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Posts from — November 2017

Korea: Lotus Farm is a Floating Urban Farming System

2017 Bronze Winner
Hydrokorea
taeung Kim, sunae Shin, sungho An, seungjun Lee, mirae Park

Excerpt:

Lotus pontoon is a future-oriented farming system with floating architecture that can solve problems about production, sale and distribution of crops in the urban area.

Production loss of crops in the process of distribution from farm-plantation to urban areas can
cause both economic loss and global warming by increasing methane and carbon dioxide gas.

[Read more →]

November 25, 2017   Comments Off on Korea: Lotus Farm is a Floating Urban Farming System

A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Liz Whitehurst picks greens at Owl’s Nest Farm in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Nov. 9. Whitehurst is the owner and operator of the farm, which sells its produce at a D.C.-area farmers market, to restaurants and through CSA shares. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

By Caitlin Dewey
Washington Post
November 23, 2017

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System: Compost Food Waste, Produce Fertilizer for Houseplants and Garden, and Educate Your Kids and Family

By Mary Appelhof, Joanne Olszewski, Amy Stewart
Worm Woman Inc.
December 2017

For more than three decades, this best-selling guide to the practice of vermicomposting has taught people how to use worms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants or gardens. Small-scale, self-contained worm bins can be kept indoors, in a basement or even under the kitchen sink in an apartment — making vermicomposting a great option for city dwellers and anyone who doesn’t want or can’t have an outdoor compost pile.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: The Surrey Food Bank’s vertical farm system. (Photo © Pixel Perfect Photography)

Vertical farms allow food banks to grow their own produce with high-tech systems in an effort to fight food insecurity year-round.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats
11.17.17

Excerpt:

One of the biggest arguments against food banks getting into the vertical-farming business is simply that these systems are pricey. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma paid $140,000 for its two Growtainers, securing a grant from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation to purchase the vertical farms. It costs an additional $680 per month for electricity to power them.

For nonprofits, cost can be a barrier and, in some locations, indoor farms are an unnecessary expense. The learning curve can also be steep and most food banks rely on volunteer labor to handle maintenance and harvesting, often with training from the manufacturers of the vertical systems.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: Vancouver’s ‘Inner City Farms’ Partners with Home Owners and Local Businesses to Convert Front and Back Yards

We harvested some fine leaf lettuce, amongst other things. In this pic, one of our Urban Farmers, Suho, is flanked by the the Team Monday crew: Mike, Hailey and Vera.

Growing: Creole Garlic, Rojo De Castro; Rocambole Garlic, Russian Red; Purple Stripe Garlic, Shvelisi; Music Garlic (Musical)

From their websites.

Excerpt:

Inner City Farms(ICF) is a small urban farm in Vancouver made up of even smaller parts. Vancouver is built on unceded Coast Salish territory and our farms are built on private property within our city’s limits. None of the land farmed by ICF is owned by ICF. All of the space we have access to is provided to us my members of the community who believe in our project and see the our gardens as a positive contribution to the neighbourhood. As a result we never talk about “our land” we instead understand our farm as “our spaces”.

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November 23, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver’s ‘Inner City Farms’ Partners with Home Owners and Local Businesses to Convert Front and Back Yards

A $1,000 bottle of wine grows in Brooklyn on a first-of-its-kind rooftop vine

Baby grapes being grown on a rooftop in Brooklyn. The first-ever rooftop vineyard brings the idea of urban agriculture to the wine industry. Rooftop Reds expects 30 cases of the bottles to be ready in 2019.

Rodenhouse invested $500,000 in the business. Once Rooftop Reds received the investment, it was able to move into a larger, permanent 14,800-square-foot rooftop space.

By Rene Brinkley
CNBC
Nov 16, 2017

Excerpt:

The Navy Yard agreed to lease the land if he met his goal. Shomaker raised $16,820, and in the spring of 2014, he started a nursery vineyard in a temporary space on the roof of a Navy Yard building.

Once he had the first grapes planted, Shomaker turned his attention back to money. He met with John Rodenhouse, the owner of award-winning Point of the Bluff Vineyards in upstate New York. “I was able to show him what I had put together. He could see the space at the Navy Yard and the grape vines. The fact that this was off the ground made it easy for him to say, ‘This looks like it has merit.'”

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November 23, 2017   Comments Off on A $1,000 bottle of wine grows in Brooklyn on a first-of-its-kind rooftop vine

Australia: Guerilla gardening: The leafy oases popping up in unexpected areas

From guerilla gardening to permaculture blitzes, amateur gardeners are picking up trowels and transforming their streets into edible food forests and more.

By Isabelle Lane
Queensland Country Life
17 Nov 2017

Excerpt:

Pat Long is the driving force behind Farnham Street Neighbourhood Learning Centre’s community garden and food forest, in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Both the garden and food forest are open and accessible to the general public.

“It brings communities together … and connects you with all sorts of people that you might not normally meet,” Long says.

[Read more →]

November 23, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Guerilla gardening: The leafy oases popping up in unexpected areas

Canada: Vancouver’s ‘City Beet Farm’ Grows in Front and Back Yards

This summer we are growing over 70 types of veggies and cut flowers for our 22 week CSA program that runs from end of May to mid-October.

Maddy & Elana, City Beet Farm
From Young Agrarians
Posted by Kristen Nammour
2017

Excerpt:

The greatest business challenge that we face as a young farmer is managing cash flow so that we can pay-off the cost of the business and keep ourselves afloat in our first season. Our business goals are to pay off the cost of the business; deliver the best possible veggies to a sold-out CSA program; and to explore new revenue streams, including cut-flowers and a food-truck collaboration. We are feeling super grateful and on track to be able to achieve that through the help of our mentors and the YA network.

