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Posts from — April 2018

Wood Pallet DIY Projects: 20 Building Projects to Enrich Your Home, Your Heart & Your Community

Several years ago when a friend asked Baltimore cabinet maker Stephen Fitzberger to build raised garden beds to teach Baltimore City children how to grow food, a novel idea was born.

By Stephen Fitzberger (Author), Diane Fitzberger (Author)
Fox Chapel Publishing
Jun 12 2018

He didn’t have funds for the project, so he used reclaimed wood from shipping pallets.

He started a company, Abba Woodworks, LLC, with the main objective of creating jobs and teaching skills to those who struggle finding an open door. “I realized that pallets from businesses around the city were great to use for training and making great re-purposed products while also keeping them from going to the landill. Win, win,” says Fitzgerald.

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April 25, 2018   No Comments

UK: London Red Double-Decker Urban Farm

Photo Matt Writtle.

The Farmbus is no regular red double decker: inside it’s a top-spec sustainable strawberry factory.

By Katie Strick
Evening Standard
Apr. 19, 2018

Excerpt:

The floors are lined with pot plants, tomato vines and coriander leaves. Hanging baskets swing from the handrails and the driver’s seat is blanketed in a green layer of mint, basil and thyme. Upstairs, the deck is filled with a fine, ultrasonic mist.

This is no ordinary double decker, though. This is the Farmbus, a new sustainable urban farm for the capital housed inside a converted red London bus. It opened last week at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle, and it’ll be open throughout the summer as a pick-your-own farm and plant shop. The first batch of strawberries is expected in the next fortnight.

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April 25, 2018   No Comments

New York: Seeds Planted for Rooftop Gardens to Feed Midtown Needs

Much of the produce Inner City Farmer grows is donated to a women’s shelter and a church’s food pantry in Hell’s Kitchen. | Photo courtesy of Inner City Farmer.

A rooftop garden could provide numerous benefits — including nutritious food and job opportunities — for those who are homeless

By Dusica Sue Malesevic
Chelsea Now
Apr 18, 2018

Excerpt:

Winter, of Inner City Farmer and Mudd, of the Midtown South Community Council (MSCC), have partnered to help spread rooftop gardens in and around Midtown. Now entering its third season, Inner City Farmer grows thyme, tomatillos, and, yes, tomatoes on the roof of 205 W. 39th St.

Much of the produce — including collard greens, kale, carrots and all kinds of lettuces — is donated to the Dwelling Place, a homeless women’s shelter at 409 W. 40th St., and across the street to the food pantry Metro Baptist Church. Winter told this publication in a phone interview.

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April 25, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Principal live-tweets City Farmer wormshop for Grade 1/2 class


The principal of University Hill in Vancouver live-tweeted Andrea’s wormshop

City Farmer has provided wormshops to Vancouver schools for 25 years as part of our continuing effort to teach people about the value of recycling organic waste. The program is more popular that ever under the leadership of Andrea Lucy.

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April 24, 2018   No Comments

Eco-friendly East Austin community turns homeowners into urban farmers

The community has its own custom organic farming program called Whisper Lettuce.

Culture Map
4.17.18

Excerpt:

For those who just want to sit back and watch their garden grow, go with the Complete Care subscription. The Lettuce team will weed, service, and harvest each garden to ensure a bountiful harvest year after year. Produce grown in backyard mini-farms can be kept by the homeowner or returned to the network for “credits” that are good toward subscription prices.

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April 24, 2018   No Comments

How Assata’s Daughters Is Helping Chicago Bloom By Empowering Black Urban Farmers

The grassroots organization is planning to offer free produce to neighbors all summer.

By Tonja Renée Stidhum
Blavity
Apr 18, 2018

Excerpt:

Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago nonprofit grassroots organization, has always been here for black folks — particularly black women, evidenced by the Rekia Boyd case and beyond. In addition to advocacy, the organization offers three ongoing, free community programs that assist Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood.

One is the community garden. Per the Daughters’ official website, “the community garden program highlights self-sustainability as an integral part of black liberation. Located off of King Drive in Washington Park, the garden provides us with the opportunity to engage youth and local community members in learning about the basics of gardening, land conservation, food justice and the importance of self-sustainment as a tool of resistance.”

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April 24, 2018   No Comments

How African cities lead: Urban policy innovation and agriculture in Kampala and Nairobi

Francis Ndolo on his farm in Landless estate, Kiambu County. He makes a huge income from urban farming. (Photo:James Wanzala/Standard) See here.

While advocacy for urban agriculture is common globally, what is not clear is under what conditions local advocacy produces policy uptake and change.

By Christopher D. Gore
Science Direct
13 April 2018

Abstract:

City governments in sub-Saharan Africa have historically been beholden to national governments. Lack of national urban policies and tensions between national and city governments are common. Yet, for decades, research has identified small-scale innovations at the urban scale. Rarely, however, are policy innovations in African cities so influential as to lead national governments to scale up city based actions. This is particularly true in sectors that have been the dominant purview of central governments. This paper examines how citizens, civil society organizations, city governments and national bureaucrats in two cities of East Africa – Kampala and Nairobi – have interacted to produce policy innovation in agriculture.

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April 23, 2018   No Comments

Big Muddy Urban Farm residency program gives young farmers a place to grow

Big Muddy Urban Farm residents.

“I want to begin to coach people how to grow their own food,” Salem said. “I will teach them you don’t have to be wealthy to eat healthy.”

By Chris Peters
Omaha World-Herald
Apr 16, 2018

Excerpt:

You could call it “The Real World: Farmer Edition.”

That’s how the aspiring farmers jokingly refer to Big Muddy Urban Farm’s 11-month residency program. From January through early December, they share a renovated Gifford Park home with the nonprofit’s executive director, Brent Lubbert, who lives in the basement.

“I guide to make sure that everything is happening and there won’t be a total failure, but to a certain extent, you learn from your failures, so I don’t impose too much if I don’t need to,” Lubbert said.

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April 23, 2018   No Comments

Philly’s urban gardeners are under siege from gentrification. Here’s what they’re doing about it.

John Lindsay and James Seward stand with fresh produce from Wiota Street Community Garden, which was saved by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority last year. Margo Reed/Staff File Photo

“There’s a sense of frustration that the Land Bank isn’t really up and running yet,” she said.

By Samantha Melamed
The Inquirer
Apr 16, 2018

Excerpt:

few years ago, Elmira Smith and her Kensington neighbors got tired of looking at the vacant lot on their block, an overgrown tangle of weeds and trash, and decided to take action.

So, they did what good neighbors do. They pitched in, filled dozens of trashbags and held volunteer days to build beds and plant flowers on what it turned out were actually three adjacent, long-abandoned parcels. It took two seasons to get the grass going, but they eventually had a plush emerald lawn.

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April 22, 2018   No Comments

It all starts with a seed… How food grows

By Emily Bone (Author), Sally Elford (Illustrator)
Usborne Publishing Ltd
1 Aug. 2017

This stylish book explains how almost everything we eat grows from seeds – including flour, rice, carrots and even chocolate. Beautifully illustrated pages show root vegetables snug in the soil, plants with crunchy leaves and lots of different fruits.

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April 22, 2018   No Comments

Philippines: Davao City agri to refurbish rooftop garden

DAVAO. In a bid to make it into an ideal agri-tourism destination, the City Agriculture’s Office is set to refurbish the rooftop garden at the City Hall Annex Building along Pichon St. (SunStar file photo)

“We cannot just tell everybody to have an organic urban garden at home when we don’t have it here. That’s why we have this model garden to show them that it’s doable even with limited space,” he added.

By Jennie P. Arado
SunStar
Apr 13, 2018

Excerpt:

The 250-square meter (sqm) roof deck garden, located on the roof deck of the City Agriculture’s Office building along Pichon St., was first launched December of 2016. During the launching, invited guests saw the different organic vegetables, herbs, and spices grown in the garden.

During an interview with CAO head Leo Brian Leuterio, they target the refurbished rooftop garden to look like a homestead. Within the 250-sqm total area of the rooftop garden, they are going to allot a 50-sqm space intended for a specialized homestead, which Leuterio said will hopefully create the impression to the visitors that urban gardening is doable and that space is not a limitation to do gardening.

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April 21, 2018   No Comments

Preparing a community garden to honor local families affected by opioid crisis

The garden will be located on Evergreen Street, Rochester. (WHAM Photo)

Families who have lost someone to drugs will have the opportunity to get a plot of the garden, as a way to memorialize their loved one.

WHAM
April 14, 2018

Excerpt:

Rochester, N.Y. – On Saturday, many volunteers began creating a community garden on an empty plot of land, that was once a haven for drug users, until the City of Rochester chose to bulldoze the abandoned house.

Volunteers were cleaning up the site on Evergreen Street in preparation for that garden, which is meant to honor those who have died from drug overdoses and give hope to those struggling.

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April 21, 2018   No Comments

Chicago church padlocks community gardens in Woodlawn, leaving gardeners wondering why

A flag blows in the wind in the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden on April 12, 2018, in Chicago. Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune

The padlocked gardens have prompted some to sneak in to ready the plots for planting.

By William Lee
Chicago Tribune
Apr 13, 2018

Excerpt:

Rooting her fingers through the soil at a popular community garden in the Woodlawn neighborhood transports Gloria Mance back to her childhood on a Southern farm.

Back then, struggling relatives and neighbors bonded through shared purpose and the need to feed their families.

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April 20, 2018   No Comments

Coeur et Sol Urban Farms in New Jersey

Why wait to find the perfect piece of land when you can take an empty lot and turn it into something beautiful?

By Jeff Holmes
JerseyBites
12 Apr 2018

Excerpt:

Hernandez grew up on five acres in Hunterdon County, where her family raised Nigerian dwarf goats and showed them for the local 4-H club. She had a small garden in her childhood. As she got older, though, like most teens, she grew apart from her interest.

On a trip to Paris years later, when she was a retail manager for a clothing company, Hernandez saw how important food and sustainability are to Parisians. She read the book The Market Gardner, by Jean-Martin Fortier and an idea was born. On her flight home, she started to write down her ideas and dreams of one day being an urban farmer.

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April 20, 2018   No Comments

Australia: Urban farming campuses to bring food closer to consumers

Ambitious plan: Nuffield Scholar Jan Vydra hopes a planned urban farming campus in Melbourne will be followed by others in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. Picture: David Geraghty

Visiting Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Holland and the US, Mr Vydra took away lessons on the community and cultural impact of urban farming, as well as how purchasing habits of consumers have changed.

By Bethany Griffiths
The Weekly Times
April 12, 2018

Excerpt:

A first-generation Melbourne farmer wants to share his knowledge on urban farming by building a university-like campus in every major Australian city.

Jan Vydra, from Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, is drawing on his 2016 Nuffield Scholarship research to develop spaces where other farmers and growers can learn about urban farming and see how it works in a real-life setting.

“What we really want to do now is take that concept and build a campus in each capital city, so we can localise produce and provide jobs to people in the industry that’s in a different format,” Mr Vydra said.

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April 19, 2018   No Comments