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Posts from — April 2014

Graphic: ‘The Technology of Backyard Micro-Farming’

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See the complete graphic here.

“Unfortunately, thanks to misinformation on the Internet, some people may be led to believe that building a garden or collecting rainwater for it is illegal in some places.”

By Roslyn Willson/SuperScholar.org
2014

Excerpt:

Backyard Gardens

For those of you that do not have the time or inclination for a micro-farm that takes up your entire backyard, there are many other options including smaller green houses that utilize aquaponics — a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture, the latter of which is the farming of aquatic life such as fish, shellfish and plants. Even a 6×8 foot aquaponic garden covered with a greenhouse can generate enough fish and vegetables to make a big dent in your yearly food bill. Portable Farms (portablefarms.com) is an example of just one company that cells such systems.

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April 30, 2014   Comments Off on Graphic: ‘The Technology of Backyard Micro-Farming’

Tyson Gersh Builds Community ‘One Garden At A Time’

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Tyson Gersh is the president and co-founder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. Photo by Emell Derra Adolphus.

“The reality is, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative was built through gay social networks,” Gersh says.

By Emell Derra Adolphus
Pride Source
4/24/2014

Excerpt:

We’ve heard just about every freaky thing the gay social app Grindr is used for, but volunteer recruitment takes the cake. Meet Tyson Gersh, president of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, who is slowly cultivating a farm boy “tribe” through his access to the local gay social network.

“I think the important narrative here is the power of communities,” says Gersh, president and co-founder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative.

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April 30, 2014   Comments Off on Tyson Gersh Builds Community ‘One Garden At A Time’

Milwaukee’s Push to Turn Vacant Land into Urban Farms

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A garden in Milwaukee, Wis. MCT/Kristyna Wentz-Graff.

The city’s new urban agriculture initiative aims to revitalize distressed neighborhoods with new economic activity.

By Steve Goldsmith
Governing
April 16, 2014

Excerpt:

After one of the longer winters in recent memory, the city of Milwaukee is planning to engage in a new kind of rebirth. As the ice melts away, a number of parcels of city-owned land that have long lain vacant and unused will be coming back to life, set to become urban farms and orchards yielding healthy food along with new opportunities for employment and business entrepreneurship.

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April 29, 2014   Comments Off on Milwaukee’s Push to Turn Vacant Land into Urban Farms

Designing cities and factories with urban agriculture in mind

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Whimsical: ‘A Hind’s Daughter’ by James Guthrie. 1883. A hind was a skilled farm labourer, and cabbage (or kail) a staple diet of Scottish hinds and their families.

The Netherlands offers inspiration for designers looking to create environments that harvest water, energy and nutrients

By The Guardian
Apr 23. 2014
William McDonough is an adviser, designer, thought leader and co-author of books including Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance.

Excerpt:

The renewal of urban agriculture offers hope for a more positive, regenerative relationship between natural systems and human communities. From a design perspective, integrating agriculture into urbanism dramatically improves the generative capacity of buildings, landscapes, infrastructure and cities. Planning to grow urban food places leads to essential questions about soil, water, terrain, and climate. How does nature work here? What will enhance the health of the soil? How might the built environment become productive and photosynthetic, harvesting more water, energy and nutrients than it consumes?

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April 29, 2014   Comments Off on Designing cities and factories with urban agriculture in mind

Britain’s ‘Growing Together’ to unlock money, land and skills for gardeners

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Useful information resources for community growing groups which will help them with income generation (crowdfunding and Digital Income Generation) and highlight innovative ways that more land can be made available for community growing through community share schemes and workplace allotment-gardens.

www.growing2gether.org.uk
2014

Excerpt from: Growing Together Resources Page “Briefing: Workplace Growing”

The workplace growing concept

Workplace growing encompasses a wide range of gardening activity on sites where people work. This could be private businesses with spare pieces of land available for growing, public spaces such as universities, hospitals, schools, or prisons or could belong to organisations like churches or village halls. These are places where volunteers, staff, patients, prisoners, parishioners, customers and students can come together and create a vibrant space to grow.