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November 22, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver’s ‘City Beet Farm’ Grows in Front and Back Yards

Take A Stroll Through Detroit’s Urban Agrihood

(Must see video. Mike)

MUFI grows over 20,000 pounds of produce a year on average, and much of it goes to local households, food pantries, and churches.

By Robin Runyan, Sam Reichman, And Logan Siegel
Curbed
Nov 15, 2017
(Must see video. Mike)

Excerpt:

While Detroit has many urban farms, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) has recently amped up the discussion about development around these farms. Last winter, the non-profit announced their proposed urban agrihood around their two-acre farm in the North End. Curbed’s video team recently visited the farm to see the impact on real estate in the area.

An agrihood is an alternative neighborhood growth model, positioning agriculture as the centerpiece of a mixed-use development. There are some agrihoods around the country, but this is the first within a city.

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November 22, 2017   Comments Off on Take A Stroll Through Detroit’s Urban Agrihood

New affordable Bronx development will feature a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse

Rendering of the Bedford Green House courtesy of Edelman Sultan Knox Wood/Architects LLP and Hollister Construction Services

Half of the greenhouse space will utilize aquaponics, with the other half focused on growing crops like kale, spinach, and arugula.

By Devin Gannon
6 Square Feet
November 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Residents will also be able to work with Project Renewal’s horticultural therapist to grown their own food all year round. Additionally, chefs from the nonprofit’s Culinary Arts Training Program will teach healthy cooking classes in the rooftop greenhouse’s demo kitchen for residents and their neighbors in the community.

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November 22, 2017   Comments Off on New affordable Bronx development will feature a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse

Growing Power founder Will Allen to retire as nonprofit’s debts mount

Growing Power, a locally grown food operation, has several greenhouses in urban areas growing seasonal vegetables, fish, poultry and meat. It also raises yellow perch and tilapia in aquaponic tanks. Rick Wood / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Growing Power has eight pending judgments totalling $485,525, according to Circuit Court records.

By Sarah Hauer
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Nov. 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Additionally, Will Allen faces a $196,375 pending judgment filed by First Farmers Bank and Trust.

Filings with the Internal Revenue Service from 2012 through 2015 show the nonprofit running deficits each year, some years in excess of $2 million.

At its peak, Growing Power had nearly 150 employees, Allen said.

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November 21, 2017   Comments Off on Growing Power founder Will Allen to retire as nonprofit’s debts mount

Korea: University Rooftop Provides Food and Rainwater Storage

Engineers of Seoul National University made a special green-roof in their campus. The green-roof can storage rainwater, absorb heat energy and grow vegetable.

Professor Mooyoung Han’s Paper Presented at Sesttle’s Cities Alive Conference, 2017

By Professor Mooyoung Han
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Eng.
#35-302 Seoul National University
#1 Daehakro Kwanakgu, Seoul, Korea
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

There are additional social benefits which cannot be quantified. This vegetable garden became a place for communication between school and local residents. Every month, participants of urban farming on #35-dong green roof gather, share their harvested crops. Three big events at the green roofs became regular: Potato harvesting and sharing at the end of June, Full moon festival with traditional Korean rice cake making at Aug 15, in lunar calendar, and Kimchi making and sharing with foreign students at the end of November. Students, professors, local neighbors, and foreign students participate and enjoy the culture and sharing.

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November 21, 2017   Comments Off on Korea: University Rooftop Provides Food and Rainwater Storage

Urban Farming Technologies Crop Up in Homes, Restaurants

Cam MacKugler waters a seedsheet at the Food Loves Tech event in Brooklyn, Nov. 3, 2017.

How do you obtain the freshest, locally grown produce in a big city? For an increasing number of urbanites, the answer is to grow it yourself.

By Tina Trinh
VOA
Nov 14, 2017

Excerpt:

Cam MacKugler can help. MacKugler was at the recent Food Loves Tech event in Brooklyn, New York showing off Seedsheets, roll-out fabric sheets embedded with seed-filled pods.

The sheets are placed atop soil in a home planter or an outdoor garden. When watered, the pods dissolve and plants sprout in 10 days (for pea shoots) to 70 days (for dragon carrots).

[Read more →]

November 21, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farming Technologies Crop Up in Homes, Restaurants

Canada: Rapper tells the story of Frisch Farms Vancouver

Gabriel Pliska raps about CSA urban farming as he walks through the streets of Vancouver.

FRISCH is the German word for FRESH. Frisch sounds fresher. Kinda crisp and crunchy like a fresh snap pea.

By Gabriel Pliska
Frisch Farms
2017

Excerpt:

It was in the Spring of 2012 when I moved back to Canada from Germany where I was teaching English and semi-retired…

Then once in Vancouver, I started growing vegetables in some raised garden beds with new roommates in Kitsilano and I remembered how much fun it was to garden with my mother while growing up in Ottawa as a child. I knew gardening was my passion!

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November 20, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Rapper tells the story of Frisch Farms Vancouver

Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Figure 1. Map of Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana. Source: Nchanji et al. (2017).

Whatever the solution to the impending problems of governance in urban agriculture will be, it will be difficult to implement them, as actors interest are varied and conflicting. For example, chiefs are taking advantage of urbanisation and its valuable land markets to allocate agricultural lands for residential and commercial purposes, reducing lands used by farmers for farming.

By Eileen Bogweh Nchanji
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August Universität, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(11),
November 2017

Abstract:

Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system.

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November 20, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?