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St. Louis: Green thumbs plant a bright future for cities

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Dat Le and Joe Van Betuw harvest zucchini squash at an urban farm at 2200 Pine St. in Downtown St. Louis. photo by Ursula Ruhl.

Urban farm becomes a gathering place for planters, growers & educators

By Brian Ruth
Webster-Kirkwood Times
Aug 10, 2016

Excerpt:

Rachel Deffenbaugh is the manager of the 2.5-acre farm located on Pine Street in downtown St. Louis. She started with Gateway Greening through AmeriCorps Vista and has been at the farm for the last six years.

“We really help to solidify a lot of the programming clients are learning already, and help them appropriate it into their daily lives,” she said.

Gateway Greening also has a teen employment program called “Dig-It,” which draws teens from areas with high poverty rates, echoing Brown’s crew of mostly young, near-Northside students.

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August 14, 2016   Comments Off on St. Louis: Green thumbs plant a bright future for cities

Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future

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Rooftop garden at Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto built by FoodShare Toronto. Students grow fresh fruit and produce on the roof of the school which is used by the school’s culinary program and cafeteria.
(for The Globe and Mail/Ian Clarke)

Urban agriculture is not a panacea and it can’t replace rural farms. But it can reduce the carbon footprint of our food, help create resilient cities and food systems, reduce the urban heat island and air-conditioning costs, reduce demands on city infrastructure and create jobs.

By Ian Clarke
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Aug. 10, 2016

Excerpt:

Globally, a recent survey found that 5.7 per cent of the world’s total cropland is urban, and that it produces more food per hectare than traditional rural farms. Studies have shown that Toronto has 6,200 hectares that could be made available for agriculture on unused rooftops and hydro corridors. These green roofs would provide an ongoing municipal savings of approximately $37-million a year in infrastructure costs and additional savings to businesses and residents on air-conditioning costs. In 2009, research from Detroit showed that if 20 per cent of fresh food was grown within the city, it would create 4,700 jobs and bring in nearly $20-million in taxes. Urban agriculture is very efficient at producing both food and jobs.

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August 14, 2016   Comments Off on Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future