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Posts from — November 2017

Korean Urban Farmers, Cultivating Hope

Must see video. Link here.

“As soon as we enlarge our cultivation area and secure a sufficient yield, we hope to create a model for the 6th Industrialization of Urban Agriculture, which includes processing for commercial packaging.”

The World on Airang
Nov 13, 2017
(Must see video. Mike)

Excerpt:

Some farmers are now trying to make profits by farming, pushing it beyond a hobby. And they are here in Haengchon , central Seoul. Run by 23 urban farmers in the neighborhood, this farm received an official certification as an urban farming community last year. Their first goal was to build a farm that fulfilled their purpose. With a large outdoor farm 230m2(meter square) in size and 140 garden beds, every nook of the neighborhood is used as farmland. These farmers grow their own plants from seeds. Earlier this year, they planted and raised a total of 50 thousand seedlings and made some profit.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Northern Ireland: Loyalist bonfire site transformed into £285,000 allotment in Belfast

The Rathfern Activity Area on a former loyalist bonfire site. Picture by Mal McCann

The Rathfern Activity Area includes 28 allotments

Brendan Hughes
Irish News
13 November, 2017

Excerpt:

In previous years the site has been used for an annual Eleventh Night bonfire.

The pyre in July was moved onto land adjacent to the new activity site while work on the council-funded projected continued.

A sign on a newly landscaped area of the activity site encourages people to “keep the park clean and free from litter”.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Touring an Detroit urban vineyard

Blake Kownacki introduces the urban vineyard.

Detroit Vineyards (detroitvineyards.com), founded in 2014, is a unique urban winery and is the first operating winery in Detroit in more than 60 years.

By Emily Pochubay
Record Eagle
Nov 11, 2017

Excerpt:

According to Blake Kownacki, Detroit Vineyard co-founder, winemaker and vineyard manager, Michigan has one of the oldest wine industries in the country. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit, established a vineyard along the Detroit River circa 1702, one of the first in North America.

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November 18, 2017   No Comments

Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

Hotel Brisbane bees.

Five years later, looking after the 150 hives he now has around greater Brisbane and northern New South Wales is a full-time job.

By Rachel Clun
Brisbane Times
November 2011

Excerpt:

But for the cafes and corporate companies that now host beehives, Mr Stone said they have found it very rewarding.

“They produce about 200 kilograms (of honey) per hive per year, which allows them to do quite a bit from their rooftop,” he said.

“Instead of giving out a branded pen they give a 500-gram jar of honey to their most-cherished customers.”

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November 17, 2017   No Comments

India: Chennai mini urban-rural joint venture

Their first crop — the red diamonds, a native rice grain called poongar.

Till the 1960s Indian farmers had close to a 100,000 varieties of rice

Excerpt:

The Valam collective is one of several mini urban-rural joint ventures cropping up across TN, which not only encourage organic farming and give city-dwellers a chance to explore their entrepreneurial side, but also help rural farmers who are in dire straits financially.

Since January, Gopinath Jayaraja and his coterie of city farmers have harvested three tonnes of this precious commodity. Incidentally, it has also made his idli-dosa batter taste spectacular.

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November 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Forget backyard chickens, council shifts focus to food security in London, Ontario

“A small victory for chickens” says animal welfare group after council rejects proposal to allow backyard laying hens #ldnont

About a dozen animal welfare supporters poured into the city’s gallery to voice their disapproval

CBC News
Nov 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Londoners will have to hold off on raising backyard laying hens – and current coop owners will have to continue flying under the radar.

Animal Liberation Alliance London, From Their Facebook page:
“Small victory for chickens tonight as city council voted to remove back yard chickens from the cities agricultural plan. Small victory because they did it for all the wrong reasons. We are still not recognizing chickens as having a right to not be exploited by humans. Most of the councillors voted against it because they saw chickens in the city as an unnecessary burden or a nuisance.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

Veterans Start Vet Veggies to Inspire Other Vets

Vet Veggies harvests 600 heads of lettuce every week using a process called Hydroponics and they do it all inside this single container.

Arkansas Matters
Nov. 10. 2017

Excerpt:

Jerry Martin is a veteran and a farmer, but not just any kind of farmer.

Martin said, “I’m a Vietnam Veteran. I went into service in 1969. ”

The goal is to provide fresh farm to table vegetables for the Northwest Arkansas community. “Vet Veggies is a concept where we provide fresh local vegetables,” said Martin.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

Uganda: How a sack garden can save you

Farmers learning about a sack garden during the tour organised by KCCA.

One of the urban farming technics that caught the attention of farmers at the Harvest Money farm tour at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in Kyanja, Nakawa division was sack gardening.

By Fatumah Nalwanga
New Vision
10th November 2017

Excerpt:

Where do I market my crops?

When all is done and crops are ready to market, they can hardly trace buyers, since most of these are city backyard gardens.

Nankinga advises that the farmer should “consider making small stalls outside their homes where potential customers can see.

Alternatively, they can sell to the local stalls who will sell to the final consumers,” she adds.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

1974, San Francisco’s ‘The Farm’ – Part of The History of Urban Agriculture

Work party at The Farm, c. 1975. Also must see: The Farm (documentary) 47 minutes
by Mike Kavanaugh, MaryEllen Churchill, and Kathy Katz

In SF, art still thrives and celebrates its history at The Farm

By Laura Wenus
Mission Local
November 9, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Joan Holden, director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe at the time, remembered The Farm in its early days in a documentary collecting memories of The Farm.

“It was this little spot of nature, this little eruption of nature in the middle of the concrete jungle, proving that life could still exist there,” she said at the time.

It drew the attention of some of the Mission’s now best-known artists, including René Yañez, and Dogpaw Carrillo among others.

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November 15, 2017   No Comments

Urban Refuge: How Cities Can Help Rebuild Declining Bee Populations

If everyone in a city of a million people planted even one pollinator-friendly plant,” she says, “there would be a million more foraging opportunities for bees.”

By Janet Marinelli
Yale Environment 360
November 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Few scientists believe that urban habitats are a panacea for bee conservation, although they do support some important populations. In the words of Tina Harrison of Rutgers University, who studies the homogenization of bee communities in disturbed landscapes, “Pollinators that are successful in cities are often very common in other habitats in the surrounding region,” and a focus on conserving them could divert much-needed funds from efforts to protect vulnerable bees. Conserving regionally rare or specialist bees that have found a refuge in cities, though, is probably a good idea, she says.

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November 15, 2017   No Comments

Innovations from Cleveland’s urban farms are taking root around the world

Rid-All Green Partnership, a thriving, three-acre green space.

Four of Cleveland’s thriving urban farms that exemplify the movement’s roots in building communities and creating opportunities: Chateau Hough, Green City Growers, Rid-All-Green Partnership, and Ohio City Farm

By Billy Hallal
Freshwater
November 09, 2017

Excerpt:

Randy McShepard is well aware of the common misconceptions about urban farming in Cleveland. “People say, ‘The soil’s contaminated! You can’t do it!’ or ‘There are just three months of good weather in Cleveland!’”

But McShepard is proving them wrong. He’s a co-founder of the Rid-All Green Partnership, a thriving, three-acre green space in the struggling but strengthening Kinsman neighborhood.

Rid-All has found creative ways around typical urban agriculture obstacles. They grow cold-weather crops like collard greens and kale, harvesting 11 months out of the year. As for the soil, they make their own. Wood chips and food waste (of which they use up to 50,000 pounds a week during peak season) decompose for months to form Rid-All’s “Black Gold,” a profitable compost soil that ships all across the state.

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November 15, 2017   No Comments

UA Magazine: “Urban Agroecology”

November 2017 – UA Magazine issue now online

RUAF Foundation
The Netherlands
Nov 2017

This issue has been a collaborative effort of the RUAF Foundation and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, UK. It aims to articulate and document the emerging field of urban agroecology. As you will see from the contributions in this Magazine, definitions differ and tend to reflect the various ways the term agroecology is understood in different countries, by different organisations, or according to different political economic preferences. As usual, the Magazine shares a diversity of perspectives from a wide number of geographical contexts. The Magazine is organised in 4 blocks: 1) Conceptualising urban agroecology; 2) Practices and city initiatives; 3) Urban policies supporting agroecology; 4) Citizen and social movement-led initiatives.

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November 14, 2017   No Comments

The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher and self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) Stephen Ritz shows you how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom.

By Stephen Ritz (Author)
Rodale Books (May 2, 2017)
304 pages
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

What if we taught students that they have as much potential as a seed? That in the right conditions, they can grow into something great?

These are the questions that Stephen Ritz?who became a teacher more than 30 years ago?sought to answer in 2004 in a South Bronx high school plagued by rampant crime and a dismal graduation rate. After what can only be defined as a cosmic experience when a flower broke up a fight in his classroom, he saw a way to start tackling his school’s problems: plants. He flipped his curriculum to integrate gardening as an entry point for all learning and inadvertently created an international phenomenon. As Ritz likes to say, “Fifty thousand pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crop is organically grown citizens who are growing and eating themselves into good health and amazing opportunities.”

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November 14, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: More urban farms, rooftop gardens in Singapore with enhanced greenery scheme

Click image to see larger file. Urban farms, like this one at Raffles City, help to optimise under-utilised roof spaces. (Photo: Edible Garden City)

The Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) programme, which aims to replace greenery lost during a building’s development or redevelopment, will be enhanced to improve both the quality and quantity of urban greenery, said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee

By Wendy Wong
Channel News Asia
Nov 9, 2017

Excerpt:

This includes encouraging property developers to house urban gardens and communal rooftop gardens in their buildings, and increase landscaping on walls and roofs – which can also help lower ambient temperature.

“Such features have been gaining popularity in our urban landscape, as many Singaporeans have a keen interest in farming and gardening,” said Mr Lee, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development.
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November 14, 2017   No Comments

Germany: Roof Water-Farm in Berlin

The German research project Roof Water-Farm (2013-2017) explores ways of combining building-integrated wastewater treatment with urban food production

From their website:

Roof Water-Farm demonstrates paths towards innovative city water management and urban food production. Potentials and risks of redesigning across sectors of infrastructure are explored and communicated.

The research association investigates opportunities for building-integrated water treatment systems to irrigate and fertilize roof-top greenhouses. Technologies for water treatment and aquaponics (plant and fish cultivation) will be examined at a demonstration and test site in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The research focuses on a hygienically safe usage of rainwater, greywater and blackwater as both a strategy for city water management and a potential for urban food production.

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November 14, 2017   No Comments