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Posts from — October 2013

The New Hoosier Farmer: Is a City Girl in Indianapolis

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Amy Matthews. An early career in hunger-related social work awakened her to small-scale, sustainable agriculture.

Amy Matthews built her southside vegetable farm from the ground up—literally. And she’s taking urban farming in Indianapolis to another level.

By Evan West
Indianapolis Monthly
Oct 15, 2013

Excerpt:

Matthews started South Circle Farm in 2011, on just under 2 acres of abandoned city lots a couple of miles from the center of downtown Indianapolis. Making a fuss over a woman’s dirty hands might strike you as old-fashioned (Look, Pa, a lady farmer!). But it wasn’t so long ago that a woman taking the lead in an agricultural enterprise was relatively rare in this state. When the U.S. Census of Agriculture first counted farms with female operators in 1978, they made up only 3 percent of the total. At last count, in 2007, roughly one in every 10 farms in Indiana was manned by a woman.

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October 31, 2013   Comments Off on The New Hoosier Farmer: Is a City Girl in Indianapolis

Should urban parkland be used for farming?

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Communal garden in Hawthorn, Melbourne.

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud reckons we could use 30% of urban parkland for communal food production. Maybe, but it’s not necessary and the price we’d pay would be too high

By Alan Davies
Crikey
Oct 28, 2013

Excerpt:

If urban parkland were to be the sort of serious food source envisaged by Mr McCloud there’d inevitably be pressure for fencing, fertilisers, machines, trucks, and night-time operation. Maintaining the amenity of residents and providing reliable and economic water supply would add to costs and make it difficult to be competitive compared to non-urban locations.

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October 31, 2013   Comments Off on Should urban parkland be used for farming?

Transforming Milwaukee’s Vacant Lots Into A New Agricultural Economy

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Can one of America’s poorest cities pull off a resurgence through urban agriculture and local food?

By Michael J. Coren
Fastcoexist
Oct 18, 2013

Excerpt:

When the foreclosure crisis hit Milwaukee, the city was already reeling from the loss of 70,000 manufacturing jobs and a poverty rate that pushed 30 percent. Yet an opportunity emerged when the financial crisis met the local food movement.

As head of the Home Gr/own initiative, Tim McCollow, a city government program manager, is turning Milwaukee’s thousands of vacant lots and idled citizens into a source of food and jobs.

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October 31, 2013   Comments Off on Transforming Milwaukee’s Vacant Lots Into A New Agricultural Economy

Meet Navi Mumbai’s urban farmers

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Navi Mumbais urban farmers.

“It’s a great tool for communities to come together and be connected. It is almost spiritual.”

By Reza Noorani
Time of India
Oct 19, 2013

Excerpt:

Julius Rego, who runs a community farming program called Green Souls, says that in the past year that they have been active, he seen almost a thousand people come and volunteer at the St Jude’s Children home in Kharghar, where they have been allotted a farm by the Cancer Treatment Centre. “From college kids to housewives and working professionals, we have all kinds of people who come and learn,” says Julius, who has been working and learning as well as teaching organic farming techniques like compost farming and permaculture. “There is no need to spend on fertilisers and expensive composts. You can use your daily garbage in a way that it won’t stink and avail of the cheapest best compost you can ever find,” he adds.

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October 31, 2013   Comments Off on Meet Navi Mumbai’s urban farmers

Louis Albert de Broglie, the Gardener Prince

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Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, wearing a vest from his own Le Prince Jardinier line. Photo by Beatriz da Costa.

“Land is being treated as a dead body. We should be using our land to re-create local economy, and to give families a chance to eat healthy foods.”

By Anna Watson Carl
Wall Street Journal
Oct. 10, 2013

Excerpt:

Friends also thought he was crazy, toiling away in his gardener’s hat, and they nicknamed him “Le Prince Jardinier” ( The Gardener Prince ). The name stuck. Soon he created a line of handmade gardening tools, clothing and furniture emblazoned with his nickname and embellished with a trowel and a straw hat. Originally carried by high-end stores like Bergdorf Goodman, today the line is sold at La Bourdaisière’s gardening boutique and on the ground floor of Deyrolle.

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October 30, 2013   Comments Off on Louis Albert de Broglie, the Gardener Prince

Urban food sovereignty: Food, land and democracy in Kampala, Uganda

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Kitchen Garden Planted with Okra – Uganda.

