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Posts from — May 2015

Dublin’s Belvedere Farm – Secondary School Horticulture Project

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Indoor Greenhouse & Rooftop Growing – “GROWlab Urban Agricultural Education”

Excerpt:

Students at Belvedere College SJ are currently growing crops, farming fish and cultivating fungi in a glass-roofed science laboratory called the GROWlab,
featuring an aquaponic and hydroponic farm with an innovative system of teaching sustainability in the city, a year-round space where students can learn
about plant life cycles, green technology, and sustainable farming practices.

The GROWlab is chockablock with innovative solutions: rainwater catchment, wind energy, aquaponics, hydroponics, vertical growing, worm composting,
solar energy, advanced LED lighting, and environmental controls that let the students monitor conditions in the greenhouse and grow systems.

[Read more →]

May 31, 2015   Comments Off on Dublin’s Belvedere Farm – Secondary School Horticulture Project

Can Africa’s urban farms go vertical?

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A worker harvests fresh produce from a tower at Sky Greens vertical farm in Singapore.

Now is the time to forge the creative partnerships between African entrepreneurs, Western vertical farming pioneers, social impact funders, and corporations to develop economically rewarding but also safe food solutions for Africa’s cities.

By Esther Ngumbi
Thomson Reuters Foundation
21 May 2015

Excerpt:

As a poor student at Kenyatta University in Kenya, I experienced the direct results of this reality. The only food I could afford was Sukuma Wiki, the most commonly eaten leafy vegetable around. I ate it every day of the week, and was often sick. As it turns out, the greens were most likely grown using contaminated water.

In a study published by East African Medical Journal, scientists discovered that the levels of fecal bacteria in water used for irrigating crops and washing vegetables in markets was dangerously high.

Even worse, such cases of food contamination are widely found, as most wastewater generated from urban centers goes untreated into the surrounding environment.

[Read more →]

May 31, 2015   Comments Off on Can Africa’s urban farms go vertical?

The Best Urban Farming In Chicago

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tableGlobal Garden Refugee Training Farm./ Photo: Facebook

Chicago has a bevy of urban farming options for the most novice to serious green thumbs in the city.

ChicagoList
May 20, 2015

Big Delicious Planet
62nd Street Garden
Windy City Harvest
The Peterson Garden Project
St. Paul And The Redeemer Food Garden
Global Garden Refugee Training Farm
Wood Street Urban Farm and Training Center
Growing Power’s Chicago Iron Street Farm
The Plant
The Gary Comer Youth Center Rooftop Garden

Excerpt:

Global Garden Refugee Training Farm

By Lisa White

I first found out about, and fell in love with, the story of the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm after reading Mike Sulla’s awesome profile in the Reader. Tucked away in Albany Park, the plot of land was transformed into a thriving garden after 100 families from Bhutan and Burma took over the spot. What started out small has grown within the refugee community, and now there are more applicants than farm plots.

[Read more →]

May 30, 2015   Comments Off on The Best Urban Farming In Chicago

The Real Seeds of Change Are Being Planted by Offenders in Balinese Prisons

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A quiet revolution is underway in Bali’s prisons.

Bangli Prison Organic Farm is the main producer of organic food seeds distributed to regional farmers by the local nongovernment IDEP Foundation

By Ade Andreawan
Jakarta Globe
Apr 27, 2015

Excerpt:

On the inside of Bangli Prison in central Bali, seeds of life are transforming inmates in a correctional revolution of wellbeing not only for health of the prisoners, but the birth of a pioneering food-seed social enterprise — possibly a world-first in prison reform models — providing nourishment for tens of thousands across Bali, and strengthening Indonesia’s food sovereignty in the process.

Bangli Prison Organic Farm, supported by an Indonesian donor-funded team of permaculture and community development experts, is the main producer of organic food seeds distributed to regional farmers by the local nongovernment IDEP Foundation.

[Read more →]

May 30, 2015   Comments Off on The Real Seeds of Change Are Being Planted by Offenders in Balinese Prisons

That’s billion, with a bee: Measuring the massive cost of hive collapse

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Right now, the honey bee adds more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy alone

By Amy Tennery
Reuters
May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

The makers of insecticides containing neonics, Bayer and Syngenta chief among them, have a lot to lose if regulatory bodies end up siding with the environmentalists. More than 90 percent of the corn in the U.S. is treated with neonics, according to this release from Bayer. To put this in perspective, last year the USDA estimated that around 91.6 million acres of corn were planted in the United States. That’s a lot of neonic’d corn.

So what happens if — or when — we run out of honey bees?

[Read more →]

May 29, 2015   Comments Off on That’s billion, with a bee: Measuring the massive cost of hive collapse

Newcastle, UK envisages a future where food is produced on urban rooftops and green spaces

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His Edible Map of Newcastle is “a guide to help visualise a city where fruit, vegetables, livestock, fish, bees and other food sources could flourish and be nurtured in streets, empty rooftops and under-used open spaces”.

By David Whetstone
The Journal
28 May 2015

Excerpt:

Another important contributor to the project was Mikey Tomkins, an academic researcher, artist and consultant in urban sustainability and urban agriculture.

For his doctorate, Mikey looked at community food gardens on London housing estates. Currently he is working as a consultant in the United States and Uganda, developing urban agriculture projects with poor communities, especially among refugees.

[Read more →]

May 29, 2015   Comments Off on Newcastle, UK envisages a future where food is produced on urban rooftops and green spaces

USDA: Mobile Farms Move into Urban Settings

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contr
Urban farmers like Lashmit and Pierce avoid high land prices by storing their unit in a portion of a parking lot they rent in the urban setting of Marlborough County, Massachusetts.

While urban farming is a new concept, it incorporates cutting edge technology that allows Lashmit and Pierce to control the system remotely by adjusting the lights, pH and nutrient dosing and carbon dioxide level for humidity controls.

By Norman Cummins and Cassie Bable,
Farm Service Agency
USDA on May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

Lashmit and his girlfriend Megan Pierce both have day jobs but decided to start Friendly Farms, a small-scale urban agriculture operation. With the help of their savings and a USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) microloan, they were able to purchase a repurposed freight container that is tailored for hydroponically growing vegetables and includes a water system, heating and cooling units and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) designed to mirror sunlight.

[Read more →]

May 29, 2015   Comments Off on USDA: Mobile Farms Move into Urban Settings

Urban Farmers Say It’s Time They Got Their Own Research Farms

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Mchezaji “Che” Axum stands in a hoop house at the University of the District of Columbia’s Muirkirk Research Farm, a resource for urban farmers in the city.
Whitney Pipkin for NPR.

In New York City, for example, Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension has one staff member for every 160,000 residents and tries to “make sure that all New York residents benefit from Cornell’s research.”

By Whitney Pipkin
NPR
May 18, 2015

Excerpt:

About 80 percent of Americans now live in urban areas, and more and more of us are growing food in cities as well.

But where’s an urban farmer to turn for a soil test or when pests infiltrate the fruit orchard?

[Read more →]

May 28, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farmers Say It’s Time They Got Their Own Research Farms

Greater Vancouver’s ‘Can You Dig It’

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Working with over 1600 gardeners over the past six years, 38 organic community gardens have been created

By Brooke Oxley
Cinthia Page, Hemant Kulkari
Can You Dig It
Project Coordinator
May 28, 2015

For six years now Can You Dig It (CYDI) has been building community gardens all over the lower mainland. Working with over 1600 gardeners over the past six years, 38 organic community gardens have been created, so there is a good chance you may have encountered one – on city property, a rooftop, at a church, in the back or front yard of a residence, beside a school, or a community centre. Wherever there are people wanting to grow food, share skills and build relationships, CYDI is there to support accessibility, generosity and engagement. Like the biodiversity of a garden, they believe that community also thrives on the diversity of cultures, age groups and abilities.

[Read more →]

May 28, 2015   Comments Off on Greater Vancouver’s ‘Can You Dig It’

The dirt on soil: Keep it healthy for the sake of your veggies

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Lorraine Johnson thinks of soil as an underground universe comprising tens of thousands of creatures that are our friends. (Mark Blinch for the Globe and Mail)

“The main thing to do is remember that soil is alive,” says Lorraine Johnson

By Sarah Elton
Special to The Globe and Mail
May 27, 2015

Excerpt:

Michael Levenston, of Vancouver’s City Farmer, the go-to urban agriculture non-profit that runs a compost demonstration garden and teaches gardening skills, believes this recognition can be gained by working in the garden, and composting. “Making soil, that’s really transformative,” he says.

[Read more →]

May 28, 2015   Comments Off on The dirt on soil: Keep it healthy for the sake of your veggies

UA magazine 29 – City Region Food Systems

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ua29

This issue addresses the growing attention for policy and practice approaches that focus on food issues from a city-regional perspective

RUAF
May 2015

Excerpt:

Food is increasingly an urban issue. This is gaining broad recognition among local, regional and national governments, international and support organisations, civil society, the private sector, consumers and academia. Evidence for this recognition can be found in cities in all regions of the world, where policy and programme initiatives are being undertaken in various fields related to urban and peri-urban food production and supply – as many of the articles in this Magazine illustrate.

[Read more →]

May 27, 2015   Comments Off on UA magazine 29 – City Region Food Systems

Louisiana Representative Ebony Woodruff wants to establishes an urban agriculture incentive zone: HB761

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HB 761 Original 2015 Regular Session Woodruff

Abstract:

Establishes urban agriculture incentive zones. Provides a procedure for the enactment of urban agriculture incentive zones. Provides rules, regulations and fees for urban agriculture incentive zones. Provides contract provisions related to urban agriculture incentive zones. Provides prohibitions for urban agriculture incentive zones. Provides definitions for “urban”, “urban agriculture incentive zone” and “agricultural use”. Modifies definition of “bona fide agricultural land”.

Proposed law provides for the establishment of urban agriculture incentive zones in urban areas with a population of at least 45,000 people.

Proposed law provides procedures for political subdivisions to establish urban agriculture incentive zones.

[Read more →]

May 27, 2015   Comments Off on Louisiana Representative Ebony Woodruff wants to establishes an urban agriculture incentive zone: HB761

Vertical farming offers solutions for China’s cities

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The design of a vertical farm shown during an expo at the Hainan International Creative Harbor in Haikou, Hainan province in 2011. (File photo/CFP)

It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 800 million people living in China’s cities who need a safe and stable supply of nutrients. By that time, vertical farming practices in cities may play a role in contributing to the supply.

Chinese Times
2015-05-19

Excerpt:

Lin Jinyi plants 800 head of lettuce in his 15 square meters of living space in Hangzhou and can harvest as much as 500 kilos of the vegetable at a time. Without using any growth hormone or chemicals, all the 39-year-old Lin does is hang the plants on poles. It is the purest form of soil-free cultivation.

A former employee of Google China, Lin is now a “modern farmer” who guides Chinese farmers in building vertical farming systems.

[Read more →]

May 27, 2015   Comments Off on Vertical farming offers solutions for China’s cities

Dutch Royal Couple to Visit Gotham Greens’ Newest Rooftop Greenhouse in June in Chicago

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His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photo: Koos Breukel.

For more than 400 years, the Netherlands and the United States have been joined by the values of freedom, justice and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Busininess Wire
May 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The Royal Couple will then visit Gotham Greens’ newest rooftop greenhouse, located in South Chicago’s Pullman District, which is the largest rooftop greenhouse facility in the world. Gotham Greens, a New York-based company, is a worldwide pioneer in the field of urban agriculture for the cultivation of fresh vegetables.

The Gotham Greens facility showcases Dutch innovative solutions of greenhouse technology. Dutch products are used in almost every aspect of the growing process in this urban greenhouse, from the seeds (Rijk Zwaan) and growing mediums to climate control (Hortimax) and biological control (Koppert).

[Read more →]

May 26, 2015   Comments Off on Dutch Royal Couple to Visit Gotham Greens’ Newest Rooftop Greenhouse in June in Chicago

Japan’s Future Vertical Farms – Semiconductor Chip Companies Produce Food

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How Japan is using high tech factories to grow vegetables indoors.

By Rachel Mealey
Al Jazeera
25 May 2015
(Must see! Mike)

Excerpt:

By 2050, the world will need to feed an additional 2.5 billion people living in cities. Yet as the demand for food rises, the amount of land available for agriculture in developed countries is expected to decline.

In Japan, at the Fujitsu factory of Aizu-Wakamatsu which still manufactures semiconductor chips for computers, a different project is underway which may offer a solution to this problem.

[Read more →]

May 26, 2015   Comments Off on Japan’s Future Vertical Farms – Semiconductor Chip Companies Produce Food