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Posts from — October 2017

Madagascar: Antananarivo’s ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘ Winner of Milan Pact Award

Toronto and the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, were announced as winners of the Milan Pact Awards for best urban practices in sustainable food management.

By Barbara Szewcow, Jonathan Andrews
Cities Today
31st October 2017

Excerpt:

Carmen Zuleta Ferrari, Urban Planner and spokesperson for the city of Antananarivo, told Cities Today about the success of Madagascan ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘. A pilot of 30 vulnerable households has now evolved into 24 neighbourhoods, 21 training institutions and more than 15,000 beneficiaries.

“With a garden consisting of a barrel, a table and five yellow jerry cans, it is possible to produce 16 kg of green vegetables (chard or salad) in 60 days, which can be valued at US$9.72 in local street markets.”

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Madagascar: Antananarivo’s ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘ Winner of Milan Pact Award

Pittsburgh: Superior Motors is starting its own urban farm in Braddock

It is the first restaurant in the Pittsburgh area to open its own urban farm.

By Kelly Lynn Thomas
Next Pittsburgh
October 25, 2017

Excerpt:

Hart officially starts work on November 1, and over the winter he’ll focus on building infrastructure for the rooftop garden and farm plot, testing for contaminants like lead, and remediating the soil.

“Every empty plot around is really just a flat pile of rubble,” Hart says. Eleven years after Grow Pittsburgh began its Braddock farm, workers are still digging up bricks and pieces of concrete, Hart says. He expects a similar situation with the Superior Motors lot, which used to house a radio station.

Needed infrastructure includes heating and ventilation for the rooftop greenhouse, an irrigation system for the raised bed and possibly a deer fence for the farm plot. Hart also plans to add sand and compost to the plot’s thick clay soil to get it ready for its first growing season.

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Pittsburgh: Superior Motors is starting its own urban farm in Braddock

Growing Urban Agriculture

Onions and greens on the Siyakhana Urban Farm in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Esther Ngumbi)

To feed the world’s growing population, we must do more to promote the success of urban farms through better tracking, financial incentives, land use, and support systems.

By Esther Ngumbi
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Oct. 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Increasing financial incentives could encourage urban farming to grow. Some public schools, hospitals, and other public institutions like universities receive tax breaks for obtaining a certain percentage of their food from urban farms. Such arrangements can create guaranteed markets for produce from urban farms. Some states and municipalities have programs to help such institutions redesign their procurement policies to increase the percentage of locally grown produce. Food retailers could also get tax incentives from the government for carrying products from urban farms. In addition, urban farms could receive tax breaks for donating excess produce to food banks and pantries. Most importantly, government could provide tax incentives to urban farms that work with food pantries and food banks in an effort to ensure that people receiving public assistance can buy fresh food from urban farms using food stamps.

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Growing Urban Agriculture

Herban Sprout is growing fresh food in Martinsburg, W. Virginia

Matt Denton in front of new 24-by-40 foot plot.

They sell to 13 restaurants and cafés in Martinsburg and Shepherdstown, W.Va., Greencastle, Pa., Winchester, Va., and Hagerstown.

By Robin Murphy
The Herald-Mail
Oct 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Established in February of 2015 on a eighth of an acre, Herban Sprout grew into a viable business from the Denton’s doing smaller deliveries of excess greens to the local community.

“We were already farming for our family on a smaller scale. Every spare minute we had we were spending out in the garden.” Stephanie Denton said. “It was a natural decision. This is what we want to be doing anyway, so we decided to do it on a larger scale.”

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October 30, 2017   Comments Off on Herban Sprout is growing fresh food in Martinsburg, W. Virginia

Pakistan: ‘Kitchen gardening’: Punjab Agriculture Department to sell 0.15 million seed kits on subsidized rates

Women in particular are taking keen interest in getting fresh vegetables and prefer to consume home grown vegetables.

By Sarmad Mahmud
Business Recorder
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Punjab Agriculture department has made necessary arrangements for selling 1,50,000 seed kits on subsidized rates during Rabi crop in the province. The step has been taken to promote “kitchen gardening culture” and create awareness about the importance and utility of home grown fresh vegetables across the Province.

