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Posts from — September 2016

Mushrooms from community garden sicken Los Angeles schoolchildren


A toxic mushroom species, amanita pantherina, is believed to be the cause of multiple illnesses at a Silver Lake elementary school. (KABC)

According to a phone message sent to parents, the students were taking part in an afternoon “garden instruction” lesson at the garden, which sits on the edge of the campus.

By Veronica Rocha and Howard Blume
Los Angeles Times
Sept. 23, 2016

Excerpt:

A parent told KABC-TV that his 10-year-old son had to be hospitalized after someone working in the garden gave him and other fifth-graders mushrooms. After eating the mushrooms, students started throwing up.

Doctors have performed tests on the boy to determine what made him sick, the TV news station reported. District officials said they had no information about the types of vegetables in the garden.

[Read more →]

September 24, 2016   Comments Off on Mushrooms from community garden sicken Los Angeles schoolchildren

Africa: Cameroonian engineer brings fish farming to the city

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Flavien Kouatcha, an engineer in Douala, is attempting to popularise aquaponics to show that food can be grown in alternative ways. Photo credit: Josiane Kouagheu.

In the past 30 years Cameroon’s urbanization rate has doubled and the urban population continues to grow, rising by five percent each year, versus 2.9 percent for the country’s overall population.

By Flavien Kouatcha
Observers
Sept 15, 2016

Excerpt:

I grew up in a rural area in western Cameroon. I was always passionate about agriculture, though at the same time I realised our growing method wasn’t the right one. Here [in Cameroon], 40 percent of the food produced in rural areas stays in the villages, for lack of logistical means to bring them into the cities. And when it is brought in, it’s very expensive. In addition, fertiliser use is very high, and people don’t know much about new agricultural techniques.

[Read more →]

September 23, 2016   Comments Off on Africa: Cameroonian engineer brings fish farming to the city

Raley’s Supermarket Donates $25,000 for New West Sacramento Urban Farm

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Based in West Sacramento, Calif., Raley’s operates 121 stores in Northern California and Nevada under the Raley’s Supermarkets, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners.

Farm at the Barn to open summer 2017

Progressive Grocer
Sept 15, 2015

Excerpt:

The Farm at the Barn will increase access to fresh local produce, promote community sustainability, encourage volunteerism and stimulate educational opportunities. A percentage of the produce grown will benefit Raley’s Food For Families program, which aims to end hunger locally by providing fresh, healthy food to those in need, and create a built-in market for beginning farmers to sell their crops.

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September 23, 2016   Comments Off on Raley’s Supermarket Donates $25,000 for New West Sacramento Urban Farm

Washington: University of the District of Columbia campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city — 20,000 square fee

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Dean Sabine O’Hara describes the UDC rooftop farm to Sustainable Urban Agriculture students. Photo (CC BY-SA): Erik Assadourian.

The goal is to build an “Urban Food Hub” in each of the city’s eight wards, particularly the poorer ones.

Future Perfect
Sept 2016

Excerpt:

Right on campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city – 20,000 square feet – growing plump Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes and crisp red-stemmed Swiss Chard along the edges (areas of the roof that have the structural integrity to handle larger crops) as well as greens, flowers, and sedum in the interior sections (for insulation and water capture benefits). Much of this rooftop produce – grown mostly by volunteers – gets distributed to UDC’s faculty and staff through a community-supported agriculture program and to D.C. food banks as donations.

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September 22, 2016   Comments Off on Washington: University of the District of Columbia campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city — 20,000 square fee

‘FarmHer’ TV Series Features Austin Texas, Urban Farmer, Carol Ann Sayle

According to the USDA’s most recent census report, the number of women-led farms has tripled over the past four decades and remains one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States.

Photographer and TV host Marji Guyler-Alaniz
RFD-TV’s new series, “FarmHer”

Marji met up with Carol Ann Sayle and her husband Larry at Boggy Creek Farm in Austin, Texas, where they run one of the oldest urban farms in the country. Decades ago this couple — an artist and real estate professional — combined their love of gardening and some good business sense to create their 15-acre urban farm.

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September 22, 2016   Comments Off on ‘FarmHer’ TV Series Features Austin Texas, Urban Farmer, Carol Ann Sayle

Grubbly Farms is raising black soldier flies as a substitute for wild-caught fish in food for livestock and farmed seafood

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A 5500 sq ft facility just outside of Atlanta.

By feeding pre-consumer food waste to insects we can decrease the amount of volume required by landfills as well as reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

By Alison Moodie
The Guardian
Aug 6, 2016

Excerpt:

Warner and Pittaluga are running their business out of a warehouse in Doraville, Georgia, and they plan to hire their first full-time employee this month. Their initial business involves drying larvae and selling them whole as chicken treats. The farm hopes to generate enough revenue and raise more money to buy equipment for making fish meal, a process that involves extracting oil from dehydrated larvae and then grounding the larvae into a protein powder.

[Read more →]

September 22, 2016   Comments Off on Grubbly Farms is raising black soldier flies as a substitute for wild-caught fish in food for livestock and farmed seafood

San Quentin State Prison – Insight Garden Program (IGP)

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The Garden Class Begins With A Guided Meditation.

“The guys in the program have so many Aha! moments when they learn how growing food and creating gardens can be a solution for healing many systems: social systems, food systems and environmental systems.”

Kalliopeia Foundation
2016

Excerpt:

THE H-UNIT AT San Quentin State Prison just north of San Francisco houses inmates serving sentences under 15 years. Enclosed in a far corner of the barren blacktop expanse sit four raised beds of greens, herbs and ornamental plants. At this green oasis, men enrolled in the Insight Garden Program (IGP) are offered the opportunity to re-envision their lives as fertile ground. Here, inmates dig the soil, plant seeds, pull weeds and spread mulch. Along with this vocational training, they’re also introduced to holistic practices like mindfulness meditation and systems thinking. This unique approach helps inmates connect to self, nature and community, providing a foundation for a healthier life while in prison and after release.

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September 21, 2016   Comments Off on San Quentin State Prison – Insight Garden Program (IGP)

UK: Hucknall Allotment Holders Searching for Historic Records – begun in 1840’s

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Aerial shot of gardens on either side of bypass. Click on image for larger file.

The gardens date back to the time of the Land Enclosures in the 1840’s when the land was given to poor cottage holders of Hucknall by the Duke of Portland.

By Pam Wilkinson
Dispatch
Sept. 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Secretary Pam Wilkinson said: “We would like to record and present the history of this site and are asking for any stories, photos artefacts from the families of Hucknall.

“Generations of Hucknall families have since rented the allotments to provide much needed food for themselves and their families.

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September 21, 2016   Comments Off on UK: Hucknall Allotment Holders Searching for Historic Records – begun in 1840’s

Harry Connick Jr. talks community gardens with Chicago garden leader

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See video here.

Harry Connick Jr. talks to South Side resident Natasha Nicholes about her community garden. Sept. 19, 2016.

By Tracy SwartzContact
Chicago Tribune
Sept 19, 2016

Excerpt:

Singer-turned-actor Harry Connick Jr. can add “community gardener” to his resume.

The daytime show host visited a community garden on Union Avenue in West Pullman and took over the duties for garden founder Natasha Nicholes for a day. The segment, which was filmed in May, is set to air Monday on Connick’s new show “Harry.”

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September 20, 2016   Comments Off on Harry Connick Jr. talks community gardens with Chicago garden leader

A High School Urban Agriculture Program in Richmond, California

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Adam Boisvert, co-instructor of the Urban Agriculture Institute, waters carrots in one of the class’s 57 raised beds. Photo by Reis Thebault.

“They’re working really hard to make positive changes in the community,” he said. “That is the essence of the class: how you can take care of yourself—even in an urban area.”

By Reis Thebault
Richmond Confidential
September 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The class began as an after school program seven years ago but quickly became popular with the administration, said Richmond High School Principal José De León. At the time, it was part of a local push to begin community gardens in schools. Now, he said, Richmond High’s program is unique because it’s part of the school’s curriculum.

As an elective, the class is up against the likes of yearbook, dance and film, but De León said the course fills up every year—a sign that it’s popular among students.

[Read more →]

September 20, 2016   Comments Off on A High School Urban Agriculture Program in Richmond, California

Providence, Rhode Island: Organizations and individuals are working to connect people who want to farm with land

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The Sankofa Diamond Street Community Garden in Providence’s West End. (Sophie Kasakove/ecoRI News)

When first-generation farmer Tess Brown-Lavoie tried to buy a vacant lot on the city’s West Side in 2011, to start growing her own produce, she was astounded by the difficulty of the process.

By Sophie Kasakove
ecoRI
Sept 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Shrinking farmland and resulting food insecurity affects people across Rhode Island but particularly those in cities, where land costs are typically the highest. Brown-Lavoie said these challenges are especially acute for people of color and refugee and migrant communities.

For example, in the West End neighborhood of Providence, where nearly 40 percent of the residents were born outside the United States, nearly a third qualify as having low food access, according to the USDA’s Food Environment Atlas.

[Read more →]

September 19, 2016   Comments Off on Providence, Rhode Island: Organizations and individuals are working to connect people who want to farm with land

Nevada: Brothel partners with city to create 100 acre garden to feed the needy

“Most of the brothels are great community partners,” he said.

By Denise Rosch
3 News
Sept. 12, 2016

Excerpt:

“We have a lot of veterans who depend on this food bank. Some are in their 80’s. They have enough money for rent and utilities and that’s it. They’re here every week getting food,” said Hampton.

Next year, fresh vegetables could be added to the grocery list. Just down the road from the VFW, Sheri’s Ranch hopes a community garden will help alleviate the strain on the food bank. The local brothel plans to donate about 100 acres of land to make the project happen. The business said it is even willing to provide the water. Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen is helping to coordinate the project.

[Read more →]

September 19, 2016   Comments Off on Nevada: Brothel partners with city to create 100 acre garden to feed the needy

Chicago: 28–year-old master gardener started three organic urban farms

“It definitely keeps you sane when you’re in an urban environment that is sometimes full of conflict.”

By Amy Rutledge
WGN TV
Sept 12, 2016

Excerpt:

While the community is labeled a “food desert,” Stephanie and her helpers – many of them special needs students– teach kids and adults in the neighborhood how to grow food to feed their own families or even supplement their income.

Together with resident Godwin Akpan, who manages a neighborhood food bank, Dunn is spreading healthy food across the area. They’re even hosting their first big farmers market this fall, which they hope sales will raise money to expand the urban gardening and farming initiative.

[Read more →]

September 18, 2016   Comments Off on Chicago: 28–year-old master gardener started three organic urban farms

Sea To Sky Aquaponics operates out of Squamish, British Columbia

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Large Hydroponic Garden. Footprint : 52×32?. Capacity: 60 baby kale plants; growth rate is approximately 3 weeks from date of seedling transplant.

Aquaponics educational program provides a hands on learning approach and is relevant to the biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and industrial arts curriculums

Excerpts From Sea To Sky Aquaponics website:

Sea To Sky Aquaponics’ vision is to educate and empower people to grow their own food. With awareness about the benefits of sustainable agriculture increasing, people are demanding alternatives to the industrialized food system. The benefits of our systems are many.

[Read more →]

September 18, 2016   Comments Off on Sea To Sky Aquaponics operates out of Squamish, British Columbia

1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”

joanmikevancouversun1982
Michael Levenston and Joan MacNab check swiss chard in Strathcona backyard. Click on image for larger file.
(See: Revisiting the garden in the photo after almost 40 years – – At the end of this post. September, 2016.)

By Elizabeth Godley
Vancouver Sun
Feb 15, 1982

If Vancouverites plowed under their lawns and boulevards and planted beans or potatoes, brussels sprouts or kale – they could supply the entire Lower Mainland with fresh veggies.

But before you run for the rototiller, Michael Levenston isn’t really serious. it’s just that, as a member at a volunteer organization called City Farmer, he’d like city folk to start thinking about urban agriculture.

According to Levenston’s calculations, there are about 2,600 hectares of potentially arable land in the City of Vancouver alone not counting parks, cemeteries, golf courses or land in more sparsely populated suburbs – that could, given half a chance, grow food.

[Read more →]

September 17, 2016   Comments Off on 1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”