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Posts from — January 2017

Urban Farming in Dublin, Ireland

A potato grows in Dublin.

Horse shit produced during overpriced tourists rides provides vital nutrients to the rooftop plots, former parking lots at the center of the cities circular agricultural economy.

By Lauren Razavi
Future Cities
January 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Farming traditions are also being reimagined on Dublin’s rooftops. Beetroots, potatoes, radishes, lettuce, parsley, garlic,, and spinach are just some of the vegetables being grown in urban spaces that would normally serve no particular purpose. “Producing supplies in the city — by utilising LED lighting and hydroponics, for example — makes a lot more sense than shipping food from the other side of the world,” says Andrew Douglas, creator of Dublin’s first rooftop urban farm five years ago.

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January 24, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farming in Dublin, Ireland

India: Agrarian Freedom in Madurai’s Urban Agriculture


Figure 1. Flooded rice paddy and coconut grove outside of Madurai. Photo by author.

Bowdoin Senior Receives Award for India Research

By Jeb Polstein
Bowdoin College
Program: South India Term Abroad

Excerpt from Bowdoin News about Jeb’s project:

While he was studying away in India last year, Jacob “Jeb” Polstein ’17 researched the rise of urban agriculture in the city of Madurai.

Using ethnographic data he collected from three sites around the city, Polstein looked at how the capitalistic promotion of urban agricultural movements has complicated traditional agrarian ideas and practices. At Bowdoin, Polstein is majoring in philosophy and environmental studies.

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January 24, 2017   Comments Off on India: Agrarian Freedom in Madurai’s Urban Agriculture

Sacramento Home Grown

South Oak Park farmers Judith and Chanowk Yisrael want to change “the hood for good” by helping bring fresh produce to food deserts around the region. Portrait courtesy of the Israel family.

The Yisrael family’s urban farm has flourished in the middle of a food desert, planting the seeds for a whole new farm-to-fork movement

By Tori Masucci Cummins
Sac town Magazine
Jan 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Urban homesteaders Chanowk and Judith Yisrael, along with their nine children, have converted their yard and a neighboring lot into a half-acre farm consisting of a chicken coop, a small orchard producing everything from plums to goji berries, and gardens bursting with crops like Ethiopian kale, Swiss chard and collard greens. They’ve also taught themselves how to compost, cultivate seeds and make jams and soaps.

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January 23, 2017   Comments Off on Sacramento Home Grown

11 goats, sheep and rabbits killed at urban farm in Denver

It appears that the rabbit hutch was torn open by the dogs. The dogs are in custody of Denver Animal Control.

By Tom Mcghee
The Denver Post
Jan 22, 2017

Excerpt:

The state veterinarian responded to the slaughter on Smith Road. A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

At a news conference, John White, Denver police spokesman, said it wasn’t clear how the two rabbits and nine sheep and goats died.

“It’s clear that the deaths are not natural, and the fact that two stray animals were found here has to be taken under consideration,” White said. “Clearly someone or something got into the pens.

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January 23, 2017   Comments Off on 11 goats, sheep and rabbits killed at urban farm in Denver

FarmedHere, a pioneer of the new wave of commercial urban farms in the Chicago area, is closing its 90,000-square-foot facility for good


Jose Velazquez dumps apples in a pressing machine Jan. 13, 2017, at Here Holdings’ processing plant in Carol Stream. Its FarmedHere operation is ceasing growing operations to focus on making food products at the plant. (James C. Svehla / Chicago Tribune)

“There’s a lot of good that FarmedHere did for indoor farming and hopefully lessons learned will prove beneficial for businesses that come after,” Thomann said.

By Greg Trotter
Chicago Tribune
Jan 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Last year, FarmedHere arrived at a crossroads: Grow large enough to offset the considerable labor and energy costs — or instead focus the business on making branded products, Laurell said. Ultimately, the company decided return on investment looked significantly better by giving up the farm.

“The more I learned about the reality of farming, it led to a change of strategy,” Laurell said.