Sources in agriculture department told Business Recorder on Sunday that kitchen gardening has gained popularity among the people especially the women folk in different districts of Punjab including Sialkot. The kitchen gardening in the recent past has gained high importance in the wake of upsurge in prices, malnutrition, poverty alleviation and consumption of fresh and home grown vegetables.

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October 30, 2017   Comments Off on Pakistan: ‘Kitchen gardening’: Punjab Agriculture Department to sell 0.15 million seed kits on subsidized rates

Unique Indoor Farm In Manhattan Grows Over 150 Crop Varieties


‘Farm.One’ is a unique indoor farm in Manhattan using technology to bring flavor and rarity year round

Excerpt:

Tour Manhattan’s only indoor hydroponic farm, growing more than 100 varieties of rare herbs, edible flowers and microgreens. Sip complementary sparking wine as you taste new and unique flavors from around the world. A unique, fun experience for any local foodie or tourist in New York.

Inside our new, secret, larger facility in Tribeca, our unique farm uses LED lighting and hydroponics to grow a huge variety of culinary plants, numbering over 200 to date. The indoor grow room uses no pesticides or herbicides, and uses around 95% less water than a traditional farm. The farm supplies Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, including Atera, Daniel, Jungsik, Chef’s Table and others.

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October 30, 2017   Comments Off on Unique Indoor Farm In Manhattan Grows Over 150 Crop Varieties

New Urban Farm in D.C. Is About More Than a Food Desert

Kelly Miller Farm is scheduled to open in spring 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chris Bradshaw)

Bradshaw hopes the data will help build the case for more urban farms like this to be built on public lands. “There are more conversations now around protecting public lands for the public good, versus privatization,” he says.

By Stephanie Castellano
Next City
October 24, 2017

Excerpt:

“I didn’t have no help when I got out, not even from my parole officer,” he says. With Kirby, at Kelly Miller Farm, he’ll be teaching workshops on gardening, composting and carpentry, skills he learned while incarcerated. Passing those skills on to others, Luther says, won’t just lead them to jobs, it will help them become entrepreneurs.

“We don’t just want jobs, we want careers,” he says. “The farm’s not just about growing, it’s about making money, and that’s something many people in this community don’t have.”

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October 30, 2017   Comments Off on New Urban Farm in D.C. Is About More Than a Food Desert

Fashion Industry Fights to Save New York Community Garden

Elizabeth Street Garden was the perfect backdrop for Stella McCartney’s Resort ’15 presentation.
Photo: Rex Features.
Click image to see larger file.

Elizabeth Street Garden – Little Italy’s Most Romantic Garden

By Eileen Townsend
Vogue
October 23, 2017

Excerpt:

On a warm fall afternoon, when the garden is open to the public, it’s not uncommon to find glamorously appointed Nolita-ites Instagramming themselves in the bushes. The garden’s romantically cluttered pastiche of sculpture and untamed greenery makes an ideal site for a windswept photo-op. The garden has recently hosted a slate of high-profile designers and magazines: Lela Rose used the garden to premiere her Fall 2018 bridal collection, while U.K.

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October 29, 2017   Comments Off on Fashion Industry Fights to Save New York Community Garden

Nexloop: Visibly Network Rainwater Into Closed-Loop Urban Food Production

Nexloop Video Pitch from Jacob Russo on Vimeo.

The process of using rainwater to grow food inside requires the integration of multiple functions and a symbiotic relationship between system components.

By Jacob Russo, Stephanie Newcomb, Alexa Nicolas, Anamarija Frankic, Dale Clifford
From Biomimicry Global Design Challenge
Food Systems 2016

Excerpt:

Nexloop is a hyper-local, biomimetic strategy to visibly network rainwater into closed-loop urban food production. Our mission is to increase hyper-local urban food production, decouple localized irrigation from the city grid, and increase visibility of food system processes. Nexloop retrofits multistory residential building facades to promote small-scale, personalized food production. The design functions at the scale of the window to harness rainwater and provide in situ irrigation for sustainable hydroponic food production in individual urban homes.

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October 29, 2017   Comments Off on Nexloop: Visibly Network Rainwater Into Closed-Loop Urban Food Production

Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

Colin McGlibery of Pleasant Hill harvests persimmons at Charlotte’s Orchard in Vacaville. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Volunteers will harvest more than 50,000 pounds of fruit for donation between this Saturday and next. All fruit will be distributed among food banks, local food pantries, shelters and community dining halls.

By Susan Hiland
Daily Republic
Oct 22, 2017

Excerpt:

Charlotte Sturgeon lost her husband in 2006. He had big plans for the persimmon trees he planted but without him no one in the family knew his plans. That year, the round, orange fruit rotted and Sturgeon couldn’t stand to see that happen.

“We didn’t know what to do,” daughter-in-law Laurie Sturgeon said.

Her mother-in-law got in touch with The Urban Farmers, a nonprofit organization in Lafayette that harvests excess backyard fruit to donate to those in need.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

Merry Little Tales for merry little hearts. 1856. Click image to see larger file.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average

By Katie Morley
Telegraph
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Honeybees in cities and suburban areas are producing more honey than those in rural areas, figures show, amid fears that the species is in grave decline.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average, according to a survey by the British Beekeepers Association. This compares to rural gardens, which produced an average of 22.5 lbs of honey per hive, around a fifth less.

Previous research has shown that honeybees in towns and cities enjoy a more diverse diet and find a richer diversity of pollen. This is because they visit a much wider range of flowers than bees foraging in the countryside.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

Canada: Hopes grow for urban farming as Calgary readies pilot project on vacant land

An unused and unoccupied piece of land located at 1920 Highfield Crescent S.E. is shown in Calgary.

“I hope in five to 10 years we’ll have 30 to 40 urban farms employing hundreds of people,” said Hughes, adding the city has a huge amount of unused land for such activity.

By Bill Kaufmann
Calgary Herald
Oct 22, 2017

Excerpt:

The city’s launch of an agriculture pilot project on plots of unused land is long overdue but could plant the seeds for a local food revolution, says a well-known Calgary urban farmer.

Operators who’ll farm two plots of land on a two-year lease — one in the northeast and the other in the southeast — are being sought by the city, with a tour of the sites scheduled for Oct. 27.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Hopes grow for urban farming as Calgary readies pilot project on vacant land

On this Seattle farm, seniors grow food and community

Turunesh Gura, 78, takes a break from working on at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in Seattle. Kuow Photo/Megan Farmer.

This work is an opportunity to make connections in their adopted country and to practice English with native speakers.

By Patricia Murphy
KUOW
Oct 20, 2017

Excerpt:

“They don’t go out they don’t go to senior centers or community centers — because of the language barrier,” Michael Neguse said.

“So what we’re trying to do here is take them out of their houses, to come here to meet other people. To meet other ethnic groups and other languages and come and work together.”

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on On this Seattle farm, seniors grow food and community

FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

This webpage will basically function as a one-stop place where you can find all information related to urban food systems and rural-urban linkages. The platform is organized around 6 main tabs: a) Homepage; b) Background; c) Areas of focus; d) Knowledge produces; e) Events; f) Partners; g) Share with us.

FAO
Oct 2017

Excerpt:

Food production and ecosystem management. Food production depends on and impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity, with spillover effects going beyond food.

This area of focus deals with evidence and actions to optimize agriculture production while managing ecosystem services and biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change. For instance, promoting and strengthening nutrition-sensitive and diversified urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable methods as a way to mitigate heat island effect;

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered

Photo By Casarsaguru/Istock.

The garden is no exemplar of how to create a right relationship with life on Earth

By Jason Mark
Sierra Club
Oct 21 2017

Excerpt:

Make no mistake: The garden is an unethical place. Even the virtuous garden—which is to say, a garden tended with an eye toward striking some balance with other plants and animals—ultimately disregards other species in favor of human hungers.

Take Alemany Farm. When we find a gopher eating our potatoes, we set a trap to kill the offender. We target slugs and snails, and set out baited snares to capture and kill coddling moths. When we spot a weed that may be competing with our crops, we rip it out by the roots, then unceremoniously toss it in the compost pile. It’s all organic, sure; every bit of it is a calculated killing.

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered