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Posts from — August 2015

India: Karnataka State Horticulture Department is successfully promoting kitchen gardening in urban areas

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50,000 households have benefitted from the project in the last two years. This year it aims to reach about 20,000 households spread over 30 districts of the State.

By Radha Prathi
Deccan Herald
Aug 25, 2015

Excerpt:

If one is under the impression that only civil society organisations and enterprising individuals are working towards the green goal, then one must stand corrected. The State Horticulture Department is also successfully promoting kitchen gardening in urban areas. Kavitha A S, senior assistant director at the Horticulture Department, Dharwad (ZP), has been actively initiating the urban population in her jurisdiction towards having a green space of their own. She explains that the government conducts demonstration on the subject in public places like parks, hostels and open grounds.

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August 31, 2015   Comments Off on India: Karnataka State Horticulture Department is successfully promoting kitchen gardening in urban areas

City Farmer’s Compost Garden loses tree in ‘intense’ Vancouver storm

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A tall cottonwood tree, nicknamed by some “the widow maker”, lies in our ‘back-40’ area at the rear of the Vancouver Compost Garden. Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

Eighty-kilometre-an-hour winds buffeted the Greater Vancouver Area

Excerpt from “Thousands still without power as clean up begins after severe B.C. windstorm”

By Geordon Omand
The Canadian Press
Aug. 31, 2015

Excerpt:

Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver’s deputy city manager, described the scale of the storm as “unprecedented” and estimated it would take weeks for the city to fully clean up the debris.

“This is probably one of the most intense storms that we’ve had over the past decade,” he said during a news conference, while behind him city crews worked to remove fallen branches from the road.

“I think the drought combined with the high winds really impacted us,” he added. “The drought led to more trees coming down, which led to more power outages. So it kind of compounded.”

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August 31, 2015   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Compost Garden loses tree in ‘intense’ Vancouver storm

China: They left city jobs to farm roaches in their home village

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Mr Wu Songqing with the mulberry branches he uses to grow mu’er. The finance graduate moved back to his village of Guanhe in Anhui province to grow the edible black fungus because he wanted to make a difference. Photo: The Straits Times

Mr Wu’s entrepreneurial story began in 2013 when he realised – on a visit home – that villagers who were breeding silkworms in mulberry trees were discarding their branches. But these were ideal for growing high-quality mu’er.

By Esther Teo
The Straits Times
Aug 23, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s the stuff of nightmares. A single light bulb hangs by a wire from the ceiling of a damp, dimly lit room with hundreds of thousands of cockroaches scurrying about.

Some 400,000, to be exact. They dart between cardboard and egg cartons strung together to provide the dark hiding places they prefer.

It might be creepy to most people, but these six-legged critters being bred for their medicinal properties are rich pickings for 24-year-old Mr Qian Cheng.

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August 31, 2015   Comments Off on China: They left city jobs to farm roaches in their home village

Urban farm partnership in Indianapolis fills need for healthy food, education and sense of community

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Lauren Brown, MLA ’12, heads the Indy Urban Acres cut flowers efforts, growing mostly wild flowers that are sold for commercial use. The nearly forgotten land is an example, Brown says, of how landscape architects can help turn something that seems like nothing into a vibrant, essential piece of a community.

“I love the groups that come out here,” Brown said. “Kids come out, and they have no idea where or how a tomato grows.

By Lisa Renze-Rhodes, Director of Media Strategy
Ball State University
Aug 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Indianapolis—On eight overlooked acres in the shadow of long-haul semi traffic, in a neighborhood represented on the city’s crime map with home invasion, burglary, theft and even assault icons, goodness grows.

It tastes like ripe tomatoes, sharp bell peppers and crisp cucumbers. It looks like wildflowers, waiting for a bride to carry them into happily-ever-after.

It feels like hope.

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August 30, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farm partnership in Indianapolis fills need for healthy food, education and sense of community

Professional help is at hand for urban gardeners in Puducherry, India

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An urban food garden in Auroville.— Photo:Special Arrangement

“There is immense potential in roof-top urban gardens. We are aware of a growing public interest in organic farming and this programme is designed to help aspirants set up their own gardens,” said an Agriculture Department official.

M. Dinesh Varma
The Hindu
Aug 22, 2015

Excerpt:

Plenty of enterprising city residents are turning horticulturists by setting up their own roof-top gardens in whatever little space is available.

From brinjal and tomatoes to ladies finger and snake-gourd, residents have been experimenting with terrace gardens in modest measures.

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August 30, 2015   Comments Off on Professional help is at hand for urban gardeners in Puducherry, India

Urban agriculture growing in popularity in West Virginia

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WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

The West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference will be held Sept. 17-19.

By Nicky Walters
WOWK TV
Aug 20, 2015

Excerpt:

There is a garden on Charleston’s West Side maintained by a group called West Virginia SAGE. The garden is made up of several raised beds. According to the most recent United States Department of Agriculture Census there are 956 small or urban farms in West Virginia. Agriculture leaders say that number has grown by an estimated 23 percent.

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August 29, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture growing in popularity in West Virginia

A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye

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Manuel Gomez, a driver, eats corn that he helped grow. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

“I bring the lunch for everybody from that tomato,” he said.

By Kate Pastor
New York Times
AUG. 27, 2015

Excerpt:

Summer is the slowest season for cabdrivers, when they must find ways to pass the time between passengers. Some recline in the seats of their cars; others relax outside.

But Mr. Santana, 66, and other Seaman drivers spend their downtime tending a small farm off Johnson Avenue in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx, near Riverdale.

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August 28, 2015   Comments Off on A Patch of the Bronx Where the Corn Is as High as a Cabdriver’s Eye

Our view: Urban farming still a dream in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Gaia Gardens Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shots from the air.

The city needs to write its urban agricultural ordinance — not after the next farm starts, but before.

Editorial: Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug 19, 2015

Excerpt:

However, at the heart of the debate is whether Santa Fe is serious about promoting urban agriculture, something that Los Angeles and even New York City have been able to do. Santa Fe, despite its talk, is not finding ways to help farms thrive.

Whatever happens to Gaia Gardens, the city needs to write its urban agricultural ordinance — not after the next farm starts, but before.

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August 28, 2015   Comments Off on Our view: Urban farming still a dream in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Farming goes urban in Hyde Park, Chicago

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St. Paul & the Redeemer Food Garden have grown 1200 pounds of fresh organic produce each year for hungry neighbors on the South Side of Chicago.

“Urban gardening is a transformative power in changing people’s perspectives about their food,” he said.

By Allison Matyus
Hyde Park Herald
Aug 19, 2015

Excerpt:

The St. Paul and the Redeemer Church (SPR), 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., is also growing fresh food to help their fellow neighbors obtain quality produce.

A 850-square-foot cultivated space at SPR provides more than 1,200 pounds of nutritious food a year, according to Jim Schaal, the food garden coordinator at the church.

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August 27, 2015   Comments Off on Farming goes urban in Hyde Park, Chicago

Canada – The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre community garden covers 0.6 hectares of a urban lot

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saskfRow upon row of vegetables, herbs and fruit at the Garden Patch. (CBC)

MacDonald said over 4,000 kilograms of food has already been harvested this summer.

CBC News
Aug 27, 2015

Excerpt:

he growing season is far from over and the community garden run by the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center is already full and leafy and bursting with food.

The space, known as the Garden Patch, is on Third Avenue between Duchess and Duke streets.

The garden grows produce that is distributed at the food bank. It is also a place where community and urban agriculture projects are underway.

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August 27, 2015   Comments Off on Canada – The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre community garden covers 0.6 hectares of a urban lot

The Benefits Of Owning Farm Animals In The City

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kidoile Click on image for larger file.

Everyone I spoke with told me that the downside of keeping urban animals is that it is a 24/7 job which makes going on vacation difficult.

By Rebecca Mongrain
Seattle Refined
Aug 18, 2015

Excerpts:

Seattle’s liberal livestock laws allow for the average city resident to bring a bit of the farm to their urban backyard. Seattle allows up to eight domestic fowl on any lot but roosters are not permitted. The hen house must be at least 10 feet away from any residential structure. The Seattle Homestead site provides information on chicken laws for most of Washington’s major towns. Miniature goats and small potbelly pigs are permitted with limitations while farm animals (full-sized goats, cows, horses, sheep, etc.) are only allowed on lots over 20,0000 square feet within Seattle City Limits. No swine are allowed other than small potbelly pigs either.

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August 26, 2015   Comments Off on The Benefits Of Owning Farm Animals In The City

Facilitating Urban Agriculture with ‘Tactical’ Policy Changes in Hamilton, Ontario

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Hill Street Community Garden (RTH file photo)

Citizens and organizations are making Hamilton a model for how rural and urban can work together as part of a sustainable food system.

By Jason Thorne
Raise the Hammer
August 18, 2015

Excerpt:

On the doorstep of this rural and agricultural area is an urban area of more than half a million people, soon to be more than 700,000. The city is working to take advantage of this unique opportunity and position itself as a leader in urban agriculture.

To help achieve that goal, the City’s Planning and Economic Development Department, led by Planning Manager Joanne Hickey-Evans, has been systematically identifying, and removing, barriers to urban agriculture.

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August 26, 2015   Comments Off on Facilitating Urban Agriculture with ‘Tactical’ Policy Changes in Hamilton, Ontario

From family’s farm land, Jim Embry brought knowledge, passion to Lexington’s community gardens in Kentucky

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“Our garden literally began as a parking lot space for semi trucks in an industrial setting in downtown Lexington as a very simple hoop house garden,” Kelley said. “Today, it is the largest community garden I know of in downtown Lexington.”

By Beverly Fortune
Kentucky.com
August 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Embry helped organized the first Food Summit in Lexington in 2007, met with then-Fayette County Schools superintendent Stu Silberman to share his Detroit experience and encourage school gardens, and approached the city about community gardens in city parks.

“Jim was at the forefront of the community gardening movement in Lexington. We lagged behind other cities, like Chicago and New York, with long traditions of community gardens. He was important in getting community gardens started here,” said Dehlia Scott, horticulture agent with the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service.

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August 25, 2015   Comments Off on From family’s farm land, Jim Embry brought knowledge, passion to Lexington’s community gardens in Kentucky

Urban farms need financially sound business models to be truly sustainable

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Before launching an urban farm, the producer should consider the effect of scale along with substantial production risks. Expect small, single digit returns on their investment with the need for development of an appropriate business strategy.

By Frank Gublo,
Michigan State University Extension
Posted on August 17, 2015

Excerpt:

Every week Michigan State University Extension educators and MSU Product Center counselors receive inquiries about the feasibility of starting a farm. In recent years, the interest in sustainable urban agriculture as a tool for repurposing cities such as Detroit has grown but has produced few ventures at a commercial scale. Financial sustainability urban farm operations we see in southeast Michigan however is still questionable. This is due to the smaller scale, lower prices of fruit and vegetable crops, and the production management skills of the farmer-producer. The dream of becoming a full time urban farmer is a lofty goal that few will achieve. Strategy, realistic planning, and beautiful execution of the farm plans are critical in achieving a successful outcome.

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August 25, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farms need financially sound business models to be truly sustainable

Urban Agriculture In Minneapolis : Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable

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“Organic certification is challenging for urban growers because they tend to be so dispersed.”

By Brian Martucci
The Line
August 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The most visible examples of MSP’s small-scale urban ag movement are community gardens, where single people, families or small groups grow produce for themselves and, sometimes, a small farmers’ market stall. The region’s community gardening scene has exploded in recent years, with far too many individual gardens to name. Gardening Matters, an urban gardening and agriculture organization, maintains a comprehensive map of community gardens in Minneapolis and St. Paul using data supplied by the gardens themselves.

According to Gardening Matters’ annual Community Gardening in Minnesota: A Snapshot report, nearly 350 community gardens existed across MSP in 2014. Of those, more than 250 produced food. Most are owned and operated by city governments, nonprofit institutions, faith institutions or private individuals.

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August 24, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture In Minneapolis : Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable