Water Dog puppy, is fully at home. Early on Tuesday morning I was photographing First Lady Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn when the very energetic 15-month-old took a solo romp through the laden crop rows. (Above, Sunny dashed around the garden beds before leaping in)

Sunny’s master and mistress were in New York City rubbing elbows with world leaders at the United Nations as the pup, clad in a red and white striped collar, enjoyed an off-leash dawn run. Youthful hijinks were on full display: Sunny had gotten away from the aide assigned to walking duty, who was nowhere to be seen.

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September 29, 2013   Comments Off on President Obama’s New Puppy, ‘Sunny’, Romps in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative looking for $15,000


See Michigan Urban Farming project above in this Fox 2 News Headline.

Gardens For Good contest by Nature’s Path

Excerpt from Michigan Urban Farming blog:

As many documentaries, news reports, and personal experience shows, there are few big name grocery stores in Detroit. Recently, Whole Foods Markets opened in Detroit and has become a wonderful partner for MUFI; however, there is still a need for greater community access to fresh produce at very affordable prices. MUFI works to make this possible not only through a community garden, but volunteers can also learn how to do the same work at their own homes, bringing fresh produce to their backyard,

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September 29, 2013   Comments Off on The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative looking for $15,000

Chicago Botanic Garden has the largest soil-based rooftop farm in the Midwest – 20,000 square feet

chigmidw
Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago. Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The plan is to expand the farm to other sections of the McCormick Center roof for a total of 3 acres of cultivation

By Eliza Barclay
NPR
September 25

Excerpt:

Late this summer, Chicago turned a green roof into its first major rooftop farm. At 20,000 square feet, it’s the largest soil-based rooftop farm in the Midwest, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden, which maintains the farm through its Windy City Harvest program.

“We took a space that was already a productive green roof, and we said, ‘Why not take that one step further and grow vegetables on it?’ ” says Angie Mason, director of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture programs. That required adding lots of soil amendment, or nutrients, to the rocky medium already up there.

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September 29, 2013   Comments Off on Chicago Botanic Garden has the largest soil-based rooftop farm in the Midwest – 20,000 square feet

The Development of a School Farm Program in Seoul, Korea

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By Jin, Jang · Choong-Hyeon, Oh
Dongguk University Ecosystem Service Institute

Excerpt:

The city of Seoul has been promoting School gardening – cooperating with both Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education(since 2012) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation(since 2013)

This effort was carried out based on a plan to support and develop the Urban Agriculture Act (The Duty of State and Local Government) and The Seoul Plan for Agriculture and School Gardening.

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September 29, 2013   Comments Off on The Development of a School Farm Program in Seoul, Korea

Bette Midler Welcomes New Community Garden to Gowanus in New York

bettehands
Bette Midler Opens Renovated Community Garden.

Bette Midler helped open a newly renovated garden named for Brooklyn Dodgers great Gil Hodges, just blocks from the infamous Gowanus Canal.

By Leslie Albrecht
DNA Info
September 26, 2013

Excerpt:

“Here we are, so close to the notorious stinking Gowanus Canal, showing the world what can happen when like-minded people work together,” a beaming Midler said at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting. “This garden is an old-fashioned place to rest, to daydream, to commune with each other.”

Midler said she hoped locals would use the garden for “happy occasions” like weddings and barbecues.

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September 28, 2013   Comments Off on Bette Midler Welcomes New Community Garden to Gowanus in New York

Some films on urban and peri-urban agriculture

From the mini film festival in Stuttgart-Hohenheim

Excerpts:

Urban agriculture, Part I: Introduction to urban agriculture; Part II: From awareness to action, ETC -RUAF, 2001, 44:29 min.
This video was produced to facilitate a greater understanding of urban agriculture among policymakers, urban planners, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), sectoral organisations and other people who can contribute to the integration of urban agriculture into urban policies, plans and development programmes.

Small urban producers organisations: key partners for sustainable development, FAO / ETC / IPES / IDRC (produced by World Report Foundation), 2006, 13:30 min.
This video advocates and analyses the specific support to be provided to (peri-)urban farmer organisations by governments, civil society organisations and international organisations, respectively. It draws on four case studies from Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Dakar (Senegal), Hyderabad (India) and Rosario (Argentina).

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September 28, 2013   Comments Off on Some films on urban and peri-urban agriculture

McGill Students Win $1Million to Farm Insects


The Desautels team includes Mohammed Ashour, Zev Thompson, Shobhita Soor, Gabriel Mott and Jesse Pearlstein.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that insects are eaten seasonally by 2.5 billion people worldwide.

CTV Montreal
September 23, 2013

Excerpt:

A group of McGill students has been awarded $1 million to help create a company that will farm insects.

The Hult Prize was awarded to McGill University’s Aspire team by former president Bill Clinton Monday evening at an event in New York City.

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September 27, 2013   Comments Off on McGill Students Win $1Million to Farm Insects

Seed Tabs in your favourite cafes

seedtab

We created small packets of seeds called SeedTabs to make buying and planting seeds as easy as drinking coffee.

Excerpts from SeedTab website:

Over a year ago we started handing out small packets of seeds to friends and family. The drug like bags full of seeds received confused looks that quickly faded into smiles as understanding took over. The response was consistent, people are excited to plant, but aren’t willing to go out of their way to find the needed items. We decided to eliminate this hurtle by developing SeedTabs and offering them in the high traffic locations of our communities.

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September 27, 2013   Comments Off on Seed Tabs in your favourite cafes

TomTato: ‘mutant’ plant that grows tomatoes and potatoes unleashed


The TomTato produces more than 500 cherry tomatoes and a generous crop of potatoes.

