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Posts from — March 2018

India: Delhi and urban farming: The city needs its farmlands and its farmers need help

A farmer carries sugarcane to load on a tractor to sell it at a nearby sugar mill in Modinagar in Ghaziabad, some 45km east of New Delhi. (AFP file photo )

According to the Economic Survey of Delhi released last week, the city was losing its cropped area at 2.28% annually.

By Shivani Singh
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Mar 26, 2018

Excerpt:

For a city that was for long scorned as an overgrown village, it is surprising how fast Delhi is losing its rural character.

Between 2001 and 2011, Delhi’s rural population has more than halved from 9.45 lakh to 4.20 lakh.

Rapid urbanisation — at 97.5%, the national capital is already the most urbanised city in India — has drastically shrunk the rural living space too. Between 1961 and 2011, the number of Delhi’s rural villages fell from 276 to 112.

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March 31, 2018   Comments Off on India: Delhi and urban farming: The city needs its farmlands and its farmers need help

RecoveryPark could create 170 jobs for Detroiters — it could also close

RecoveryPark currently operates nine high tunnel greenhouses on its campus east of the downtown area. Plans call for construction of glass greenhouses behind the high tunnels.

Social enterprise would create 170 jobs for people with barriers to employment

By Sherri Welch
Crain’s
Mar 25, 2018

Excerpt:

RecoveryPark is on the verge of launching a plan that would bring commercial hydroponics farming to Detroit, creating another 170 jobs for people like Borders with barriers to employment over the next three to five years.

It’s also on the verge of closure, after developing the model for the past nine years.

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March 31, 2018   Comments Off on RecoveryPark could create 170 jobs for Detroiters — it could also close

How flies and maggots are being bred to eat your food waste and keep Singapore clean

Dead larvae are broken down into feed for chickens and fish. (Photo: Pichayada Promchertchoo)

The compost the farm uses to grow its vegetables is generated with the help of the black soldier fly larvae.

By Jack Board
Channel Asia News
Mar 24, 2018

Excerpt:

Away from the laboratories buzzing with hundreds of “romantic” flies and their crawling offspring, the experiment is being rolled out for real at Citizen Farm in Queenstown.

The expansive 7,000 square metre green space is surrounded by Singapore’s high rises on land formerly occupied by a prison, Jalan Penjara, and is an area that has been transformed from a dilapidated space to a functioning urban farm.

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March 30, 2018   Comments Off on How flies and maggots are being bred to eat your food waste and keep Singapore clean

The Pumpkin-Easies and Magic Memories: An Allotment Garden Story

The author’s husband is an enthusiastic fruit and vegetable grower. They have had allotments – land traditionally rented or leased from local government – for almost 40 years

By M.J. Anderson
AuthorHouseUK
December 27, 2017

Excerpt:

A great pumpkin grew on our allotment. It was grown for our grandchildren to take to school at Halloween. It was unwanted and it ended up back in the compost bin. But many creatures living on the allotment did want it, especially the Easies.

This is a story of ancient creatures–the Easies–who try to live away from people. They are talented and determined and they have evolved special powers. Nowadays they are very fast, small, and chameleon-like as they can change shape and colour. They can also communicate telepathically.

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March 30, 2018   Comments Off on The Pumpkin-Easies and Magic Memories: An Allotment Garden Story

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Announces Final GRO1000 Community Garden Grant Recipients

Upton Community Garden, Baltimore, Maryland. Gardens received between $500-$1500.

Conclude in May 2018 Having Supported the Creation of 1,000 Gardens

Press Release
Mar 20, 2018

Excerpt:

“For the past eight years, we’ve seen firsthand how gardening can positively transform communities, and even more so, people’s lives,” said Foundation President and Board Member Jim King, who also serves as SVP and Chief Communications Officer for ScottsMiracle-Gro. “It’s been our honor to connect more people to the life-enhancing benefits of gardens, and we are committed to continuing this work for years to come.”

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March 30, 2018   Comments Off on The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Announces Final GRO1000 Community Garden Grant Recipients

1870 – Rhubarb Gatherers in England

Click image to see larger file. 1870 The Graphic.

The word rhubarb, too, was once thought dreadfully vulgar, and people spoke euphemistically of ‘spring gooseberries’.

From The Graphic
London UK
May 1870

Excerpt:

It comes at a fortunate time of the year for its own reputation, when we have grown tired of jam, if we have not cleared out our winter stock, when we are surfeited with apples, and before the more toothsome fruits, the currants, the cherries, the raspberries, have made their appearance, filling a gap in the gourmand’s calendar for which he is duly thankful.

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March 29, 2018   Comments Off on 1870 – Rhubarb Gatherers in England

Planting the Seeds of a Food Forest in Philadelphia

At an urban farm in Philadelphia. (Credit: Tony Fischer via Flickr)

With its myriad public gardens and 40,000-plus vacant lots, many of which have been transformed into community farms, Philadelphia is already a hub for community gardening.

By Jen Kinney
Next City
March 20, 2018

Excerpt:

And unlike at many community gardens, a food forest has an open door policy. “Anyone can come at any time of day and take whatever they want,” says Michael Muehlbauer, the agricultural engineer and orchardist behind the Fair Amount Food Forest proposal. Whatever doesn’t get eaten by the community is harvested and donated.

It’s a model that Muehlbauer saw in action as a volunteer at the Beacon Hill Food Forest in Seattle, where he lived before moving to Philadelphia three years ago. Though he says people are always concerned about over-harvesting when they hear about the food forest concept, in practice he just didn’t see it happen.

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March 29, 2018   Comments Off on Planting the Seeds of a Food Forest in Philadelphia

Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Broadway and MacDonald.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, one social enterprise looks to make the most of unused urban space by converting empty lots into temporary community gardens.

By Chris Reid
Vancouver Community Garden Builders
Mar 27, 2018

There used to be a gas station at the corner of Cambie and 16th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Today the site hosts 100 raised garden beds and provides growing space for roughly the same number of gardeners, many of whom are families living in nearby apartments and condominiums.

The project is the result of a partnership between Wesgroup, a local developer, and Vancouver Community Garden Builders, a local social enterprise. Together the pair opened six new gardens in 2017, which equals 600 new garden beds. In total, VCGB manages eight projects with close to 800 beds, or 16,000 square feet of urban growing space.

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March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Turning cities into sponges: how Chinese ancient wisdom is taking on climate change

The first strategy – “based on thousands of years of Chinese wisdom” – is to “contain water at the origin, when the rain falls from the sky on the ground. We have to keep the water”.

Landscape architect Kongjian Yu is making ‘friends with water’ to mitigate extreme weather events in modern metropolises

By Brigid Delaney
The Guardian
21 Mar 2018

Excerpt:

How does a city cope with extreme weather? These days, urban planning that doesn’t factor in some sort of catastrophic weather event is like trying to build something in a fictional utopia. For Kongjian Yu, one of the world’s leading landscape architects, the answer to coping with extreme weather events actually lies in the past.

Yu is the founder and dean of the school of landscape architecture at Peking University, founding director of architectural firm Turenscape, and famous for being the man who reintroduced ancient Chinese water systems to modern design. In the process he has transformed some of China’s most industrialised cities into standard bearers of green architecture.

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March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Turning cities into sponges: how Chinese ancient wisdom is taking on climate change

Canada: New docu-series focuses on therapeutic horticulture for the visually impaired

The Growing Sense documentary series follows new friends Milena Khazanavicius (right), a visually impaired gardening enthusiast, and Rosmarie Lohnes from the Helping Nature Heal company on a season’s worth of planting, harvesting and healing. (MARK PIKE)

“I became a therapeutic horticulturalist instead of a horticultural therapist, and now I mentor and assist people who may or may not have a strict medical diagnosis but who believe that nature can heal them,” she says.

By Lisa Cochrane
Chronicle Herald
Mar 19, 2018

Excerpt:

“They focus on scent and textures, the sound of the wind. All the senses, not just the visual,” Oakes said.

They also tackle some of Lohnes’ more challenging landscaping projects, all with an eco-friendly twist.

Along the way, according to a Tell Tale release, the characters explore the many benefits of community gardening, the healing powers of connecting with nature and the satisfaction of growing one’s own food. And keeping AMI-tv’s mandate in mind, they share helpful tips for gardeners of all abilities, including those living with sight loss.

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March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: New docu-series focuses on therapeutic horticulture for the visually impaired

Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Seed Voyage Featured on CTV Toronto. Feb 2018

A grower could make about $500 on 100 square feet per summer

By Dushan Batrovic, Shawn Sowten
Seed Voyage Website
(Must see. Mike)

From their site:

Our platform is designed with one thing in mind – to connect growers and eaters so that they can buy and sell their locally grown produce. The home gardener signs up on seedvoyage.com and inputs two key things – their address and the foods they are growing. The local eater signs up and inputs their region of interest (for example, within 5 km of their house) and the foods they are interested in buying. When the produce is ripe and ready for harvest, the grower will send notification and any eaters with matching preferences will be alerted. They will confirm purchase and pick up the goods at the growers house. All transactions are electronic so need to make change at the door. There are no fees for signing up, only a small transaction fee when goods are sold. Simple as that.

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March 27, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Rooftop farming takes off on Hong Kong’s skyscrapers

Click image to see larger file. Farmers work at a rooftop vegetable garden of an industrial building in Hong Kong. (AP)

Rooftop Republic has set up on average one farm a month since its founding and now manages 36 covering more than 30,000 square feet (about 2,800 square meters), including one in mainland China

Associated Press, Hong Kong
Hindustani Times
Mar 27, 2018
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Bank of America farm was a milestone because it was the first in the city’s financial district. The company has since set up two more in the area and is looking at a few more sites, Hong said. Vegetables from the tower are donated to a food bank for uses in lunch boxes distributed to the needy. Some of its other farms are at hotels or restaurants, which use the herbs, eggplants and melons for dishes on their menus.

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March 27, 2018   Comments Off on Rooftop farming takes off on Hong Kong’s skyscrapers

Belgium: Brussels Development Briefing on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities”

View of a scene at Covent Garden Market showing shoppers and traders at a vegetable sellers. 1835 Click image to see larger file.

This Briefing is organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD

10 April 2018 from 9:00 to 13:00,
at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

Excerpt:

This Briefing will discuss the development of urban agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, looking at successful urban agribusinesses and the innovations, partnerships and policy developments that are creating new opportunities in this field.

In particular, the Briefing will feature an exchange of views and experiences around agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas, and the main drivers for its growth and uptake by youth and women. It will share best practices and achievements across ACP countries from the private and public sectors, and will discuss the factors for success, their replicability, and potential for upscaling.

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March 26, 2018   Comments Off on Belgium: Brussels Development Briefing on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities”

Oracle’s Larry Ellison Unveils Hydroponic Farming Start-Up named ‘Sensei’

Larry Ellison by John G. Mabanglo/Epa-Efe, via Rex, via Shutterstock

Its first farm is on Lanai, the Hawaiian island of which Mr. Ellison owns roughly 98 percent.

By Michael de la Merced
New York Times
March 19, 2018

Excerpt:

Sensei’s first batch of crops includes Black Trifele tomatoes and Komatsuna mustard greens, with its yardstick for production being nutrition per acre.

“So far, the conversation in agriculture has been dominated by productivity: How much food can we grow in a square foot. But scale is just part of the equation,” Dr. Agus said in a statement. “To properly nourish the world, we need to consider how nutritious that food is. This is where Sensei is focused.”

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March 26, 2018   Comments Off on Oracle’s Larry Ellison Unveils Hydroponic Farming Start-Up named ‘Sensei’

Libreia: Partners Launch First Harvest of Urban Rice Project

Farmers were recruited from other communities to ensure that the project is successful.

“Considering the high level unemployment among the youth in the city, the former mayor of Paynesville, Cyvette Gibson, wrote a proposal to use swampland for agriculture purposes in the city.

By Simeon S. Wiakanty
Daily Observer
March 19, 2018

Excerpt:

“We intended to cultivate 50 hectares, but succeed with 20 hectares with support from some community members,” Cooper stated.

Mr. Mulbah Jackollie, from SAMJAC Agro industry, is providing technical services to the project. “We are here recruiting local farmers, training and working with them to produce rice,” he said. “We also provide assistance to them with fertilizer and provided trained them in vegetables farming… to farmers from Zubah town community.

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March 25, 2018   Comments Off on Libreia: Partners Launch First Harvest of Urban Rice Project