New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Posts from — December 2014

Readers from 214 countries visited ‘City Farmer News’ in 2014

wherefrom

Most visitors were from the United States with Canada and India not far behind.

Jet Pack Stats
December 2014

Sample:

India: 28,191

Iceland: 105

Saudi Arabia: 778

Ethiopia: 634

Brazil: 1,614

[Read more →]

December 31, 2014   Comments Off on Readers from 214 countries visited ‘City Farmer News’ in 2014

Peggy’s story – Urban aquaponic farmer

basilBasil.

For lighting, when using LEDs (a combination of white, red and blue) they run about 17 hours a day 5-7″ above the plants.

We are back with the second installment of our new series interviewing urban aquaponic farmers. Today’s interview is with Peggy Berk, who have an aquaponic garden in her Manhattan apartment and advises clients on how to do the same in her professional life as an interior designer. As always, these interviews are brought to you in collaboration with Sylvia Bernstein and The Aquaponic Source in Longmont, Colorado. You can click here to learn more about aquaponics on their website. Enjoy!

Name: Peggy Berk

Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a native New Yorker, whom, after years of roaming the world, returned to Manhattan where I’ve lived for the past 39 years. I’m the owner and principal designer of Area Aesthetics Interior Design, a full service interior design and decorating company, and also Chair the Education Committee of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Formerly I owned a PR and Marketing company, and before that was a journalist here in New York City and in the mideast.

How did you get interested in aquaponics?
Growing up, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was a frequent topic of conversation (maybe, more accurately, “debate”) around our dinner table and my father passed on to us his love of the outdoors and, particularly, the oceans and marine life. Conservation and sustainability were not distant global concerns for us; it was definitely personal.

[Read more →]

December 31, 2014   Comments Off on Peggy’s story – Urban aquaponic farmer

The Rise of Hi-tech Food Farms is one of Top 5 Food and Agriculture Stories in 2014

panasPurplish-pink lighting from LED lights helps Panasonic to grow vegetables vertically arranged in shelves within its manufacturing facility. Image: Panasonic.

Panasonic, Toshiba, and Fujitsu recently expanded their businesses to include hi-tech vertical farms.

By Vaidehi Shah
Eco-Business
Dec 17, 2014

Excerpt:

Electronics manufacturers such as Panasonic, Toshiba, and Fujitsu recently expanded their businesses to include hi-tech vertical farms which produce vegetables such as lettuce, radish, spinach and sprouts. Panasonic set up a farm in Singapore in August which uses special LED lights to cultivate vegetables in as little as 35 days, a move that meets the government’s food security goals. Toshiba also started cultivating greens like spinach, lettuce and greens in a factory in Japan earlier this year.

[Read more →]

December 30, 2014   Comments Off on The Rise of Hi-tech Food Farms is one of Top 5 Food and Agriculture Stories in 2014

Urban farm in Portland helps low-income families

oreg
Ruby Boyd, 7, picks some kale for soup at Zenger Farms during the Urban Farm Homeschool Program. Educational programs at Zenger in southeast Portland teach youths about food, farming and environmental stewardship. (Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian)

It’s become critical to those who just can’t afford to put healthful foods on the table

By Grant Butler
The Oregonian
Dec 19, 2014

Excerpt:

PORTLAND — When you watch heritage-breed turkeys and chickens roaming the pastures of Zenger Farm, it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of Southeast Portland’s Lents neighborhood.

“It’s so tranquil that sometimes you forget you’re in the heart of the city,” says Jill Kuehler, executive director of the nonprofit group Friends of Zenger Farm.

[Read more →]

December 30, 2014   Comments Off on Urban farm in Portland helps low-income families

Some Minnesotans garden under the snow

snowDawn Pape’s son Maxwell harvests greens from their cold-frame garden in Shoreview.

Season-extending structures are helping some Minnesota gardeners defy winter.

By Kim Palmer
Star Tribune
December 17, 2014

Excerpt:

In her Shoreview yard, under a blanket of snow, is a polycarbonate-topped, 2- by 8-foot box — or “cold frame.” Brush aside the show, lift the lid, and inside was an improbable vision: healthy spinach, kale, salad greens and other veggies growing in the frigid ground.

“It’s so uplifting to see green when it’s kind of bleak outside,” said Pape, a master gardener and garden-book author, who was still harvesting around Thanksgiving — and hoping for at least a few more weeks of homegrown produce. “If I can make it to Christmas, I’ll be pretty happy,” she said.

[Read more →]

December 29, 2014   Comments Off on Some Minnesotans garden under the snow

Greenlid’s compostable food scraps bucket is made from recycled cardboard

“In Canada all municipal compost facilities have their own set of guidelines but all accept egg cartons and soiled paper.”

Excerpts from web site:

What is the container made from?

The Greenlid container is made of end of life recycled cardboard and newsprint. It is the same material that egg cartons are made from. The shredded/pulped cardboard is made into our Greenlid container shape and this allows the containers to effectively break down in compost facilities and active home compost piles just like those egg cartons.

[Read more →]

December 28, 2014   Comments Off on Greenlid’s compostable food scraps bucket is made from recycled cardboard

Kid Farmers prove they can do it in Thiruvananthapuram, India

kidsthur
The students of Kallai Government Upper Primary School with the crops on their school campus. Photo by K Shijith.

Ladies finger, curry leaf, ash gourd and tomato are a few crops to name in their vegetable garden.

By Aswathi Krishna
India Express
15th December 2014

Excerpt:

The students embarked on farming when their school became a venue to receive the ‘Vithuvandi,’ an ambitious project of the Departments of Agriculture and Education. Awareness classes and exhibitions conducted by the organisers of the programme instilled confidence in the students to try their hands at farming. The first crop they cultivated was red spinach. “Since we shunned the use of chemicals, the spinach we cultivated were good in quality and quantity,” says C K Vinodan, headmaster of the school.

[Read more →]

December 28, 2014   Comments Off on Kid Farmers prove they can do it in Thiruvananthapuram, India

Fresh Herbs Garden and Honey is the Height of Good Taste at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, Turkey

istanb
Spa deck at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul.

The city’s most imaginative location for a garden.

Istanbul, June 10, 2014 — The dramatic panoramic view of the Bosphorus from The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul has long been regarded as one of the city’s most unforgettable experiences.

But now two new highlights are delighting guests — garden-fresh produce from a unique rooftop herb garden discretely located on the same level as the hotel’s famous spa terrace and honey from three beehives based on top of the iconic landmark.

“Everything we grow in the rooftop garden will be used in our restaurants adding a genuinely fresh new dimension to enjoying a meal in the restaurants,” said Massimiliano Zanardi, the hotel’s General Manager.

[Read more →]

December 27, 2014   Comments Off on Fresh Herbs Garden and Honey is the Height of Good Taste at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, Turkey

Urban agriculture makes its way to Staten Island’s West Shore Green Zone

statisl
The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC), which spearheaded the West Shore Green Zone, is hoping this is the start of an urban farming trend in the borough. (Courtesy of Living Restoration)

Using 200 towers, Living Restoration planted kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy and more on a West Shore vertical farm.

By Tracey Porpora
silive
December 13, 2014

Excerpt:

The farm was planted in October on Bloomfield Avenue on underutilized property in the West Shore Green Zone owned by ADCO Electrical Co.

The West Shore, viewed as New York City’s “final frontier” of vacant industrially zoned land, will also soon be home to seven new businesses.

[Read more →]

December 27, 2014   Comments Off on Urban agriculture makes its way to Staten Island’s West Shore Green Zone

Washington DC urban farm site is an ecological disaster

river
BrightFarms Inc. CEO Paul Lightfoot standing near the banks of the Oxon Run in Washington, on land that his company is leasing from the District of Columbia government to build a greenhouse and urban farm. Lightfoot is considering abandoning the project because of extensive contamination on the city-controlled land, which has been used for years for illegal dumping and an unlicensed landfill. Some of the waste has made it into the waterway, a tributary of the Potomac River. AP Photo/Ben Nuckols.

BrightFarms Inc. is considering abandoning the project because of extensive contamination on the city-controlled land

By Ben Nuckols
Associated Press
December 23, 2014

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON (AP) – In May 2013, the mayor of the nation’s capital announced that the city would partner with a produce supplier to build what the company called “the most productive urban farm in the world.”

But no one bothered to inspect the site. If they had, they would have found an unlicensed landfill that’s 18 feet deep; 10-foot-high piles of debris including roofing material and insulation; and rusting petroleum containers on the banks of a creek.

[Read more →]

December 26, 2014   Comments Off on Washington DC urban farm site is an ecological disaster

Bangkok Rooftop Spirulina Farms are part of our future


Must see video.

A first class restaurant develops recipes using the blue-green algae

Al Jazeera
Dec 23, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

A Bangkok-based start-up called EnerGaia is pioneering a unique urban farming model. Across the city’s neglected rooftops, a small team of chemists and engineers are growing a nutritional supplement which also happens to be one of the planet’s oldest life forms: spirulina.

This organism is a fast-growing blue-green algae with an estimated protein content of 60 percent and contains essential fatty acids and vitamins. In fact, this superfood grows rapidly without the need for soil or fertilisers and can convert carbon dioxide from industry into to a highly nutritious food.

[Read more →]

December 25, 2014   Comments Off on Bangkok Rooftop Spirulina Farms are part of our future

First urban farm in Ghent, Belgium

ghent

The Ghent non-profit De Sleutel, which helps drug addicts get their lives back on track, has already agreed to take care of the chicken coop and the egg distribution.

Urban farming…in the city center. Across the street from one of the city’s biggest traffic spots is an urban farm, the city’s first. Opened this past April, the farm invites families to feed chickens, pick flowers, and enjoy the rural lifestyle in the city.

[Read more →]

December 24, 2014   Comments Off on First urban farm in Ghent, Belgium

Harriet Nakabaale’s Camp Green in Kampala

camp
Harriet Nakabaale’s is changing the landscape of urban agriculture in Kampala and her mission is to share the vast knowledge she has accumulated with her community.

Harriet Nakabaale has managed to turn a 50-feet-by-32-feet chunk of hard urban ground in Kampala into an oasis of greens

By Coco McCabe
Oxfam America
Oct 23, 2013

Excerpt:

Nakabaale’s Camp Green is like a beacon. It bursts with living things, all of them edible–an important survival tactic in an urban area where the high cost of buying food can saddle a family with relentless poverty.

Here are pomegranates and strawberries, eggplants and cauliflowers. There are the herbs–rosemary, lavender, thyme. Leafy greens mix with root vegetables. And here? Broilers, turkeys, guinea fowl, and geese.

What makes all of this possible?

[Read more →]

December 24, 2014   Comments Off on Harriet Nakabaale’s Camp Green in Kampala

PEAS farm wins 40-year lease from Missoula, Montana

pease

“This farm will be testament to Missoula’s commitment to kids, local agriculture and working together for decades to come.”

By Will Wadley
NBC Montana
Dec 09 2014

Excerpt:

The PEAS Farm (Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society) is a collaboration between Garden City Harvest and the University of Montana’s Environmental Studies Program.

Every year, about 4,000 K-12 students, their parents and teachers visit on educational farm field trips. The students explore connections among food, agriculture, science and their everyday lives by picking and eating vegetables straight from the ground and meeting the resident chickens and pigs.

[Read more →]

December 23, 2014   Comments Off on PEAS farm wins 40-year lease from Missoula, Montana

Go Green: Seedfolk City Farm in Rochester, NY

Jacob Deyo helped build a hydroponic system and and aquaponic system; that uses fish to help feed the plants.

By Katrina Irwin
Rochester Homepage
12/11/2014

Excerpt:

Hidden behind a coffee shop on Rochester’s East Main Street is a greenhouse sprouting with possibilities.

“We’re really able to train our young people to be the farmers of tomorrow,” said Seedfolk Farm Youth Director Lisa Barker. “Not only be the farmers of tomorrow, but do it in their cities not far from where they live.”

Lisa is working with city youth, teaching them to grow vegetables and herbs.

[Read more →]

December 23, 2014   Comments Off on Go Green: Seedfolk City Farm in Rochester, NY