Posts from — February 2015
Wyoming Vertical Farm will produce 37,000 pounds of greens, 4,400 pounds of herbs, and 44,000 pounds of tomatoes
Vertical Harvest broke ground in December and expects to be up and running by early 2016.
By Garnet Henderson
Feb 17, 2015
Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole will be a three-story, 13,500-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse. It is situated on a skinny, leftover parcel of public land, 150 feet long by just 30 feet wide, next to a parking garage. The greenhouse will operate year-round and grow as much produce annually as would come from five acres of traditional agriculture. Ninety-five percent of Vertical Harvest’s eventual production is already under pre-purchase agreements with local restaurants and grocery stores.
February 28, 2015 Comments Off on Wyoming Vertical Farm will produce 37,000 pounds of greens, 4,400 pounds of herbs, and 44,000 pounds of tomatoes
Above are five innovative indoor farms across the world along with their AVF typologies. Click here for full image.
The data was commissioned by the U.S.-based Indoor Agriculture Conference
The Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) aims to educate industry leaders and the public on the possibilities of integrating food production into cities. It believes it is essential that professionals and the public alike understand that there is a multitude of ways to integrate food production. In response to this challenge, the AVF has developed a 7 factor typology for integration, based upon existing urban agriculture case studies.
February 28, 2015 Comments Off on Infographic: How many ways can a building grow food?
Is there a relationship between growing your own food on a small city lot and steampunking? Yes, she said.
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
February 19, 2015
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp (hoosiergardener.com) is secretary of Garden Writers Association and co-author of “The Indiana Gardener’s Guide.”
Steampunk celebrates the individual craftsman and appreciates technology you can look at and see how it works. The farm-to-fork movement is one response to outsourcing growing food to industrial agriculture.
“With gardening, we recapture the skills we lost. There’s a streak of individualism and creativity that runs through both gardening and steampunking,” Mullen said.
February 27, 2015 Comments Off on Indianapolis Hoosier Gardener: Urban gardening, steampunk style
At this point, their business is breaking even.
By Jeremy Hobson
Here and Now
Feb 17, 2015
In a city, you can grow enough produce using this technology to make a scaleable business. So you can sell wholesale as well as retail and have a real business,” Shawn told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.
The couple is currently growing greens including kale, cilantro, mustard greens and wild mint. Like a library of plants, the greens are neatly organized in towers of leafy green. Mustard greens, with their wasabi-like finish are something that restaurants request.
February 27, 2015 Comments Off on ‘Freight Farms’ Grow Local Flavor, Year-Round
Book in French on city farming
de Nicolas Bel (Auteur)
Relié: 288 pages
Editeur : Hachette Pratique (20 août 2014)
Excerpt from Brooklyn Grange article:
In addition to being the founder of Topager, Nicolas is also the author of the book on French urban ag (Potager Urbain), and an academic researcher at AgroParisTech (from what I gather, the French equivalent of Cornell’s College of Agriculture) and the farm I visited was essentially his data collection facility. At this particular location, he studies every measurable variable. First, he blended several soil mixes side-by-side to measure their productivity and health.
He also captures runoff via a simple “out spout” which drains into gallon water bottles, from which he collects samples on a regular basis. His methodology is incredibly thorough and it was exhilarating to meet such a focused and serious practitioner of our incredibly unique type of cultivation. We have a lot to learn from Nicolas and his colleagues at Topager, and only through an open exchange of information can we pioneers truly make progress.
February 26, 2015 Comments Off on ‘Potager urbain’ – Urban Food Gardens
20 of the potential building sites contain gardens, places with names like Electric Ladybug Garden, Tranquility Farm and Isabahlia.
By Michael Tortorello
New York Times
Feb 11, 2015
Ena K. McPherson, a community-garden leader in Bed-Stuy, voiced the hopes of the other tillers. “We want our garden to be taken off the list and negotiate an agreement with the city,” she said. “We want to be conveyed to Parks Department.” GreenThumb gardens that are part of the parks inventory (some 300 gardens) are shielded from development.
What about the license she and the other gardeners sign each year, agreeing to leave H.P.D.’s land without grievance? “Nobody reads the contract,” Ms. McPherson said. “It’s just paperwork.” If you did, she added, you would “realize you just signed your life away.”
February 26, 2015 Comments Off on New York Community Gardens Threatened – Again
Features 51 poems written by 34 writers from seven countries
Editor Carol-Ann Hoyte
Bursting with flavor and just the right infusion of insight, Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems presents a collection of poems from thirty-four writers on the most universal topic of all: food. Featuring a wide assortment of styles, from haiku to acrostics to free verse, these poems touch on topics that range from lighthearted to seriously thought-provoking. Whether the focus of the poem is a child’s battle over eating peas or a celebration of fair trade, this collection introduces kids to a fresh new view of where their food comes from.
February 26, 2015 Comments Off on Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems
A short documentary that follows the life of an urban beekeeper in Pittsburgh, PA.
Directed by Steve Ellington
Featuring Steve Repasky
(Must see. Mike.)
Excerpt from Meadow Sweet Apiaries:
Stephen Repasky – EAS Master Beekeeper, Author and Consultant
Stephen Repasky is a second generation beekeeper living in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a Certified Master Beekeeper through the Eastern Apicultural Society and also the current President for Burgh Bees, Pittsburgh’s Urban Beekeeping Organization as well as the 2nd Vice-President for the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the American Beekeeping Federation. As Stephen began getting more involved with honey bees in the Pittsburgh area and beyond, the number of colonies also grew and the need for a formal name arose. Meadow Sweet Apiaries, was then established as the popularity of his honey, removal services and educational presentations grew.
February 25, 2015 Comments Off on Film: Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper
Wild bees provide adequate pollination service to tomato plants in San Francisco, researchers find
San Francisco State University
Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Even more surprising, neither the size of the garden nor the amount of green space in the surrounding area impacted the amount of pollinator service a plant received. Instead, the key factor was the “floral resource density,” or the abundance of flowers present within the garden in which the tomato plant was located. The more densely flowers were grown within each garden, the higher the yield of tomatoes.
“This is good news in San Francisco, because we have very limited space for urban agriculture,” said Potter, now an environmental consultant. “Small gardens with lots of flowers are enough to attract bees.”
February 25, 2015 Comments Off on Urban pollinators get the job done, San Francisco State study finds
Other pollinators don’t like urban areas as much as rural, but bees live in similar numbers across different landscapes
By Marissa Fessenden
February 12, 2015
Katherine Baldock, of the University of Bristol, surveyed pollinator abundance across 36 different sites that spanned farmland, nature reserves and urban areas. Her team counted honey bees, bumble bees and other flying pollinators. The group found that each area had about the same amount of total pollinators. Even though urban areas might not seem like the ideal place for flower-loving bees, those landscapes held more diverse bee species, though the other pollinators were less diverse and numerous. Baldock and her colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
February 24, 2015 Comments Off on City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees
Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage resident Romain Picasso holds a jar of shiitake mushroom spawn in the propagation room he’s built at the Ecovillage’s greenhouse complex.
(Photo: Thanks to Nancy Sullivan)
Picasso said some of the mushroom varieties he plans to grow include oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, lion’s mane mushrooms and portobello mushrooms.
Feb 12, 2015
In addition to growing and selling edible organic mushrooms, Picasso said the objectives of his farm operation are to help local restoration and conservation efforts by using fungi as natural bio-remediation agents and to create meaningful educational programs for all ages.
February 24, 2015 Comments Off on Cincinnati man starts mushroom farm
Urban Harvest STL’s new farm will cover 10,000 sq. ft. on the roof of a two-story building in downtown St. Louis.
Credit Artist’s rendition courtesy of HOK. Click on image for larger image.
The project received $33,000 in seed funding from Rally Saint Louis, a crowdfunding platform.
By Véronique Lacapra
St Louis Public Radio
Feb 12, 2015
The non-profit’s founding director, Mary Ostafi, said the 10,000 sq. ft. rooftop will be more than just a community garden. “We’re going to have an outdoor classroom, as well as a gathering space for community events,” Ostafi said. “We’ll be raising chickens and tending bees.”
The new farm will be planted on the roof of a storage facility at the corner of 14th Street and Constitution Plaza.
February 23, 2015 Comments Off on Downtown St. Louis To Sprout Its First Rooftop Farm
Hands-on, intensive six-week program to train 30 beginning farmers in urban and peri-urban agriculture
Wisconsin Ag Connection
Feb 11 2015
The USDA announced that a combined $1 million in grants are being awarded to two Wisconsin organizations that implement programs to train beginning farmers. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office said the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship in Seymour and Growing Power of Milwaukee will share the funds, which are being provided through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
“Our strong agricultural tradition is a driver of economic growth and these grants are an opportunity to boost our agriculture economy by ensuring the next generation of farmers can get their start,” Baldwin said. “The average age of Wisconsin farmers is almost 60 years old. Now more than ever, it is critical that aspiring farmers have the financial tools and technical assistance they need get up and running on their own farms.”
February 23, 2015 Comments Off on Growing Power awarded $250,000. from USDA
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Enhancing scientific capacity to inspire informed action on global environmental change
Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) faces significant pressures from rapid urban expansion and related stresses. START and UNEP recently partnered with several organizations to undertake a nine-city assessment of UPA in Africa and Asia. The assessments examined key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA to advance understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid urban development.
February 22, 2015 Comments Off on Nine-city assessment of Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Africa and Asia.
“A few years ago, peri-urban farming provided enough vegetables to feed Accra, but today we import vegetables from Burkina Faso.”
Feb 21, 2015
Ghana’s 1.7 million housing deficit means that increasing demand for housing is competing with farmlands particularly in peri-urban areas such as Dodowa, Pokuase, Amasaman, Ningo-Prampram and Afienya where farmlands are shrinking.
Although data on how much farmlands the country is losing is hard to come by, the country’s estimated 14 million-hectare agriculture land, out of which six million is lying fallow, continues to be under threat due to the urban drift that has increased demand for homes.
February 22, 2015 Comments Off on Ghana, Africa – Hunger looms; Due to unregulated sale of farmlands for housing around cities