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Posts from — January 2016

Staten Island, New York, apartment hires city’s first resident farmer

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Zaro Bates was just hired as the city’s first urban tenant farmer.

Zaro Bates, a Brooklyn woman with extensive urban farming experience, will get a salary of around $40,000 and a free apartment at the $150 million, 900-unit Urby rental complex in the Stapleton section.

By Mary Kay Linge
New York Post
January 31, 2016

Excerpt:

A Staten Island apartment complex has hired the city’s first resident farmer, who will run its ­organic mini-farm, rooftop beehives and compost operation.

“A farm as a selling point, an amenity, like a gym — that’s what this is,” said Frank “Turtle” Raffaele of Queens-based cafe chain Coffeed, which is partnering with Ironstate Development to get the initial 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of street-level crops going. “It’s going to be really game-changing.”

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January 31, 2016   Comments Off on Staten Island, New York, apartment hires city’s first resident farmer

Gary, Indiana one of 27 cities nationwide chosen for a federal initiative to eliminate food deserts

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Levi Gildon and William Young tend to the Brother’s Keeper garden recently in Gary. Gary was one of just 27 cities nationwide chosen for a federal urban agriculture program. Photo by Dan Shelton.

The federal government will give Gary technical assistance on how to turn vacant land into gardens, and identify how food hubs could revitalize downtown.

By Joseph S. Pete
The Times
Jan 25, 2016

Excerpt:

“I am excited about the city’s participation in this initiative,” Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said. “The opportunity aligns with our vision for revitalizing the city’s downtown; the connectivity to our local development and existing neighborhood planning initiatives: livable centers of Downtown, Emerson, Horace Mann, the Broadway Corridor and more recently, Main Street Refresh.”

“I am particularly excited about the job creation and entrepreneurship opportunities the initiative presents for local residents,” the mayor added.

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January 31, 2016   Comments Off on Gary, Indiana one of 27 cities nationwide chosen for a federal initiative to eliminate food deserts

Venezuela launchs a national conference on urban agriculture

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Under President Nicolas Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government began promoting urban agriculture as a way to improve food sovereignty. | Photo: Minci

If we want a society that is viable, progressive, socialist and humanist, then we need … productive cities,” Maduro stated.

Telesur
Jan 30, 2016

The Venezuelan government is meeting with grassroots groups to discuss expanding the country’s urban agriculture.
Venezuela launched Saturday a national conference on urban agriculture, aimed to boost the productivity of small scale crops in major cities like Caracas.

The conference is the first of its kind in Venezuela, and will include government officials and representatives of grassroots organizations. President Nicolas Maduro is also expected to attend.

The president has said improving urban agriculture will support his government’s aim to bolster the broader economy.

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January 31, 2016   Comments Off on Venezuela launchs a national conference on urban agriculture

Hong Kong’s Wild Root Organic Farm Teaches Urban Farming

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We supply seedlings and provide professional horticultural consulting, management and maintenance services for Hong Kong urban rooftop farms.

By Fai Hui

Excerpts from website and articles:

From website: We are a small organic farm located in Sheung Shui, near the Hong Kong Golf Club and next to the Agriculture Fisheries Conservation Department (AFCD) Tai Lung Experimental Organic Farm.

From: Hydroponics is a loophole for real estate developers. In most cases, building the structures for hydroponic facilities here entails clearing all trees and vegetation from the land and pouring concrete over fertile agricultural soil. This completely destroys its ecological and agricultural value. Land with low agricultural and ecological value is significantly easier to re-zone. Once re-zoned the value of the land increases by orders of magnitude. Hydroponics creates a loophole through which businessmen can destroy agricultural land on the pretext of undertaking agricultural activities.

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January 30, 2016   Comments Off on Hong Kong’s Wild Root Organic Farm Teaches Urban Farming

In Bengaluru, India, They Sow, Nurture and Colour the Yard Green

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Hariram Pagadala Sreenath started gardening at young but got engaged in the hustle-bustle Bengaluru lifestyle.

Vyas Sivanand gets four urban gardeners and organic farmers to share tips with beginners

By Vyas Sivanand
Indian Express
23rd January 2016

Excerpts:

Padma Kesari, a 49-year-old homemakre, lives in JP Nagar. After her two children went abroad for higher studies in 2013, she started her journey with gardening.

She has a piece of 5,600-sq ft residential plot in Sahakar Nagar, where she grows vegetables, fruits and flowers without pesticides or other chemicals. Her main objective is to keep the plot litter-free and address the concern of the food we eat and where it comes from. This is also her effort to retain the city’s green cover.

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January 30, 2016   Comments Off on In Bengaluru, India, They Sow, Nurture and Colour the Yard Green

Canada: Richmond, BC ‘Spirulina’ farm now in operation

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Algabloom International’s staff toast their nomination for a pair of Small Business BC Awards with a shot of spirulina algae, a long-lived species of algae, said to have a host of health benefits.

Pondering the future with a ‘superfood’– blue green algae

Philip Raphael
Richmond News
January 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Algabloom International is the creation of Soheyl and Susan Mottahedeh, who set up shop about a year ago to start growing the spirulina species which is often called a “super food” for its claims to provide health benefits that far outstrip other foods rich in minerals, protein and antioxidant properties.

Working from their River Road premises, where they employ 10 people, their 3,300-square-foot operation’s capacity can grow about 28 kilos of algae a day.

“We’re algae farmers,” said Soheyl proudly.

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January 30, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Richmond, BC ‘Spirulina’ farm now in operation

Building a Beehive for $60 in materials

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The directions below detail construction of the hive’s base and inner and outer covers, plus five supers for collecting honey

By Cam Pauli
Modern Farmer
January 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Take advantage of winter downtime and start your beekeeping venture now, before the pollinators become available for delivery in early spring. Assuming you possess basic carpentry skills—and the tools that typically accompany them—this weekend project will set you back about $60 in materials (compared with $125 to $150 for a store-bought beehive).

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January 29, 2016   Comments Off on Building a Beehive for $60 in materials

New Chicago Composting Ordinance Helps Urban Farmers

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Chicago Lights is able to run an entire urban farm on top of a concrete pad thanks to compost. Lots and lots of compost. Photo via Modern Farmer (Jacqui Cheng).

Smaller producers like community gardens, as well as those in the urban farm category, will now be able to seek out ingredients to cultivate good compost.

By Anna Boisseau
Medial Reports
Jan 27, 2016

Excerpt:

The ordinance creates two new categories of composters: larger scale urban farms, and tier two facilities, like community gardens. After registering with the city, these agricultural organizations can increase the size of their operation and include offsite materials. Though they cannot accept money for taking organic waste, urban farms will be able to sell their compost.

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January 29, 2016   Comments Off on New Chicago Composting Ordinance Helps Urban Farmers

Peri-Urban Agriculture and Ecosystems: The Multi- Faceted Contribution to Urban Resilience (Peri-Urban 2016).

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22-23 February 2016 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

Dr. Shiraz Wajih
Gorakhpur Environment Action Group (GEAG)

We are pleased to inform you about the National Conference on ‘Peri-Urban Agriculture and Ecosystems: The Multi- Faceted Contribution to Urban Resilience (Peri-Urban 2016).

GEAG is organising this Conference in collaboration with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), Government of India and RUAF Foundation, The Netherlands, and with support of The Rockefeller Foundation. The other strategic partners in the conference are ISET-International, CANSA and India Water Portal. The National Conference will be held on 22-23 February 2016 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

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January 29, 2016   Comments Off on Peri-Urban Agriculture and Ecosystems: The Multi- Faceted Contribution to Urban Resilience (Peri-Urban 2016).

Webinar: Producing Compost for Urban Agriculture: Needs and Opportunities

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Presented by: Bruce Berry, Almost Urban Vegetables – Date: Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

By the Compost Council of Canada

Bruce Berry and Marilyn Firth run Almost Urban Vegetables, a 10-acre family farm, in St. Norbert, Manitoba, on the south edge of Winnipeg.

Eight years ago, they left an urban lifestyle to follow the dream of growing food and living simply.

An engineer by trade, Bruce manages the “how we’ll do it” – the logistics of materials, water, harvesting and equipment.

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January 28, 2016   Comments Off on Webinar: Producing Compost for Urban Agriculture: Needs and Opportunities

Good Earth Collective, an New Zealand initiative which delivers home grown vegetables to needy families

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Yelena Bebich is happy to be sharing her garden’s vegetables with people in need. Photo by Emily Ford.

“It’s just very handy and fantastic for families to get good food. It’s healthy food straight from the garden,” Walker says.

By Emily Ford
Stuff.Co.nz
January 25 2016

Excerpt:

Run by Bebich and her sister, Tereza Bebich, the pair deliver vegetable boxes every week to families and charitable organisations.

It relies on fresh fruit and vegetables from Bebich’s garden, as well as regular donations from 10 growers – friends who put their hands up to help when she had extra seedlings.

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January 28, 2016   Comments Off on Good Earth Collective, an New Zealand initiative which delivers home grown vegetables to needy families

Jakarta, Indonesia makes room for urban farming

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Waste not want not: A man looks at corn plants that were planted inside his low-cost Cipining Besar Selatan apartment complex in Jakarta on Monday.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

In the past few years urban farming has become a hot topic among the middle class in Jakarta, especially those wanting to watch the growing process of their food

By Indra Budiari
The Jakarta Post
January 27 2016

Excerpt:

Each block has one farming group, each of which received around 100 square meters to farm. With assistance from the Jakarta Housing and Government Building Agency, Bank Indonesia and agricultural magazine Trubus, the group learned about soil and crop types and how to plant crops.

“Last time my farm group harvested various plants including three kilograms of kale and 2.9 kilograms of lettuce,” Tukeni said, adding that most of the yield was consumed by residents and some was sold to the Housing and Government Building Agency officers.

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January 28, 2016   Comments Off on Jakarta, Indonesia makes room for urban farming

Community Gardens Imperilled by New York’s Affordable Housing Plans

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Alex Bettig, 28, walks his dogs Zuko and Katara near the Roger That community garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Credit Nicole Craine for The New York Times.

The city lists more than 600 community gardens that are part of the GreenThumb program, which is administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation. About 1,200 lots in the city are used as community gardens, according to information compiled by 596 Acres, an advocacy group for community land access.

By Sarah Maslin Nirjan
New York Times
22, 2016

Excerpt:

Mandela and Roger That are part of a growing list of community gardens whose futures have been imperiled by New York City’s booming real estate market, where every square foot of land could potentially be developed.

As the amount of available land decreases and real estate prices continue to climb, some gardens have been targeted by the city, while others are being eyed by developers. Urban enclaves filled with plants like leafy callaloo, calabash and maize, community gardens are often deceptively bucolic: The green patches, frequently the sites of barbecues, chicken coops and compost piles, have become a new front in the real estate wars.

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January 27, 2016   Comments Off on Community Gardens Imperilled by New York’s Affordable Housing Plans

Crew moves forward with construction plans on UC Berkeley-owned farmland amid protest

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Photo by Tracy Lam/File.

“It’s some of the last remaining arable soil in the metropolitan East Bay Area,” said Occupy the Farm member and UC Berkeley alumna Susan Park. “It’s historic farmland and has never formally been developed.”

By Cassandra Vogel
Daily Californian
Jan 21, 2016

Excerpt:

“We believe that farmland is for farming,” said Occupy the Farm member and UC Berkeley alumnus Gustavo Oliveira. “This is also about the priorities of research at the university and the priorities of development for us as a society — urban agriculture and agroecology are necessary now more than ever.”

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January 27, 2016   Comments Off on Crew moves forward with construction plans on UC Berkeley-owned farmland amid protest

Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India Promote Urban Agriculture

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View of Dal Lake, Srinagar city and Kashmir valley.

Keeping the scope of urban agriculture in view Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST-Jammu) is creating awareness on urban agriculture among the urban and peri-urban people of the province.

Dr.Banarsi Lal
Daily Excelsior
Jan 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Agriculture is the mainstay of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy. About 80 per cent of J&K population depends on agriculture. The total geographical area of this state is 2, 22, 236 sq. km and the population is 1, 25, 48,926 (Census 2011). Over the years, the farmers of the state have adopted new agricultural technologies but still the state is having low productivity of almost all the crops. Like other states of the country, people from rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir are migrating towards the urban areas.

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January 26, 2016   Comments Off on Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India Promote Urban Agriculture