New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Posts from — November 2015

Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC

Hives For Humanity from Nick Quenville on Vimeo.

“I love the gardens, they keep me busy, keep me outta trouble, outta jail. It used to be “Hey Doc, where’ve you been?” – “Jail” – Now it’s been years since I was in. Used to be every year. I love the flowers. And the honey. I love to water the plants. And the bees are alright!” – Doc

Sarah / Julia /
Cassie Hives for Humanity
Funding proposal

Hives for Humanity is a non-profit organization, creating meaningful change for pollinators and for people in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, and beyond. We started with the very simple idea that in helping the bees we could help each other. Since then we’ve been working to connect people to nature, to each other, and to themselves.

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November 30, 2015   Comments Off on Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC

Investor sues Will Allen’s Milwaukee venture as for-profit urban farm sprouts weeds

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Thomas Schmitt (left) and Will Allen are shown at the site of a proposed urban farm location at N. 10th St. and W. North Ave. A school could also be opened at the site. Photo by Bruce Vielmetti.

The lawsuit lists six causes of action. It claims three kinds of misrepresentation by Schmitt and Allen along with breach of fiduciary duty.

By Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Nov 29, 2015

Excerpt:

A Racine County woman claims her accountant, Thomas Schmitt of Greenfield, misled her into investing $200,000 in a company he and Allen started called Will Allen Farms LLC, a “loss-laden” start-up that Schmitt said would cut her tax bill immediately and possibly return capital gains in the future. Debra Hoyer’s timely investment would also help the company obtain $3 million in financing from a private equity firm, she claims she was told.

Hoyer, a nurse who works in medical equipment sales, says Schmitt told her the company was developing an aquaponics farm at a former industrial laundry on Milwaukee’s near north side. But the site is now mostly an eyesore to neighbors, with little cleanup and no farming taking place.

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November 30, 2015   Comments Off on Investor sues Will Allen’s Milwaukee venture as for-profit urban farm sprouts weeds

California Poly Pomona will add a minor in Urban Agriculture in the very near future

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Q&A: Val Mellano, Plant Science Professor, Cal Poly Pomona

By Rose Hayden-Smith
UC Food Observer
Nov 24, 2015

Excerpt:

Mellano: A few years ago, our budget was quite tight. We hadn’t been able to refill positions created by retirements. When the budget opened up and we were able to start hiring, we talked about urban agriculture. We decided we needed to – without excluding traditional agriculture – broaden our base. Urban agriculture isn’t just about growing things: it’s also about community development, education and many other things. We also recognized that we had an unmatched opportunity to be a leader in urban agriculture because we’re basically in East Los Angeles, have a diverse population…and all these things going on in Los Angeles lend themselves to urban agriculture.

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November 30, 2015   Comments Off on California Poly Pomona will add a minor in Urban Agriculture in the very near future

The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights


We visit indoor farms using artificial light to boost produce and an airport using its open space to build bee colonies.

By TechKnow
Al Jazeera
28 Nov 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Green Sense Farms runs its vertical farm from a 2,800 square metre warehouse just outside Chicago. The farm is bathed in a pink glow – the effect of the thousands of red and blue LEDs – light-emitting diodes – which enable the plants to photosynthesise.

“We take weather out of the equation,” explains Robert Colangelo, founder of Green Sense Farms. “We’ve created groundhog day here. Each day is consistent and it’s the same, so we always get perfect plants every day.”

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November 29, 2015   Comments Off on The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights

Backyard Atomic Gardens of the 1960s and their Undocumented Legacy

atom

Another readily available atomic mutant Paige Johnson mentions is the ‘Rio Star’ grapefruit, “which accounts for 75% of the grapefruit production in Texas … bred solely to produce flesh and juice that is more red in color than previous varieties.”

By MessyNessy
Messiness Chic
2 Oct, 2015

Excerpt:

Have you ever seen a strangely misshapen tomato growing in your vegetable garden? A uniquely pigmented plant in your backyard that’s just not like others, able to thrive even in the harshest of seasons? There’s a very good chance that it could be an atomic heirloom from a forgotten atomic garden of the 1950s and 60s.