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April 28, 2014   Comments Off on Britain’s ‘Growing Together’ to unlock money, land and skills for gardeners

Top 5 City Farms In London

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A Taste Of The Country In The City

By Flora Tonking
Town Fish
Apr 5th 2013

Excerpt:

Goats are pretty standard inhabitPig at the Kentish Town City Farmants of London’s city farms, as are sheep, cows and pigs; from the large pink variety to a rather fetching pair of small, curly-haired, marbled individuals, called Edward and Jenny, who live at Vauxhall City Farm. (Also at Vauxhall lives a rather incongruous alpaca, some distance from his Latin American roots.) Ponds are also popular city farmyard features, usually inhabited by ducks of different shapes and sizes, and maybe the odd goose. Chickens often ramble freely, either by design or on occasion when accidentally let loose by an over-excited young visitor.

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April 28, 2014   Comments Off on Top 5 City Farms In London

BBC2’s ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’

The great British rake off! Killer heels, yogic chanting, llama manure – they’re just some of the secret weapons rival gardeners resort to in BBC2’s Big Allotment Challenge

By Nicole Lampert
Daily Mail
4 April 2014

Excerpt:

We’ve had The Great British Bake Off, now it’s what you might call The Great British Rake Off as a new BBC show pits more members of the public – this time gardeners – against each other in the hobby they love.

And The Big Allotment Challenge is not for the weak-willed, insist the competitors – there are plenty of tears among the tomatoes and turnips.

‘This is the tough end of reality television,’ says Edd Curbishley, a Northamptonshire sales manager who competes in the show in partnership with his yoga teacher wife Harshani.

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April 27, 2014   Comments Off on BBC2’s ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’

How New Legislation in Boston Gave New Life to Urban Farms

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Locally grown will soon take on new meaning in Boston, especially in predominantly low-income neighborhoods like Roxbury and Dorchester.

By Heather Hansman
Modern Farmer
April 16, 2014

Excerpt:

In December, as one of his last tasks in office, former mayor Thomas M. Menino signed Article 89 into law. The new ordinance means farmers will be able to grow – and, importantly, sell for profit — within the city limits.

Beantown, because of its climate and density, might not seem like the most obvious place for an urban farming firestorm, but the city’s combination of start-up culture and academia means that a lot of people are trying to think innovatively about food — and that they’re not shy about gunning for it. “Boston is a really civic-minded place,” says Edith Murnane, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives and one of Article 89’s biggest proponents.

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April 27, 2014   Comments Off on How New Legislation in Boston Gave New Life to Urban Farms

Agriculture goes urban as more people want to reconnect with food source in Kentucky

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You can grow food in an urban setting, said Mims Russell, shown here harvesting herbs at FoodChain. Photo by Stephen Patton.

Since its founding in 2009, Louisville Grows has collaborated with the city to create 14 community gardens.

By Jeff Franklin
Special to KyForward
Apr 17, 2014

Excerpt:

Self’s company is Kentucky’s first indoor, commercially-scaled aquaponics system with six, 250-gallon fresh water tanks containing live tilapia that are fed by the spent grain from the brewery that occupies the majority of the building. Co-owned by Rebecca’s husband, Ben Self, West Sixth Brewery is a critical underpinning to the closed-loop system. Herbs and lettuce grow in long rows of planter boxes lit by artificial lights and irrigated by filtered water from the tilapia tanks. All of this takes place under the watchful eye of farm manager Mims Russell, sustainable agriculture. Working at FoodChain through an independent study course in sustainable agriculture led to his being hired full-time as manager after he graduated from University of Kentucky.

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April 26, 2014   Comments Off on Agriculture goes urban as more people want to reconnect with food source in Kentucky

Store wants to be a hub for urban gardeners in Olympia

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Eastside Urban Farm & Garden Center co-owner Brighida deVargas. Photo by John Dodge.

