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Posts from — April 2015

Seven African American Urban Farmers You Should Know

natas
Natasha Bowens, right.

“Community gardens help people reconnect with the earth, and this is especially important in areas that are struggling and have fewer resources.” Tanya Fields.

By Nicole L. Cvetnic
The Root
April 22 2015

Excerpt:

Natasha Bowens
Creator and author of The Color of Food
Frederick, Md.

After joining the food movement, Natasha Bowens instantly felt more alive and connected to the earth than she ever had before. She began discovering the historical inequalities in agriculture and the food system for people of color. When she was one of the few people of color selling food at a market a few years ago, some people did not take her efforts seriously.

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April 30, 2015   Comments Off on Seven African American Urban Farmers You Should Know

City of Sparks, Nevada prepares to embrace urban agriculture

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Employee Katie Toftdahl feeds chickens that are offered for sale at Rail City Garaden Center in Sparks.

“Our responsibility as good neighbors is to keep your coops clean, water and turn your compost piles, and don’t direct your bee’s fly ways at your neighbor’s home.”

By Nathan Orne
Sparks Tribune
Apr 21, 2015

Excerpt:

If approved, the change would allow residents to keep a specific number of chickens or raise a certain amount of bees on their personal property for purposes of food production. The change also includes language that would pave the way for community gardens.

“I really do think these are the types of things that when people come to our community this is the way we can show Sparks is a progressive city,” said City Councilwoman Julia Ratti, who is among the officials asking that the change be explored on behalf of interested residents.

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April 30, 2015   Comments Off on City of Sparks, Nevada prepares to embrace urban agriculture

Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

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Innovative Techniques for Growing Vegetables, Grains, and Perennial Food Crops with Minimal Fossil Fuel and Animal Inputs

By Will Bonsall
Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: June 3, 2015

Will Bonsall has worn many hats before and since going “back to the land,” including prospector, draftsman, gravedigger, hobo, musician, logger, and artist, among others; however, he considers subsistence farming to be the only true career he ever had. He is the director of the Scatterseed Project, which he founded to help preserve our endangered crop-plant diversity. His first book, Through the Eyes of a Stranger (Xlibris, 2010), is an eco-novel set in a sustainable society of the future. Will lives and farms in Industry, Maine, with his wife, Molly Thorkildsen, and two sons.

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April 30, 2015   Comments Off on Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

Supporting Sustainable Urban Agriculture From the Ground Up at California State University

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Biological science major Ivey Stone is working with community partner St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, where she is studying the influence of thyme ground cover on blueberry plant productivity and growth at the Fullerton church’s Seeds of Hope garden.

U-ACRE Brings Students, Community Partners Together to Solve Real-World Problems

CSUF News
Apr 20, 2015

Stone is among Cal State Fullerton students participating in hands-on and diverse research in sustainable urban agriculture, supported by Cal State Fullerton’s Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) program. Sara Johnson, professor of anthropology, started the private and federally funded program in 2011, which has been nationally recognized for its community engagement and preparing students to participate in a global society and the workforce.

“Dr. Johnson designed U-ACRE to be a sustainable model — and its success is due primarily to her hard work and that of the U-ACRE students and community partners who share her vision,” said Joel K. Abraham, assistant professor of biological science, who’s mentoring seven students, including Stone.

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April 29, 2015   Comments Off on Supporting Sustainable Urban Agriculture From the Ground Up at California State University

Forthcoming book: ‘The Urban Farmer’

curtis

British Columbia author: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land

By Curtis Stone
New Society Publishers
Pub. Date: 2015-11-01

The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else’s). Major benefits include:

Low capital investment and overhead costs
Reduced need for expensive infrastructure
Easy access to markets.

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April 29, 2015   Comments Off on Forthcoming book: ‘The Urban Farmer’

Urban agriculture contributes half of Cuba´s vegetable production

cubasmile

Cuban Agriculture minister Gustavo Rodriguez said that the initiative has helped create more than 300,000 jobs.

Cuban New Agency
17 April 2015

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 17 (acn) Urban and family gardening contributes 50 percent of the country´s vegetable production with over one million Cubans involved in this developing initiative.

During the closing session of the Second International Congress on Urban and Family Gardening, held in Havana, Cuban Agriculture minister Gustavo Rodriguez said that the initiative has helped create more than 300 thousand jobs.

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April 29, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture contributes half of Cuba´s vegetable production

Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

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Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate’.

The singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture

By Jane Merrick
The Independent
19 April 2015

Excerpt:

The Eighties pop star Kim Wilde has revealed how gardening helped her through bouts of anxiety and to restore “balance” after a turbulent time in the music business.

In a BBC appeal for the charity Thrive, which helps people with physical disabilities and mental health issues through gardening therapy, Wilde says: “Horticulture really brought me back to life. Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate … they are a complete sensory experience.”

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April 28, 2015   Comments Off on Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

Baltimore Council grants preliminary OK to tax breaks for urban farms

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Denzel Mitchell, of Baltimore owns operates “Five Seeds Farm” and provides its vegetables to local Baltimore restaurants. (Rachel Woolf / Baltimore Sun)

“There is lots of underutilized land in Baltimore City. I strongly believe producing food on the land is a viable use for the city and for young entrepreneurs.”

By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun
Apr 27, 2015

Excerpt:

The City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would grant a large tax break for urban farmers in Baltimore.

