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Posts from — June 2016

‘Golden Baggers’ community garden in London, UK

goldbPhoto by Olivia Howitt.

Located in the middle of the Golden Lane Estate, adjoining the Ralph Perring Centre, between Basterfield House and Hatfield House

By Olivia Howitt
BBC
June 14, 2016

Nestled amid residential high-rises of the Golden Lane Estate – a council housing project at the northern edge of the City of London – the Golden Baggers community food-growing initiative sprang up in 2010 on the unused site of a former nursery playground. The plot proved highly popular with estate residents keen to grow their own produce in the heart of London.

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June 23, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Golden Baggers’ community garden in London, UK

The price of LEDs is falling so fast it’s profitable to farm in a New Jersey nightclub

led

The Department of Energy says the price of LEDs has fallen 90% since 2010, and should keep falling in the years to come. At the same time, LED efficiency (light emitted per unit of energy) and lifetime (now up to about 36,000 hours) have nearly doubled.

By Michael J. Coren
QZ
June 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Although California supplies about 80% (pdf) of the United States’ lettuce and other produce, indoor farmers say they will soon be suppling tastier, fresher and, eventually, cheaper produce to many cities. They are even turning a profit doing it. “We make a healthy margin,” says Marc Oshima, chief marketing officer for AeroFarms. “There’s a reason that Goldman Sachs and Prudential have invested in our farms.”

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June 23, 2016   Comments Off on The price of LEDs is falling so fast it’s profitable to farm in a New Jersey nightclub

Ireland: Bees, spuds and peas: fresh ideas for sustainable urban living

ireandAndrew Douglas’s Urban Farm project demonstrates just how much can be achieved in small spaces in the city.

Urban Farm is Douglas’s startup that establishes agriculture projects in Dublin.

By Una Mullally
The Irish Times
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

There are lime trees somewhere in Dublin that inner city bees are having the times of their lives with. Andrew Douglas, of Urban Farm, knows this because the honey the bees make in hives on a rooftop in Dublin 1 tastes citrusy.

“At full summertime, it’s like Heathrow Airport here, a lovely line of direct flight, they fly back in and fly out,” Douglas said, standing atop the roof of Belvedere College as the bees buzz around their hives in the sunshine.

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June 22, 2016   Comments Off on Ireland: Bees, spuds and peas: fresh ideas for sustainable urban living

Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience

“As for food, such was the primacy of urban agriculture, fruit and vegetables were named after the Edo suburbs known for producing them.”

Prof. Dr. Makoto Yokoharia, Marco Amatib, Jay Bolthousec & Hideharu Kuritad
The Planning Review
Volume 46, Issue 181, 2010
Special Issue: Metropolitan Peripheries
pages 51-59

Abstract:

This paper advocates the re-establishment of garden zones both in and around cities. Mixed land-use garden zones are conceptualized as spaces where urban residents can craft their own local food cultures and agro-biographies in response to the globalization of agriculture and food consumption. The case for creating garden zones is made by first outlining the legacy of post-war growth and planning policies, which attempted to clearly demarcate the line between urban and agricultural use. And, second, investigating the current demographic shifts which threaten the existence of domestic agricultural production and necessitate a new pro-urban agriculture planning paradigm. To develop this new planning paradigm, the third section looks back at the city of Edo to identify the urban agricultural heritage of what is now the modern-day megalopolis of Tokyo.

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June 22, 2016   Comments Off on Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience

City of Atlanta Expands Urban Agriculture with Support from GRO1000 Garden and Greenspace Program

atle
Atlanta Fire Station 11.

GRO1000 is ScottsMiracle-Gro’s commitment to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and greenspaces in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe by 2018, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary.

News Release
Mayor’s Office
June 17, 2016

ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta today announced that it received a $40,000 grant from The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company and The U.S. Conference of Mayors through the GRO1000 Gardens and Greenspaces Grant Awards Program. The funding will facilitate the expansion of three successful urban agriculture programs across Atlanta, including Covenant House Georgia’s urban garden, the Atlanta Fire Station Gardens Project and the Vine City EcoDistrict community gardens. The announcement was made today at the GRO1000 Atlanta kickoff event at Covenant House Georgia.

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June 21, 2016   Comments Off on City of Atlanta Expands Urban Agriculture with Support from GRO1000 Garden and Greenspace Program

Brooklyn Community Garden Shut Down for Allegedly Growing Weed

brokkThe Green Gems community garden in East New York.

“GreenThumb takes these violations of the license seriously, as well as the potential harm to communities that they can cause.”

By Simone Wilson
Patch Staff
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

A large, well-loved community garden called Green Gems sprucing up the corner of Fountain and Glenmore avenues in East New York has been shut down by city officials after they allegedly found marijuana plants growing on site.

Weed plants were discovered at the garden on two different occasions by staffers for GreenThumb, the sub-agency within the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation in charge of the city’s hundreds of community-run gardens, according to a spokesman for the department.

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June 21, 2016   Comments Off on Brooklyn Community Garden Shut Down for Allegedly Growing Weed

Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

parpeachThe north-south orientation of the walls and the ability of limestone to trap the sun’s heat provided a few extra degrees of warmth for the fruits, allowing them to flourish farther north than their usual habitat.

At its high point, this area produced upwards of 15 million fruits a year, thanks largely to the murs à pêches, or ‘peach walls’. Established in the 17th century, this clever network — some 500 hectares of walls — helped protect the peach trees from the cold.

By Anna Brones
AtlasObscura
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The peaches of Montreuil became famous. They attracted royalty, earned a horticulturalist a prestigious Legion d’Honneur, and spurred an agricultural industry. Yet eventually, urban sprawl engulfed the walls.

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June 21, 2016   Comments Off on Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

In a small patch of Bamako, Mali a few plots of land stand strong

maliQuartier de Magnambougou, Bamako, Mali. Click on image for larger file.

Independent growers farm greens and root vegetables on small plots of land with basic tools.

By Nicolas Leblanc
Nicolas is a French documentary photographer working on social and environmental issues. nicolasleblanc.com
Makeshift 14 (2009)

Excerpt:

In the southern corner of the Sahara, and on the fringe of the capital city Bamako, the fertile Magnambougou district offers an essential oasis. Along the banks of the river Niger, carefully organized plots of land crisscross broken houses and dirt roads. As urbanization of Mali’s capital continues — a trend replicated across West Africa — the tranquil ‘green lung’ plays an increasingly positive role in cooling and feeding the sun-soaked city.

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June 20, 2016   Comments Off on In a small patch of Bamako, Mali a few plots of land stand strong

Urban Agriculture Educational Poster

farmcity2Link to large poster here.

What distinguishes it from rural agriculture is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system.

By Weikun Liang
Pittsburgh, PA
Human Computer Interaction student at Carnegie Mellon University

Excerpt:

Zoning plays a big role in urban agriculture. It can dictate what kind of growing can be allowed, whether animals, retail sales, and even education can be part of the operation. Many cities have multiple restrictions on raising animals with the result that most urban farms don’t keep animals for production purposes.

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June 20, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Educational Poster

Steady growth in Singapore’s community gardening movement

cosingTampines Greenvale Residents’ Committee Community Garden, a Platinum-banded garden that was also conferred a Diamond Award for achieving its third Platinum band. (Photo: NParks) Click on image for larger file.

This year’s Community in Bloom (CIB) Awards saw 436 community gardens take part, the highest number of participating gardens in its 12-year history.

Channel News Asia
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Out of the 436 participating gardens – which comprises almost half of all community gardens in Singapore – 213 were from the public housing category, 37 from private housing, 113 from educational institutions and 73 from organisations.

“I am heartened to see that the gardeners’ love for gardening has brought them closer to one another. As the Community in Bloom network expands even further, we now regularly see gardeners from one neighbourhood helping out at gardens in other neighbourhoods, forging even more ties,” said Chief Judge of the CIB Awards 2016 and President of the Singapore Gardening Society Tan Jiew Hoe.

