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Posts from — October 2017

Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

Jenna Jaski of Victory Gardens Vancouver helps facilitate the Classroom Gardener program at East Van’s David Livingstone elementary school. The program is one of many across the city that aim to get students out of classrooms and into the garden and the kitchen. Photo by Dan Toulgoet.

Every class gets to spend time in the garden and by the end of the year-long session, every student will have had a chance to experience all the facets of the garden.

By Jessica Kerr
Vancouver Courier
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

“Teachers are looking for ways to get kids learning outside because they need to get kids moving and there’s a ton of benefit for children’s physical health being outside,” she said, adding that being outside also has mental health benefits.

“We see huge numbers of children struggling with anxiety in school, so how do we take them outside? Because being outside is very protective against mental health problems in children.”

[Read more →]

October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

Springer Urban Agriculture Book Series

Onda Akio. Picking Plums. Late 20th century.

Sharing Experiences and Research Results in Urban Food Production and Related Food System Issues

Published and Forthcoming Books:

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners, M. Hardman and P. Larkham

Family Urban Agriculture in Russia: Lessons and Prospects, 2015, L. Boukharaeva and M. Marloie

Farming on the Fringe: Peri-Urban Agriculture, Cultural Diversity and Sustainability in Sydney, S James

Rooftop Urban Agriculture, 2017. F.Orsini, M. Dubbeling, H. de Zeeuw and G. Gianquinto (eds.) – available for ordering

Towards Sustainable Relations between Agriculture and the City, 2017, C. Soulard, C. Perrin and E. Valette (eds.) – available for ordering

[Read more →]

October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Springer Urban Agriculture Book Series

Those backyard chickens could give you salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says

Tanya Keith, of Des Moines, Iowa, and her daughter Iolana feed their chickens in the backyard of their home, in Des Moines. Charlie Neibergall AP file.

The CDC traced 10 outbreaks back to backyard poultry over the last year, the most ever recorded by the CDC. Seventy percent of those who fell ill reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness

By Joshua Tehee
Kansas City Star
October 20, 2017

Excerpt:

While backyard chicken coops have become popular in recent years, they aren’t always legal and there is an underground “urban chicken” movement in many major cities, according to World Watch Institute. Grassroots efforts in other cities have led to ordinances that allow for limited numbers of hens within city limits, according to the site.

Partly, the trend is an extension of the larger urban farming movement, Carol-Ann Sayle told World Watch Institute. She co-owns a five-acre farm in Austin, Texas that is walking distance from the state capitol, according to the website.

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October 26, 2017   Comments Off on Those backyard chickens could give you salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says

Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

The goats supply three litres of milk, per day, to the family. (Submitted by Miranda Friske. )

Arborfield, Saskatchewan, creates bylaw prohibiting owning livestock

By Samanda Brace
CBC News
Oct 16, 2017

Excerpt:

The family was recently told to get rid of the goats that have been living in their backyard after town council approved a new livestock bylaw, and a judge ruled against their goats being allowed to stay.

“They were worried the goats were going to cause problems, but they didn’t cause any problems and they still went ahead,” Friske said.

Friske and her husband purchased their goats, Abby and Azur, in October 2015 after they realized they were both intolerant to cow’s milk.

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October 26, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

Australia’s first community garden celebrates 40 years

Margaret Rackham, centre, with fellow gardeners at Nunawading Community Gardens. Photo: Justin McManus

With 127 plots and a current waiting list of 12 years, the Nunawading Community Gardens is a vibrant, verdant hive of activity.

By Megan Backhouse
Sydney Morning Herald
Oct 20, 2017

Excerpt:

In the mid-1970s a Nunawading dentist named Gaven Oakley took a holiday in England and found himself captivated by the country’s community gardens. This was the era of Tom and Barbara pursuing self-sufficiency in downtown London in the TV series The Good Life. Growing your own food was in the air.

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October 25, 2017   Comments Off on Australia’s first community garden celebrates 40 years

Canada: Urban Farming Works In Windsor

Bishop’s Urban Farm.

These are not large acreages, or acreages at all, for that matter. One of the plots is actually in their backyard.

By Ian Shalapata
The Square
17 October 2017

Excerpt:

The enterprising couple are simply returning city land to vegetable production sites. Instead of cutting their lawn in the summer, they go through a number planting, harvesting, and replanting cycles using the same soil beds with a goal of producing as many crops as is possible to meet the demand they are creating.

These are not large acreages, or acreages at all, for that matter. One of the plots is actually in their backyard. The secret, Kavanaugh told The Square, rests squarely in the types of crops that are grown along with systems to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

[Read more →]

October 25, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Urban Farming Works In Windsor

Cleveland residents plant the seeds for reinvention

Rid-All Green Partnership took over 1.5 acres of the property (and is set to assume another 1.5 acres soon). To date, they have harvested 14,000 pounds of produce; raised 350 pounds of tilapia; and cultivated 1,200 cubic yards of compost.

By Karin Connelly Rice
Freshwater
October 19, 2017

Excerpt:

CornUcopia Place is just one way BBC has taken steps to eliminate Kinsman’s ranking as a food desert by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, the neighborhood is rich with healthy eating options, as well as an unusual amount of gardens and fruit trees.

A 28-acre stretch of land on E. 81st Street and Otter Avenue is now deemed the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone—one of the more ambitious projects taken on by BBC. This tract of land is in what is known as “the forgotten triangle,” running from Woodland Road to the north, Kinsman Road from the south and west, and the railroad tracks off of E. 84th Street.

[Read more →]

October 25, 2017   Comments Off on Cleveland residents plant the seeds for reinvention

China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops


Sky Farm in Shanghai uses rooftop agriculture to help urban residents experience nature up close. By Daniel Holmes and Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone.

With approximately 10 billion square meters of exposed roof space across Chinese cities as of September 2011, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the concept has plenty of capacity to grow.

By Liang Chenyu
The Sixth Tone
Oct 24, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Atop Red Star Macalline Group’s headquarters sits a rooftop farm called Yiyun, which translates as “leaning on the clouds.” Chilies, white gourd, eggplant, chives, and other vegetables flourish across the 4,600-square-meter garden cultivated by the company, which is China’s largest national furniture retailer. The harvested produce is used in the staff cafeteria, and the farm also provides thermal insulation for the building’s top floor, which houses expensive rosewood furniture.

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October 24, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

The Most Surprising Little Urban Farm in L.A. Is on a Mar Vista Side Street

Photo Courtesy Of Casamor Farm.

Farm sells its produce on the honor system, and ”it works perfectly”

By Joshua Lurie
Los Angeles Magazine
October 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Kohler is a Swiss national who has cultivated a small vegetable patch in every home he’s had in L.A. In 2014 he converted his front and back yards into a “food garden” by planting 30 fruit and nut trees and replacing the lawn with growing beds.

He launched the farm stand in 2016 as a way to share his surplus harvest with neighbors, putting out vegetables every Sunday and encouraging visitors to “pay what you want.” Kohler says farm stands that operate on an honor system are an “integral part of the agricultural landscape” in Switzerland. Friends questioned whether a similar endeavor would work in L.A., but Kohler persisted and learned “it works perfectly.”

[Read more →]

October 24, 2017   Comments Off on The Most Surprising Little Urban Farm in L.A. Is on a Mar Vista Side Street

Slowly-vanishing fruit farms in urban Utah County are still pumping out produce

One of Carlos Chavez’s produce farms in Orem.

Owner Carlos Chavez doesn’t own any of his roughly 10 plots of 2- to 8-acre farmland in Orem and surrounding cities, but rather he leases it from year-to-year.

By Isaac Hale
Daily Herald
Oct 16, 2017

Excerpt:

What was once a dirt road and open hills surrounding the farm about 45 years ago is now very much a part of Pleasant Grove city, with paved roads and residential houses. Almost everything directly surrounding his farm has been developed, but it hasn’t been a bother to the Guernseys. Though, it’s apparent that the value of land in the area has skyrocketed.

“We’ve had several people offer to buy since my parents first bought it 45 years ago,” said Guernsey. “For me, it’s never been a decision. I’m not going to sell; I’m not going to turn my property into houses. I’m certain that it’s inevitable one of these days, but as long as I’m alive we’re going to keep it like it is. If we had accepted any one of those offers we could have retired early and lived very nicely.”

[Read more →]

October 24, 2017   Comments Off on Slowly-vanishing fruit farms in urban Utah County are still pumping out produce

City Farmer’s Compost Garden featured in Arbutus Greenway ‘Design Jam’ Video

A ‘Design Jam’ is a multi-day, collaborative workshop with the goal of developing a clear, detailed, realistic design for a project—in this case, the design for the future Arbutus Greenway.

From City of Vancouver
Welcome to the Deign Jam
Oct 2017

The Kitsilano portion of the Arbutus Greenway contains a number of distinct character areas. Examples include:

The stretch around West 6th Avenue, which runs east-west, compared with the rest of the corridor, which tends to run north-south. The experience of being in an established neighbourhood here is defined by neighbouring multi-family homes, 6th and Fir Park, “corner store” style shops, and long-established community gardens. The traffic calmed streets and neighbourhood feel provides a sense of calm to the greenway.

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October 23, 2017   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Compost Garden featured in Arbutus Greenway ‘Design Jam’ Video

Houston’s Urban Container Farm Unfazed By Hurricane Harvey

Acre in A Box Farm.

While many Texas crops got flooded, one unconventional Houston farm was able to supply restaurants with fresh lettuce after Harvey

By Florian Martin
Houston Public Media
October 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Besides the convenience of having this more or less mobile farm in an urban setting, the concept proved useful during Harvey because the water didn’t get to it. So they were able to provide a restaurant that was open with fresh lettuce.

“We were the only salads on their menu that day,” Abendshein said. “And it was great because people, I think it was the first real day people could kind of get out, and we had fresh produce for everybody.”
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October 23, 2017   Comments Off on Houston’s Urban Container Farm Unfazed By Hurricane Harvey

Farm bill discontent: Urban agriculture supporters want changes

Danielle Marvit is production manager for Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery in Pittsburgh. She has serious concerns about conventional agriculture. Here, she talks with journalists during the recent annual convention of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Pittsburgh. (Jonathan Knutson/Agweek)

U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008, and experts anticipate the figure to reach $20 billion by 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jonathan Knutson
Agweek
Oct 16, 2017

Excerpt:

She’s also determined to transform the farm bill, the centerpiece of federal food and agricultural policy. She’s gone to Washington, D.C., repeatedly to lobby for her beliefs.

She insists that the existing farm bill — and mainstream ag in general — is tailored to the wants and needs of powerful corporate interests, not what’s best for the overwhelming majority of Americans.

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October 23, 2017   Comments Off on Farm bill discontent: Urban agriculture supporters want changes

The Future of Farming – Underground

Rows of microgreens at the Growing Underground facility in London. Growing Underground.

“Urbanization is the largest movement of humans in the history of humankind,” Epstein said. “Urban environments are also food deserts, because all the food is grown on the outskirts. That has to stop.”

By Irina Ivanova
CBS Moneywatch
October 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Until recently, hydroponics usually came with high start-up costs, meaning a farmer could wait for years before seeing a profit. Dring, who recently reached a distribution deal with Marks and Spencer, one of the U.K.’s largest retailers, expects Growing Underground to break even later this year.

“I’m going to get drunk for a week when that happens,” he joked. “I’ve already told my investors.”

Beyond the novelty of growing food in the bowels of London, Growing Underground’s approach shows that it’s possible to feed a growing population without the carbon-intensive effects of conventional industrial agriculture, which is in many ways unsustainable.

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October 22, 2017   Comments Off on The Future of Farming – Underground

Voice of America: Urban Farms Gain Support

Robert Laing of Farm.One.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research based in Washington D.C. wants more urban farms. It said the benefits are almost unlimited.

By Bruce Alpert
Voice of America
October 15, 2017

Excerpt:

In the New City neighborhood of Tribeca, Robert Laing has opened up a privately-run indoor farm called Farm.One. He grows many kinds of herbs. His customers include well-known restaurants in New York City.

The restaurants can pick up fresh herbs hours before they are needed for that night’s dinner because his “farm” can be reached by bicycle from much of the city. Laing’s website tells customers that they can buy fresh herbs, even in a snowstorm.

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October 22, 2017   Comments Off on Voice of America: Urban Farms Gain Support