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Posts from — October 2015

Michigan State University’s Pollinator Initiative Project

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Rebecca Masterman, associate director of the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad, with a “bee beard.” Image: Bee Squad.

“Pests and the diseases they are spreading are a big challenge,” Masterman said. Bee parasites like varroa mites are a global problem.

By Kelly Vanfrankenhuyzen
Great Lakes Echo
Oct 25, 2015

Excerpt:

“One colony of bees cost $550 and $100 for equipment,” she said. The Bee Squad offers classes and a mentoring program. The classes are offered once a year for eight hours, but the limit is six people.

“It’s a manageable way to train people in basic beekeeping,” Masterman said.

[Read more →]

October 31, 2015   Comments Off on Michigan State University’s Pollinator Initiative Project

Detroit’s Recoverypark To Get 40 Acres For Urban Agriculture

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Rendering of area adjacent the historic Chene Ferry market (it is in the background on the left) with RecoveryPark’s proposed commercial greenhouses bio-swales to control water runoff and cleanse the environment. Photo: Mannik Smith Group

RecoveryPark is an effort to grow food commercially inside the city and use the profits to support SHAR, a drug addiction recovery agency, including putting recovering addicts and ex-offenders to work.

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press
October 25, 2015

Excerpt:

The deal will see the city lease and eventually sell about 400 parcels near Chene and Ferry to RecoveryPark, Wozniak said. The operation will pay $105 per acre per year in lease payments to the city and eventually buy the land for about $3,500 per acre.

The project is bounded by I-94 on the north, Forest on the south, St. Aubin on the west and Chene on the east.

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October 31, 2015   Comments Off on Detroit’s Recoverypark To Get 40 Acres For Urban Agriculture

Urban Agriculture at Donker Farm in Worcester, Massachusetts will help change zoning code

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Elisabeth J. Donker of Worcester shows some of her hand-painted Worcesterware pottery during a tour of her farm. T&G Staff/Paul Kapteyn.

Mayor says: “I see urban agriculture as a growing part of our economic and food landscape. I don’t know that it will ever be the silver bullet for food production or for economic development but it’s another tool in the toolbox. People in our urban cores require healthy options for food, and urban farms and farmers markets are one way to address these inequalities.”

By Cyrus Moulton
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Oct. 24, 2015

Excerpt:

“There have been a lot of people who have been very excited about farming and having an opportunity to farm in Worcester, to raise chickens, etc.” Mr. Novick said. “Now we have a spot in the city which is exempt from the laws that hold people back, and if we can work with folks, we can make a place where that is available.”

It’s an effort that has the support of several groups involved with farming in Worcester, including the mayor’s office and the Planning Department, which is working on a project to amend the zoning code to allow for commercial agriculture in the city.

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October 31, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture at Donker Farm in Worcester, Massachusetts will help change zoning code

Trent University students grow a market garden in Peterborough, Ontario

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Trent Research: Get Your Hands Dirty.

This season, students grew tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, kale, squash, eggplant, watermelon, and quinoa.

Trent University
Daily News
Sept. 11, 2015

Excerpt:

Trent University students have played a key role in the development of the Trent Market Garden and the partnership between Trent Food Services and Chartwells. Working with the University’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program also brought an exciting dimension to the project – creating a bridge between the classroom and the real world, by having students in the program plant and harvest the crops in the Garden.

Jonathan Duffy, a third year Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems student and co-manager of the Trent Market Garden, says it was exciting to see the project evolve from an idea to a reality and that it’s been a great benefit to his studies at Trent.

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October 30, 2015   Comments Off on Trent University students grow a market garden in Peterborough, Ontario

Fairview Gardens Urban Farm Ends Season Early Due to Drought Water Rate Increases

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Fairview Gardens farm was cut its CSA memberships short this year due to drought rate water increases. Members who regularly pick up produce were greeted this week with a plowed field and a message saying the soil would be taking a break. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Goleta, California — If it doesn’t rain, Fairview Gardens would have to go the expensive route of irrigating, growing less or nothing at all.

By Gina Potthoff
Noozhawk
Oct 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Water rates more than tripled for the 12-plus-acre Goleta farm at 598 N. Fairview Ave. on July 1 when Goleta Water District drought surcharges kicked in.

The increase was too much for the nonprofit Center for Urban Agriculture for Fairview Gardens, which was established in 1997 to focus on educating locals about where their food comes from and on producing quality organic fruits and vegetables for them to eat.

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October 30, 2015   Comments Off on Fairview Gardens Urban Farm Ends Season Early Due to Drought Water Rate Increases

Australia: Canberra City Farm establishes new community garden at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands

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Linda Ayliffe, joint team leader of the propagation and gardening group for City Farm, was happy to see the signing of a licence for a new community garden. Photo: Jay Cronan.

“This centre will deliver a range of educational programs for aspiring urban gardeners and community members to learn how to produce their own food in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way.”

By Keira Jenkins
Canberra Times
Oct 22, 2015

Excerpt:

The 10-year agreement gives the community group, and their partners in the Urban Agriculture Australia Initiative, access to 19 hectares of land next to the wetlands to develop an environmental education centre.

Canberra City Farm president Jodie Pipkorn said the new licence opened up a wide range of possibilities and has given the group certainty for the next decade.

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October 30, 2015   Comments Off on Australia: Canberra City Farm establishes new community garden at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Turning Blight into Urban Gardens and Homes in Oakland

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A small Oakland nonprofit is pushing a plan to transform blighted, abandoned parcels into small urban gardens with tiny homes.

By Eli Wolfe
East Bay Express
Oct 21, 2015

Excerpt:

The farm on the corner of 37th and West streets is easy to miss. With just a few vegetable plots, some fruit trees, a pen for ducks and chickens, and a tiny, 120-square-foot home, it hardly compares to some of West Oakland’s bigger urban farms. But the farm’s founder, Steven DeCaprio, sees it as the first stage in a plan to bring a new type of farming and affordable housing to Oakland.

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October 29, 2015   Comments Off on Turning Blight into Urban Gardens and Homes in Oakland

Abu Dhabi students have a farm day

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abu
Students at a farm in Abu Dhabi as part of an initiative to raise their awareness about the environment.

“Visiting farms of Emiratis comes as part of the awareness plans and educational programmes aimed at increasing environmental and health awareness among children and school students.

Staff Reporter
Abu Dhabi
October 20, 2015

Excerpt:

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality and its partners paid a visit to a “model farm” in Al Wathba area.

The group visiting Emirati, Abdullah Hassan Al Ali’s farm included students from Al Noor School, and representatives from the Farmers Services Centre. The students were included to raise their awareness about the environment.

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October 29, 2015   Comments Off on Abu Dhabi students have a farm day

Residents of Kiambu County, Kenya urged to embrace urban farming

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Residents of Kiambu county urged to convert their backyards to money generating areas by embracing vertical agriculture. They have also been advised to consider sack farming. [Photo/www.amshaafrica.org]

“My family has never gone hungry. I have now started a green grocery business which has expanded the market for my vertical gardens produce.”

By Krysty Wandy
Kiambu County News
20 Oct 2015

Excerpt:

The Sub-County agribusiness officer Ms. Tabitha Gicheru said in her office today that people can earn income by growing vegetables on vertical gardens in homes and backyards where ground space is limited. She said that vertical gardens are ideal for people living in urban areas including those living in rental apartments. Terming it as a solution to food shortage, the agribusiness officer also urged people in urban areas to practice urban farming.

‘‘Vertical gardens are a form of urban farming. I want to encourage people to engage in urban farming because this is one way through which they can earn an extra money while enhancing food security at the same time,’’ said Gicheru.

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October 28, 2015   Comments Off on Residents of Kiambu County, Kenya urged to embrace urban farming

Urban Farming Makes it Easier to Harvest Crops in Charlottesville, Virginia

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NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

“Here at Casa Alma, especially since we’re located at three residential properties, we hope people can see what they could do on their own residential property, especially in collaboration with neighbors.”

NBC29
Oct 18, 2015

Excerpt:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) –
People in Charlottesville are finding it easier than ever to get their daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Many are harvesting crops in their own backyard and teaching their neighbors the tricks of the trade.

It’s called urban farming and it’s essentially how to cultivate crops when you live in a city. Many urban farmers around Charlottesville say this is a healthier way to treat our bodies and our land.

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October 28, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farming Makes it Easier to Harvest Crops in Charlottesville, Virginia

$915,000 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA),for Aquaponics Production Centre in Virginia

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aqvirg
Virginia State University used a NIFA grant to purchase facilities where they teach aquaponics and urban farming. The operation allows them to both raise fish and grow vegetables in a symbiotic environment. (iStock image)

While bringing food to people who have limited access is important, teaching them to how grow their even more so, said Duron Chavis, VSU indoor urban farm director.

By Carlos J. Harris and Scott Elliott, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
USDA
October 26, 2015

Excerpt:

Like many other cities in America, Petersburg has found its way onto USDA’s list of food deserts – meaning that residents have limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.

Virginia State University has found a way to fill the void with a hands-on program that teaches students how to successfully sustain urban farming operations and helps put affordable nutritious food on the tables of community residents.

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October 28, 2015   Comments Off on $915,000 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA),for Aquaponics Production Centre in Virginia

‘Urban Agriculture Grow Kits’

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Kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one balanced bag of organic soil and one container to grow the plant in

By Chad Corzine
The Urban Agriculture Company
2015

Excerpt from Kickstarter

Urban Agriculture grow kits simplify the process of city gardening by providing you with everything needed for a fun and easy growing experience. All of our grow kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one balanced bag of organic soil and one container to grow the plant in. Our containers are made from 100% recycled tea bags allowing for perfectly drained and aerated soil, not to mention a very cool urban look. We offer a variety of flowers, cooking herbs and vegetables to help urban dwellers have a well-rounded garden.

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October 27, 2015   Comments Off on ‘Urban Agriculture Grow Kits’

Farming Without Owning Land, How Is That Possible?

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Where fewer than two percent of Americans now grow food for a living — coupled with the average age of farmers at 56 — a need for rapid, creative solutions is now at hand.

By Forest Pritchard
Huffington Post
10/16/2015 7:53

Excerpt:

As a result, for a new generation of farmers who insist on following their dreams, the time has come to get creative.

In the Washington DC area, farmers Eric Plaksin and Rachel Bynum finished a multi-year vegetable apprenticeship, but knew that the price of land in the area — many tens of thousands of dollars per acre in the suburban-dense region — made financing and purchasing nearly impossible. Factor in a house for them to live in, as well a location within a reasonable distance to a customer base, and their farming ambitions quickly became a moon shot.

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October 27, 2015   Comments Off on Farming Without Owning Land, How Is That Possible?

Cornell University staff advise NYC urban farmers at symposium

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Cooperative Extension-NYC associate Philson A.A. Warner, left, speaks to a guest at the Grow: Urban Garden Symposium in New York City. Photo by Kritika Kulshrestha.

“We want to support people so that they can get into agriculture and urban gardening.”

By Kritika Kulshrestha
Cornell Chronicle
Oct 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Pickens was one of four panelists talking about “Advanced Urban Farming Techniques” Oct. 14 during the Grow: Urban Garden Symposium in New York City. Also speaking was Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC) associate Philson A.A. Warner, who spoke at an advanced urban farming techniques panel. Warner, the founding director of CUCE-NYC’s Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Learning Lab, addressed an audience of about 250 when he described ways to get his pioneering technologies into classrooms across the city.

“We need more experiential learning in classrooms, and we need to engage youngsters in real-time with real technology,” Warner said.

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October 26, 2015   Comments Off on Cornell University staff advise NYC urban farmers at symposium

One Man Has Started the ‘Terrace Garden’ Revolution in Bangalore, India that Could Save Our Cities!

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Click on image for larger file.

2,000 square-foot of organic vegetables. These include Beans, Tomato, Lady Finger, a great variety of Greens, Chillies, Broad Beans, Chayote (locally known as chow chow), Double Beans and Yard Long Beans. Bottle gourd, Bitter Gourd, Snake Gourd, Cucumber and Green Hyacinth Beans are grown on a rotation basis. Sweet Lime, Custard Apple, Mango, and Apple saplings are bearing fruits.

By Divya Dwaraknath
Diva
Oct 15, 2015

Excerpt:

Harish Mysore, an electronics engineer by profession and avid (terrace) gardener by passion, traces his interest in gardening to his childhood spent in Nanjangud, Mysore. As a child, he spent all his vacations in the paddy fields, farms and coconut garden owned by his grandmother. Saplings of fruits like Guava, Mango, Pomegranate and Sapota (chickoo) would find their way from Lalbagh Botanical garden to be planted at Nanjangud.

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October 26, 2015   Comments Off on One Man Has Started the ‘Terrace Garden’ Revolution in Bangalore, India that Could Save Our Cities!