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Posts from — August 2017

Gazans turn to their rooftops for sustenance

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For Muhyeddin al-Kahlout, the benefits of his rooftop farm are wide-reaching. Mohamed Hajjar

In the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, Ahmad al-Sharqawi sells vegetables grown on the roof of his house. Their origin, he has found, has become a selling point.

By Sondos Walid
The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip
16 August 2017

Excerpt:

Dr. Ahmad Saleh, an agricultural consultant and former professor in the Faculty for Agricultural Engineering at Al-Azhar University, is working to facilitate organic rooftop farming. To this end, he has established his own rooftop farm in the Tawam neighborhood of Gaza City.

For Saleh, rooftop farming has another potential advantage other than making the most of scarce space. He used parts from old cars, plastic boxes and bottles to create colorful containers for the 60-square-meter space on his roof. The area has been divided into two sections: one is for ornamental plants, including cacti and flowers, creating a pleasant space for socializing and a hub for family, friends and neighbors.

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August 19, 2017   No Comments

UK: The Manchester allotment where refugees and asylum seekers are growing vegetables together

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“I think the main things people get from Growing Together Levenshulme are a supportive community and a space to take time away from their difficult and often chaotic lives as asylum seekers.

By Lucy Lovell
Manchester Evening News
Aug 13, 2017

Excerpt:

” In future we’d love to be able to grow the project by opening the garden to participants on more days of the week, which is something they’re really keen for us to do, but in order to do that we’d need more funding and more volunteers.

“At the moment we’re just looking for funding to secure the long term future of the garden so it can continue to benefit asylum seekers and refugees for years to come.”

And what about the future for Emilie?

[Read more →]

August 19, 2017   No Comments

National Geographic: Your Greens Might Soon Be Grown in Warehouses

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Bowery Farms grows hydroponic crops out of a warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey, using LED lights. Co-founder Irving Fain says productivity far exceeds that of traditional farming. Photograph Courtesy Of Bowery.

Technology-driven businesses such as New Jersey-based Bowery are bypassing traditional farming with warehouses and LED fixtures.

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic
Aug 11, 2017

Excerpt:

It wasn’t until about six or seven years ago that everything changed. The cost of LED fixtures dropped by over 85 percent, and the efficiency more than doubled. The stacking [of crops] was enabled by the LEDs because they’re very thin and they can pull the heat away from the plants well. That means you can stack vertically and use the cubic space much more efficiently.

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August 18, 2017   No Comments

Community Garden at the University of Illinois Springfield

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More than 200 volunteers have worked in the garden since its opening, and it has already produced over 300 pounds of fresh produce.

By Susan Koch, chancellor at the University of Illinois Springfield.
State Journal-Register
Aug 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Students in Styles’ “Introduction to Sustainability” class designed the garden as a class project, studying various sustainable garden designs, creating a comprehensive plan and budget and determining the organizational approach that would best support a community garden project over time.

The garden features raised beds which help control weeds and handle drainage. Wooden compost containers and an in-ground vermiculture compost bin provide a steady supply of organic material that promotes soil microbes and plant growth.

[Read more →]

August 18, 2017   No Comments

A Look Inside Colorado’s First And Only Edible Insect ‘Ranch’

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Crickets are just an ingredient in the empanadas — they’re not over selling it,” McGill said. “And Daniel Asher’s Kentucky Fried Crickets at River & Woods always sell out. He brines them for hours like you would fried chicken.”

By Alexandra Palmerton
303 Magazine
August 9, 2017

Excerpt:

RMMR is already growing quickly as word spreads. McGill spoke at Slow Food Nations, and this week she’s in New Mexico pitching to investors at New Mexico State University’s Ag Sprint Accelerator. She will also be on a panel at Denver’s Start-Up Week discussing Urban Agriculture with other farmers and chefs in the area.

Coming soon, RMMR is partnering with The Butterfly Pavillion to develop a co-branded line of snacks for its stores and other museum shops. The team is also organizing a bug dinner at Ophelia’s for the Entomology Society of America conference in November.

[Read more →]

August 17, 2017   No Comments

Northern Ireland: People can work together on a peaceful, positive and productive activity

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Susan Lynn is the Northern Ireland development manager for the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and is based in east Belfast.

‘Allotments are fantastic, you can grow so much on a small space’

By Darryl Armitage
Newsletter
Aug 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Remembering her childhood growing up in Ballycastle she says that she had a connection with homegrown food from an early age.

She says: “Back home we had a great garden and I spent a lot of time among our apple trees. We called it the orchard, although that would probably be stretching it. I remember climbing the trees and then mum making apple pie – I think this is the first connection of homegrown food and for a kid apple tart is much more appealing than a plate of broad beans.”

[Read more →]

August 17, 2017   No Comments

‘Ugly Greens’ sold by New York Urban Farm

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“Much of what’s discarded is done merely for cosmetic reasons or as a result of long distance transportation. This negatively impacts farmers, retailers and ultimately consumers.”

By Rebecca D Dumais
Fresh Plaza
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Good greens don’t have to ‘look’ pretty. Even ‘ugly’ produce is just as delicious. This is something Gotham Greens has discovered through its recent Ugly Greens movement. What may have once been considered unmarketable produce was enjoyed by the staff at work or home instead. “We’d enjoy them as part of a team meal and staff would take them home to eat,” explains CEO, Viraj Puri. “But we realized there was an opportunity to sell them while helping to bring attention to the issue of food waste.

[Read more →]

August 16, 2017   No Comments

UK: ‘Countryfile Live TV Show – agricultural escapism or city-slicker sell out?

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BBC Countryfile presenters Adam Henson, John Craven, Charlotte Smith, Tom Heap, Anita Rani, Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison. Photograph: Justin Goff.

At least half of Countryfile’s viewers live in towns and cities.

By Paul MacInnes
The Guardian
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpts:

Since it moved in 2009 from its original Sunday morning slot to peak-time evening viewing, the programme has become more obviously aimed at an urban demographic. Issues of concern to farmers and those who make a living in rural areas are still covered, but they are less prominent than the features which either introduce aspects of the British countryside to a new audience or simply show it off. It also has the week’s most-watched weather forecast.

[Read more →]

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Salt Lake City: Two blocks from the Rio Grande homeless shelter, these women found peace and purpose on an urban farm

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Eve top dresses a row of tomatoes with fresh compost at the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team farm. (Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune)

That once-blighted 1.5-acre parcel has become a thriving urban farm, and Nikki is back for the first full, 10-month season of Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team.

By Matthew Piper
Salt Lake City Tribune
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.

Nikki was able to leave the nearby shelter after teammate Ira obtained housing and invited her to become her roommate. For those who are still homeless, The Road Home makes an exception to its 30-day turnout policy and allows them to stay for the full season, uninterrupted.

[Read more →]

August 15, 2017   No Comments

Tokyo: Mirai Corporation uses vertical farming

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Grant Imahara visits Tokyo and meets with the group at Mirai, whose goal is to bring farm-fresh food to the middle of one of the busiest cities on the planet.

Also see Mouser’s 40 page ebook on Vertical Farming

Mouser.com
2017

Excerpt from book:

Fast-forward to the 20th Century, and the evolution of vertical farming accelerates, drawing on human need, land availability, and industrial advancements. By March 4, 1909, when Life Magazine published what is now known as the first vertical farm illustration, the concept included an open-air building with vertically stacked “vertical homesteads” that cultivated food for consumption.

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August 15, 2017   No Comments

Meet a Woman Who Keeps 500 Plants in Her Brooklyn Apartment

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Oakes with one of her hundreds of plants.

For 11 years, Oakes has lived in a 1,200-square-foot converted industrial space in Williamsburg, which is filled with 500 plants, including a living wall, an irrigated vertical garden constructed out of mason jars, and, in a closet garden, edible plants ranging from the familiar (herbs, greens) to the exotic (a pineapple plant, curry leaves—the latter of which she raves about).

By Dan Nosowitz on July 14, 2016
Photographs by Aliza Eliazarov
Modern Farmer
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Her apartment is an attempt to cram a country house into a Brooklyn apartment. None of that is really possible in the city, but Oakes does her best: a vermiculture kit beneath the kitchen sink, a compost bin, LED lighting systems, a sub-irrigation system for certain plants, and plants, plants everywhere. Succulents line the bathroom. An old sled on which her pots and pans are hung also include low-light-tolerant philodendrons.

[Read more →]

August 14, 2017   No Comments

New Zealand: Sikh Temple opens up acres of land for community garden project

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From left: Raju Ramakrishna from Healthy Families Manukau with Gurnoor Kaur and Rajinder Singh Sekhon at the Takanini Sikh Temple community garden.

Takanini Sikh Temple has opened up 11 acres of land to grow fresh fruit and vegetables in Auckland.

By Nigel Moffiet
Stuff
August 7 2017

Excerpt:

The plan is to have up to 400 fruit trees such as lemons, limes, oranges, guava, and a variety of nuts and vegetables grown and maintained by temple members.

The Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura team and the Old School Reserve Teaching Gardens are working with the temple to teach food production skills as part of the project.

[Read more →]

August 14, 2017   No Comments

‘cityfarmer.com’ now available for $23,400 !

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“Please note that Premium Domain Names are registered on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no guarantees that the domain name(s) will be available when you go to the Network Solutions website.”

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer Society
Aug 13, 2017
Note. We do not own ‘cityfarmer.com’.
Registered to Uniregistrar Corp.(PRIVACYDOTLINK CUSTOMER 665476
Street:PO BOX 30485
City:SEVEN MILE BEACH
State:GRAND CAYMAN
See owner information here.

When we started our website in 1994, we chose to purchase ‘cityfarmer.org’ because we are a non-profit. We noted that at some point the .com site was purchased by a commercial entity, but nothing was ever published using that domain name.

We later purchased ‘cityfarmer.info’ to emphasize our news function. Then this last year, we were given the ‘cityfarmer.eco’ name by the Vancouver fellows who administer that domain. We are using it to celebrate our coming 40th anniversary and are featuring our demonstration garden.

[Read more →]

August 13, 2017   No Comments

How learning to farm on other planets could help us on our own

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Growing food on inhospitable planets may no longer be the stuff of fiction, such as in the Disney film Wall-e.

“There is actually a lot of crossover.” Says Gioia Massa, NASA researcher, of both techniques used in urban farms and their research.

By Danielle Crowley
Farmer’s Journal
06 August 2017

Excerpt:

This October, a shipping container called Eden ISS will arrive at the Neumayer III polar station in Antarctica. The plan is to grow around 40 different plants in it, such as basil and strawberries. While not the first greenhouse on Antarctica, this one has a special purpose. Space agencies will be monitoring it in order to get an idea of the challenges that must be overcome to grow food in a harsh, inhospitable environment. The one in mind – Mars.

[Read more →]

August 13, 2017   No Comments

UK: Police help transform overgrown allotment into peaceful community garden

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Durahm Police help transform overgrown allotment into peaceful community garden in Deneside, Seaham.

“Anti-social behaviour has gone right down. There is a real community spirit now. That was always our aim.”

The Northern Echo
Aug 4, 2017

Excerpt:

PCSO Aimee Guest, who works closely with DAG, said: “They have completely transformed the overridden area into a peaceful oasis for the community.

“They continue to inspire me by their initiative and drive to create change for the good of the local people. I am extremely proud. It can now become the heart of the estate. It is open to all.”

[Read more →]

August 13, 2017   No Comments