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November 29, 2015   Comments Off on Backyard Atomic Gardens of the 1960s and their Undocumented Legacy

Detroit eyes adding livestock to urban farms

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Mark Covington smiles with one of his goats in the background at Georgia Street Community Collective, an urban farm and garden on Detroit’s east side. Covington has been raising Chickens since 2009 and goats since 2010 on a couple of lots he has fostered into an urban community arm and garden near his home. Photo Jessica J. Trevino, Detroit Free Press.

At her west-side home, originally a farmhouse built in 1925, Lynn Hausch said she has been raising two small goats so that she can use their milk for cheese. Over the last couple years, she has also kept between four and five chickens.

By Daniel Bethencourt
Detroit Free Press
November 22, 2015

Excerpt:

Detroit city officials are working on at least one ordinance that would allow some residents and urban farmers to raise egg-laying chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats legally.

“These animals provide the community (with) the chance to know clearly where their food is coming from,” said Detroit City Councilman James Tate, who would be the ordinance’s sponsor.

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November 29, 2015   Comments Off on Detroit eyes adding livestock to urban farms

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

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Flowering broadleaf species are a must when selecting cover crops for pollinators. Grass cover crops do not provide nectar and their pollen typically has lower protein content than the pollen of broadleaf plants, thus making them only marginally attractive to bees.

This bulletin was co-written by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation staff members Eric Lee-Mader, Anne Stine, Jarrod Fowler, Jennifer Hopwood and Mace Vaughan, with contributions from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
SARE – 16 pages
Nov. 2015

Flowering cover crops can fulfill their original purpose as a conservation practice while at the same time providing valuable forage for wild bees and beneficial insects. This added benefit can be significantly enhanced with some fine-tuning of management practices and thoughtful plant selection.

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November 28, 2015   Comments Off on Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

Paris, 1914 – Market Gardens and Markets

paris1914Click on image for larger file.

Color photography made in Paris using Autochrome Lumière technology between 1914 and 1918.

A wealthy banker of the time, Albert Kahn commissioned four photographers to create an archive of the period using the technique based on a series of color filters made from microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red, green and blue.

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November 28, 2015   Comments Off on Paris, 1914 – Market Gardens and Markets

21 Square Miles of Urban Vacant, Developable Real Estate Available in Detroit

michdetrClick on image for larger file.

Urban Agriculture – One estimate puts total production last year at 400,000 pounds of produce in the city alone

By Patrick Sisson
Curbed
November 20, 2015

Excerpt:

In a similar vein, smaller scale startups, colorful offshoots of the urban agriculture movement, have also attempted to resolve urban issues. Afterhouse, a collaborative project between Abigail Murray, Steven Mankouche and the Archolab collective, seek to add a geothermal greenhouse to a burnt-out building on Burnside Street. Obsessed with gardening but depressed by the short growing season, the group decided to, in effect, create a Mediterranean climate in Michigan by digging out a semi-subterranean greenhouse.

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November 28, 2015   Comments Off on 21 Square Miles of Urban Vacant, Developable Real Estate Available in Detroit

Grow Gardeners: Kid-Tested Gardening with Children

grogar

By Emma Biggs And Steven Biggs
Illustrated by Emma Biggs
2015

My daughter, Emma, sowed the seed for this book.

I remember the day clearly. I watched her playing at her pretend kitchen, arranging small plates, utensils, and cups in the cupboards.

In this kitchen, she loved to “cook” treats for everyone. The main ingredient in her imaginary recipes was little bits of paper. We would often find Emma with paper and scissors. “What are you doing?” my wife, Shelley, and I asked. “Making treats,” she always answered, matter-of-factly, as bits of paper flew everywhere.

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November 27, 2015   Comments Off on Grow Gardeners: Kid-Tested Gardening with Children

Activist Grace Lee Boggs dies at 100 – promoted urban agriculture

bog
Photo by Robin Holland.

“Her greatest honor ever was speaking at the graduation of the Freedom Growers, a group of young people working on an urban farm”

Written by Roger Bybee
Wisconsin Gazette
20 November 2015

Excerpt:

She promoted urban agriculture on the vast acres of land left empty by torn-down factories and housing. That effort provided meaningful, community-building work and a plentiful supply of healthy food to residents, who otherwise lived in “food deserts” where fast-food restaurants and corner groceries supplied limited diets.

Her experiments in urban agriculture helped reinforce similar efforts in other cities, such as Milwaukee’s Walnut Way and Growing Power project, led by Will Allen, said longtime Milwaukee activist James Godsil.

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November 27, 2015   Comments Off on Activist Grace Lee Boggs dies at 100 – promoted urban agriculture

Steve McLeod Swapped Dirt For Fish at his Urban Farm

stev
Farmer Steve McLeod tends to his tomatoes inside his aquaponic greenhouse shipping container.

I did not always know I would be a farmer. I chose the agricultural life because of health, climate change, urban, and city living.

By Maggie Roth
Food Tank
Nov 20, 2015

Excerpt:

I grow Controlled Environment Aquaponics (CEA) at my farm in the urban city of Cary, NC.

Sustainable farming practices are important to me because of climate change, cardboard tasting, pesticide, and antibiotic doused food.

My favorite thing about being a farmer is wearing sweats all day while experiencing a slice of the web of life.

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November 27, 2015   Comments Off on Steve McLeod Swapped Dirt For Fish at his Urban Farm

Heirloom Harvest: Modern Daguerreotypes of Historic Garden Treasures

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“Probably the most famous commercial heirloom is the Moon and Stars watermelon.”

By Amy Goldman
Bloomsbury Press
Published Oct. 27 2015

On two hundred acres in the Hudson Valley, Amy Goldman grows heirloom fruits and vegetables–an orchard full of apples, pears, and peaches; plots of squash, melons, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and beets. The president of the New York Botanical Garden has called her “perhaps the world’s premier vegetable gardener.” It’s her life’s work, and she’s not only focused on the pleasures of cultivating the land and feeding her family–she’s also interested in preserving our agricultural heritage, beautiful and unique heirlooms that truly are organic treasures.

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November 26, 2015   Comments Off on Heirloom Harvest: Modern Daguerreotypes of Historic Garden Treasures

From The University of San Francisco Community Garden To The Farm Stand

usanf

“We hope the students educate and share their enthusiasm for real food with other people who maybe didn’t know that lunch could constitute anything except Dorito chips. It’s nutritious food, it’s affordable, in our case, it’s free.”

By Brian Healy
San Francisco Foghorn
November 19, 2015

Excerpt:

Tucked behind the Education Building sits the USF Community Garden, where squash, rhubarb, and many other natural favorites are nurtured for eventual consumption by the USF community. The responsibility of caring and harvesting the produce rests on students who are part of the Community Outreach class within the Urban Agriculture Department. The students have a vested interest in the vegetables’ upbringing, since they cook the meals that are showcased at the USF Farm Stand on Gleeson Plaza.

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November 26, 2015   Comments Off on From The University of San Francisco Community Garden To The Farm Stand

Growing a Life – Teen Gardeners Harvest Food, Health, and Joy

grwil

Forthcoming August, 2016

By Illène Pevec, Ph.D.
New Village Press
Forthcoming 09 August 2016

Part engaging conversation, part comprehensive fieldwork, Growing a Life demonstrates just how influential educational and community gardening programs can be for young teens. Follow author Illène Pevec as she travels from rural Colorado to inner city New York, agrarian New Mexico to Oakland, California, in order to study youth gardening and the benefits it contributes to at-risk teen lives. Extensive research, supplemented by beautifully candid interviews with students, illustrate the life altering physical and mental benefits that mentored gardening programs can provide.

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November 26, 2015   Comments Off on Growing a Life – Teen Gardeners Harvest Food, Health, and Joy