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January 23, 2017   Comments Off on FarmedHere, a pioneer of the new wave of commercial urban farms in the Chicago area, is closing its 90,000-square-foot facility for good

Pee Wee Meets the Pollinators

The 6th book about Pee Wee the red wiggler worm

By Larraine Roulston
Castle Compost
2017

In this story, Nancy, Pee Wee and Reddy visit a rooftop garden and learn about the amazing work of pollinators. During their adventure they witness the birth of a monarch butterfly, follow a bee and meet a chorus of crickets. The story features composting, vermicomposting, compost tea and finished compost. It also contains poems, songs as well as additional notes to benefit teachers, parents and children.

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January 22, 2017   Comments Off on Pee Wee Meets the Pollinators

Las Vegas embraces education about eco-living and access to fresh, healthy produce grown locally


Vegas Roots Community Garden.

Urban Seed is a new farming facility in the first of eight phases aimed at building a 3-acre greenhouse

By Katie Visconti
Las Vegas Sun
Jan. 22, 2017 |

Excerpt:

PublicUs, Eat and Carson Kitchen incorporate farm-to-table finds. Gardens are being integrated into the curriculum at neighborhood schools through Green Our Planet. Chef Donald Lemperle and creative director Kelly Bennett of Vegenation are partnering with Vegas Roots Community Garden and Create a Change School Garden to change the way food can be served and enjoyed.

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January 22, 2017   Comments Off on Las Vegas embraces education about eco-living and access to fresh, healthy produce grown locally

Galactic Farms Grew Food For Study On Space Settlers


Snap peas growing from one of our experimental systems.

Hi SEAS 2015-16: We decided to build 4 small 30 gallon systems (the x-30s); 2 would use fish effluent and 2 would use human urine as a nutrient source.

Galactic Farms
Growing Food in Unique Palces
Dec 7, 2016

Excerpt:

Ultimately, Johnson and her crew were able to successfully grow peas and chard, although at low production levels. Although the systems were not as productive as they would have been if there were fewer limitations, the crew reported that working together on the project had value in terms of psychological benefits. The psychological effects of the astronaut diet were addressed in depth when the Hi-SEAS crew was interviewed for a recent podcast on Hidden Brain. They reported that much of their time is spent thinking about food because their options are so limited.

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January 22, 2017   Comments Off on Galactic Farms Grew Food For Study On Space Settlers

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat

Bee introduces us to people who can only eat food of a certain colour; toddlers who will eat nothing but hot dogs; doctors who have found radical new ways to help children eat vegetables

By Bee Wilson
Basic Books
Originally Harper Collins
Reprint edition (November 8, 2016)

We are not born knowing what to eat. We all have to learn it as children sitting expectantly at a table. For our diets to change, we need to relearn the food experiences that first shaped us.
Everyone starts drinking milk. After that it’s all up for grabs.

We are not born knowing what to eat; we each have to figure it out for ourselves. From childhood onwards, we learn how big a portion is and how sweet is too sweet. We learn to love broccoli or not. But how does this happen? What are the origins of taste? And once we acquire our food habits, can we ever change them for the better?

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January 21, 2017   Comments Off on First Bite: How We Learn to Eat

Brooklyn AirBnB: Stylish Room w/ Rooftop Community Garden & Lounge


Enjoy the rooftop garden, lounge and hammock while the sunsets over the Manhattan skyline.

AirBnB
Brooklyn, New York

From the ad:

Bushwick is the new Williamsburg. Named the trendiest neighbourhood in Brooklyn, the area is filled with cool cafes, bars, restaurants, vintage stores and street-art. Enjoy the rooftop garden, lounge and hammock while the sunsets over the Manhattan skyline. The apartment is a 5 minute walk to the Dekalb L stop and Myrtle-Wyckoff M stop – a 15 min subway to Manhattan. Grab your morning coffee from Variety, dance the night away at House of Yes, enjoy pizza at OPS and browse L Train Vintage.

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January 21, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn AirBnB: Stylish Room w/ Rooftop Community Garden & Lounge

Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming


Urban farming model at Tipas Elementary School /CREDIT: ilovetaguig.com / Manila Bulletin

To encourage residents to create their own “urban farms,” the City Agriculture Office held the first Gulayan Contest for Women on December 19, 2016.

Manila Bulletin
Jan 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Mayor Lani Cayetano said the city government intends to preserve at least 25 hectares of agricultural land. To achieve this goal, the city government is aggressively promoting urban farming and gardening. This goal is not prompted by nostalgia for an agricultural past, but for pragmatic reasons. The city government views urban farming not only as a source of income for its residents but as a way to promote a better environment and a healthier lifestyle.

The city’s urban gardening program favors organic farming where pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not used on crops. Organically grown products are better for the environment and for a person’s health.

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January 21, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

Bengaluru’s oldest urban farmer leads the way in sustainable living


Anusuya Sharma’s terrace farm grows everything from leafy veggies to medicinal plants and herbs.

“The fresh chemical-free vegetables grown at home reduces my family’s carbon foot print, a core issue in global warming,” Anusuya says.

By Theja Ram
The News Minute
Jan 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“When I got married, I moved to Bombay. There were no plants in peoples’ homes and barely any space to live. I still nurtured a few plants on the balcony of our rented home. After 13 years, we moved to Hyderabad and the situation there was the opposite of Bombay. Almost every home there had a kitchen garden. I brought a few pots and began cultivating plants,” said Anusuya.

Anusuya and her family moved to Bengaluru in 1987 and it was at the city’s famous Lalbagh that the veteran farmer learned the intricacies of urban agriculture.

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January 20, 2017   Comments Off on Bengaluru’s oldest urban farmer leads the way in sustainable living

Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)


Portion of large infographic. See complete graphic here.

Infographic

By PartSelect
GHHERGICH&Co.
Oct 2016

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that gained traction in the US in the 1990s, and has grown exponentially in popularity in the last few years. The concept of a CSA is beneficial on many levels, both for farms and for consumers. In a nutshell, CSA works to offer shares to members of their communities for a (usually quite reasonable) set price. In return, the customer receives a box of fresh, seasonal produce at regular intervals, usually weekly or monthly.

This arrangement is beneficial to farmers who work in an industry where it is normal for fluctuations in their business to occur. It gives farmers a baseline of support throughout the year, and can help them with cash flow ahead of their usual harvest.

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January 20, 2017   Comments Off on Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Risks in urban rooftop agriculture: Assessing stakeholders’ perceptions to ensure efficient policymaking

Cartoonist: Jorodo.

Key stakeholders in Berlin and Barcelona perceive several risks associated with rooftop agriculture.

By Kathrin Spechta, Esther Sanyé-Mengualc
Environmental Science and Policy
March 2017

Abstract:

Rooftop agriculture (RA) is an innovative form of urban agriculture that takes advantage of unused urban spaces while promoting local food production. However, the implementation of RA projects is limited due to stakeholders’ perceived risks. Such risks should be addressed and minimized in policymaking processes to ensure the sustainable deployment of RA initiatives. This paper evaluates the risks that stakeholders perceive in RA and compares these perceptions with the currently available knowledge, including scientific literature, practices and market trends. Qualitative interviews with 56 stakeholders from Berlin and Barcelona were analyzed for this purpose.

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January 20, 2017   Comments Off on Risks in urban rooftop agriculture: Assessing stakeholders’ perceptions to ensure efficient policymaking

Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

Pictures of urban horticulture projects in Bologna.

Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated

By Daniela Gasperi, Giuseppina Pennisi, Niccolò Rizzati, Francesca Magrefi, Giovanni Bazzocchi, Umberto Mezzacapo, Monique Centrone Stefani, Esther Sanyé-Mengual, Francesco Orsini, and Giorgio Gianquinto
Sustainability Journal
December 2016

Abstract:

In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability.

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January 19, 2017   Comments Off on Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy