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Posts from — November 2016

Sicily: A community garden in Librino, Catania

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sicily
Close up of gardens in 2013. Click on image for larger file.

There are about 40 gardens presently

By Roberto
Volunteer with the project
Nov 30, 2016

We started our work about 20 years ago as a non profit association working with the children in a suburban district of Catania (Sicily), Librino, where there was a high crime rate.

As volunteers we focused on after-school activities. After ten years, someone had the idea to start a rugby team to help children. We chose rugby, because it is a contact sport and can help children to unload their daily stress because they see so much brutality in their district. It also teaches them many positive attitudes such as respect for rules, and respect for rivals, etc.

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November 30, 2016   Comments Off on Sicily: A community garden in Librino, Catania

Largest community garden in USA at Doris Duke’s former New Jersey estate donates tons of organic produce

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Duke Farms, the 2,700-acre former estate of globe-trotting philanthropist Doris Duke, is one of the largest preserved properties in the state of New Jersey. Photo credit: Jeff Weiser Click on image for larger file.

The Community Garden is segmented into seven “neighborhoods” with names like Rutabaga Ridge and Brocoli Boro. Each neighborhood has one plot designated as a Giving Garden, where gardeners pitch in.

By Patrick Lavery
New Jersey 101.5
Nov 21, 2016

Excerpt:

Last year, gardeners donated 1,600 pounds of produce. That included some 30 different vegetables, chief among them lettuce, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and herbs.

Duke Farms set a goal of 2,000 pounds for 2016, but has well surpassed that with 3,190 pounds donated.

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November 30, 2016   Comments Off on Largest community garden in USA at Doris Duke’s former New Jersey estate donates tons of organic produce

‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

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Erin Davidson of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association and Peter Meegan of Mary Ann Meegan Insurance Ltd. with one of 38 planters filled with edible produce and herbs that was installed earlier this year for Coquitlam Munch, a city of Coquitlam Community in Bloom project.

38 self-watering planters, created by a garden designer Rachel Elves, are planted with food by the adopting businesses.

By Diane Strandberg
Tri City News
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“I thought it was a good community thing,” said Meegan, who had to plant the herbs and veggies as part of the planter “adoption” process, and was surprised at how fun it was.

“It’s in the blood,” he joked, noting that members of his Irish family are good gardeners.

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November 30, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

Green acres are flourishing on campus rooftops across Canada

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Elevator pitch: Arlene Throness of Ryerson’s farm, originally proposed by architect students (Mark Blinch/Ryerson University) Click on image for larger file.

Sustainability-minded green roof projects are appearing from Montreal’s Concordia to the University of Saskatchewan

By Leanne Delap
Macleans
November 28, 2016

Excerpt:

And at the University of Saskatchewan, an opportunity arose on top of the phytotron (a research greenhouse). The condensers were moved, leaving a bare expanse visible from an open walkway.

“Aha,” said Grant Wood, a professor of urban agriculture, who worked with the university’s office of sustainability to come up with “the rooftop.” After getting the engineering students to check on load-bearing weights, and “a lot of paperwork,” says Wood, pallets and recycled containers were moved onto the roof. The team started with 500 sq. feet of planting, for a yield of about a thousand pounds of produce this past year; the goal is to double that next year.

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November 29, 2016   Comments Off on Green acres are flourishing on campus rooftops across Canada

Councils versus Chicken Owners in West Virginia

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chiwarsEmilee Ryan’s chicken saga made front page news in her home town.

“I don’t want to get rid of my pets,” she said. “Everyone with a pet understands they’re part of the family. I know it sounds absurd to get that attached to a chicken. But what can I say? They’re my babies.”

By Brad McElhinny
Metro News West Virginia
November 25, 2016 at

Excerpt:

Emilee, 18, found herself called before her town council earlier this fall.

“The town is trying to take them away from me. It hurts that the town is trying to take away my pets,” Emilee said as the news hit the local Mineral Daily News Tribune. “I want to love them. They’re my babies.”

But she had broken the law in Ridgeley, a town of about 675 people — specifically, Ordinance No. 530 “Animals and Fowl Generally,” and its subsection “530-1. Keeping Livestock.”

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November 29, 2016   Comments Off on Councils versus Chicken Owners in West Virginia

Why Two California Indian Tribes are Growing Their Own Food, and Why It Isn’t Easy

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Watch Tending the Wild: Decolonizing the Diet.

