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Posts from — January 2017

Western Australia’s ‘Green World Revolution’ Builds Urban Farms

Toby Whittington is using urban farming as a platform to create employment opportunities. Photo by Attila Csaszar.

More than 120 long-term unemployed Western Australians have grown their future opportunities at an urban farm in East Perth during the past two years, supplying fresh produce to more than 30 restaurants and cafes across the metro area four days a week.

By Katie McDonald
Business News Western Australia
Jan 31, 2017

Excerpt:

“We want to work towards introducing a farm like this in every major suburb in Perth, to have 100 farms with 600 people employed.

“Then we can start to talk about how we’re having an economic effect on poverty and unemployment.”

[Read more →]

January 31, 2017   Comments Off on Western Australia’s ‘Green World Revolution’ Builds Urban Farms

Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

Some urban farmers who spoke to ZwNews have expressed their fears that the floods being experienced in the country at the moment could lead to serious food insecurity.

By Lovemore Lubinda
ZWNews
Jan 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Kudakwashe Tagara, another Harare resident who last season had to send some of his urban farming produces to his parents in the rural areas (Mutoko) after they failed to harvest more to eat, said the floods have affected their livelihoods to a greater extent.

“The situation is compromising our ability to fend for our families; all my small fields dotted along the Mukuwisi River have been rendered a complete write-off. I won’t get anything this year, my aging parents in Mutoko depend on what I provide them,” he said.

[Read more →]

January 31, 2017   Comments Off on Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter


Photo by Carol Volkert.

Fishing for farmers

By Carol Volkart
Views From Mount Dunbar
Jan 27, 2017
(After four decades in daily journalism as a reporter and editor with first the Edmonton Journal, then the Vancouver Sun, I retired in 2013.)

Excerpt:

What do you do with leftovers from a railway that once ran beside your demonstration garden? Create an ironwork gate, of course. Twine bagged primroses and birdhouses into it, and invite the curious to pass through. That’s what Maria did when I happened to walk past the City Farmer’s demonstration garden at Sixth and Maple on Monday.

Maria was digging away at what will be a bark-mulch path aimed at drawing pedestrians from the recently dismantled Sixth Avenue railway tracks (now the Arbutus Greenway) into the garden, a teaching and demonstration facility for Vancouverites interested in composting, raising their own food, and catering to the city’s wildlife.

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January 30, 2017   Comments Off on A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter

Philippine lawmakers pushes urban farming bills

Reps. Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), House of Representative Quezon City, Philippines

The bills define urban farming as “any act of farming in a city using land or the space of a building, including the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation through the use of any growing medium such as pots, plots, and membranes.”

Manilla Standard
Jan 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Suansing said her HB 2818, titled “An Act Promoting Integrated Urban Agricultural Development in All Metropolitan Areas Nationwide to Address Food Security Concerns”, aims to promote self-sufficiency in food production and build climate-resilient communities; institutionalize integrated farming in highly urbanized cities and municipalities nationwide; and lessen the incidence of poverty in highly urbanized areas and promote the importance of healthy nutrition among the people.

The country’s population is continuously growing, hence ensuring food security is an urgent concern, according to Suansing, chairperson of the committee on ecology.

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January 30, 2017   Comments Off on Philippine lawmakers pushes urban farming bills

By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

Click on image for larger file. Maps show where projected urban expansion until 2030 is expected to result in cropland loss. Competing areas (red) hold croplands but have a high probability (>75%; medium scenario) of becoming urbanized by 2030.

Urban agriculture, the expansion of farming into areas farther from urban centers, and farming intensification practices (such as the heavy use of fertilizers), will offset some of the loss of farmland, say the scientists.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
January 27, 2017
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

The study, “Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands,” published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that by 2030, as much as 86.5 million acres of productive farmland worldwide—between two and four percent of total farmland—will be lost as the world’s so called mega-cities, generally defined as being more than ten million residents, and the adjoining areas, called “mega urban regions,” take over prime agricultural croplands to make room for a growing population and their activities.

[Read more →]

January 29, 2017   Comments Off on By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza

Said Salim Abu Nasser has grown 3,500 kg of organic produce without any soil. He grows herbs, lettuce and peppers with aquaponic farming [Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera] Click on image for larger file.

As fertile land shrinks and water crisis deepens, Palestinians are searching for different ways to feed their families.