This analysis is based upon a desk review of a wide range of materials including primary legal documents, field reports, and academic and non-academic literature as well as consultations with experts in the field of urban agriculture based at the University of Makerere.

By Christopher Yap
The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Dpu Working Paper No. 157
September 2013

In urban centres across East Africa, the combination of the Global Food Crisis and unprecedented rates of urbanisation has resulted in chronic food insecurity for the urban poor. Urban agriculture is widely practiced across the region, particularly by low-income groups. The purpose of this paper is to consider how one response to the prevailing, inequitable world food system, Food Sovereignty, might be realised through urban agriculture and the ways that the realities of urban agriculture might be used to strengthen the Food Sovereignty Framework as it is currently conceived.

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October 30, 2013   Comments Off on Urban food sovereignty: Food, land and democracy in Kampala, Uganda

First Lady’s White House Kitchen Garden Is Fully Restored

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Jefferson quote, with Fish peppers. Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan.

And as for the fox who made his own headlines during the shutdown? There’s still no word on his whereabouts.

By Eddie Gehman Kohan
Obama Foodorama
Oct 28, 2013

Excerpt:

Less than two weeks after the government reopened following the shutdown, Mrs. Obama’s world-famous plot, the symbol of her Let’s Move! campaign, has now recovered after a period of headline-making chaos in the crop rows.

The 1,500 square-foot garden now looks very different than during the shutdown, which lasted more than two weeks between Oct. 1-16.

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October 29, 2013   Comments Off on First Lady’s White House Kitchen Garden Is Fully Restored

Feeding Future Megacities With Floating Hydroponic Farms

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SeaLeaf is a modular hydroponic unit that can grow vegetables while floating like a buoy. Four former students at the Royal College of Art and the Imperial College, London, designed the new system of growing produce with this challenge in mind. Instead of relying on fields, it uses oceans.

A team of engineers has designed a hydroponic module that could shift urban farming from the rooftop to the sea.

By Sydney Brownstone
Fastcoexist
Oct 24, 2013

Excerpt:

Students at the Royal College of Art and the Imperial College, London, Roshan Sirohia, Jason Cheah, Sebastiaan Wolzak, and Idrees Rasouli, have created SeaLeaf, a modular hydroponic unit that can grow vegetables while floating like a buoy. The team has demonstrated in at least one test that it can grow seven to eight yields of bok choy a year, while conventional farming only produces two or three. Because 18 of today’s megacities currently sit on coastlines, the team envisions a network of climate-resilient SeaLeaf farms that can feed millions of people. In theory, the farms would only be as far as a kilometer from the nearest pier.

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October 29, 2013   Comments Off on Feeding Future Megacities With Floating Hydroponic Farms

Photographs from Detroit: Survival, renewal and urban farming

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Photo by Erica Yoon.

“I like to believe that we [are] holding this place together,” says Kadiri Sennefer, Detroit resident and a farm manager at D-Town Farm.

Denver Post
Oct 24, 2013

Excerpt:

Erica Yoon visited Detroit in October 2012 to investigate urban gardening initiatives for a project as a graduate student in photojournalism at Ohio University. The idea of urban farms popping up amid the chaos in Detroit seemed to be a great way to visualize how people were attempting to weather the economic storm there. She spent ten days meeting people, photographing and trying to parse what she’d read about Detroit from what she was hearing from people on the ground.

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October 29, 2013   Comments Off on Photographs from Detroit: Survival, renewal and urban farming

How Urban Agriculture Can Grow Grocers’ Revenue

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Grocers who integrate and grow their own produce on rooftop farms and at local distribution centres can benefit from multiple revenue streams, reducing costs by at least 37%, according to an Oliver Wyman analysis.

By Michael Lierow
Oliver Wyman Sustainability Blog
Oct 22, 2013

Excerpt:

Commercial-scale urban agriculture presents opportunities for grocers to benefit from multiple revenue streams, while hedging against uncertain climate futures and meeting consumer demand for locally grown, organic food.

With changing global climates, securing a stable supply chain of fresh produce has become more costly: Unpredictable seasonal rains pose threats to regular crop yields; and rising fossil fuel costs threaten to increase already large transportation costs.

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October 28, 2013   Comments Off on How Urban Agriculture Can Grow Grocers’ Revenue

The Future of Urban Agriculture in Oklahoma City

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Chef Kamala Gamble is owner and operator of Guilford Gardens located in northwest Oklahoma City. The two-acre urban farm is dedicated to producing high-quality local food. Photo by Tricia Dameron. See ‘Guilford Gardens and Kam’s Kookery – two local urban treasures’ here.

