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Posts from — March 2017

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

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Follow the author as she collects edible weeds.

13 Essential Plants for Human Survival

By Katrina Blair
Foreword by Sandor Ellix Katz
Chelsea Green
2014

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is the only book on foraging and edible weeds to focus on the thirteen weeds found all over the world, each of which represents a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. More than just a field guide to wild edibles, it is a global plan for human survival.

When Katrina Blair was eleven she had a life-changing experience where wild plants spoke to her, beckoning her to become a champion of their cause. Since then she has spent months on end taking walkabouts in the wild, eating nothing but what she forages, and has become a wild-foods advocate, community activist, gardener, and chef, teaching and presenting internationally about foraging and the healthful lifestyle it promotes.

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March 31, 2017   Comments Off on The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

How Donald Trump Could Weed Out Your New York Community Garden

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The William A. Harris community garden in Harlem is one of hundreds that could be affected by the loss of federal funds called for by the Trump administration.
(Clarisa Diaz, WNYC)

GreenThumb gets 43 percent of its funding from federal Community Development Block Grants, the very funds the Trump administration wants to zero out in its latest budget.

By Janet Babin
WNYC News
Mar 30, 2017

Excerpt:

The Trump administration could decide how green New York City’s future is.

More than 500 community gardens in the five boroughs rely on a program called GreenThumb. It was started in the 1970s after a financial crisis left many public gardens abandoned and bereft of funding.

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March 31, 2017   Comments Off on How Donald Trump Could Weed Out Your New York Community Garden

Sudbury, Ontario: Community gardens are about way more than growing food

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The number of gardens has exploded. In just three years, the number surpassed 20 active sites

By Hugh Kruzel
Sudbury.com
Mar 25, 2017

Excerpt:

Fortunate for the Sudbury Community Garden Network, a guiding hand plus knowledgeable players (farmers, biologists, veterans of other cities and gardens), community input and support by city staff and local industry exists, and they all willingly collaborate.

The Sudbury Public Library Main Branch now houses a seed collection, including saved heritage/heirloom and locally successful varieties. Seeds are available to all citizens.

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March 31, 2017   Comments Off on Sudbury, Ontario: Community gardens are about way more than growing food

Nevada Senate Bill 429: Community gardens could grow in blighted Nevada neighborhoods

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Summary — Establishes provisions relating to urban agriculture.

By Sandra Chereb
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Mar 25, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

CARSON CITY — Community gardens could sprout in blighted urban areas under a bill introduced Friday in the Nevada Senate.

Senate Bill 429 authorizes local governments to enact ordinances setting terms and conditions for using vacant or blighted land owned by a city or country for the purpose of community gardening.

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March 31, 2017   Comments Off on Nevada Senate Bill 429: Community gardens could grow in blighted Nevada neighborhoods

Toronto’s Urban Farming Residence Will Bridge the Gap Between Housing and Agriculture

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Residences are available on upper floors, each with its own custom micro-garden beds to supply the residents with fresh herbs.

By Osman Bari
Arch Daily
Mar 25, 2017

Excerpt:

The shallow floor plates allow ample sunlight into the units, while spacious latticed terraces and balconies can accommodate furniture, plants, and a barbecue. Communal food-focused programs include an internal greenhouse as a nursery for plants and seeds, as well as an industrial kitchen for shared food production and hosting events.

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March 30, 2017   Comments Off on Toronto’s Urban Farming Residence Will Bridge the Gap Between Housing and Agriculture

Petition to Bring Back South Central Farm

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Click on image for larger file. 4051 Alameda Street, LA.

Once the largest urban farm in the United States, spanning 14 acres and feeding 350 families in the midst of an industrial and commercial landscape, the South Central Farm was an oasis flourishing from 1992 – 2006.

Petition Excerpt:

Our Mission:
Farmers and supporters have formed the South Central Farm Restoration Committee with the intention to #BuyBackTheFarm. Our goal is to secure the farm and protect one of the last and largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land in LA County. With a land trust in place the farm would be a permanent jewel for the city of LA’s sustainability and green endeavors.

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March 30, 2017   Comments Off on Petition to Bring Back South Central Farm

UK: Five garden crowdfunding projects to back this spring

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Natalia Jenger, Louisa Winning and friends founded Bottle of Ginger as a way to change the local soft drinks culture, growing ingredients and manufacturing their own drinks. Photograph: Bottle of Ginger

Crowdfunding is certainly becoming an alternative way of getting difficult-to-fund but important projects off the ground.

By Jane Perrone
The Guardian
Mar 24, 2017

Excerpt:

Gardening at Yarl’s Wood (target: £5,000)
What is it? A social and therapeutic gardening project for the women at Yarl’s Wood. The prohect would convert the current uninspiring gardens at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire into places for female immigration detainees to sow, plant, weed and dig.

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March 30, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Five garden crowdfunding projects to back this spring

Florida: Urban farming takes root in New Port Richey front yards

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Click on image for larger file.

“That’s Broccoli George’s. He started his in 2010,”

Laura Reiley
Tampa Bay Times
Mar 23, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

At 5705 Virginia: “This one has only been here a year. It’s my ex-wife’s house,” he said. When he leaves in May, he plants a cover crop of black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes, and “when I come home in October, sometimes I come back to 2,000 pounds of sweet potatoes.”