By Mersiha Gadzo
Aljazeera
Jan 28, 2017

Excerpt:

At sunset on a warm January day, Said Salim Abu Nasser’s three grandsons crouched on the ground, using bricks to crush chalk into powder for calcium to help grow vegetables in water.

Abu Nasser, 53, has grown 3,500 kilogrammes of organic produce without any soil, transforming his rooftop and concrete lot in Gaza City into an organic oasis. He grows a dozen different types of vegetables and herbs for his family, including eight children and eight grandchildren.

Using hydroponic techniques, Abu Nasser can grow twice as many crops than with conventional techniques, and he saves 90 percent more water by recycling nutrient-dense water. His broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce and cauliflower float on polystyrene squares with holes cut into them, while their roots absorb nutrients from the water.

[Read more →]

January 29, 2017   Comments Off on Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza

Princess Royal celebrates 40th anniversary of ‘Farms for City Children’

The charity gives the chance to sample farming life to around 3000 pupils and 400 teachers a year.

By Peter Anderson
British Royals
Jan 21, 2017

Excerpt:

The charity has three farms; at Nethercott, Treginnis; a sheep farm on the Pembrokeshire coast, and Wick Court a Tudor manor house and livestock farm on the River Severn. The charity gives the chance to sample farming life to around 3000 pupils and 400 teachers a year. Princess Anne has been their Patron for over twenty-five years and during that time has visited the farms five times, three of which have been to Nethercott.

[Read more →]

January 28, 2017   Comments Off on Princess Royal celebrates 40th anniversary of ‘Farms for City Children’

Massachusetts awards $108,266 to five projects in support of the emerging urban agriculture sector

The Department of Agricultural Resources’ Urban Agriculture Program, through which the grants are funded, aims to increase the production, processing and marketing of produce grown in urban areas and provide city residents access to fresh food.

By Alex Newman
Somerville Patch
January 19, 2017

Excerpt:

“Urban farming has an opportunity to play a major role in the healthy food options available in Massachusetts communities,” said Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “Our administration is proud to support the Urban Agriculture Program and the anticipated economic and environmental benefits that urban farming initiatives will bring to residents of the Commonwealth.”

[Read more →]

January 28, 2017   Comments Off on Massachusetts awards $108,266 to five projects in support of the emerging urban agriculture sector

Antwerp, Belgium: ‘Caffungi’ urban farming – Turning coffee ground into oyster mushrooms

(Be sure to turn on English subtitles. Use the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube image.)

‘In Belgium, too, we have an excess of organic waste, such as, for example, the large amounts of coffee grounds from espresso and other coffee machines.

From their Kisskissbankbank site

Excerpt:

CAFFUNGI LOVE BALLS

When we produce bulk we often deal with overproduction. Because of that we went looking for a way to use these leftovers and avoid they end up thrown away. This is how the Caffungi Love Balls came to life. The balls are artisanally made with oyster mushrooms. We use chickpeas, beans and loads of fresh herbs such as coriander and parsley. We get these ingredients at local farms. All balls are hand rolled and don’t contain preservatives. Our Caffungi Love Balls are 100% natural, free, local and vegan.

[Read more →]

January 27, 2017   Comments Off on Antwerp, Belgium: ‘Caffungi’ urban farming – Turning coffee ground into oyster mushrooms

Los Angeles family is creating a zero-waste homestead with goats, chickens and bees


Choi Chatterjee spend time in her Altadena backyard.

She often gives neighbours fresh eggs and seeds. When the couple harvested 16 gallons of honey, they gave 10 gallons of it away.

By Lisa Boone
Los Angeles Times
Jan 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Their home’s transformation to urban homestead was pragmatic. When the couple wanted more compost to grow vegetables — squash, eggplant, tomatoes, collard greens and beets, among them — they added chickens to their backyard landscape.

When that didn’t generate enough compost, they added rabbits and two goats, Daisy and Blueberry, whom they initially bottle-fed.

[Read more →]

January 27, 2017   Comments Off on Los Angeles family is creating a zero-waste homestead with goats, chickens and bees

Kansas City: Future of Westside Community Farm uncertain as city council mulls budget cut

Sharda says his agency has assisted 260 community groups establish gardens, where crops are often donated to less-fortunate families.

By Sean Mcdowell
Fox 4
Jan 17, 2017

Excerpt:

On Tuesday morning, over 100 people packed into the city council’s Housing Committee Meeting at City Hall. Many attendees came to show support for Kansas City Community Gardens, demonstrating how their groups have benefitted from the council’s funding.

Kansas City’s Council currently provides Kansas City Community Gardens with $78,000 annually. If the proposed cuts take effect, that total would shrink to only $45,000.

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January 26, 2017   Comments Off on Kansas City: Future of Westside Community Farm uncertain as city council mulls budget cut

‘Urban Farm’ Theme Park Developed in Moscow, Russia

To create a children’s educational complex around Kamensky Pond – – “a farm in the city”, where children will be able to familiarise themselves with nature, find out what various animals look like, and where their milk, vegetables and fruit come from.

By Wowhaus
Chief architect of the project: Alyona Zaitseva
Architects: Gleb Galkin, Darya Listopad, Anastasia Izmakova, Yevgeny Reshetov, Margarita Leonova, Maria Khokholova, Alexandra Kim, Maria Khokhlova, Denis Manshilin and Ivan Korenkov
Master Plan: Nina Smirnova
Chief Structural Engineer: Dmitry Belostotskiy

Excerpts:

The farm offers a new type of leisure activity for children and parents in Moscow, educating children about the natural world through direct contact with nature.

The northern areas bordering on the Botanical Gardens have a historical connection with the theme of agriculture. Here were located the Pig Rearing, Sheep Rearing and Poultry Farming pavilions. The site of the present farm was that of the Hunting pavilion and the so called Hunting Track, with its enclosures for wild animals. The pavilion burnt down long ago, and only two statues remain – the Hunter and the Fox Breeder, which now stand to greet visitors to the farm. The farm itself thus represents a logical continuation of the site’s history.

[Read more →]

January 26, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Urban Farm’ Theme Park Developed in Moscow, Russia

A Washington D.C. Urban Farm Takes On Urban Problems

Dreaming Out Loud’s new farm hopes to provide jobs, business incubation, and more in a city ward that has often been overlooked.

By Whitney Pipkin
Civil Eats
Jan 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Little more than grass used to grow on the two-acre plot behind a middle school in the District of Columbia where tomatoes, okra, and infrastructure for food entrepreneurs will begin cropping up this year.

In a ward of the city with just two grocery stores serving more than 70,000 residents, fresh produce is hard to come by. But the Kelly Miller Farm, which will be situated behind a middle school with the same name, aims to offer much more: youth programs, a community garden accessible to seniors, and a commercial kitchen from which area residents can launch food-based businesses.

[Read more →]

January 25, 2017   Comments Off on A Washington D.C. Urban Farm Takes On Urban Problems

Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Chanowk Yisrael checks on his chickens at Yisrael Family Farms, which sits just over the city line in Sacramento County.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urban agriculture ordinance Tuesday, with hopes that the new regulations will alleviate food insecurity and make life easier for local farmers in Sacramento County.

By Robin Opsahl
Sacramento Bee
Jan 24, 2017

Excerpt:

The new county rules, which amend the zoning code and take effect 30 days after approval, are modeled on regulations that Sacramento City Council members passed in 2015.

The county ordinance allows for market gardens on vacant lots and for people to set up farm stands to sell home-grown produce. It also legalizes keeping bees, chickens and ducks on small lots. Larger animals, such as cows, can be kept temporarily on lots under 20,000 square feet for educational programs, such as 4H.

[Read more →]

January 25, 2017   Comments Off on Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Sudbury, Ontario Gets an Urban Farm

Joseph Leblanc, executive director of the Social Planning Council, told the community services committee Monday of the organization’s plans for transforming a 1.5-acre ill-used plot of land into an urban oasis of all things vegetatively edible.

By Mary Katherine Keown,
The Sudbury Star
January 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer wanted to know how residents would be able to access the foods grown and produced from the farm. Leblanc talked about the possibility of launching a market or mobile market in Sudbury, or establishing community dinners at which the goods would be served. There is also the possibility of partnering with existing organizations, such as Better Beginnings Better Futures, to host larger-scale meals.

“We’ll look at some of those finer details,” Leblanc said. “Certainly there are feeding programs, so student nutrition programs and community suppers and stuff.

[Read more →]

January 25, 2017   Comments Off on Sudbury, Ontario Gets an Urban Farm