New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Posts from — February 2018

Canada: Breaking baaah’d: Edmonton hopes people flock to be goat co-ordinator

Weed-eating goats charmed visitors to Rundle Park last summer at meet and bleat events.

Goats are having a G.O.A.T. (what the kids call Greatest of All Time) “moment” in popular culture.

By Paula Simons
Edmonton Journal
Feb 27

Excerpt:

Have you herd the news? The City of Edmonton isn’t kidding around. It’s on a mission to recruit a new manager with a talent for dealing with particularly stubborn — and hungry — workers.

And it hopes people will flock to apply.

Yes. The city has just posted an ad for a new goat co-ordinator.

[Read more →]

February 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Breaking baaah’d: Edmonton hopes people flock to be goat co-ordinator

The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest

Examining the roots and fruits of the urban foodscape

By Helena Moncrieff
ECW Press
1 edition (April 3 2018)

Our cities are places of food polarities, food deserts and farmers’ markets, hunger and food waste, fast food delivery and urban gardening. While locavores and preserving pros abound, many of us can’t identify the fruit trees in our yards or declare a berry safe to eat. Those plants, and the people who planted them, are often forgotten.

In The Fruitful City, Helena Moncrieff examines our relationship with food through the fruit trees that dot city streets and yards. She tracks the origins of these living heirlooms and questions how they went from being subsistence staples to raccoon fodder. But in some cities, previously forgotten fruit is now in high demand, and Moncrieff investigates the surge of non-profit urban harvest organizations that try to prevent that food from rotting on concrete and meets the people putting rescued fruit to good use.

[Read more →]

February 28, 2018   Comments Off on The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest

Foraging is Alive and Well in Baltimore. Can it Help Fight Hunger Too?

New research on the availability of nutrient-dense wild edibles addresses food security.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats
02.22.18

Excerpt:

Foraging is a hot trend, with home cooks, chefs, and craft brewers alike harvesting wild, local ingredients ranging from mushrooms and berries to dandelion greens and nettles. Now, a new peer-reviewed study is beginning to explore whether urban foraging can help reduce food insecurity.

The study, from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the U.S. Forest Service, surveyed 105 self-identified foragers in Baltimore to understand the motivations of people who seek out parks, forests, residential neighborhoods, and corporate campuses for wild edibles including berries, mushrooms, rose hips, and dandelions.

[Read more →]

February 28, 2018   Comments Off on Foraging is Alive and Well in Baltimore. Can it Help Fight Hunger Too?

Awesome Ancient Grains And Seeds

A backyard-to-table guide to growing and enjoying ancient grains and seeds, featuring fifty vegetarian recipes.

By Michele Genest, Dan Jason
Douglas and McIntyre
Jan 2018

Bravo for tomatoes, beans and kale. But what’s next for the ardent home gardener? Wheats, including farro, spelt and kamut, are surprisingly easy and very rewarding backyard crops. They can be planted as early as the ground can be worked in spring and harvested mid-summer to make room for fall crops. These ancient food sources can be milled for flour, sprouted or eaten as whole grains to retain their natural amino acids, fibre, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, among other benefits.

[Read more →]

February 27, 2018   Comments Off on Awesome Ancient Grains And Seeds

The Suburban Micro-Farm

Modern Solutions for Busy People

By Amy Stross
Twisted Creek Press
March 2018
Available for Pre Order

Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.

In these pages you’ll learn:

How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
How to choose the best crops for success
Why you don’t need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm

[Read more →]

February 27, 2018   Comments Off on The Suburban Micro-Farm

In Mexico, monarchs versus avocado farming

A dying butterfly at the monarch butterfly reserve in Piedra Herrada, Mexico. Without trees to provide thermal cover and roosting sites, the butterflies can freeze to death. Associated Press/Rebecca Blackwell

Avocados are much more lucrative than almost any other legal crop Mexican farmers can grow, and many landholders appear to be turning to avocados, legally or illegally.

By Mark Stevenson
Associated Press
Feb 21, 2018

Excerpt:

Mexican environmental inspectors said Wednesday that they found 7.4 acres of illegal avocado plantations in the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds west of Mexico City.

It’s apparently the first time that a wave of avocado planting has directly affected the heart of the Monarch area, a protected nature reserve.

Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to pine and fir forests that thrive at about the same altitude as prime avocado-growing land.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2018   Comments Off on In Mexico, monarchs versus avocado farming

With its large urban farm, Frogtown wants to be St. Paul’s greenest neighborhood

Yer Vang stands in August 2017 in front of an arbor at Frogtown Green’s “Lily Pad” garden, located at Dale Street and Lafond Avenue. (Photo by Hillel Natanson, courtesy of Patricia Ohmans)

The group now manages a 40-bed community garden called Our Village, an Asian-American “Lily Pad” garden, and two butterfly and bee-friendly pollinator gardens.

By Callie Schmidt
Pioneer Press
February 19, 2018

Excerpt:

Yer Vang, 55, has lived in Frogtown for 35 years since coming to Minnesota from a Thailand refugee camp. She works with a group of elderly neighbors and helps them in the Lily Pad garden, planting everything from green beans to Asian squash.

“In the store organic food is too expensive. … So we do gardening ourselves,” Vang said.

[Read more →]

February 26, 2018   Comments Off on With its large urban farm, Frogtown wants to be St. Paul’s greenest neighborhood

Philippines: Urban backyard farming pushed in Quezon City by Vice Mayor Belmonte

Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte (2nd from right) leads the harvesting of hydrophonically-grown mustard and lettuce plants at the Aguinaldo Elementary School (AES) in Quezon City, 2011.

“Anyone who wants to set up their own urban farm in their backyard, just come and coordinate with us. We will give them seeds,” the vice mayor said

By Alladin S. Diega
Business Mirror
February 19, 2018

AN official of the local government of Quezon City is calling for its residents to seriously embrace backyard farming, as there are enough material support for this undertaking available.

Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte is inviting city residents to support the urban farming program of the city government by setting up their own backyard farms or gardens.

Belmonte said her office will provide start-up kits, such as farming tools, seedlings and fertilizers to anyone interested, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

[Read more →]

February 25, 2018   Comments Off on Philippines: Urban backyard farming pushed in Quezon City by Vice Mayor Belmonte

Elon Musk looks to revolutionize urban farming

During a typical week, they spend about 15 to 20 hours doing farm work, 10 hours handling the business side and 10 hours getting coached by Square Roots’ in-house agriculture expert and the team of mentors the company has assembled.

By Zlati Meyer
USA TODAY
Feb 18, 2018

Excerpt:

Peggs said the farmers find buyers for their produce, like stores, restaurants and individuals, though they also inherit the clients list from previous Square Roots participants. Some of Square Roots’ staff of 14 help generate leads, too. Thirty percent of what they earn goes to Square Roots, and expenses are another $30,000. That leaves them with an annual profit of $30,000 to $40,000.

[Read more →]

February 25, 2018   Comments Off on Elon Musk looks to revolutionize urban farming

Community And Vegetables Grow Side-By-Side In Syrian Refugee Camp Gardens

Syrian gardeners at the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq share the harvest.
Kastro Yosef/The Lemon Tree Trust

Perkins and her colleagues emphasize the immediate rewards of camp greening with residents — farming skills, keeping memories of home alive, building community, and accessing fruits and vegetables they would not otherwise have.

By Julia Travers
NPR
Feb 22, 2018
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Fig and pomegranate trees, grapes, carrots, and narcissus flowers are some of the plants that Aveen Ismail like to grow in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq where they live. That’s because these plants remind her of Syria and home.

At first, Ismail did not find the dry land welcoming. But she values greenery and gardening, so she cultivated a small patch of land next to the house her family built in the camp.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2018   Comments Off on Community And Vegetables Grow Side-By-Side In Syrian Refugee Camp Gardens

India: Terrace garden to farming: Urban dwellers show the organic way

Their owners– mostly professionals from Gurgaon– are toiling in the field they have taken on lease for community organic farming. Some are weeding, some sowing seeds, and others are plucking vegetables(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

An increasing number of professionals in Delhi and NCR are now renting agricultural land for organic farming.

By Manoj Sharma
Hindustan Times
Feb 17, 2018

Excerpt:

Urban farming, says Prof. Anirudh Garg of Institute of Urban Farming and Sustainability, is likely to take the form of a social movement in the coming years. “It is the need of our expanding cities. I firmly believe Indian cities can grow their own vegetables.

Gurgaon’s Green Leaf India community was born when the district horticulture officer, Deen Mohammad Khan, was invited to speak on terrace gardening in a residents’ conclave. “Many in the audience said they had no terraces, and the balconies were too small to grow anything and asked if we could help them lease farmland near Gurgaon. I said I could try,” says Khan.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2018   Comments Off on India: Terrace garden to farming: Urban dwellers show the organic way

Urban gardening might save your life

Click image to see larger file. Homegrown food is homegrown wealth. The foresighted farmer makes a garden plan showing what to plant, when to plant, and when to make second plantings. The plan shows how to cultivate and keep the garden free of weeds, and what poison spray to use to kill the insects that might eat up the vegetables. A garden is meant to feed the family, not the bugs and worms. Lange, Dorothea, photographer Created / Published 1936 Feb.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the wonderful taste of truly fresh corn, a cucumber picked from the vine, sliced then soaked in vinegar or eating slices of a tomato still warm from the sun, trying to keep the juice from running down your chin.

By Bill Wadford
The Fayetteville Observer
Feb 15, 2018

Excerpt:

As I grow older I have become aware of how disconnected we have become from our food and the land. Family farms have become endangered species and the majority of folks that live in, and immediately around, the city don’t even bother with a small herb plot by the back door, a backyard raised bed containing a few fresh, nutritious vegetables or even some 5 gallon buckets on the patio or balcony with cherry tomatoes or sweet peppers growing in them.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2018   Comments Off on Urban gardening might save your life

Canada: Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles

100 Perennials, Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Canadian Gardens

By Mike Lascelle
Douglas and McIntyre
March 2018

Growing your own food continues to gain popularity, but planting and tending vegetables every year certainly requires more effort than the ease of maintaining a backyard full of well-established hardy perennials. Now, with the help of this volume, gardeners can have the best of both worlds by planning a garden full of edible perennials that are both gorgeous and easy-to-maintain. From Akebia vine, with its scented flowers and tasty purple-skinned seed pods, to shade-loving Japanese Zingiber—there are so many options for Canadian gardeners beyond the traditional veggie plot.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles

San Francisco: Inside Fruitvale’s Urban Farm Emporium

Yolanda Burrell, founder of Pollinate Farm & Garden Supply. | Photo: Pollinate

The facility, which opened five years ago, offers weekly classes in subjects like composting, vegetable growing, beekeeping, cheese making, planting with the seasons, and preserving food.

By Hoodline
ABC7News
Feb 16

Excerpt:

More and more Oaklanders want to grow their own food, but many lack adequate access to gardening supplies and information. To fill this gap, Fruitvale’s Pollinate Farm & Garden Supply offers residents a place to learn more about setting up their own urban homesteads.

Pollinate has a demonstration orchard and garden, but the organization doesn’t supply visitors with fresh produce.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on San Francisco: Inside Fruitvale’s Urban Farm Emporium

Urban Agriculture Promotes Peace, Engages Community

Canticle Farm from Molly Leebove on Vimeo.

Walking down the steps to the garden, I was greeted by groves of trees and growing strawberries, kale, chard, herbs and peppers. Surrounded by nature, I no longer felt as though I was in Oakland.

By Catherine Bither
The Miscellany News
February 14, 2018

Excerpt:

One urban farm I have come back to again and again is Canticle Farm in Oakland, CA. Canticle Farm is a small, humble group of houses in East Oakland, forming an “intergenerational, interracial, interfaith community” (Canticle Farm, “About”). In the middle of a high-crime food desert, Canticle Farm sticks out as a haven for all in the area. In fact, the farm sits right in the middle of rival gang territory, yet has never experienced any sort of violence. The farm does not even have gates surrounding the area, unlike neighboring houses. Residents and workers are welcoming to everyone looking for a safe, peaceful, restorative space.

[Read more →]

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Promotes Peace, Engages Community