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Vancouver’s Indigenous community fights to save native plants at risk

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Lori Snyder believes that indigenous plants should be incorporated into daily diets to improve lifestyle (Sharon Nadeem)

Indigenous herbalists are working to preserve their traditional sources of food and medicine

By Sharon Nadeem, Seher Asaf,
CBC News
May 07, 2017

Excerpt:

A tiny park in central Vancouver surrounded by skyscrapers, a stadium and a concrete parking lot looks like the kind of place that would be hostile to indigenous plants.

But to Métis herbalist Lori Snyder, Hinge Park is a “treasure trove.” She visits the park to fill her basket with indigenous plants, and conducts tours to share her knowledge of traditional medicines.

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May 12, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver’s Indigenous community fights to save native plants at risk

Houston named best U.S. city to observe World Naked Gardening Day, May 6

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Don’t be too shocked if you spot a neighbor pruning their azaleas sans pants this weekend.

By Matt Hickman
Mother Nature Network
May 5, 2017

Excerpt:

Founded in 2005 in Seattle by Nude & Natural magazine editor Mark Storey and permaculturist Jacob Gabriel, World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an annual event in which gardeners, both novices and seasoned greenthumbs alike, can feel free to take it all off and “tend their portion of the world’s garden unclothed as nature intended.”

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May 6, 2017   Comments Off on Houston named best U.S. city to observe World Naked Gardening Day, May 6

96-year-old man still farming in the middle of the city of Silver Spring, MD

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“I do a little fishin’ in the spring, so between the fishing and the gardening- that keeps me busy. So I’m just glad to be able to do it,” he said.

By Sarah Konsmo,
WUSA
Mar 222, 2017

Excerpt:

Charles Koiner is still working his farm, at the age of 96.

“I just enjoy raising the garden and doing the market. And I tell you, I have such nice customers,” he said.

It’s a farm – that in the more than three decades he’s been working it- has turned into an oasis in the middle of the city and a true farm with dozens of varieties of fruit and vegetables.

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March 29, 2017   Comments Off on 96-year-old man still farming in the middle of the city of Silver Spring, MD

Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”

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Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual. MSCA fellow. Research centre in urban environment for agriculture and biodiversity (ResCUE-AB). Department of Agricultural Sciences (Dipsa). Università di Bologna

For the special issue of the MDPI journal Sustainability

Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
Guest Editor,
email: esther.sanye(at)unibo.it
Sustainability

This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute to the assessment of the sustainability of urban agriculture, both by advancing methodological approaches and by providing results from case studies. Cities have been identified as an essential element in addressing global concerns, particularly due to the growing population, and food flow is key in the urban metabolism and in the design of future sustainable cities. Resulting from the environmental awareness of the globalized food system and urban social and economic gaps, urban agriculture has grown in recent years aiming at increasing food security while coping with climate change.

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February 23, 2017   Comments Off on Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”

By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

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Click on image for larger file. Maps show where projected urban expansion until 2030 is expected to result in cropland loss. Competing areas (red) hold croplands but have a high probability (>75%; medium scenario) of becoming urbanized by 2030.

Urban agriculture, the expansion of farming into areas farther from urban centers, and farming intensification practices (such as the heavy use of fertilizers), will offset some of the loss of farmland, say the scientists.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
January 27, 2017
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

The study, “Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands,” published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that by 2030, as much as 86.5 million acres of productive farmland worldwide—between two and four percent of total farmland—will be lost as the world’s so called mega-cities, generally defined as being more than ten million residents, and the adjoining areas, called “mega urban regions,” take over prime agricultural croplands to make room for a growing population and their activities.

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January 29, 2017   Comments Off on By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

A Slower Pace for TV’s Graham Kerr, ‘Galloping Gourmet’ now 82

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Graham Kerr in his garden at home in Mount Vernon, Wash., last summer. Photo Ruth Fremson/The New York Times. Click on image for larger file.

In the 1970s, he lurched from indulgence to a denunciation of excess, but he eventually found his way to a middle ground.

By Kirk Johnson
The New York Times
January 9, 2017

Excerpt:

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — He injected extra fat into already well-marbled roasts, with a grin and an ever-present glass of wine. He laughed uproariously at his own jokes, and told Americans that cooking at home did not have to be particularly sophisticated or difficult (Julia Child, the only other major TV chef of his era, had pretty much staked out that turf anyway) to be wild, and wildly fun.

But always, Graham Kerr leapt. Decades before Emeril Lagasse shouted “Bam!” in administering a pinch of cayenne or garlic, Mr. Kerr defined the television cook as a man of energy and constant motion — “The Galloping Gourmet,” as his show’s title put it.

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January 17, 2017   Comments Off on A Slower Pace for TV’s Graham Kerr, ‘Galloping Gourmet’ now 82

California farmers fear foreign workers will be deported

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Trump’s remarks were felt sharply in California, which produces nearly half the country’s fruits, vegetables and nuts valued of $47 billion annually.

By Scott Smith
Associated Press
Jan 5, 2017

Excerpts:

Roughly 325,000 workers in California do the back-breaking jobs that farmers say nobody else will do, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manuel Cunha Jr., president of the Nisei Farmers League farming association, estimates 85 percent of California farmworkers live in the United States illegally.

Leticia Alfaro, a food-safety supervisor at the farm, said in an interview that many of her friends who work in the fields don’t have proper documentation like her, and they take Trump’s threats seriously.

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January 5, 2017   Comments Off on California farmers fear foreign workers will be deported

Eat Your Yard! Edible Landscaping with Hatchet and Seed in Greater Victoria, BC

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Experts in the field of edible landscaping and applied permaculture, Tayler Krawczyk and Solara Goldwynn.

The whole idea with edible landscaping is to design with food in mind by interspersing edible plants with ornamentals.

By Holly Brooke
The Eat Journal
Aug 28, 2015

Excerpt:

The North Saanich couple have been operating their business Hatchet and Seed since 2010. The company provides landscape consulting, design, and installation services with a strong focus on organic, ecological and permaculture principles.

The couple agrees that urban farming, while it has been gaining popularity, isn’t for everyone. “On a macro-scale, we are aware of food security as an issue,” says Krawczyk, “but there is a spectrum and most people fall somewhere in the middle.”

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December 31, 2016   Comments Off on Eat Your Yard! Edible Landscaping with Hatchet and Seed in Greater Victoria, BC

Evangelizing in the Garden: Conservative Christian efforts to Convert Non-Believers via Urban Agriculture in US Cities

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The creation of urban green space and community gardening plots, in particular, are often seen as an unequivocal good—by troubling this narrative and interrogating the different ways garden sites are employed by different actors, we gain a better understanding of how urban agriculture is actually functioning in today’s US cities.

By Chhaya Kolavalli
Savage Minds
Oct 27, 2016
(Savage Minds is a group blog that has been writing about sociocultural anthropology since 2005.)

Excerpt:

A dominant trend among these “new” Christians has been to utilize urban agriculture and community gardening as a means of feeding and creating community with the poor (Carnes 2011; Clayborn 2006; Roberts 2009). The garden, however, is also emblematic of new methods of domestic evangelism (Elisha 2008)—as outlined by Carly, above. For the evangelical urban gardeners involved in this study, the garden served as a site to recruit new church members and to ‘model’ several aspects of their conservative religious ideology—most notably, as I’ll argue, a heteronormative patriarchal family structure and gendered division of labor.

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November 5, 2016   Comments Off on Evangelizing in the Garden: Conservative Christian efforts to Convert Non-Believers via Urban Agriculture in US Cities

Economics Is Scarce Resources Allocation – What Resource Constraint Does Urban Farming Solve?

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We find out that vertical farming does not save resources, it expends resources instead. It makes us all considerably poorer by its existence. Thus we must really rather wonder why we’re doing it.

By Tim Worstall
Forbes
Aug 15, 2016

Excerpt:

That there are fads and fashions in the business world just as there are in other areas of human life is no surprise. But such fads and fashions should be subject to a bit of hard headed analysis from time to time. One such is the newly promoted concept of vertical or urban farming. The idea being that food can and should be grown inside cities, in buildings, rather than out in the countryside and upon land. I have mentioned before that I think the entire concept is a ludicrously stupid idea. Yet here we have another example which we can examine.

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August 20, 2016   Comments Off on Economics Is Scarce Resources Allocation – What Resource Constraint Does Urban Farming Solve?

Forbes Opinion: Urban Farming Is A Ludicrously Stupid Idea

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Urban farming just doesn’t make sense as a food production system.

By Tim Worstall
Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London
Forbes
July 4, 2016

Excerpt:

Why pay $3 million for the space for 40 cows? Note that this isn’t even their grazing nor fodder land, this is just the byre and milking shed. Which can be set up really very much more cheaply elsewhere, away from the expensive city land.

To construct an example to show the silliness of this.

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July 4, 2016   Comments Off on Forbes Opinion: Urban Farming Is A Ludicrously Stupid Idea

Urban farm brings fresh produce from farm to fork in Edmonton, Maryland

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farmfLead Farmer of ECO City Farms, Deborah Wren, discusses weekly selection with farm share member Abby Wilkerson. Photo by Lindsay Myers. Edmonston is a town in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“Eighty to eighty-five percent of our population lives in urban areas, so why don’t we bring the food closer to them?”

By Lindsay Myers
Hyattsville
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Amanda West, operations manager at ECO City Farms, said farm shares are becoming more popular in urban areas. “The farm share as a concept has been around for a while, but it’s a whole new concept for Prince George’s County. What we’re doing is saying, ‘Here’s another way you can get your food. It doesn’t have to come from a grocery store,’” said West.

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June 24, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farm brings fresh produce from farm to fork in Edmonton, Maryland

Gardening is regaining its coolness

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Digging in the dirt for food has acquired status.

By Monique Keiran
Times Colonist
May 29, 2016

Excerpt:

Then two wars brought about economic and social change. The Depression and Second World War saw renewed gardening vigour at the household scale. At first, it was prompted by necessity, then by patriotism. The food fed the family, with abundance swapped among neighbours and friends.

After the war, most Victory gardens were plowed under and sodded over. Stay-at-home moms tended what remained, as well as the new flowerbeds, while dad cranked up the lawnmower on the weekend.

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June 5, 2016   Comments Off on Gardening is regaining its coolness

Examining press coverage of farm-to-table movement

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Laura Reiley also wrote an equally detailed and totally hair-raising companion exposé of farmers markets. She visited a dozen different markets, counted 346 discrete vendors and found that only 16, or less than 5 percent, of “farmers” actually grow stuff on their own farms.

By Bret Thorn and Nancy Kruse
Nation’s Restaurant News
May 27, 2016

Excerpt:

Reiley read menus at restaurants that mentioned the farms where their food was supposed to have come from, then she asked the farmers if they sold to those restaurants, and when they said they didn’t she confronted the restaurants and asked them why they were such liars.

Sometimes it was an oversight — a menu that hadn’t been rewritten after purveyors were changed — sometimes it was more nefarious, and sometimes it was pretty darn insulting, like the restaurant with the tagline “Death to Pretenders” that pretended to make its own cheese curds and claimed to use wild local shrimp when in fact it was farm-raised in India.

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June 3, 2016   Comments Off on Examining press coverage of farm-to-table movement

Urban farming: From floating food forests to vacant lot crops

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More than 1,500 community gardens have been started on vacant land in Detroit alone in recent years. From Greening of Detroit.

A growing movement is spreading throughout U.S. cities that is feeding people, providing jobs, and helping the environment—urban farming.

By Sher Watts Spooner
Daily Kos
May 15, 2016

Excerpt:

One estimate is that there are as many as 100 full-fledged food forests, with a mix of trees and smaller plants in a succession of layers, in the United States. One Detroit group reports that there are 70 urban farms in that city alone that sell fruits and vegetables to local market outlets. The Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project is trying to locate small produce gardens throughout the Windy City—a 2015 count found 830. There’s even a worldwide organization called Urban Farming that claims more than 63,000 small community gardens based in cities, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that up to 20 percent of the world’s food supply is grown in cities.

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May 21, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming: From floating food forests to vacant lot crops