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Posts from — December 2017

Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ Receives the United Nations Food Garden Certificate of Recognition

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Feed Your City – UN Food Gardens initiative

Stina Nyström, President – UN Food Gardens initiative
Elena de Jesús, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, UN Food Gardens Initiative
Feed Your City 2017

As President of the UN Food Gardens initiative, I wish to present the attached certificate in recognition of City Farmer’s Demonstration Garden’s members’ outstanding efforts to further sustainable urban agriculture and contribute to the food security and well-being of their community.

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December 31, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ Receives the United Nations Food Garden Certificate of Recognition

Ireland: The Social Hops Project

The Social Hops Project, a community hop-growing project founded in 2016, is the brainchild of Andrew Douglas, best known for setting up Dublin’s Urban farm.

By Gabrielle Monaghan
Independent IE
December 25 2017

Excerpt:

The Social Hops Project, a community hop-growing project founded in 2016, is the brainchild of Andrew Douglas, best known for setting up Dublin’s Urban farm.

The three-year project is aimed at illustrating the need for more local hop production and reducing the beer miles associated with importing hops. The collective hop-growing initiative was partly inspired by a London-based project called Palace Pint, which encourages beer-lovers to plant a few hop plants in their garden or in pots on their balcony or patio.

At Social Hops, individual growers pick up a starter pack that includes a hop rhizome, training string for the tall plants, organic fertiliser and instructions for planting every March at The Bernard Shaw pub in Dublin.

The growers then meet back at the pub in September to harvest the fruits of their work and share beer and pizza. The hops are passed on straight away to Rascals Brewing, which rewards the volunteers with a local wet-hopped beer made with the hops at another session in October. The beer is then sold on the market to help the brewer recover its production costs.

Read the complete article here.

See Social Hops.

December 31, 2017   Comments Off on Ireland: The Social Hops Project

A toast to Grandma Nat and all who grow food for their families

The Acta Non Verba farm is located in Tassafaronga Recreation Center in East Oakland. Photo: Oakland Museum Of California

The museum show didn’t make me hungry to score seats at a popular, farm-to-table restaurant. Urban farming, after all, is trendy. No, the exhibit made me realize that we’re not that far removed from having to farm to feed ourselves.

By Otis R. Taylor Jr.
San Francisco Chronicle
December 24, 2017

Excerpt:

In 2016, there were 1.6 million people living in Alameda County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means almost 230,000 of my neighbors are worried about how they’re going to eat.

There’s a wall at the Oakland exhibition where children can leave their answers on a Post-it Note. The question: Why do you grow food? “So we can live,” one child wrote.

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December 30, 2017   Comments Off on A toast to Grandma Nat and all who grow food for their families

A Cleveland priest discovers one of the dangers of urban farming

“Contrary to what some of the media reported, this had nothing to do about the chickens or stealing eggs. It was a random attack and may have been gang related.

By Phillip Morris
The Plain Dealer
Dec 20, 2017

Excerpt:

I had to go see Father John Kumse’s black and white chickens for myself. Word on the street was that the birds almost cost the priest his life.

He was shot at three times last Monday night after retrieving eggs from the chickens, which he keeps in a fenced yard behind St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Collinwood. The story is beyond bizarre.

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December 30, 2017   Comments Off on A Cleveland priest discovers one of the dangers of urban farming

St. Vincent’s turns urban garden into a teaching tool for kids, resource for homeless in Phoenix

Nika Forte, the urban farm program coordinator at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, said she will use the farm as a teaching tool for homeless volunteers to obtain jobs. (Source: Samantha Pouls/Cronkite News)

St. Vincent’s will team up with farms and nurseries throughout Arizona to employ some of the farm’s volunteers, who must work in the garden for at least three months and maintain a specific amount of hours.

By Samantha Pouls
Cronkite News
AZ Family
Dec 20, 2017

Excerpt:

When the officials at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix found out they won a quarter-million-dollar grant to improve their urban farm, they already had a plan to install an irrigation system, plant fruit trees and add shade to extend the growing season.

Those improvements will help the nonprofit provide more fresh fruits and vegetables from the 1-acre farm to food boxes for needy families and to the organization’s downtown Phoenix kitchen, which serves hundreds of meals each day.

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December 29, 2017   Comments Off on St. Vincent’s turns urban garden into a teaching tool for kids, resource for homeless in Phoenix

Canada: Vancouver envisions radicchio on its rooftops – (flashback 2007)

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The Canadian city sees food-producing gardens in urban residential developments as the wave of the future.

By Linda Baker
Los Angeles Times
June 17, 2007

The residential skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver, Canada, are already covered with green. Rooftops and balconies overflow with ornamental vines, shrubs, even midsize magnolia and maple trees. And now, there’s more.

Vancouver is launching a novel green initiative aimed at bringing food-producing gardens to the city’s high-density developments. In what may be a first for a North American city, municipal planners have crafted a set of “urban agriculture” conditions for a new downtown neighborhood: Southeast False Creek, an 80-acre mixed-use community springing up on the former site of a shipyard.

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December 29, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver envisions radicchio on its rooftops – (flashback 2007)

UK: How gardening helped my mental health – “It became my therapy”

Global Garden Project from Green Synergy.

Gardening therapy is being prescribed more and more frequently by GPs after a study at Harvard University found time spent pottering around outside resulted in substantially lower levels of depression among participants.

By NetDoctor
21 December 2017

Excerpt:

“5 years came and went, but very slowly I began to get better. With support from my mum I attended a mindfulness course that helped me go along to a community gardening group, Green Synergy. And whilst I also enjoyed the haven my own garden gave me, little did I know then the effect that community gardening would have on me.

“The outside world at times still felt terrifying but with my gardening volunteering, I started to feel valued, was part of a team again and started to learn new skills. The act of tending to something, looking after it, seeing it grow and flourish was hugely rewarding too. I didn’t need to be knowledgeable and it was ok to make mistakes as a garden will never judge – gardening had become my therapy.

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December 28, 2017   Comments Off on UK: How gardening helped my mental health – “It became my therapy”

Urban farms can help plant seeds for cities’ growth around them

Click image to see larger file. Photo: Michelle and Chris Gerard. On two acres within Detroit’s North End, the Michigan Urban Farm Initiative grows 300 varieties of leafy vegetables that it distributes free to 2,000 families who live within two miles of the farm.

In Detroit, an “agrihood” takes shape.

By John Caulfield
Building Design And Construction
December 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Integrity Building Group is AOR and provides architecture services and construction for the farm. One of MUFI’s partners, Sustainable Brands, will debut the CRC and café at its conference in Detroit’s Cobo Arena next May.

“Cities are the future, but we can’t just rebuild the same inefficient buildings of the past,” says John Beeson, LEED AP BD+C, EBO+M, a project manager with Catalyst Partners in Grand Rapids, Mich., which is supervising these reconstructions for MUFI. “The question we’re trying to answer is whether we can do urban infill better.”

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December 28, 2017   Comments Off on Urban farms can help plant seeds for cities’ growth around them

City Farmer Beer With a Splash of Homegrown Mulberries

Silky Suds!

By Maria Keating
City Farmer
Dec 2017

May we present this year’s edition of City Farmer beer, ‘Silky Suds’. It is a smooth pale ale brewed with hops grown in compost here at our Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. A splash of mulberries from our mulberry tree was added to the brew.

Mulberry leaves are used to raise the silk worms, cocoons, and eventually moths. The life cycle of this insect has been so much fun to watch. Visitors in August, who picked mulberries from our tree, told us so many stories about their experiences with the fruit that we knew that some had to be added to our beer this year.

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December 27, 2017   Comments Off on City Farmer Beer With a Splash of Homegrown Mulberries

Israel: Bringing Community Gardening to Haredi Religious Community

Haredi religious children gather around an SPNI Community Gardens staff member to learn planting tips in Jerusalem.

Israel’s Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) has long maintained a Community Garden Initiative that has grown 70 community gardens in Jerusalem, and literally hundreds of beautiful community gardens around the Jewish State.

By Hana Levi Julian
Jewish Press
December 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Currently, the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhoods of Choma HaShlishit and Maalot Dafna both have thriving communal gardens.

The project provides unique learning opportunities for all ages, especially for cheder-age (elementary) students who spend most of the day inside studying and rarely have the opportunity to connect with nature.

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December 27, 2017   Comments Off on Israel: Bringing Community Gardening to Haredi Religious Community

Northern India: Meet Gurgaon’s urban farmers

Shikha Gaur is a corporate event planner and prefers her self grown fresh vegetables and fruits over the market’s produce (BCCL/ Ajay Kumar Gautam)

These urban farmers say that over the months, their farms have become so productive that they are now reaping about 20kg of fruits and vegetables every week.

By Abhimanyu Mathur
Times of India
Dec 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Dheeraj Garg is an IT professional and like many other professionals, despite a busy work life, he finds time to engage in a ‘hobby’ every weekend. Every Sunday, Dheeraj drives to Badshahpur on the outskirts of the city, where he – along with over a hundred other Gurugrammers – works as a farmer in his own farm, growing everything, from tomatoes and strawberries. Community organic farming is finding popularity among the working class of the Millennium City, who are not averse to getting their hands dirty in the mud and engage in farming. Currently, over 100 families from across the city are engaged in the practice on leased farms in Badshahpur in a project started by the District Horticulture Department and supported by a local NGO, Green Leaf Initiative.

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December 27, 2017   Comments Off on Northern India: Meet Gurgaon’s urban farmers

Japan: ‘Tokyo Salad’ growing 400 plants in unused warehouse located under elevated transit lines

The strict hygienic conditions inside of the Tokyo Metro Co.’s cultivation center in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. (Mainichi)

Tokyo Metro Goes ‘Train to Table’ with Hydroponic Lettuce

By Leon Kaye
Triple Pundit
Dec 19th, 2017

Excerpt:

As showcased recently in one of Tokyo’s major daily newspapers, the company, Tokyo Salad, is growing about 400 plants in what was previously an unused warehouse located under one of the subway system’s elevated transit lines. The startup, a joint venture between rail operator Tokyo Metro and a development company, currently markets 11 varieties of greens.

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December 26, 2017   Comments Off on Japan: ‘Tokyo Salad’ growing 400 plants in unused warehouse located under elevated transit lines

Man hopes urban farming can transform Kansas City neighborhood

During a tour of Kansas City’s Pink Pony Farm, it looks a lot bigger than two city lots. Plums, tomatoes, garlic and berries grow at the farm near 10th Street and Prospect Avenue.

Charlie Keegan
KSHB
Dec 18, 2017

Excerpt:

But there’s just enough space for him and his wife to work out their calling.

“It’s hard to quantify what that is, but it’s a feeling,” he described what he loves about farming. “And the feeling is positive. It feels good.”

Helkenberg said urban farming spreads that good feeling beyond the farm. First, it fights blight in areas like KC’s east side.

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December 26, 2017   Comments Off on Man hopes urban farming can transform Kansas City neighborhood

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas

Click image to see larger file. City Farmer’s gate facing the Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver.

Our garden in Vancouver, BC, Canada will be frozen this week.

December 25, 2017   Comments Off on Wishing you a wonderful Christmas

The True Story Behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

There was indeed an actual Mary and she did actually have a lamb.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
December 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Sometime later, it’s uncertain exactly when, Mary was heading to school with her brother when the lamb began following them. The siblings apparently weren’t trying very hard to prevent the lamb from tagging along, even hauling it over a large stone fence they had to cross to get to Redstone School, the one-room schoolhouse they attended. Once there, Mary secreted her pet under her desk and covered her with a blanket.

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December 24, 2017   Comments Off on The True Story Behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb”