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Posts from — August 2016

Australia: Melbourne’s community gardens could save the city’s food-bowls

lidmal Click on image for larger file. There is a groundswell of support for urban farming initiatives in Melbourne, reaching as far as new communities in Doreen. Photo: Pat Scala

Michael Hands, of 3000 acres, a Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisation that promotes urban agriculture, is working with developers to help establish communal gardens in projects.

By Christina Zhou, Kirsten Robb
Domain.com.au
Aug 20, 2016

Excerpt:

From large-scale community collectives to the humble backyard vegie patch, Melbourne’s plot culture has gained considerable traction in the past decade, with more and more people discovering the humble pleasure of GIY (grow-it-yourself).

But the future is not all ripe. Experts warn Melbourne will face a “perfect storm” in coming decades that will take suburban fresh food production from pastime to necessity.

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August 26, 2016   Comments Off on Australia: Melbourne’s community gardens could save the city’s food-bowls

China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

piki
Rick pickings: Sunshine Organic Farm

For the founders of the Sunshine Organic Farm, a working farm and weekend retreat on the city’s south-western outskirts, Chengdu residents’ frustration with urban life presents an opportunity.

By Christian Shepherd
FT.com
Aug. 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Chengdu’s lifestyle is often sold as a relaxed contrast to the crush of China’s east-coast metropolises. Residents like to take it easy. Sleepy tea-houses line the twin rivers that snake through the city and the clack of mah-jong game tiles echoes in back alleys till the early morning.

But as the south-western city grows, the gentle pace of life is under pressure. Once-quiet streets are clogged with traffic. Chengdu is now the most congested city in China and the ninth most congested in the world, according to a recent report by satnav company TomTom. Its once vaunted clean air is also under threat, with the city doing only slightly better than smoggy Beijing in a 2014 air quality ranking of Chinese cities by Greenpeace.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

Canada’s Environmentalist, David Suzuki: How much food can cities produce?

suzu
David Suzuki is 80 years old. He is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Cities needn’t be wastelands of car-choked roads and pavement. Incorporating food production into ever-expanding urban areas makes cities more livable and enhances the natural systems that keep us alive and healthy.

By David Suzuki
Georgia Straight
Aug 25, 2016

Excerpt:

It’s still possible to grow a lot of food in urban areas, especially with composting and enriched-soil techniques. Ladner writes that Toronto plans to supply 25 percent of its fruit and vegetable production within city limits by 2025, and a study from Michigan State University concluded that Detroit could grow 70 percent of its vegetables and 40 percent of its fruit on 570 vacant lots covering 5,000 acres of city land.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on Canada’s Environmentalist, David Suzuki: How much food can cities produce?

Saskatoon, Canada: Inner city farming has its advantages

sali
Lisa Taylor weeds her garden near King George school in Riversdale in Saskatoon on July 6, 2016. (Michelle Berg / Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

A diverse assortment of flowers, vegetables and herbs grow past Lisa Taylor’s fence line, right to the sidewalk of her cozy Riversdale home.

By Michelle Berg
Saskatoon StarPhoenix
August 18, 2016

Excerpt:

“By growing food in the city, people in the community experience firsthand what growing food looks like and the work and energy that goes into their food before it ends up on their plate,” she says.

This year she has started a new business called Biodivercity Farms. She and her husband, Jason Fege, find creative ways to use smaller spaces within the city to grow produce that is boxed up and delivered to 23 customers each week of the growing season.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on Saskatoon, Canada: Inner city farming has its advantages

Elon Musk’s brother is building vertical farms in shipping containers

340fl
630 Flushing. Old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn.

If the Square Roots campus of 10 farms is successful, Musk says the team will build more farms within New York City and eventually expand to other US cities.

By Leanna Garfield
Business Insider
Aug 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Entrepreneur Kimbal Musk — yes, he’s Elon Musk’s younger brother — is trying to grow a variety of things inside the old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn. Among them: a new agricultural venture, hundreds of pounds of leafy greens, and the next generation of young farmers.

Starting fall 2016, he and fellow entrepreneur Tobias Peggs are planning to launch a new urban farming incubator program, called Square Roots. Musk tells Business Insider that it will give young food-tech entrepreneurs spaces to develop and accelerate their vertical farming startups.

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August 24, 2016   Comments Off on Elon Musk’s brother is building vertical farms in shipping containers

Portland, Oregon’s Urban Agriculture Scene

zneger

City of Portland’s ‘Food’ specialist Steve Cohen who gave them a tour of thriving urban agriculture ventures and community gardens around the City.

By Chef Arthur Gordon and Anya
Irregardless Blog
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The Ariadne Garden is a double lot located in the heart of NE Portland. Established in 1993, it is now managed by the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Some of the Portland Ariadne birds eye view healthiest soil in Portland is found here, nurturing the most delicious food available. Ariadne is a self-sustaining retailer, selling its own flowers (peonies, roses, yarrow, lilies, gladiola, zinnias) and produce (tomatoes and starts, lettuces, escaroles, mustards, kales, beans, squash, raspberries, etc.) to those who visit its onsite produce stand.

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August 24, 2016   Comments Off on Portland, Oregon’s Urban Agriculture Scene

South Africa: Use urban agriculture to grow the economy

salPhoto by Zanele Zulu.

Urban agriculture makes use of human aptitude rather than machinery and develops skills that can be applied to other industries in the long run, says the writer.

By Pierre Heistein
IOL
Aug 16, 2016
Pierre Heistein is the instructor of UCT’s applied economics for smart decision making course.

