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Posts from — February 2017

Australia: Farmer’s son turned to urban farming after years in hospitality and IT industry

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David Sivyer, Feedback Organic Recovery. Picture: Chris Brown.

Newcastle, New South Wale. The best thing about farming in the city and suburbs is that I’m so close to the beach, so close to friends.

By Melinda McMillan
Newcastle Star
Feb 22, 2017

Excerpt:

What do you produce/grow/make? We are growing baby carrots and beets, mesclun mix, radishes, red Russian kale, cucumber, pumpkins and squash all on small farm within urban areas. Originally we started at Maryville at the old Hunter Valley Research Foundation but now farm on small patches in Cardiff and Wallsend.

What do you want the world to know about your product? That it’s a circle, we collect organic waste from cafes and restaurants, compost it and then grow in urban spaces and produce food that goes back to the cafes and to the general public.

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February 28, 2017   No Comments

Canada: ‘Roots to Harvest’ in Thunder Bay ready for first ‘urban training farm’

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Roots to Harvest to create an urban training farm on the grounds of the Victoria Park training Centre (Facebook)

Community group teams with Lakehead Public schools to create educational farm in southside neighbourhood

CBC News
Feb 22, 2017

Excerpt:

“This project and partnership with Lakehead Public Schools will positively impact the surrounding neighbourhood and will provide countless opportunities for authentic discovery for students, employment for young people, and will be a great asset for the whole city,” she said.

Some of the features of the new educational farm will include:
demonstration and training plots
school gardens
urban farm fields
seed saving garden

[Read more →]

February 28, 2017   No Comments

Looking for New Gardeners – East Brunswick Community Garden in New Jersey

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Your community garden in season. Credits: East Brunswick Environmental Commission

Established in 2009, the garden offers 160 plots for new and returning gardeners who live or work in East Brunswick.

By Maureen Berzok
Tap into East Brunswick
February 22, 2017

Excerpt:

The Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission is looking for new gardeners for the East Brunswick Community Garden this spring. There are 30 plots available for rent, which usually are rented prior to the start of the growing season.

Thirty garden plots are still available at the East Brunswick Community Garden for the 2017 growing season for township residents and local employees who lack the space, proper sunlight or soil to grow produce and flowers at home.

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February 28, 2017   No Comments

Urban farmers grow crops in Brooklyn parking lot

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Square Roots farmers grow crops in 10 steel shipping containers converted into hydroponic farms. Square Roots aims to expand to 20 metropolitan areas by 2020.

By Eric Girard
Metro
Feb 21

Excerpt:

Square Roots raised seed financing to build the campus, which cost more than $100,000. Then, 10 young farmers were chosen from more than 500 applicants for a yearlong stint that started in November.

One of them is Electra Jarvis, 27, an Alphabet City resident who grows kale, mustard greens, and Salanova lettuce and is working on cilantro.

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February 27, 2017   No Comments

Fighting Greater Toronto’s Sprawl With Urban Farms

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Member farmers harvest mizuna green beds at Fresh City Farms two acre farm at Downsview Park.

75 percent of farmland of farmland in Toronto’s Metro Region is unprotected and at risk of being paved over

By Vawn Himmelsbach
Toronto Star
Feb 18, 2017

Excerpt:

Fresh City Farms leases private land, including two acres of federal land in Downsview Park, though tenure affects long-term planning. Its latest project is a 4,000 square foot greenhouse, expected to be up and running this spring, on land owned by wireless solutions company Baka Communications.

[Read more →]

February 27, 2017   No Comments

Documentary Film: Three Generations Of Women Create A Community Garden In Their South African Village

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Canada: University of Victoria historian Elizabeth Vibert teamed up with award-winning director Christine Welsh to produce ‘The Thinking Garden’.

The garden, which has now been in operation for 25 years, provides fresh vegetables and opportunities for the local villagers while helping confront the ravages of poverty, climate change and AIDS.

By Dan Ebenal
Saanich News
Feb 25, 2017

Excerpt:

“The garden has been vitally important to the community, especially as the effects of climate change get worse. It provides local, affordable produce that otherwise people have to travel on public transit to buy fresh vegetables,” said Vibert.

More familiar with writing about history, Vibert said her first venture into filmmaking was extremely challenging.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2017   No Comments

Ireland: Galway Michelin chef backs project to fight poverty in Central Africa

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Concern ambassador, chef JP McMahon with daughters, eight year old Heather (left) and Martha, 4, at the Westside Community Garde

Speaking from the Westside community gardens, accompanied by his daughters, he said: “Europe has taken so much out of Africa; it is our duty as Europeans and Irish people to give back.

By Our Reporter
Connacht Tribune
February 19, 2017

Excerpt:

“I think Kitchen Gardens is a genuine and excellent idea because it taps into that connection to growing food that a lot of us never have to think about at all.

