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Miracle Brew – Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer

Pete Brown is one of the U.K.’s most respected beer writers.

By Pete Brown
Chelsea Green Publishing
October 12, 2017

Most people know that wine is created by fermenting pressed grape juice and cider by pressing apples. But although it’s the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, few people know what beer is made of. In lively and witty fashion, Miracle Brew dives into traditional beer’s four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, each of which has an incredible story to tell.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

Interview with Henk Renting, longtime leader of urban agriculture movement

Henk Renting.

“Urban ag is part of building the three pillars and partnerships of a new food system, the private sector, the government, and civil society sectors.”

By Wayne Roberts
Nov 24, 2017


There are many agendas that can be linked to urban agriculture.

One is a human agenda. I used to tend my own big gardens in my undergraduate days, and when I was in the Basque country. I think it’s about a lot more than a practical and low-cost way to get food to eat.

Growing food is the most basic, primordial way humans connect to nature. We work with soil, seeds and plants in co-production with Nature. Food is not just any old product. It becomes part of our body, so we become one, as in you are what you eat, in a very ontological sense. That’s why food and gardening are so often linked to spirituality, and seen as so essential to the meaning of life.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

Long Beach, California: Landowners spurn tax breaks to convert vacant lots to urban farms

Community gardens and small urban farms like this could become more common under an incentive offered by local governments. Here, Makadu Labeet is in Vermont Square Community Garden, for which he’s the “unofficial caretaker.” Labeet says the garden is a “sacred ground” for him. JOSÉ MARTINEZ/KPCC

The city has also worked out rules regarding livestock like goats, chickens and bees, setting per-parcel limits that would apply to any newly created urban farms, he said.

By Sharon McNary
November 28, 2017


Starting this month, Long Beach landowners who don’t convert their vacant parcels to small urban farms or community gardens will be billed a monthly fee to pay for city code enforcement officers to monitor the lots so they don’t turn into illegal dumping grounds or havens for crime.

The city will be charging owners a $53 dollar monthly fee to cover oversight of some 618 vacant lots, said Larry Rich, manager of Long Beach’s office of sustainability says.

“People will end up having to pay an additional fee to the city to have a vacant lot,” Rich said. They can avoid that fee if they do urban agriculture there instead.”

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December 6, 2017   No Comments