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June 20, 2016   Comments Off on Steady growth in Singapore’s community gardening movement

Urban farms may sprout up in city parks in Glendale, Arizona

irspCommunity Services Director Erik Strunk, Assistant Director of Community Services Tim Bernard and Parks and Recreation administrator Mike Gregory address the council on urban farming on undeveloped park land throughout the city. Photo by Darrell Jackson.

Heroes Regional Park has approximately 50 acres, Orangewood approximately 38 acres and Northern Horizon approximately 28 acres. City staff has researched either allowing use at cost to the farmers or leasing the land.

By Darrell Jackson,
The Glendale Star
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Parks and Recreation Administrator Mike Gregory told council the potential for farming of the land would help with aesthetics by making current land a green belt and help control blowing dust.

“We discussed an interim farming to improve the appearance and limiting dust control,” Gregory said. “It would be the responsibility of the farmers to maintain the land and they would pay for any water used on the land.”

Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff asked staff about the option on leasing the land to potential farmers, rather than just allowing them to use the land free of charge.

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June 19, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farms may sprout up in city parks in Glendale, Arizona

Loo Urban Farm in Penang, Malaysia

loo

Sustainable Non-Toxic Aquaponics Green Vertical Urban Farming

From their website:

Loo Urban Farm, started by Philip Loo, with the initial aim to sustainably produce healthy food for our own consumption. It has then grown and evolved to be a social enterprise that will enable every home to sustainably produce self-sufficient, fresh and healthy food globally.

We continue to innovate, build and distribute our advance and efficient planting system. We educate and lead society as a whole to produce their fresh and healthy food at home or in a community.

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June 19, 2016   Comments Off on Loo Urban Farm in Penang, Malaysia

New York’s public floating food forest raises $32,000

In 2016 in New York City people will be able to visit a barge containing edible, perennial plants. We want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh food as a commons too.

By Adam Born
City Metric
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

A leased barge, measuring in at 120 x 30 feet, will provide the foundation for a forest growing a range of produce. Whilst touring piers around New York state for six months, the forest will accommodate up to 300 people per day coming aboard, exploring and foraging for anything from herbs, berries and kale to kiwis.

The project is partly inspired by the growing urban agriculture movement found in New York City, now home to the largest rooftop farms in the world. From what was once a hobby for a few keen enthusiasts, this expansion has been supported by grassroots movements, volunteering and municipal programs.

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June 19, 2016   Comments Off on New York’s public floating food forest raises $32,000

Thieves steal $10k of tools from community garden in Ballarat, Australia

stolenFive sheds at the Ballarat Community Garden were emptied by heartless thieves on Friday night devastating members including John Ditchburn. Picture: Kate Healy

Armed with wire cutters thieves sliced the wire of cyclone fencing, squeezing through gates to enter the garden.

By Olivia Shying
The Courier
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Mr Burns and the several hundred people connected to the garden are gutted after the senseless attack. Mowers, mulchers, electric hand tools and marquees were taken from five separate sheds.

“We were broken into last Thursday. (Potential) thieves were stopped by one of our members who saw them inside the garden looking at the sheds,” Mr Burns said.

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June 19, 2016   Comments Off on Thieves steal $10k of tools from community garden in Ballarat, Australia

The Unlikely Fish-Farming Start-Up in the Middle of Berlin

fishs(Photo: ECF Farmsystems Berlin)

ECF’s goal is to cover the planet with aquaponic systems, on rooftops and urban sites around the world—and its plan seems to be on track.

By Elizabeth Rushe
Pacific Standard
June 13, 2016

Excerpts:

ECF is two things: First, it’s a living, breathing aquaponic farm, slap bang in Berlin city, in the neighborhood of Schöneberg?—?where David Bowie and Iggy Pop famously lived in the 1970s. After spending a hellish Saturday afternoon in nearby IKEA, you could literally walk all of four minutes down the road to the ECF farm, and see where your fresh fish and vegetables are grown. ECF is comparably prolific, farming 30 tons of fish per year; in 2015, the company quoted its output at 30 tons of veggies.

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June 18, 2016   Comments Off on The Unlikely Fish-Farming Start-Up in the Middle of Berlin