The bill, sponsored by City Councilman William “Pete” Welch, would provide a 90 percent property tax break for urban farmers who grow and sell at least $5,000 of fruit and vegetables a year. The credits, which must be approved by the city’s Office of Sustainability, are good for five years, but can be renewed for a total of 10 years, according to the bill.

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April 28, 2015   Comments Off on Baltimore Council grants preliminary OK to tax breaks for urban farms

This Hollywood Restaurant Grows Your Food Next To Your Table

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When the founders began researching vertical gardens, they learned about aeroponic towers made by a company called Green City Farms—basically, plant-filled poles. Photos: via Tender Greens.

The chain, Tender Greens, is adopting a drought-friendly kind of farming.

By Adele Peters
Co Exist
Apr 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Once a week, the restaurant harvests produce from the towers and uses it in a daily special. “It’s fun for chefs,” he says. “They’re absolutely connected to the plants, because they’ve been watching them grow all week.”

With the restaurant’s high volumes, the towers can only provide a tiny fraction of the food served (and, sadly, diners can’t harvest their own greens to put directly in a salad). But the towers serve as a visible sign of the company’s bigger shift to ultra-efficient farming as California’s drought worsens. Hydroponic farming can save as much as 90% of the water that would be used to grow food in the field.

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April 28, 2015   Comments Off on This Hollywood Restaurant Grows Your Food Next To Your Table

1909: ‘The Vegetable Garden’

hotbed Temporary hotbeds in a city backyard. For larger image click on picture.

“Did we cultivate more assiduously our backyard gardens, those of us whose daily grind chains us fast to a bell or whistle or even an office clock, there would be fewer nervous breakdowns.”

By Ida D. Bennett
Doubleday, Page and Co.
1909

Excerpt:

There are certain plant-poisons – herbicides – on the market which it is claimed will kill out scrub oak, burdock, Canada thistle, and like persistent perennial growths … It is considerations like this which make the growing of one’s own kitchen vegetables so desirable,

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April 27, 2015   Comments Off on 1909: ‘The Vegetable Garden’

Forget Peanuts and Cracker Jack: These Baseball Teams Have Stadium-Grown Greens

ballpPhoto: Maureen White.

Dirt is for more than filling base paths at these ballparks—it’s for growing food too.

By Steve Holt
Take Part
April 16, 2015

Excerpt:

When the first vegetables and herbs are harvested in early May, Fenway Farms will be contributing its part to a long-term push at the ballpark to operate more sustainably—and a more recent emphasis on integrating healthy food into concessions. Knight said the idea for the farm came from Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Sox co-owner John Henry. Last summer, the founders of Green City Growers—a company converting unused space into farms and gardens—met with Henry to pitch ideas for turning that dream into a reality.

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April 27, 2015   Comments Off on Forget Peanuts and Cracker Jack: These Baseball Teams Have Stadium-Grown Greens

West Sacramento Expands Urban Farms

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West Sacramento Urban Farm’s location at 5th & C Street. Photo: Kristi Garrett

GRO1000 is ScottsMiracle-Gro’s commitment to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018

Globe Newswire
West Sacramento, Calif.
April 15, 2015

Excerpt:

The 5th and C Street Urban Farm in West Sacramento received a GRO1000 grant from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and The U.S. Conference of Mayors to expand urban agriculture in the city and increase healthy food accessibility for area residents. Funding for the project is part of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s national GRO1000 gardens and green spaces program.

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April 26, 2015   Comments Off on West Sacramento Expands Urban Farms

Seoul getting its first-ever vertical farm

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“The vertical farm will be built three stories high. We are planning to use the first floor as a training site and the second and third stories for cultivating leafy vegetables and other plants,”

The Hankyoreh
Apr 14, 2015

Excerpt:

Seoul is about to see its first vertical farm, which is an eco-friendly agricultural production system inside inner-city high-rises, in which environmental conditions such as light, temperature, humidity, and CO2 density are all automatically controlled to enable plants to be cultivated regardless of the season. What is particularly interesting is that this vertical farm will be set up in a building in a redeveloped apartment complex in Seoul that is being donated as contributed acceptance to Seoul Metropolitan Government.

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April 26, 2015   Comments Off on Seoul getting its first-ever vertical farm

London Home to UK’s First Commercial Urban Aquaponics Farm

annprHRH Princess Anne visits GrowUp Urban Farms.

After receiving planning permission, a London warehouse will soon become home to the UK’s first commercial aquaponic farm, creating sustainable a pioneering new model for sustainable, ethical food production in cities.

The Fish Site
17 April 2015

Excerpt:

The revolutionary farm will use aquaculture and hydroponic technology to produce more than 20,000kg of sustainable salads and herbs (enough for 200,000 salad bags) and 4,000kg of fish each year, with first harvests predicted for September.

GrowUp Urban Farms has been given the green light to start building the farming system after receiving planning permission from the London Borough of Newham this week.

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April 25, 2015   Comments Off on London Home to UK’s First Commercial Urban Aquaponics Farm

Canning, Pickling, and Freezing with Irma Harding

irma

Readers are guided through the book by Irma Harding, a fictional spokesperson for appliances produced by International Harvester during the 1950s.

By Marilyn McCray
Octane Press
2014

Urban farmers, foodies, and cooking enthusiasts of all ages are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to food preservation. For those wanting to preserve garden-fresh vegetables at home, Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Hardingoffers modern techniques and tasty recipes from heartland farms.

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April 25, 2015   Comments Off on Canning, Pickling, and Freezing with Irma Harding