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Posts from — November 2013

Wall Street Journal Magazine 2013 Humanitarian Innovator: Alice Waters Makes the World a More Edible Place

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Birth Of A Legend. Waters’s meal card from the Sorbonne, 1965 Courtesy of the office of Alice Waters.

A pioneer of farm-to-table cuisine and founder of the legendary Chez Panisse changed the way Americans think about food

By Howie Kahn
Wall Street Journal
Nov. 6, 2013

Excerpt:

Waters, now 69, first moved to Berkeley as a 20-year-old transfer student in 1964. She had grown up in Chatham, New Jersey, eating tomatoes from the victory garden her parents planted after World War II. “I certainly fell in love with taste first,” she says. Campus politics and protests, however, led Waters to ultimately believe that a connection could and did exist between activism and food. While attending a massive Free Speech Movement rally in Berkeley, Waters listened to words that would change her life. “America is becoming ever more the utopia of sterilized, automated contentment,” said Mario Savio, one of the movement’s charismatic leaders. Once Waters heard that, she felt the urgency to contest that false utopia and replace it with something far more vital.

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November 30, 2013   Comments Off on Wall Street Journal Magazine 2013 Humanitarian Innovator: Alice Waters Makes the World a More Edible Place

The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden

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“Every time I see them measuring the vegetable beds for their math class, or harvesting ancient grains out in the garden for a history class, or stealing a taste of a ripe mulberry, I am reminded that there is nothing more transformational than the experience of being in nature.”

By Alice Waters
Clarkson Potter Publisher
Oct 29, 2013
448 Pages

Excerpt:

I started my kitchen garden because I was longing for mesclun, that very particular French salad made of distinctive sweet and bitter greens and herbs. I had been daunted by the thought of growing food, but then, driven by desire for that flavour from Nice, I turned my backyard into a salad garden for the restaurant. My success surprised and delighted me. I was so excited to have my yard filled with lettuces I loved.

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November 30, 2013   Comments Off on The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden

As We Grow – Tallahassee Sustainability Group

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The group has developed a small urban farm, a campus garden at FSU, community gardens at the Teen Youth Center, and a Food & Environmental science curriculum at the ‘Second Chance’ school called the Agrinauts Training Program.

Video from Tyler Lee. This film was produced in Dr. Andy Opel’s Advanced Documentary course at Florida State University.

Excerpt from: ‘Tallahassee Sustainability Group – The Student Organization That Grew’ on Food Politic by Tove K. Danovich

The Tallahassee Sustainability Group, brainchild of brothers Wes and TJ Shaffer and Jake Jennings, was founded in 2010 as a student association at Florida State University. Dedicated to bringing sustainable farming techniques, fresh food, and education to the surrounding community, TSG’s role has grown far beyond the campus.

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November 29, 2013   Comments Off on As We Grow – Tallahassee Sustainability Group

Urban organic agriculture in downtown Joburg, South Africa

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Mr Amon Maluleke in the garden that used to be a bowling turf.

The Bambanani Food and Herb Garden. “It’s taken hold of people’s imaginations. They see the importance of fresh, healthy food and the need for green, working space in the city.”

By Sulaiman Philip
Media Club of South Africa
Nov 19, 2013

Excerpt:

Urban farming has taken root in the run-down suburb of Betrams, as part of a municipal programme to revitalise the city. The Bambanani Food and Herb Garden has reclaimed the abandoned bowling greens of the old Bertrams Bowling Club, once a recreation centre reserved for white people during the apartheid era. Now, the lawns have been turned over, furrows tilled, soil fertilised, and vegetables planted and harvested.

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November 29, 2013   Comments Off on Urban organic agriculture in downtown Joburg, South Africa

1856 – The American Kitchen Gardener

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Containing practical directions for the culture of vegetables. Also, garden fruits, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry currants, melons, etc.

By T. G. Fessenden
C.M. Saxton and Company
1856

Excerpt:

Introduction

The importance and utility of Horticulture, or the art of cultivating those products of the soil which are used in domestic economy, require no elaborate exposition. The greatest blessing which a kind Providence can bestow on man, in his sublunary state of existence, are, health of body and peace of mind; and the pursuits of gardening eminently conduce to these. Gardening was the primitive employment of the ‘first man’; and the ‘first of men’, among his descendants, have ever been attached to that occupation. Indeed, we can hardly form an idea of human felicity, in which a garden is not one of its most prominent characteristics.

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November 28, 2013   Comments Off on 1856 – The American Kitchen Gardener

New legislation may bring more farming to Boston

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From left, Nataka Crayton-Walker, Greg Bodine, and Bobby Walker at a City Growers micro-farm in Dorchester. Photo by Leise Jones/City Growers.

The final step in the adoption of Article 89 is a public hearing before the Boston Zoning Commission, set for Dec. 11.

By Haley Hamilton
Boston Globe Correspondent
Nov 19, 2013

Excerpt:

Article 89 is the product of a series of community meetings and deliberations held by the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Working Group, a committee of 22 farmers, farming advocates, experts from different sectors of the food industry, and neighborhood representatives who came together to discuss the best way to approach Boston’s dearth of farming legislation.

Before this, “there just wasn’t anything” regulating and supporting urban farming, said Danielle Andrews, a member of the working group and the community food coordinator and manager of the Dudley Greenhouse.

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November 28, 2013   Comments Off on New legislation may bring more farming to Boston

St. Petersburg, Florida couple fight to keep their mini goat and sheep

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Fiore plans to go to a council committee meeting next month that will include a discussion about urban farming.

By Kameel Stanley
Tampa Bay Times
Nov. 27, 2013

Excerpt:

Winston Fiore and his girlfriend, Rachel Auer, haven’t mowed their lawn in months.

That’s a job for Shelby and Gabby.

Shelby, a miniature Shetland sheep, and Gabby, a Nigerian dwarf goat, love munching on grass. Their owners love not having to use a machine to manicure their lot. The neighbors — especially the neighborhood kids — are equally enamored of the miniature breeds.

The city codes department? Not so much.

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November 27, 2013   Comments Off on St. Petersburg, Florida couple fight to keep their mini goat and sheep

Urban farmers grow in small space in Victoria, BC

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Mason Street Farm partners Jesse Brown, left, and Angela Moran (with her four-year-old daughter, Ruby) inside the farm’s new aquaponics greenhouse. Moran and Brown hope to raise at least $10,000 for a new solar panel system and intern training program through a fundraising dinner.

“A massive amount of food can be grown in a small space, and that’s what people want.”

By Daniel Palmer
Victoria News
October 28, 2013

Excerpt:

Above the fish are long troughs filled with porous pumice stones, while sprouting green leaves and vines push their way up towards the greenhouse’s opaque roof.

The process is a closed-loop water system that allows farmers to grow plants and vegetables without soil and recycles more than 90 per cent of the collected rainwater. Fish excrement provides necessary nutrients to the plants, and the resulting plant run-off is then pumped back into the water tank carrying bacterial nutrients for the fish.

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November 27, 2013   Comments Off on Urban farmers grow in small space in Victoria, BC

Minneapolis Urban Agriculture Activity Plan – Draft Document

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Of the approximately 192 community gardens in Minneapolis, 70% percent are food-producing.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
2013
A draft of the MPRB Urban Agriculture activity plan is available for public review and comment between November 6, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

Excerpt:

Introduction

Minneapolis boasts an extensive network of non-profit groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and individual residents that support the city’s well-established urban agriculture community. Within the last several years, initiatives including Homegrown Minneapolis and the City’s adoption of an Urban Agriculture Policy Plan have expanded the community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, consume and compost more healthy, sustainable and local foods. As Policy Plan implementation continues and trends for urban agriculture activities evolve, citywide efforts of this type have helped residents and policymakers develop consensus about the topic of urban agriculture and related food system goals.

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November 26, 2013   Comments Off on Minneapolis Urban Agriculture Activity Plan – Draft Document

Beyond the Feel-Good of Urban Farming

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girlboygardChildren living at Hope Community help prepare the ground for planting a new garden plot. Photo: Bruce Silcox.

Farm Advocates Push to Shape Minneapolis’ Food Systems—and Future

By Jon Collins
Walker Magazine
Nov. 25, 2013

Excerpt:

“One of the most contentious things at the City Council was this notion that the city development and urban agriculture were at odds with each other,” Cioffi said. “Our argument was that it’s not either business and housing or urban agriculture—it’s both.”

Cioffi said policy makers need to see past the warm fuzzies of urban agriculture, and start taking it seriously as an alternative form of economic and social development:

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November 26, 2013   Comments Off on Beyond the Feel-Good of Urban Farming

Minneapolis’s Stone’s Throw Urban Farm Localizes Midwest Agriculture

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“We have a bunch of tiny fields throughout the city, and they’re kind of in clusters.”

By Jeff Nelson
Urban Plains
November 5, 2013

Except:

After a slow morning, Stone’s Throw Urban Farm’s crew is packing up leftover produce. “I would say 200 to 300 people pass through our stand every day,” Stone’s Throw co-founder Hanson says, putting fresh goods—everything from bright-red tomatoes and salad-ready greens—in crates to return to their refrigerated trailer. Despite the sluggish turnout, much due to the inclement weather, their stand’s pile of excess produce is considerably smaller than most nearby vendors’.

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November 26, 2013   Comments Off on Minneapolis’s Stone’s Throw Urban Farm Localizes Midwest Agriculture

North Brooklyn Farms doing its part to serve Williamsburg

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Henry Sweets, 31, poses for a picture at North Brooklyn Farms in Williamsburg. Photo by Isabelle Chapman.

“I’ve had these two seemingly conflicting desires. One to be in a city; the other, to be a farmer.”

By Isabelle Chapman
Columbia Journalist
November 14, 2013

Excerpt:

North Brooklyn Farms, founded last spring by Ryan Watson, 29, and Henry Sweets, 31, occupies 8,000 square feet of land in Williamsburg and functions as a community space and a vegetable garden of sorts.

“This [space] is about being a part of the earth, and being connected to the earth,” Sweets said last Sunday afternoon as he sat in a chair looking out over Havemeyer Park, where North Brooklyn Farms is located.

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November 25, 2013   Comments Off on North Brooklyn Farms doing its part to serve Williamsburg

Farm The City t-shirts

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$25 t-shirts

Fresh City is a city farm located in Toronto. They bring makers and eaters together to change the way people think about food. They deliver fresh, local and organic food grown by city farmers right to your door.

Purchase here.

November 25, 2013   Comments Off on Farm The City t-shirts

How to Save Your Own Seeds

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Seeds260

A Handbook for Small-Scale Seed Production

By Seeds of Diversity Canada
6th Edition
2013

This 68 page handbook is greatly expanded from the previous edition, giving seed savers the most up-to-date information on seeds, flowers, and pollination. It demystifies the techniques of saving seeds from common garden vegetables, giving simple detailed instructions for each type.

Written with beginners and experts in mind, this is a manual for home seed savers as well as small-scale commercial growers. Whether you are learning to save rare heirloom varieties, discovering how to save money by growing your own seeds, or simply interested in learning more about the finer aspects of seeds and gardening, this is an excellent beginner’s manual. Sections for the advanced seed saver give details on seed production of biennial crops (beets, carrots, celery, leeks, etc), hand pollination, and many more helpful hints.

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November 24, 2013   Comments Off on How to Save Your Own Seeds

Fresh City Farms: Urban Farming In Toronto

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Ran Goel, Owner of Fresh City Farms — Sheppard Avenue in Background.

Urban Farming: “This is good socially, it’s good environmentally, it’s good economically.”

By Kaitlin
FSlocal
November 15, 2013

Excerpt:

Beyond making an impact on the mindset of consumers, Ran found that a Fresh City model could encourage less overall consumption and pollutant emission. “We just did a study running our greenhouse gas emissions and getting your produce from Fresh City rather than [a big box grocer] is 75% less greenhouse gas emissions in terms of the farm-to-table transportation.”

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November 24, 2013   Comments Off on Fresh City Farms: Urban Farming In Toronto