A bizarre plant which produces both tomatoes and potatoes, providing a ‘veg plot in a pot’, has been launched in the UK.

By Leah Hyslop
The Telegraph
25 Sep 2013

Excerpt:

It sounds like something from a science fiction film, but a plant which produces both potatoes and tomatoes has been launched in the UK.

The ‘TomTato’ can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes above ground, while beneath the soil it produces white potatoes that are suitable for boiling, roasting or turning into chips.

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September 26, 2013   Comments Off on TomTato: ‘mutant’ plant that grows tomatoes and potatoes unleashed

Vancouver Company Produces Compost Tea

tea1Combining ingredients. Photo by Michael Levenston.

MicroBug – BioExtracts for improved plant health

By Tom McConkey
MicroBug
Sept 25, 2013

Compost Tea is not a new idea but one that has evolved. Our product, Microbug , is a liquid form of compost, with concentrated beneficial microbes plus organic plant growth promoting substances. Quality is key. All of inputs, as well as the finished product, are lab tested. It also has a shelf life of up to 14 days. This is a game changer. Now a “living product can be delivered and used before its best before date. With our attention to quality control we can ensure the effectiveness of our product.

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September 26, 2013   Comments Off on Vancouver Company Produces Compost Tea

India’s Farm University Holds Seminar on Rooftop Gardening

india sem

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, celebrates its Golden Jubilee year with Urban Horticulture and Organic Roof Top Gardening Seminar – Oct 27, 28, 2013

Excerpt from brochure:

Urban Agriculture (Krishi) necessarily connoting the
pursuit of horticulture is now the new buzz in the life of people
of the metropolises. Gardening has always served as a balm for
these sore souls. The realm of kitchen garden – growing one’s
own food including medicine around homes and in the new
acres’ bought nearer their city homes is leading to revolutions
of sort.

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September 25, 2013   Comments Off on India’s Farm University Holds Seminar on Rooftop Gardening

Kansas City harvests a bumper crop of gardens

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George Batts (left) picked peppers with James Antwine at Kansas City Community Gardens across from Swope Park. Batts, 92, grows corn, tomatoes, peppers and okra in his garden. Photo by David Eulitt | The Kansas City Star.

As 92-year-old George Batts said while he filled big bags to overflowing, nothing can compare with a tomato fresh off the vine.

By Lynn Horsley
The Kansas City Star
September 13

Excerpt:

As Ben Sharda, director of Kansas City Community Gardens, surveys this month’s bountiful harvest at the Swope Park headquarters garden, he can’t help but celebrate a different bumper crop.

He is witnessing the blossoming of community gardens themselves throughout the metro area. From schools to churches to neighborhood groups to high-powered corporations, everyone is getting into the act.

The organization’s community garden partnerships have jumped from 125 three years ago to 230 this year, and the schoolyard gardens from 88 to 140 over that same period. Most are in Kansas City, but dozens are in Wyandotte and Johnson counties and other suburbs.

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September 25, 2013   Comments Off on Kansas City harvests a bumper crop of gardens

Kansas Town Saves School with Courses in Reading, Writing and Farming

kidsch3

Whether they’re calculating how much hay is needed per cow, measuring boards for wishing wells being built by fourth-graders for a fundraiser, or counting change from the sale of eggs and vegetables, students learn the practical side of math.

By Marti Attoun
American Profile
August 27, 2013

Excerpt:

Morning farm chores, like gathering eggs and feeding sheep, are part of the classwork at Walton Rural Life Center in Walton, Kansas, the nation’s first elementary agriculture charter school, where kindergarteners through fourth-graders learn math, reading, science and responsibility as they gather and sell eggs, grow vegetables and tend farm animals.

The rural school has a waiting list for kindergarten enrollees through 2018, but that wasn’t the case in 2006 when Newton School District officials considered closing Walton Elementary because enrollment had declined to 100 students.

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September 25, 2013   Comments Off on Kansas Town Saves School with Courses in Reading, Writing and Farming

Urban Agriculture in Chicago – 2013 Summer Academy Solutions

uragchicg

The 2013 Chicago Winner is ‘Subsidizing Youth Employment on Chicago’s Urban Farms’

Roosevelt Institute
Campus Network
2013

Excerpt:

Despite a significant rise in number of urban farms and ChicagoFarmWorks, a work-training farm, there is significant work ahead in meeting Chicago’s healthy food needs, particularly in low-income and marginalized communities. Over 400,000 residents live in food deserts, and since 1980 obesity in Chicago has doubled among adults and tripled among children. Our Fellows strove to maximize the momentum behind the urban agriculture movement in Chicago by designing solutions that invest younger generations in healthier communities.

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September 24, 2013   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in Chicago – 2013 Summer Academy Solutions

EPA Provides Grant for Urban Gardening and Green Infrastructure Program in Newark, New Jersey

booker
Mayor Cory Booker Visits ICC Community Gardens at Cortland Street

Grant to educate residents on approaches to soil restoration, strategies to reduce toxic substances and ways to foster sustainable urban gardening and green infrastructure

Contact John Martin
EPA
Release Date: 09/11/2013

Excerpt:

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $30,000 to the Ironbound Community Corporation to provide community residents in the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey the skills needed to create urban gardens in vacant city lots. The grant was awarded under the EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which supports communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues.

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September 24, 2013   Comments Off on EPA Provides Grant for Urban Gardening and Green Infrastructure Program in Newark, New Jersey