One of the goals in the proposed city comprehensive land-use plan is to have food growing within walking and biking distance of all city residents

By John Dodge
The Olympian
Apr 17, 2014

Excerpt:

On my first visit to the 6,000-square-foot store Tuesday I ran into everyone from longtime South Bay horse trainer-boarder Betty Jo Watkins to a young Eastside family looking to build a community garden in the city-vacated alleyway behind their home.

Chicks and ducks are selling like hotcakes, heading to urban chicken coops in a city that revamped its urban agriculture ordinance last year to make it easier for city dwellers to own small livestock.

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April 26, 2014   Comments Off on Store wants to be a hub for urban gardeners in Olympia

City of Portland Continues Long History of Sustainable Urban Farming

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As of 2014, the Portland Community Gardens covered 22 acres inside the city.

By Trish Popovitch
Seedstock
April 10, 2014

Excerpt:

With just over half a million residents, Portland is a small northwestern city with long roots in sustainability and urban agriculture. In 1981, an urban growth boundary was approved for the city forcing a dense population into a restricted space and transitioning the city into a space savvy social economy. Popular Science name Portland the most sustainable city back in 2008. Today, Portland remains a 400-square mile haven for sustainability enthusiasts and avid gardeners.

The city has two main programs that cover urban agriculture: a Community Gardens Program established in 1975 and a Sustainable Food Program.

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April 25, 2014   Comments Off on City of Portland Continues Long History of Sustainable Urban Farming

Indian actor Salman Khan grows potatoes, pumpkins in his kitchen garden

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Khan is an actor, producer, television presenter, and philanthropist.

By Ankur Pathak
Mumbai Mirror
Apr 8, 2014

Excerpt:

“Salman has been growing potatoes, tomatoes and pumpkins without using any kind of artificial fertilizers. He proudly feeds his guests dishes cooked with the vegetables grown in his kitchen garden.” The star has turned to gardening as he believes that the vegetables in the market today are laced with chemicals and can trigger serious health problems. Healthy eating is the way to a healthy lifestyle, according to the new and improved Salman Khan. But if you are thinking that the actor intends to make a quick buck out of his fresh produce, then you are mistaken. The veggies are strictly for domestic use.

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April 25, 2014   Comments Off on Indian actor Salman Khan grows potatoes, pumpkins in his kitchen garden

Aljazeera reports on Gotham Greens and Bright Farms

aljaz

See news video about the rooftop growers.

Companies are growing crops on rooftops and in warehouses in an attempt to fill a growing demand for local produce.

By Kristen Saloomey
Al Jazeera
22 Apr 2014

Urban farms are sprouting up in US cities that are not known for agriculture.

Rooftops and warehouses are being used to grow local, sustainably produced food.

Many stores in New York get their produce from the country’s west coast, which means a lot of items are already a week old before they hit store shelves in the east.

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April 25, 2014   Comments Off on Aljazeera reports on Gotham Greens and Bright Farms

Toronto’s ‘Not Far From The Tree’

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Pounds of fruit picked in 2013: 22,440 lbs. from 355 trees

Not Far From The Tree puts Toronto’s fruit to good use by picking and sharing the bounty.

When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!

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April 24, 2014   Comments Off on Toronto’s ‘Not Far From The Tree’

Urban farming reverses unsustainable practices and cultivates community resources

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Our Harvest Cooperative – Photo: Bobby Gayol.

Sixty-nine percent of Cincinnati residents live 1.5 miles or more from a mainstream grocery store

By Judy George
City Beat
Apr 9, 2014

Excerpt:

For Cincinnati to grow more food, more land must be committed to sustainable production and more farmers need to be trained. Our Harvest, a worker-owned cooperative in College Hill, recently began an incubator farm to work toward that goal.

Last year, Our Harvest grew 45,000 pounds of produce on land it leased in Wooden Shoe Hollow and at the 30-acre Bahr Farm in College Hill, feeding 200 CSA members and supplying fresh vegetables to a variety of retail outlets. In March, it leased 100 more acres to grow food in Morrow.

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April 24, 2014   Comments Off on Urban farming reverses unsustainable practices and cultivates community resources