In broad daylight and right in the front yard, something is happening in New Port Richey. The New Urbanism movement has taken hold and urban agriculture is flourishing.

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March 29, 2017   Comments Off on Florida: Urban farming takes root in New Port Richey front yards

Urban Agriculture Shifts Tactics Under Trump

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Kathleen Merrigan is a former U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary

“The forces of darkness want to eliminate organic” from the Farm Bill entirely. Both organic and urban agriculture programs may be at risk for federal funding cuts

By Jenny Splitter
Washington City Paper
Mar 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Kathleen Merrigan is a former U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary and longtime advocate for both organic and urban farming. Many observers say she’d be the Agriculture Secretary right now had Hillary Clinton won the election. Less than 100 days into Trump’s presidency, she sounds worried.

Executive Director of Sustainability at George Washington University, Merrigan, told the food policy summit audience she’d heard “the forces of darkness want to eliminate organic” from the Farm Bill entirely. Both organic and urban agriculture programs may be at risk for federal funding cuts, but Merrigan stands ready to defend the space urban agriculture has carved out for itself.

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March 29, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Shifts Tactics Under Trump

96-year-old man still farming in the middle of the city of Silver Spring, MD

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“I do a little fishin’ in the spring, so between the fishing and the gardening- that keeps me busy. So I’m just glad to be able to do it,” he said.

By Sarah Konsmo,
WUSA
Mar 222, 2017

Excerpt:

Charles Koiner is still working his farm, at the age of 96.

“I just enjoy raising the garden and doing the market. And I tell you, I have such nice customers,” he said.

It’s a farm – that in the more than three decades he’s been working it- has turned into an oasis in the middle of the city and a true farm with dozens of varieties of fruit and vegetables.

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March 29, 2017   Comments Off on 96-year-old man still farming in the middle of the city of Silver Spring, MD

RUAF Update March 2017

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RUAF Foundation (Global partnership on sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food systems)

March 2017

Update on RUAF projects
• Dutch City Deal: Food on the Urban Agenda
• Governance of territorial food systems (GOUTER)
• Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Awards for good practices

News from RUAF partners
• City Region Food System Assessment – Colombo
• Composts now considered in the “Fertilizer Subsidy Programme” in Ghana
• A European Network of AgroEcoCities
• City-to-city learning: Ede (The Netherlands) visits Ghent (Belgium)
• Urban agriculture training and policy development in Nairobi

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March 29, 2017   Comments Off on RUAF Update March 2017

New Jersey-Based Startup Helps People Grow Their Own Food

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ALFREA will strengthen the local food economy by connecting gardeners with land, help and experts, while creating a new platform for food producers and gardening professionals.

Press Release.

GALLOWAY, N.J. (January 5, 2017) – An ambitious New Jersey startup launched a pilot project in June 2016. The online platform is designed to build a stronger local food economy in South Jersey, the Philadelphia region and, eventually, across the nation.

Conceived and built right here in New Jersey, Alfrea is a revolutionary idea that brings the disruptive power of the sharing economy to food. The website makes homegrown food accessible to everyone – even people with no land, no gardening experience and no time to plant, grow or harvest food.

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March 28, 2017   Comments Off on New Jersey-Based Startup Helps People Grow Their Own Food

Brooklyn Law School: Growing Greens in the Grid: The Future of Urban Agriculture in NYC

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Thursday, April 6 – The Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship

Brooklyn Law School
Feil Hall, Forchelli Conference Center, 22nd Floor
205 State Street
Brooklyn, NY
www.brooklaw.edu/directions

About the Panel Discussion:
The Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) will host a panel and networking event to discuss the growth of the urban agriculture industry in the Brooklyn and greater New York City communities. Joined by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, members of the New York City Council, the NYC Agriculture Collective, and the Design Trust for Public Space (ADD), the panel will feature industry leaders and policy experts who will explore the technology and market forces driving innovation in urban agriculture, and chart a legislative path forward to expand existing policy, foster the creation of food production growth opportunities in local communities, and nurture thriving new agriculture businesses.

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March 28, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn Law School: Growing Greens in the Grid: The Future of Urban Agriculture in NYC

Yardfarmers is an upcoming reality TV show

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Over the course of one growing season the six contestants will compete for the honor of becoming “America’s Best Yardfarmer,” and a substantial prize.

By Erik Assadourian, Katy Chevigny, Emily Helminen
Yardfarmers

From their website:

It is about young Americans moving back in with their parents to farm their parents’ yards and neighborhood greenspaces. Why? Because yardfarming could help solve many of America’s challenges: from the obesity epidemic to food insecurity, from the abuses of industrial agriculture to food deserts, from social isolation to climate change.

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March 28, 2017   Comments Off on Yardfarmers is an upcoming reality TV show

UK: Greater Manchester convicted criminals have totally transformed overgrown community garden

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Before and after – The lost garden in Weaste, Salford.

Beneath they found benches, raised flower beds and a smart cobbled alley.

By Neal Keeling
Manchester Evening Post
Mar 22, 2017

Excerpt:

Grafting for three days, a group of offenders on the Community Payback scheme have shifted four tonnes of rubbish to reveal a backstreet oasis.

The small garden with benches was created for elderly residents in the Weaste area to meet and chat.

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March 28, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Greater Manchester convicted criminals have totally transformed overgrown community garden