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Posts from — February 2018

The Underground Farm Delivering Rare Herbs to New York’s Top Chefs

Farm Manager Tom Rubino harvests marigolds at Farm.one. ALL PHOTOS: SARAH BLESENER

Bespoke greens and flowers are grown-to-order in Manhattan.

By John Washington
Atlas Obscura
Feb. 14, 2018

Excerpt:

The sprouts and flowers are as recherché as they are delicious: nepitella, wood sorrel, papalo, micro cressida, afilia pea shoots. While diners may see garnish as little more than a sprig of green to fork aside, chefs see garnish in multiple dimensions—hue, flavor, texture, scent—and have exacting requirements in each. Meeting those requirements, which for millennia depended on the turn of the season or the whimsy of the weather, is now achieved in a Manhattan basement.

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February 21, 2018   No Comments

Brooklyn urban nonprofit farm and food pantry faces closure

In December, the Jacksons started a GoFundMe site to save the farm. They’re hoping to raise $28,000 to maintain their various programs.

By Dana Arschin
Fox 5
Feb 14 2018

Excerpt:

It may look like your typical community garden, but a mini farm nestled on Decatur Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn is saving lives.

Robert and Devanie Jackson created this urban farm in 2004. For this married couple of 34 years, it is their way of giving back to the community they came from. The full name is Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest Center and its full intention is to provide free, local produce to thousands of hungry Brooklyn families. Soon though, these gates could close for good.

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February 21, 2018   No Comments

Run the Jewels’ Michael Render on How Urban Farming Can Help the Black Community

Michael Render (aka Killer Mike, right) speaks with Decton Hylton, head of the Athens Land Trust’s community agriculture program, at the West Broad Market Garden. Photo Credit: Jessica Silverman

“When I was growing up as a kid, people had gardens right in their backyard. People had chickens right in their backyard, and I lived in Atlanta, I lived in the West End neighborhood in Atlanta. Dr. King’s parents lived there.

By Blake Aued
Flagpole
Feb 14, 2018

Excerpt:

It was a blockbuster afternoon for the West Broad Market Garden. With a film crew and his Run the Jewels partner El-P in tow, rapper and activist Michael Render—better known as Killer Mike, though he asked not to be identified by his stage name because his mother doesn’t like it—spent more than an hour touring the Athens Land Trust’s community garden in the largely black West Broad neighborhood on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the day before Run the Jewels played a sold-out show at the Georgia Theatre. They also met with students in the land trust’s Young Urban Farmers program and walked down the street to garden matriarch Ethel “Ms. Ethel” Collins’ house for dinner.

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February 20, 2018   No Comments

How urban farmers are learning to grow food without soil or natural light

A simplified hydroponic frame in Portsmouth. Silvio Caputo/University of Portsmouth, Author provided.

The potential to grow food in small spaces, under any environmental conditions, are certainly big advantages in an urban context. But these technologies also mean that the time spent outdoors, weathering the natural cycles of the seasons, is lost.

By Silvio Caputo
Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth
The Conversation
February 13, 2018

Excerpt:

As part of a recent research project investigating how urban farming is evolving across Europe, I found that in countries where growing food was embedded in the national culture, many people have started new food production projects. There was less uptake in countries such as Greece and Slovenia, where there was no tradition of urban farming. Yet a few community projects had recently been started in those places too.

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February 20, 2018   No Comments

Cuba: Army General Raúl Castro Ruz congratulated for his contribution to urban and suburban agriculture

Urban agriculture advances

Radio Cadena Agramonte
Feb 13, 2018

Excerpt:

Havana, Feb 13.- Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Party Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, was congratulated for his contribution to urban and suburban agriculture on the 20th anniversary of the program and the 30th of organic gardens, in recognition of his initiative and support for the development of this effort.

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February 19, 2018   No Comments

Wedding Photography: Love in the Community Garden

Burrows Pocket Park, San Francisco

By Alex Hobbs
The Portolo Planet
Feb 12, 2018

Excerpt:

Perhaps one of the greatest testaments to the civic value of a public space is when it is appreciated enough to be memorialized in a couple’s wedding photos. For the first time, that we know of at least, the green hillside of Burrows Pocket Park set the scene for a Portola couple on their big day.

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February 19, 2018   No Comments

Denmark: Noma – World’s Most Famous Restaurant Re-0pens as an Urban Farm

2,100 Square Feet Of Garden, Three Free-Standing Greenhouses

Wall Street Journal
Gourmet Traveller

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal
Feb 16, 2018

Noma’s new Bjarke Ingels-designed campus will encompass 11 buildings and 2,100 square feet of garden, to be designed in the spring by Piet Oudolf, who also collaborated on landscaping the High Line in New York City. Near the entrance to Noma’s property are three free-standing greenhouses constructed almost entirely of glass. “Each space utilizes as few materials as possible,” Ingels says. Two of the greenhouses will be used to grow ingredients like microgreens, herbs and edible flowers. The other will house the restaurant’s bakery and a test kitchen. “It’s been insane,” says Redzepi. “But there are just things you say yes to, even before you know how to totally plan.”

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February 18, 2018   No Comments

Chickens for rent: Goffstown farm offers an easier way for home chicken farmers to take wing

Christine Templeton holds one of her Buff Orpington chickens, one of two breeds she and her husband, Brian, will rent for 26-week terms to customers who want to try home chicken farming without having to care for the birds through the winter. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The Templetons are raising 120 egg-laying chickens on their 13-acre farm, two miles west of St. Anselm College.

By Michael Cousineau
New Hampshire Union Leader
Feb 10, 2018

Excerpt:

Lydia Sobocinski has wanted to raise chickens in her Windham yard since she moved from Massachusetts 15 years ago.

“I just kind of fell in love with the idea,” she said last week.

But concerns over how to raise them and what to do when winter arrives kept her wishing – until she saw a Facebook post on renting chickens.

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February 18, 2018   No Comments

Chickens are helping senior citizens fight loneliness in a major way

A few little chooks are making big changes in the lives of elderly patients, helping them fight depression and dementia.

By Jessica Salter
Telegraph
31 Oct 2014

Excerpt:

Owen Turnbull is giving a tiny five-day-old chick a bath in the sink of a communal launderette. The chick, which is chirping away as he talks to it, is one of four orphans. ‘Their mam died three days ago,’ he says, in his soft Geordie accent. ‘I found her when I went to feed them. I was sad about losing her – I do get attached to them.’

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February 17, 2018   No Comments

Malaysia: Getting citizens interested in farming

This community activity will increase interest of urban residents to farm through Urban Recreational Farming. This activity helps reduce the daily expenses from the collection of crops and introduces more effective resource management.

Daily Express
Sabah
February 11, 2018

Excerpt:

City Hall is introducing My Farmville to promote urban recreational farming as a community activity.
The project held at Kingfisher is the first attempt by City Hall to involve the community as a whole and is aimed at introducing efficient use of resources through organic compost and to help lessen the cost of living.

State Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs Datuk Jainab Ahmad who officiated the project at the City Hall Learning Centre in Kingfisher on Saturday supported the programme as it involved the community.

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February 17, 2018   No Comments

Singapore: Eight companies clinch 10 plots of land for vegetable farming

A map from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) shows the first batch of land parcels offered by the AVA through a fixed-price tender method.

“One of the challenges in urban farming has always been land cost, especially in Singapore… It’s very difficult to grow vegetables when land prices are that high,” he said.

Today
Feb 10, 2018

Excerpt:

One of the awardees, Vertivegies, intends to build nine six-storey modular structures, each measuring about 30m by 30m and resembling apartment buildings. Its founder and managing director Veera Sekaran, 55, said that vegetables would be grown on the top five stories, with the lowest storey housing pumps and control systems.

Mr Veera, who also founded an urban and vertical-greenery firm called Greenology, added that the new project would be his first large-scale commercial farming venture. Last year, he farmed vegetables using containers and discovered that each 40-foot container was able to yield about 5,000 heads of lettuce every three to four weeks.

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February 17, 2018   No Comments

Black Beekeepers Are Transforming Detroit’s Vacant Lots Into Bee Farms

“Work hard, stay bumble” is their nonprofit motto.

By Philip Lewis
Black Voices
Huffpost
Jan 30, 2018

Excerpt:

A pair of Detroit natives have decided to combat neighborhood blight in a pretty sweet way — by transforming abandoned vacant lots in their city into honeybee farms.

Detroit Hives, a nonprofit organization founded by Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey in 2017, purchases vacant properties and remodels them into fully functioning bee farms.

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February 16, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Is Personalized, Next-Day Delivery the Future of Urban Farming?

Part of Lufa’s delivery fleet. (Lufa Farms)

Lufa Farms: A rooftop-farming venture in Montreal has found success with a model that’s part CSA, part Amazon Prime.

By Sarah Treleaven
City Lab
Feb 9, 2018

Excerpt:

Whereas many urban farms sell to restaurants or grocery stores, or via farmer’s markets, Lufa has a key point of differentiation: its direct-to-consumer business model. On its website, shoppers can customize baskets of fresh food, which are then delivered to more than 300 pick-up points across the city, or to their homes for an added fee. It’s like community-supported agriculture (CSA) or a farm share merged with the personalization and convenience of Uber Eats or Amazon Prime. “We decided that we needed to give people the option to order what they wanted, and that we would figure out how to get those items to them,” Rathmell said.

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February 16, 2018   No Comments

Is it worth spending up to $1 million for an agriculture program in Iowa City schools?

Proponents argue that the class will give students valuable preparation for many careers in agriculture, not just farming.

By Aimee Breaux
Press-Citizen
Feb. 8, 2018

Excerpt:

Randy Lackender seemed to be born with “dirt in his blood.” His parents grew corn, soybeans and wheat, and he always knew he would, too.

But this wasn’t a given for his classmates at West High in 1974, and it doesn’t appear to be a given for students at his alma mater today. He can only think of one other classmate who is actively farming today, and each year, he says his colleagues in the industry get grayer and grayer.

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February 16, 2018   No Comments

UK: WalthamGrow and Chef Supported Agriculture

WalthamGrow.

They partnered with Marmelo Kitchen, a London restaurant already buying their salad regularly.

By Mathilde Currid
2017

Mathilde Currid and Alok Shah began WalthamGrow as a grow-to-sell salad enterprise in Summer 2016 with the help of Organiclea’s Farm Start project. Learning from their experience as Salad Starter trainees at Organiclea’s Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery in London, UK, they took over the care and cultivation of a 120 m2 residential garden site when the opportunity presented itself in May of that year.

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February 15, 2018   No Comments