New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Mulberry Diaries: Tales of Urban Farming

firfruitFirst Fruits (from Landscapes and Interiors, 1899) Édouard Vuillard. Click on image for larger file.

A licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles unwinds in her garden

By Tara Fass
Huffington Post
May 31, 2016

Excerpt

Ultimately, urban farming is a good hobby and break from my profession. What better way to unplug, to ritualize growing with companion and pooch in tow. Berries ripen in bursts and when they do picking can be done at least twice a day. The subtle pop as the ripened fruit gently falls into one’s palm is exciting beyond imagination. Searching the leaves for fruit, I better understand a hunter’s delight.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Mulberry Diaries: Tales of Urban Farming

Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

perdyEntomologist Christian Krupke at the Purdue Bee Laboratory with pollen collected by Indiana honeybees. (Purdue Agriculture photo/Tom Campbell)

Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

By Keith Robinson
Purdue University
May 31, 2016

Excerpts:

“Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected,” said Krupke. “The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

Long, now an assistant professor of entomology at The Ohio State University, said she was also “surprised and concerned” by the diversity of pesticides found in pollen.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

mesaThe La Mesa Verde program in San Jose helps low-income families to establish their own vegetable gardens. A pilot study found that gardening in either a community or backyard space made a significant contribution to gardeners’ daily vegetable intake.

“Gardening made a substantial contribution to vegetable intake regardless of socioeconomic background or previous gardening experience,” said co-author Lucy Diekmann, a postdoctoral researcher in the Food and Agribusiness Institute at Santa Clara University.

By Susan Algert, UC ANR Cooperative Extension
Lucy Diekmann, Santa Clara University
Leslie Gray, Santa Clara University
Marian Renvall, UC San Diego Department of Medicine
California Agriculture 70(2):77-82. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v070n02p77.
April-June 2016.
(Must read. Mike.)

Abstract:

As of 2013, 42 million American households were involved in growing their own food either at home or in a community garden plot. The purpose of this pilot study was to document the extent to which gardeners, particularly less affluent ones, increase their vegetable intake when eating from either home or community garden spaces. Eighty-five community gardeners and 50 home gardeners from San Jose, California, completed a survey providing information on demographic background, self-rated health, vegetable intake and the benefits of gardening.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California