New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Bonton Farms Plants Hope in the Middle of Dallas Food Desert


From Bonton Farms, photographed in November.

Residents who live in Bonton, which is one of the oldest historic black neighborhoods in Dallas, did not decide to grow their own produce out of a desire to follow a food trend. Just like hundreds of thousands of other people who live in the southern sector of one of the wealthiest cities in America, they live in a food desert.

By Courtney Gilmore
NBC DFW
Dec 20, 2016

Excerpt:

“We have the number one childhood poverty rate in the United States and that is unacceptable,” Babcock said. “For a city that’s as prosperous as Dallas, that’s unacceptable. That we have 40 communities that are sick and dying that don’t have food. That’s unacceptable.”

Daron began to notice the correlation between the lack of healthy food options and the high rate of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

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December 28, 2016   Comments Off on Bonton Farms Plants Hope in the Middle of Dallas Food Desert

Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says


New Delhi, India. Between 1991 and 2016 the population of India’s capital and its suburbs ballooned from 9.4 million to 25 million. The United Nations Report on World Urbanisation projects that Delhi will have 37 million residents by 2030. Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/USGS/NASA

Our results show that urban expansion will result in a 1.8–2.4% loss of global croplands by 2030, with substantial regional disparities. About 80% of global cropland loss from urban expansion will take place in Asia and Africa.

Globally, the croplands that are likely to be lost were responsible for 3–4% of worldwide crop production in 2000. Urban expansion is expected to take place on cropland that is 1.77 times more productive than the global average.

Governance of urban area expansion thus emerges as a key area for securing livelihoods in the agrarian economies of the Global South.

By Emma Bryce
The Guardian
Dec 27, 2016
(Must see. Mike)
Excrpt:

Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns. By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.

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December 28, 2016   Comments Off on Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Tear Down That Fence: A Tale Of Urban Farms & The Barriers In Their Way


East Capitol Urban Farm is now embraced, supported, and operated by its community. Removing barriers has afforded Ward 7 residents the opportunity to: plant over 3,600 produce plants; operate 70 garden spaces; engage over 300 D.C. Public School Students

By Dr. Dwane Jones
Special to the AFRO
December 19, 2016
Dwane Jones, PH.D. is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience, a division of the University of the District of Columbia College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences.

Excerpt:

Given the large amount of vacant properties and unused space in many underserved urban areas (cities like Baltimore and Detroit come to mind), it may sound easy. But it’s not. Case in point: In 2015, CAUSES leased three acres of vacant property directly across the street from a Metro stop in D.C.’s struggling Ward 7 to construct the East Capitol Urban Farm. A partnership between several agencies and organizations, East Capitol Urban Farm is the District’s largest-scale urban agriculture and aquaponics facility. It’s an ambitious effort to bring healthy produce to an underserved area of the District.

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December 28, 2016   Comments Off on Tear Down That Fence: A Tale Of Urban Farms & The Barriers In Their Way