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Posts from — September 2014

Make urban agriculture attractive says ‘Best’ farmer in Ghana

bestfarmer
From Left to Right: 2012 Best Farmer, Lemuel Kwashie Martey, Hon. Namoale, President John Mahama, and Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi.

Urban agriculture contributed about 30 per cent of the food consumed in the country

Via Ghana Web
Sept 23, 2014

Mr. Lemuel Kwashie Martey, the 2012 National Best Farmer and owner of Mannah Farms Limited in the Greater Accra Region, has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to make urban agriculture attractive.

According to him, urban agriculture contributed about 30 per cent of the food consumed in the country, therefore, it needed to be supported to improve the living conditions of the farmers and also the quality of urban air.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Martey asked the Government not to give away all the state lands in the urban areas for real estate development but earmark certain areas for food cultivation.

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September 30, 2014   Comments Off on Make urban agriculture attractive says ‘Best’ farmer in Ghana

Top 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Montreal

potat
The People’s Potato, located in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, is a neighborhood collective providing garden and greenhouse space for community members.

The city of Montreal boasts numerous agricultural projects based on building a sustainable food system in schools, parks, and urban communities.

By Liz Essman
Food Tank
Sept 23, 2014

Excerpt:

Alternatives’ Feeding Citizenship is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and environmental rights by growing healthy food and healthy communities. The project supports numerous school and neighborhood gardens, provides horticultural training programs, and facilitates community engagement.

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September 30, 2014   Comments Off on Top 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Montreal

EPA Awards $81,600 to Mesa Community College for Innovative Center for Urban Agriculture

mesa

Approximately 50 students will enroll in the Sustainable Urban Agriculture certificate and Associate in Applied Science degree program that will utilize an urban farm site and aquaponics in greenhouse classrooms and gardens.

EPA Press Releaase
Sept 22, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an environmental education grant of $81,600 to Mesa Community College for the development of a cutting-edge “Center for Urban Agriculture” program which will include a degree program, urban farm site and engaging local elementary schools.

The Center for Urban Agriculture will partner with high schools, universities, industry, and communities. The program at Mesa Community College will serve as a model which can be replicated at sites across the state. Participants in the program will learn to utilize open spaces, abandoned lots, and suitable brownfield sites in the Greater Phoenix area to produce and eat healthy foods, reduce air and water pollution, reduce the urban heat island effect, establish and run profitable businesses, and beautify their neighborhoods.

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September 29, 2014   Comments Off on EPA Awards $81,600 to Mesa Community College for Innovative Center for Urban Agriculture

Silicon Valley Tour de Coop spreads enthusiasm for urban chicken farming

bikehead

Hundreds of bicyclists toured 29 mini-ranches showcasing black Australorps, silver-spangled Hamburgs, golden sex-link and other breeds, as well as gardens and beehives.

By Sharon Noguchi
San Jose Mercury
09/21/2014

Excerpt:

Vanderlip began the annual tour three years ago, patterning it after the Tour de Cluck in Davis. Coop tours have sprung up nationwide, as a way to inspire urban dwellers to take up chicken farming, and to promote healthy eating, sustainable farming and building community. “There’s not a better way to connect with your neighbors and community than coop tours,” Vanderlip said.

Indeed, many tourist-cyclists found inspiration in the gardens they visited.

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September 29, 2014   Comments Off on Silicon Valley Tour de Coop spreads enthusiasm for urban chicken farming

1912 – Biggle Garden Book

biggle

Vegetables, small fruits and flowers for pleasure and profit

By Jacob Biggle.
Wilmer Atkinson and Co.
1912

Excerpt:

Now just a few hints about the final problem of the average gardener – the selling end of the business: … Agronomist Medford has evolved a shipping package which it called a “home hamper.” It measures twenty-four inches long, fourteen inches wide, ten inches deep, and weighs about thirty pounds when filled. It contains about six baskets holding about one-half peck each; these are filled with vegetables in season, from radishes to cauliflower. Assortment is made to furnish soup, salad and substantials, with occasional fancies, such as eggplant and cantaloupes.

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September 29, 2014   Comments Off on 1912 – Biggle Garden Book

Urban farming reaches new heights in Bangkok

spiruClosed tanks of growing Spirulina bubble away on a Bangkok rooftop.

The company aims to expand its output by establishing more production facilities on rooftops in Bangkok and elsewhere on non-arable land.

The Asahi Shimbun
Sept 20, 2014

Excerpt:

A team of entrepreneurs at start-up company EnerGaia has succeeded in producing commercial quantities of Spirulina, an eco-friendly superfood, using the sun-baked dead space on the top of Bangkok high rises for a farm.

Founded and run by entrepreneur and engineer Saumil Shah, EnerGaia uses an innovative system of interconnected plastic bins, each holding 250-280 litres of liquid, with a pumping system to agitate the Spirulina mix and ensure the photosynthetic algae receive sufficient sunlight and nutrients.

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September 28, 2014   Comments Off on Urban farming reaches new heights in Bangkok

Washington DC considers bill to encourage urban farming on vacant lots

washdcbend
Three Part Harmony Farm founder Gail Taylor, right, waters leeks planted by farm volunteers in the 3200 block of 4th Street NE. Photo by Mark Gail.

“If we could create more food in the city, we could decrease the cost and increase the quality,”

By Karen Chen
Washington Post
September 19, 2014

Excerpt:

Echoing similar initiatives in cities like San Francisco and Baltimore, the D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act aims to fix part of the problem. The bill outlines a plan to connect publicly and privately-owned vacant land with urban farming ventures in an effort to provide more sustainable and healthy food options for surrounding communities and transform unused and sometimes unsafe areas into productive green spaces.

Introduced in February and scheduled to go to markup in coming months, the bill offers private owners a substantial property tax deduction — 50 percent — if they lease the land for farming. Supporters said they hope to see the bill extend tax-exempt status for commercial urban farms on land owned by non-profits and religious entities.

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September 28, 2014   Comments Off on Washington DC considers bill to encourage urban farming on vacant lots

Nebraska Legislature’s ag panel tackles obstacles to urban farms, local food

omah

“We need new farmers on the farms, creating new markets.”

By Paige Yowell
Omaha World-Herald
Sept 26, 2014

Excerpt:

Roxanne Williams, the organization’s executive director, was one of about 15 people to testify at a hearing of the Nebraska Legislature’s Agriculture Committee Thursday in Omaha. The committee is focused on two studies that aim to address the issues facing community gardens and local food production.

One study, introduced by State Sen. Burke Harr, a member of the committee who represents midtown Omaha, looks at ways the state can encourage development of community gardens. A similar study by Sen. Rick Kolowski of Omaha aims to examine efforts that can increase access to local food networks.

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September 28, 2014   Comments Off on Nebraska Legislature’s ag panel tackles obstacles to urban farms, local food

Creating a Pesticide Free Neighborhood in Portland

The Pesticide Free Project has passed its 1-year mark, and has gotten 400 homes to sign the pesticide free pledge

By Rebecca Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
Sept 2014

Excerpt:

As Melco explains in the video, the main goal of the project is to protect residents, especially babies and young children— from chronic, low-level exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Through a partnership with Portland Metro, The Xerces Society, and Backyard Habitat Certification Program, Melco and her team are going door to door canvasing the 2500 homes to educate homeowners.

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September 27, 2014   Comments Off on Creating a Pesticide Free Neighborhood in Portland

Female Urban Farmers Make Nude Calendar To Raise Money For New Land

From Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm

By James Cave
The Huffington Post
09/26/2014

Excerpt:

Two Florida women hope that by selling a pin-up calendar featuring naked female farmers and strategically placed produce, they can raise enough money for a down payment on some new land.

That’s the pitch behind an Indiegogo campaign from Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm. The company’s owners, Claire Mitchell and Danielle Krasniqi, are currently farm-less; the landlord of their previous farm wanted to build homes there instead. So the ladies and their friends decided to strip down — tastefully — and rally folks to donate to their cause.

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September 27, 2014   Comments Off on Female Urban Farmers Make Nude Calendar To Raise Money For New Land

Spaces2Grow

“Our company provides tools and information designed to support food production at home.”

Excerpt from their FAQ:

Perhaps you want to grow your own food but don’t know where to start. Or you may think you lack space or knowledge or time to do the necessary research. Or you may be looking for someone to guide you through creating garden spaces and to continue to guide you as you plant, tend, harvest and store your food.

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September 27, 2014   Comments Off on Spaces2Grow

Fishy business: Micah’s tilapia at Saint Louis University Urban Outreach Greenhouse

stumpSustainability: Dr. Stump works with the tilapia and plants in SLU’s greenhouse. Stump sees the project as an important model of future food production. Photo by John Schuler.

Stump and other leaders of the Urban Project want to give students a glimpse of what the world might look like in the future

Posted by Jessica Winter
The University News
Sept 19, 2014

Excerpt:

In its mission statement, Saint Louis University pledges dedication to the service of humanity and innovative studies required to transform society. Helping to carry out this aspect of the mission is SLU’s Urban Outreach Greenhouse project – a program that works to promote urban agricultural sustainability.

The Greenhouse project is one of many efforts attached to SLU’s Urban Project endeavor, an effort that started in 2009 and is spearheaded by professors Donald Stump, Richard Colignon, and Robert Cropf. The Urban Project aims to make advances in education and efforts in facing present and future urban issues. One of these current problems concerns food deserts, or geographic areas that struggle to obtain nutritious and affordable food.

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September 26, 2014   Comments Off on Fishy business: Micah’s tilapia at Saint Louis University Urban Outreach Greenhouse

Birds and berries in my grandmother’s garden

birdsberries

Worthy, indeed, is the garden that is planted, not for beauty alone, but for the welfare of Nature’s children as well.

By the Bird Man.
1920

Excerpt:

A host of fruit-loving birds lived in the garden in early summer. They feasted continuously on choke and wild cherries, and cloyingly sweet mulberries. Seldom at any other season, did the shy, elusive cedar wax-wings enter the garden, but love of the purple fruit of the mulberry dispelled all fear in June. The bluebirds and orioles were equally fond of it, but they must, perchance, satisfy their appetites with that which fell to the ground, for the wax-wings claimed the trees.

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September 26, 2014   Comments Off on Birds and berries in my grandmother’s garden

Uk Mushroom Farm Recycling Coffee Waste

mushro

“Growing mushrooms in this way is absolutely ideal for Urban Agriculture”

By Ben Messenger
Waste Management World
19 September 2014

Excerpt:

The UK’s first urban mushroom farm that grows oyster mushrooms using recycled coffee grounds has launched this week.

According to GroCycle, a project launched by Fungi Futures CIC, a social enterprise based in Devon, coffee grinds represent a huge waste stream and recycling them to grow protein-rich Oyster mushrooms is a showcase for how food can be grown sustainably.

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September 26, 2014   Comments Off on Uk Mushroom Farm Recycling Coffee Waste

Chas Hodges’ rock ‘n’ roll allotment: From Chas & Dave to growing his own

rocker
Chas Hodges from pop duo Chas & Dave in his Hertfordshire allotment. Photo by Luke Santilli.

Chas of the popular British rock/cockney (or rockney for short) band Chas & Dave.

By Jane Clinton
Express
June 22, 2014

Excerpt:

He is clearly in his element as he gives me a guided tour: “Come and smell this wild garlic,” he says pulling a piece from the earth. “It doesn’t get fresher than that.”

Next he holds up some newly unearthed spring onions: “You get them in the supermarket and there’s no smell. Hmm lovely,” he sniffs, and smiles. “Here, you can have that as a present.” He laughs as he hands me the first of many such gifts.

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September 25, 2014   Comments Off on Chas Hodges’ rock ‘n’ roll allotment: From Chas & Dave to growing his own