Big Pine Reservation’s Sustainable Foods Program and Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Food Sovereignty Program

By Clarissa Wei
KCET
Nov 21, 2016

Excerpt:

Big Pine Paiute-Shoshone tribe member Joseph Miller shows me around his town’s garden. There are two hoop houses with herbs and fresh heads of lettuce just popping out of the ground. Tomatoes are in abundance, with so many hybrid varieties that it’s hard to keep track.

“What we’re working towards is being able to not only create a sustainable food source, but to create food security,” Miller says. “We want to give our people the right to know without being in the dark and wary about where their food is coming from, or how long it’s been on a truck.”

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November 28, 2016   Comments Off on Why Two California Indian Tribes are Growing Their Own Food, and Why It Isn’t Easy

Mycorrhizal Planet

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chmyForthcoming February, 2017.

How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

By Michael Phillips
Chelsea Green Publishing
Feb. 2017

Mycorrhizal fungi have been waiting a long time for people to recognize just how important they are to the making of dynamic soils. These microscopic organisms partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia, if it could be stretched it out in a straight line. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. The boost to green immune function in plants and community-wide networking turns out to be the true basis of ecosystem resiliency. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat.

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November 28, 2016   Comments Off on Mycorrhizal Planet

South Africa: Joburg’s space-saving rooftop gardens offer relief from the drought

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joburgJozi Food Farmer’s Braamfontein rooftop garden.

Here, they grow a variety of things including mint, rocket, lettuce and basil.

By Dana Da Silva
The Daily Vox
November 21, 2016

Excerpt:

There are many benefits to having rooftop food gardens in Joburg. Ashleigh Machete is the co-founder of Jozi Food Farmer, a company that focuses on the urban cultivation of unused spaces such as rooftops, alleyways and open areas. They also provide a service to private homeowners and businesses, such as restaurants, to set up and maintain their own food gardens. Machete says that rooftop gardens can help to increase the value of city spaces.

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November 27, 2016   Comments Off on South Africa: Joburg’s space-saving rooftop gardens offer relief from the drought

Indiana: Creating The Largest Urban Farm In The State

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les
Mat Davis, right, food justice coordinator at the Flanner House, speaks with Jonathan Lawler, owner and operator of Brandywine Creek Farms, about testing the soil near the Flanner House in preparation to develop a farm on 2 1/2 acres in the heart of the largest food desert in the city on Nov. 11, 2016. (Photo: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar)

Indianapolis – Flanner Farms will sprout next year on the 2½-acre campus of Flanner House, 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. It’s not a community garden, but rather a 1.3-acre working farm. And it won’t just feed people; it will teach them how to grow their own food.

By Maureen C. Gilmer
Indy Star
Nov 19, 2016

Excerpt:

Over the summer, Lawler learned about Flanner House and its work to feed surrounding neighborhoods. He and his three sons delivered a truckload of produce to the center, and there he met Brandon Cosby, executive director. It didn’t take long for Cosby to see that Lawler would be an ally in his quest to take the 118-year-old center back to its agrarian roots.

“We are getting back to the historic legacy of Flanner House,” said Cosby, who took over as executive director earlier this year.

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November 27, 2016   Comments Off on Indiana: Creating The Largest Urban Farm In The State

Are Aquaponics a Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Agriculture Methods in New York City?

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ednw

Edenworks, an aquaponic farm in East Williamsburg, expects to produce around 150,000 pounds of leafy greens in a 12,000-square-foot space. For reference, Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm operating on two rooftops in Brooklyn, grows about 50,000 pounds of produce in a total of 108,000 square feet. That’s 70 percent more produce in about five percent of the space.

By Emily Payne
New York City Food Policy Centre
Nov 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The Lt. Joseph P Kennedy Community Center Garden, Harlem

Location: The Lt. Joseph P Kennedy Community Center in Harlem, which offers a range of cultural events and educational opportunities in the neighborhood, is home to this agricultural project and science lab.

Size: The rooftop currently boasts 64 square feet of deep water tanks, along with modular vertical gardens producing a number of food plants.

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November 26, 2016   Comments Off on Are Aquaponics a Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Agriculture Methods in New York City?

Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out

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speed Joyce McMenamon, second generation developer of the Speedibin.

Indiegogo Campaign – Speedibins were first designed by Fred and Peg Francis in 1989

By Joyce McMenamon
Courtenay BC, Canada
Nov. 2016

It is all metal so animals can’t chew through.

A metal mesh screen on the bottom allows worms, microbes and water to transfer but prevents animals from tunneling in.

The large lid comes right off for easy access.

The front door slides out for easy removal of finished compost.

A latching handle keeps out raccoons, dogs and wind.

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November 26, 2016   Comments Off on Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out

High-tech agriculture blossoms in the city of St Petersburg, Florida at Brick Street Farms

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Owners Bradley Doyle and Shannon O’Malley in front of their Brick Street Farms. Photo by Todd Bates.

In Farm 1, which has a sweet scent and can be as cold as 60 degrees, there’s Red Cross Butterhead, Rex lettuce (an ideal hydroponic similar to butterhead), heirloom Vulcan lettuce (for all you Star Trek fans) and arugula, to name a few.

By Meaghan Habuda
Creative Loafing
Nov 18, 2016

Excerpt:

The indoor hydroponic farm, owned by wife-and-husband duo Shannon O’Malley and Bradley Doyle, doesn’t look like much from the outside. But spread out over green upcycled freight containers, planted inside a wooden fence that surrounds the former site of an abandoned junkyard at 2001 Second Ave. S., Brick Street has spent close to a year quietly blossoming in St. Petersburg.

What makes up this city farm’s local, vertically grown bounty? Herbs and leafy greens.

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November 26, 2016   Comments Off on High-tech agriculture blossoms in the city of St Petersburg, Florida at Brick Street Farms

1930: Only working farm in Manhattan 86 years ago

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213thJune 8, 1933. Broadway, east side, north from 213th Street, with the N.E. corner in the foreground. Behind the billboards is a truck garden.

213and10 Manhattan area today. Click on image for larger file.

The farmer’s children can’t lay in the street, however. They might get hit by a taxi.

About New York
By Richard Massock
Corsicana Daily
Aug 23, 1930
(Early use of the term ‘urban agriculture’. Mike)

Urban Agriculture

Right here on Manhattan Island, with its skyscraper, tenements, subways and million population, there’s a farm.

It is the only one in town and it is bounded on three sides by seven story apartments. On the other side is the Tenth Avenue elevated railroad. It is an easy tomato’s throw from Broadway at 213th Street.

It is not, of course, a rancho. It is just a city block in size and it belongs to a New Orleans man who rents it to the Benedettos, Vincent, his wife, their four boys and five girls.

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November 25, 2016   Comments Off on 1930: Only working farm in Manhattan 86 years ago

Kenya: Kitchen garden that you eat from and carry

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monbas
Tabitha Mwiwawi on her balcony farm in Tudor, Mombasa. She grows kale, spinach, cabbages, brinjals, onions and tomatoes under drip irrigation. She sell the surplus to neighbours.

Having a mobile kitchen garden saves you the emotional strain when changing homes as it ensures that your plants move with you to the new location.

By Lynet Igadwah
Business Daily
Nov 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Oliver Ndegwa of Agrotunnel International says there are several design options when settling on a mobile kitchen garden.

“The portable kitchen garden options depend on tastes and preferences. Basically, these are edible mobile wall unit designs made using gutters and zip grows as well as the mini greenhouse option,” he says.

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November 25, 2016   Comments Off on Kenya: Kitchen garden that you eat from and carry

Bogota, Columbia: She Turned a Massive Garbage Dump Into An Urban Farm

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bogo
See the video here.

Bogota: 7,800,000 population. Transformation of a landfill into a farm. school, urban garden

Directed by Fernando Caneque and Paula Serna
Filmed by Daniel Barbosa
Towards the Human City
CAD Productions
(Must see. Mike)

Rosa Evelia Poveda Guerrero, known to her friends and acquaintances as Rosita, is an inspiring and tireless woman who believes in the power of urban agriculture to solve the feeding needs of the urban poor.

In 2003, Rosa found an 1,800-meter dumpsite that was inhabited by homeless beggars in the Eastern hills of Bogotá. Having dreamt about the opportunity of having an urban farm, Rosa decided to look for the owner of this site, who gave it to her under a commodatum (gratuitous loan). Then, she moved into the dumpsite, setting up a provisional camp, and started working with her two sons on cleaning the waste that had been piling up during the past 40 years.

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November 24, 2016   Comments Off on Bogota, Columbia: She Turned a Massive Garbage Dump Into An Urban Farm