Excerpt:

Initially the provincial programme will help households to bolster their income and diversify their dinner table. But thereafter the number of small farming operations will conglomerate into a larger economic system. Resellers and wholesalers will appear, possibly co-ordinating the production of small farmers and collectively marketing and selling their produce. The economy will grow from the bottom.

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August 24, 2016   Comments Off on South Africa: Use urban agriculture to grow the economy

In Germany’s major cities, young families, nature lovers and amateur gardeners are increasingly taking up urban gardening

slumClick on image for larger file.

In cities like Berlin, Bonn, Freiburg and Cologne, these gardens have become lively social habitats.

DW
Aug 2016

‘Is this a slum?’ (referring to photo above.)

Allotment gardens are typical of Germany. City dwellers without their own outdoor space are fond of these plots, where they plant their own organic veggies or just enjoy the nice weather. Looking at the wooden huts in these gardens, some foreigners wonder whether they’ve ended up in a slum. According to law, people are not allowed to actually live in these huts – but that doesn’t stop some people.

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on In Germany’s major cities, young families, nature lovers and amateur gardeners are increasingly taking up urban gardening

Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis

The book is a starter guide for growing and using local plants as medicine.

By Author, Bonnie Rose Weaver, and editor, Mari Amend
Kickstarter
Aug 2016

Deeply Rooted includes:

Over 40 original drawings and graphics by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Foreword by San Francisco urban farmer Caitlyn Galloway of Little City Gardens

Essay by Lauren Kaneko-Jones, LAc of SWAP and Well in the West about living in harmony with the seasons -Specific herbal cultivation techniques

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis

Vancouver’s YWCA Rooftop Food Garden is Ten Years Old

rooyw

It yields 1,500 pounds of fresh, high-quality produce each year

By Sandy Reimer
Director, Health + Fitness & Operations
YWCA Metro Vancouver
Aug 2016

I always feel brightened by my daily visit to the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden, which sits on top of our Health + Fitness Centre, among downtown Vancouver’s office buildings and high rises. The vibrant, sweet-smelling fruits and veggies make me feel closer to the families who benefit from our garden’s abundance.

Ten years into our gardening project, and it’s still hard to believe that this urban treasure, which yields 1,500 pounds of fresh, high-quality produce each year, was once an ornamental garden. And it all grows in just inches of organic soil!

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver’s YWCA Rooftop Food Garden is Ten Years Old

Inter-Urban Farms – Bringing Vertical Farming to Columbus, OH.

We are campaigning for $85,000 to buy a Leafy Green Machine from Freight Farms.

By Jens Tuin
Kickstarter
Aug 2016

Excerpt:

We want to bring urban agriculture to Columbus, Ohio! With the purchase of a Freight Farm, we want to grow and sell locally grown produce for the City of Columbus. A Freight Farm is a self-contained vertical farm that uses less resources to grow food, allowing it to be placed in an urban setting. We need your help to raise the funds to buy this unit and the land to begin growing fresh produce year-round for Columbus, Ohio.

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Inter-Urban Farms – Bringing Vertical Farming to Columbus, OH.

Atlanta Resorts’ rooftop garden takes farm-to-table to a higher level

roofchef
Resorts Chefs. Resorts culinary staff, standing from left Steve Klawitter and David Wong, and Robert Levenson, seated, enjoy creating menu items with the garden’s produce.

“So consider this year a 2.0. We went out early with seedlings and basically doubled what we did last year with a lot more tomatoes, squash, eggplant, every herb you can think of.”

By Scott Cronick
Atlanta City Weekly
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Guests can also taste four types of tomatoes (Roma Plum, San Marzano Plum, Rutgers and Brandywine), five types of peppers (bell, Cubanelle, Serrano, jalapeno and Thai hot ), and other vegetables including eggplant, cucumber, bitter melon and luffa.

“The chefs personally harvest them,” Batten says. “They put a lot of pride in being able to go out and grow and then harvest. If they need something quick or have an idea for something, they don’t have to wait for an order to come in.”

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August 22, 2016   Comments Off on Atlanta Resorts’ rooftop garden takes farm-to-table to a higher level

Nanofarm: The first appliance that grows food for you

Kickstarter drive begins

By Replantable
Aug. 22, 2016

From January 2016 until just a few weeks ago, 30 nanofarms have been put through their paces in the homes of our beta testers. Each beta tester has had the chance to harvest between 2-4 crops of produce, and they are very happy with the results.

While the beta testers agree the nanofarm does a great job growing food, they had lots of helpful criticism that led to the added features you see in the production model:

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August 22, 2016   Comments Off on Nanofarm: The first appliance that grows food for you

Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

faryo

Around the world, farmers are ageing as the sector fails to attract younger talent who head instead to cities in search of work

By Magdalena Mis and Isaiah Esipisu
Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 August 2016

Excerpt:

In an urbanising world, city farming has become fashionable in recent years, with urban farms mushrooming from Accra to Mumbai and London.

According to a 2014 study, city dwellers were farming an area the size of the European Union.

But while the trend is welcome, urban farmers won’t be able to feed themselves any time soon, experts say.

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August 22, 2016   Comments Off on Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

New edible park opens in West Seattle

pugft

There are convenience stores nearby, heavily trafficked, but fresh produce options are not abundant. The new edible park hopes to help combat this problem.

By Maggie Wilson
Kiro 7
Aug 14, 2016

Excerpt:

West Seattle’s new Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP), which Stu helped to create, is home to pear, cherry, apple and plum trees. “Very old trees,” said Stu, sweeping his arm through dusty air. “Probably 70 years old.”

The edible park is completely free to help garden in and harvest from. It’s 2/3 of an acre and sits at 5265 18th Avenue SW.

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August 22, 2016   Comments Off on New edible park opens in West Seattle