“The ordinance surprised me in that it specifically deals with compost. I’ll be honest that I hadn’t ever thought that compost would be a legal issue, that it wasn’t already permitted.”

Author is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and I am also an Engineer Intern (EI),
Urban Lake Effect
Oct 9, 2013

Excerpt:

When I left my job at The City of Oklahoma City, staff had made various forays into reviewing zoning regulations regarding urban agriculture. Euclidean zoning, by its nature, generally causes zoning practitioners to err on the side of caution – if something isn’t explicitly permitted, then it’s not allowed. At the very least, if something is questionable, it becomes bogged down in the red tape of government review. Therefore, when it comes to urban agriculture and its various elements, if it’s not explicitly permitted in OKC’s zoning code, it’s not allowed.

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October 28, 2013   Comments Off on The Future of Urban Agriculture in Oklahoma City

Designing Urban Agriculture: A Complete Guide to the Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Management of Edible Landscapes

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A comprehensive overview of edible landscapes—complete with more than 300 full-color photos and illustrations

By April Philips
Whiley Press
April 2013 – 288 pages
April Philips, RLA, FASLA, is founder and principal of April Philips Design Works, an award-winning Bay Area firm that specializes in landscape architecture and urban ecology. Her notable projects include Union Square, Santana Row, Peet’s Coffee and Tea Roasting Facility, 2001 Market Street, VF Outdoor Campus, and Oakland Memorial Park. Her recent work includes the incorporation of urban edibles and increasing habitat in the urban realm.

Designing Urban Agriculture is about the intersection of ecology, design, and community. Showcasing projects and designers from around the world who are forging new paths to the sustainable city through urban agriculture landscapes, it creates a dialogue on the ways to invite food back into the city and pave a path to healthier communities and environments.

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October 27, 2013   Comments Off on Designing Urban Agriculture: A Complete Guide to the Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Management of Edible Landscapes

Living lab tests urban food farming in Manchester

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Slideshow production by Mark Kinver and Steven Connor. See it here.

Vincent Walsh, founder and director of the Biospheric Foundation, explains the project

BBC
8 October 2013

An innovative “living lab” has been set up in a former warehouse in the heart of Greater Manchester to research the best ways for people in urban areas to feed themselves in the future.

The Biospheric Project in Salford asks: “With rising food prices, climate change and growing urban populations, how do we make sure we can continue to put food on our tables?”

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October 27, 2013   Comments Off on Living lab tests urban food farming in Manchester

Introducing Greater Yield, a Series On Urban Agriculture

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“I was drawn to urban agriculture because I felt there were too many young people being murdered in my hometown.”

By Andrew Cook.
MIT Co-Lab Radio
Oct 17, 2013

Excerpt:

I’m a believer in urban agriculture. But my belief isn’t rooted in an interest in gardening, biodiversity, or the environmental benefits of reduced food miles (though those are all great). I was drawn to urban agriculture because I felt there were too many young people being murdered in my hometown.

The causes of violence in American cities are of course numerous and complex. But in the debate over what causes violence and how to stop it, some common themes frequently appear: a lack of jobs, poor public education, disinvestment in inner city neighborhoods. Added up, these factors can be labeled more broadly as systemic racism and economic injustice. The point is that the problem of violence is so interwoven into our cities’ patterns that any solution to it must be similarly cross-cutting and holistic.

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October 26, 2013   Comments Off on Introducing Greater Yield, a Series On Urban Agriculture

A farmer’s journey from California to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

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Author Michael Abelman stands in his flourishing tomato greenhouse at his 120-acre Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island. Photo by Pay Burkette.

Michael Ableman, co-founder of Sole Foods urban farm, believes in the power of food and organic farming

By Randy Shore,
Vancouver Sun
October 18, 2013

Excerpt:

Farmer and author Michael Ableman left the citrus and avocado groves of California to farm Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; an unusual storyline, to say the least.

Of course, Ableman did a lot of living in the 40 years between joining a farm commune in California at the age of 18 and co-founding an urban farm in the heart of Vancouver. He also founded California’s Center for Urban Agriculture, penned three best-selling books and created the Centre for Arts, Ecology and Agriculture, which he runs from his home, Saltspring Island’s Foxglove Farm.

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October 26, 2013   Comments Off on A farmer’s journey from California to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside