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Posts from — December 2015

City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”

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We made 70 “rocket” bottles of ale this year.

Our beer was produced after largest power outage in BC Hydro history took down our cottonwood tree – “the widow-maker”.

Wishing our readers a Happy New Year!

Maria rescued hops from our back lot after a late summer wind storm took down the huge cottonwood tree at the corner of her garden.

About the storm, from the BC Hydro news release:

On Saturday, August 29, the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island were hit with a significant windstorm. It was quick and intense, and surprised national weather agencies.

710,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island lost power at some point on the weekend due to this storm – this represents half of all BC Hydro customers in these regions. It was the largest outage in BC Hydro history. Drought-weakened trees fell across hundreds of our power lines, causing widespread outages.

[Read more →]

December 31, 2015   Comments Off on City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”

Three cities move forward with urban agriculture projects, Edmonton, Encinitas, Chicago

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Woman in a Vegetable Garden – 1884. by James Fraser Taylor. Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture.

The Talking Farm (TTF), a non-profit urban agriculture organization headquartered in Evanston, Illinois is committed to providing local, fresh food and educational opportunities for the surrounding community.

Edmonton 2015. Urban agriculture: bigger and better

If you had to pick the most significant aspect of Edmonton’s food scene in 2015, urban agriculture would certainly rank near the top of the list (possibly at the summit, depending on who you ask). This year saw the city change zoning bylaws to be more definitively inclusive of urban-agriculture projects, a major boon to the few people already doing it (namely Reclaim Urban Farm and Lactuca), as well as making it a lot easier for new people to get into the business. The city also green-lit backyard bees and hosted a pilot project for backyard chickens—we’ll find out if the latter is a go-ahead early in the new year (fingers crossed).

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December 31, 2015   Comments Off on Three cities move forward with urban agriculture projects, Edmonton, Encinitas, Chicago

Chicago’s ‘Urban Till’ ships to more than 100 local restaurants

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An indoor farm – they’ve got about 20 employees at the moment, but within the next year, Urban Till expects to add another 75.

Danielle Braff
Chicago Tribune
Dec 26, 2015

Excerpts:

The old Sunbeam factory on the Far West Side of Chicago is buzzing by 5 a.m.

Urban Till employees are harvesting, packaging and getting produce ready to ship to more than 100 local restaurants so it can be on diners’ plates later that day.

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December 31, 2015   Comments Off on Chicago’s ‘Urban Till’ ships to more than 100 local restaurants

Urban Agriculture Manager Wanted – Bright Spot Farms, Wilmington, Delaware

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Tevin Beatty, 22, enjoys a “feeling of accomplishment” as he tends to and then watches young seedlings he planted grow into fruit-bearing strawberry plants.
(Photo: Jennifer Corbett/The News Journal )

Compensation includes full benefit package such as paid time off, medical, dental and life insurance, and employer contribution to retirement plan.

Posted Dec 29, 2015

West End Neighborhood House seeks a candidate for its urban agriculture program. Currently the program runs a greenhouse year round growing a mixture of vegetable and landscape plants, both a Mobile and Farmers Market to sell products and a contracted landscape installation division. The primary focus of the urban agriculture program is focused on training young adults aging out of Delaware’s foster care system. This is a full-time position with some evenings and weekends required.

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December 30, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Manager Wanted – Bright Spot Farms, Wilmington, Delaware

12 Gifts For Urban Farmers

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Egg Gathering Apron.

Give the gardener in your life something to be thankful for with these tools for a successful growing season.

By Lindsey McClave
Urban Farmer
Dec 2015

Excerpt:

Handmade in Amish Country the Yoder Sewing Room’s Egg Gathering Apron is a fun and superior replacement to the traditional basket. No more broken eggs or struggling with lids and latches with limited use of your hands. This apron carefully protects and holds up to 10 eggs in individual pleated pockets that allow for easy access and full use of both hands. This is a unique product which works well for both children and adults.

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December 30, 2015   Comments Off on 12 Gifts For Urban Farmers

China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

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Starting next year, China will roll out policy to transform 100 million farmers into registered urban residents

By Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Dec 24, 2015

Excerpt:

Beijing is hoping to “transplant” 100 million farmers into registered urban residents, who no longer being migrant workers, will rush to buy real estate in the process soaking up some of the millions of vacant square meters of excess capacity real estate. At least that’s how the thinking goes: “attendees of the meeting agreed that rural residents that move to urban areas should be allowed to register as residents, which would encourage them to buy homes in the city. Property developers have been advised to reduce home prices, according to the statement.”

[Read more →]

December 29, 2015   Comments Off on China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, Virginia

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Todd Niemeier squats among rows of vegetables for a portrait at the gardens behind Friendship Court. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly.

For every half-hour of work in a garden, a person gets a wooden “farm token.” The token can be redeemed for vegetables by the person who earned it, or put in a community jar for others to redeem on Market Day.

By David A. Maurer
Daily Progress
Dec 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Niemeier’s farm of choice wasn’t a big spread in the Midwest. It’s three community gardens in Charlottesville where an abundance of organic produce is grown, as well as friendships among people who otherwise might never meet.

Niemeier is operations director for the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville. His job includes overseeing the community gardens at Friendship Court, Sixth Street and West Street.

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December 29, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, Virginia

Maryland’s ‘Hungry Harvest’ has recovered 300,000 pounds of produce from going to waste

hunry

Will be featured on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ on January 8, 2016

Lutz co-founded Hungry Harvest in May 2014 after learning that six billion pounds of fresh produce is thrown away every year.

The organization sells “surplus” produce, produce that would otherwise be wasted because of its odd size or shape. This produce is no different quality than produce you would buy at a grocery store or farmer’s market.

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December 28, 2015   Comments Off on Maryland’s ‘Hungry Harvest’ has recovered 300,000 pounds of produce from going to waste

Food Forestry North of the 49th

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Over twenty years, Walker transformed a degraded three-acre property into the first food forest in Canada.

By Richard Walker
2015

Food forest gardening is a food production and land management system based on replicating woodland ecosystems, but substituting food trees (such as fruit or nut trees), bushes, shrubs, herbs and vegetables, which have yields directly useful to humans as well as pollinator insect species. By using the premise of “companion planting”, these can be intermixed to grow on multiple levels in the same area, as do plants in a forest. Food forestry both traps carbon and stores water, mitigating climate and its effects.

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December 28, 2015   Comments Off on Food Forestry North of the 49th

Urban Farm Construction Timelapse at Terminal 5 in John F. Kennedy International Airport

JetBlue T5 Farm Construction Timelapse from GrowNYC on Vimeo.

The urban garden is 24,000 square feet and currently is growing more than 1,000 herbs and vegetable plants, including the blue potatoes for TERRA Blues, of course.

By Kimberly Button
Earth 911
Dec 23, 2015

Excerpt:

Soil used in the raised beds was created from leftovers from restaurants in the T5 terminal at JFK. Each day, roughly 300 pounds of foodscraps are hauled away and composted, then brought back for the urban garden to be used in the crates. The produce grown will be used in some of the eating establishments in the T5 terminal and also donated to local food pantries.

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December 27, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farm Construction Timelapse at Terminal 5 in John F. Kennedy International Airport

This Californian Urban Farm Is A Glimpse Into The Future Of Agriculture

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Tilapia and goldfish live in these tubs.

Experimenting with aquaponics and low-water plants, Growing Experience is an example of how future farmers can hack together a better, more local food system.

By Nicole Laporte
The Fast Company
Dec 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The Growing Experience, which is run by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, is a CSA, or community supported agriculture program. The farm, which has been in operation since 2009, operates on 7 acres. More than half is a community garden. The rest is taken up by Ng’s work, a farm that grows collard greens, kale, tomatoes, pumpkins, along with a 300-tree orchard and an open-air chicken coop that produces eggs. Through a weekly subscription service it supplies boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables to locals as well as to low-income residents—who receive the food at a subsidized cost—who live across the street in a sprawling housing development.

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December 27, 2015   Comments Off on This Californian Urban Farm Is A Glimpse Into The Future Of Agriculture

Halifax: Community Garden Handbook

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Rules & Procedures for Establishing a Community Garden on Municipal Property

Halifax Parks and Recreation
Oct 2015

Excerpt:

Community Engagement: Signatures Letter

To obtain final approval of your Community Garden project you’ll need to make sure the surrounding community supports the location you’ve chosen for the Community Garden.

This engagement should begin before you submit your application. Talk to the neighbours and see if they support the idea of the community garden. Explain to them that it is a small scale garden that will be kept clean. Identify any issues they might have so you can work to address them.

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December 26, 2015   Comments Off on Halifax: Community Garden Handbook

One Freight Crate, Two Acres of Urban Farming

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Farmer Scott DeLuca (right) stands outside his new shipping container farm, nestled underneath I-93 near Boston’s South End. (Freight Farms)

Jon Olinto got involved with Freight Farms as a way of supplying fresh greens to b.good, the Boston-based fast-healthy restaurant chain he cofounded.

By Julian Spector
City Lab
Dec 17, 2015

Excerpt:

It wasn’t so easy at first. The b.good team got turned down by landlord after landlord who didn’t want a farm on their property, but eventually made an arrangement with a property management company and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to install one under the I-93 overpass. They partnered with Scott DeLuca, an ex-finance professional who wanted to start farming, and promised to buy DeLuca’s produce for the b.good restaurants. The first seeds went in at the end of September and have now matured. In the process, the space around the farm has evolved, too.

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December 26, 2015   Comments Off on One Freight Crate, Two Acres of Urban Farming

Merry Christmas from City Farmer

strawHolly

Best wishes from the staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

2150 Maple Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada
604-736-2250

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on Merry Christmas from City Farmer

Massachusetts Food System Plan includes urban agriculture policies

masfood

The 357-page draft plan takes a comprehensive look at topics from farming to fishing

Metropolitan Area Planning Council Franklin Regional Council of Governments Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Massachusetts Workforce Alliance
For: Massachusetts Food Policy Council
December 4, 2015

Excerpts:

Recommendation 3.4: Build on existing models to create preferential zoning and ordinances to support urban agriculture, with guidance from key sector experts such as beekeepers, poultry farmers, and others familiar with the particular challenges of urban farming.

Action 3.4.1: Provide technical assistance and model zoning bylaws and ordinances to encourage municipalities to support the use of land, rooftops, and unused infrastructure for urban agriculture.

Action 3.4.2: Encourage more cities to adopt Right to Farm bylaws and ordinances.

Action 3.4.3: Provide more public education on urban food production techniques in community gardens and home gardens, such as growing vegetables, composting, keeping bees, chickens, and other animals.

Action 3.4.4: Provide more public education on best management practices for urban gardening in locations with known or suspected soil contamination. Provide funding for soil testing.

[Read more →]

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on Massachusetts Food System Plan includes urban agriculture policies