“It supports people in great need in growing their own farms for the future, making them more self-sufficient and strengthening their community.

“This project gives us a sense of fulfilment that we are actually helping people to produce their own food because aid can only do so much.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2017   No Comments

Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties

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The addition of organic fertilizers tended to increase most enzyme activities and available nutrients in the soils, as compared to that of inorganic fertilizers

By Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sang Soo Lee, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Young-Han Lee, Kye Hoon Kim, Jeoung-Hun Park, Deok Hyun Moon, and Yong Sik Ok
Sustainability
Feb 20, 2017

Abstract:

Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, ?-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition.

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February 25, 2017   No Comments

The Urban Farmer: How to Create a Productive Garden in Any Space

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Just published in Australia

By Justin Calverley CERES
Harper Collons Australia
Feb 20, 2017

The guide for anyone who dreams of living the country life in the city by growing their own healthy, sustainable fruit and veg – and more!

Producing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey is perfectly possible in a suburban space, and this practical guide will help urban dwellers develop a more sustainable existence. With a deep knowledge of permaculture and organic gardening, horticultural expert Justin Calverley shows you how to establish a diverse urban farm, whether in your own backyard, a courtyard or even a balcony.

[Read more →]

February 25, 2017   No Comments

Berlin: International Urban Farming Conference in September, 2017

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Call For Papers

The International Urban Farming Conference that will take place 11th – 12th September, 2017 in Berlin invites professionals and activists in the field of urban farming to apply with their abstracts by March 10th. Especially welcome are presentations on projects related to local governments and partnership projects between local governments of the Global South and Global North.

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February 24, 2017   No Comments

Eustis, Florida City Commission Goes Against Backyard Chickens

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Judson Middens, with Florida Urban Agriculture, brought his chicken, Millie, to a city meeting to try to convince commissioners to allow Eustis residents to keep chickens as pets. Photo by By Roxanne Brown.

“So these guys, they’re not the monster everybody’s thinking. They’re clean, they’re friendly and, yes, they are pets.”

By Roxanne Brown
Daily Commercial
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Giddens said he understands people are concerned about smells and noises but said only commercial farming causes that, not the five chickens-per-household people in Eustis want.

“This is not new. It’s making a comeback. It’s part of sustainability,” he said. “People that have backyard chickens, they compost, they garden, they prepare for their community and what you do is facilitate a positive attitude in your citizenship.

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February 24, 2017   No Comments

Indigenous Wild Food Plants In Home Gardens

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Improving Health And Income With The Assistance Of Agricultural Extension

By Robert L. Freedman, Tucson, Arizona.
International Journal of Agricultural Extension
2015. 63-71

Abstract:

The wide spread presence of home gardens in developing nations is a strong foundation for food security, both in terms of quantity and quality. Indigenous wild food plants are a rich source of health-giving micronutrients, which are missing from highly refined fast/convenience foods the growing reliance on which has caused an ever-increasing occurrence of dietary-related diseases.

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”

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Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual. MSCA fellow. Research centre in urban environment for agriculture and biodiversity (ResCUE-AB). Department of Agricultural Sciences (Dipsa). Università di Bologna

For the special issue of the MDPI journal Sustainability

Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
Guest Editor,
email: esther.sanye(at)unibo.it
Sustainability

This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute to the assessment of the sustainability of urban agriculture, both by advancing methodological approaches and by providing results from case studies. Cities have been identified as an essential element in addressing global concerns, particularly due to the growing population, and food flow is key in the urban metabolism and in the design of future sustainable cities. Resulting from the environmental awareness of the globalized food system and urban social and economic gaps, urban agriculture has grown in recent years aiming at increasing food security while coping with climate change.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2017   No Comments

UK: Brighton & Hove Allotment Strategy 2014-2024

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Brighton & Hove?s allotment community is comprised of 6000 food growers with 3100 plots on 37 sites.

Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & HoveAllotment Federation
2014

Excerpt:

The strategy emphasises increasing the number of people growing high quality local food by ensuring the availability of good quality land. It promotes a self- sustaining and efficient service, encourages site participation, while fostering biodiversity, organic practices, good food and healthy living. It encourages a cooperative approach.

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

City of Toledo, Ohio offers vacant lot to urban farmer

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Thomas Jackson cleans up a pile of wood chips, branches, and tree stumps in an attempt to beautify the neighborhood around his Milburn Avenue home in Toledo.

The site is OK for mulch, not growing

By Tom Troy
The Blade
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr. Jackson said city officials are trying to work with him, and have suggested two other sites to place the wood chips. He said the Bancroft Street site is covered with concrete, so he would be able to compost there, but not grow vegetables.

“There’s definitely negotiations going on. I have a letter from economic development stating that they are working with me to get a new site,” Mr. Jackson said.

[Read more →]

February 22, 2017   No Comments