Category — Articles
Design Trust put together a metrics framework that measured the associated activities of urban agriculture with the known benefits derived from various studies.
By Kyle Rogler
Sustainable Cities Collective
March 27, 2013
Transforming underutilized land into productive urban farms was one of the many topics which were presented at the recent Kansas City Design Week. Jerome Chou, past Director of Programs at the Design Trust for Public Space, presented his unique experience with the implementation of the Five Boroughs Farm in New York City and the impact that urban agriculture can have on low-income areas of a city.
March 30, 2013 No Comments
It is transformational expressions that reclaim, heal, interpret and make productive once blighted neighborhoods, abandoned shopping malls, parking lots and unused roof tops.
By Charles A. Birnbaum
President, The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Urban agriculture during my baby boomer childhood in New York City, when postwar agricultural production became increasingly industrialized, amounted to simple school projects like rooting an avocado pit or a potato in the base of a sawn off milk carton. Today, however, we have home food production, urban farming, productive gardens, or whatever else you might want to call this movement – and it’s hot.
We are now witnessing an amazing convergence between the 1970s-era urban community garden movement pioneered by Liz Christy in New York and Alice Waters’ pioneering and influential fresh food efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
March 18, 2013 No Comments
At the Collingwood Children’s Farm, the only farm in the Southern Hemisphere recognised by the European Federation of city farms, Ela milked a cow, demonstrating a skill she gained during 35 years living on the Phoenix Farm settlement in South Africa, and also fed pigs and goats.
Ela is the first person of such international social and human rights standing to publicly visit the farm.
Australia India Institute
25 February 2013
Internationally renowned social activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Gandhi has visited Melbourne to engage with women victims of domestic violence and visit other institutions aligned with her and her grandfather’s belief of non-violence.
The eminent South Africa-based thinker and advocate of Gandhian non-violent solutions participated in a program of events framed around the theme Global Problems, Local Solutions which included a visit to Collingwood Children’s Farm, the Hanover Welfare Services shelter for homeless people, and the University of Melbourne’s Early Learning Centre.
March 13, 2013 No Comments
Just in Los Angeles alone, more than 70 community gardens are spudding and feeding about 3,900 local families.
By Sophia Lee
Feb 28, 2013
Jeanne Kelley has a big bowl of salad for dinner every night.
She lives across from a giant supermarket in Eagle Rock, a hill-studded neighborhood northeast of Los Angeles. But instead of driving to the store, she walks three minutes down the hill to a community garden called Rockdale, where she picks arugula, lettuce, snow peas, spinach, tomatoes or kale—whatever is in season and ready to harvest.
Kelley, a cookbook author and food stylist, owns a few feet of beds in Rockdale. The community garden forms a long stretch of 50 plots on what used to be light-rail tracks. One sunny Tuesday afternoon, Kelley walked me through the shady garden, snapping emerald snow peas from their stem.
March 2, 2013 No Comments
The Urban Farm: A New American Frontier
By Erin Sund
Food and Nutrition Magazine
February 26, 2013
Growing Power’s Erika Allen is a board member of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, a network working to improve Chicago residents’ access to “culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound and affordable food that is grown through environmentally sustainable practices.”
CFPAC addresses key issues facing the growth of Chicago agriculture. For example, composting is heavily regulated because it can attract rodents and generate seepage if done incorrectly. Obtaining the proper city licenses for indoor farming is also a challenge, according to The Plant’s Hoekstra. “The City of Chicago had never seen an indoor farm and wasn’t sure how to license us, but after a number of meetings and a lot of inspections, the requirements have been clarified and we’re moving forward with success,” she says.
February 28, 2013 No Comments
The number of empty plots and abandoned homes, and estimates vary wildly, going as high as 100,000
By Nick Carey
February 19, 2013
There are also an estimated 2,000 city gardens, which environmental activist Shea Howell says popped up years before the idea of urban farming surfaced. “They are operated extra-legally or illegally, but the city has bigger things to worry about than going after someone raising a few chickens,” she said.
Kirk Mayes of the Brightmoor Alliance, in one of the city’s poorest areas, says there are 200 community gardens in Brightmoor alone. As farming is imagined for Detroit’s future, abandoned land would provide fruit and vegetables to the city’s inhabitants, for whom fresh food is often not accessible because grocery stores are few and far between.
February 21, 2013 No Comments
Want a couch potato high? Go for Easy Rider. Something more cerebral? Go for Green House Thai. Prefer a party buzz? Try Euforia.
Posted by Mark Frauenfelder who is the founder of Boing Boing
Excerpted from The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well, by Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield.
Excerpts from BoingBoing’s excerpts:
It was the Sixties, and Ed Rosenthal, who listed his future career as “plant geneticist” in his high school yearbook, had discovered pot. After college, living in an oversize apartment in the Bronx, Rosenthal decided to grow his own. The rest is marijuana history as Rosenthal went on to become “The Guru of Ganja” and a godsend to both the home growing hobbyist and the commercial grower. He has authored a dozen books on marijuana cultivation and his popular grower’s advice column Ask Ed ran in High Times for two decades and is syndicated internationally.
February 16, 2013 No Comments
The project would promote local food security, according to the bill before a legislative panel
By Andrew Gomes
Feb 10, 2013
Fruits and vegetables could join bills and laws as products coming out of Hawaii’s state Capitol.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to develop rooftop gardens on the fifth-floor roof deck ringing his office and the office of Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.
The plan is put forth in House Bill 1365 at the Legislature, and if developed would join a small but growing number of buildings in Honolulu topped with tiny urban farms.
February 11, 2013 No Comments
Providence aims to turn abandoned urban plots into community gardens in midst of economic stagnation
“A lot of people are doing this for subsistence,” King said. “We shouldn’t always romanticize urban farming.”
By Chad Simon
Brown Daily Herald
February 5, 2013
Mayor Angel Taveras announced a partnership with Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation Jan. 14 in a project aimed at renovating the vacant lots that sprinkle the city’s undeveloped land parcels and turning them into small farming plots.
The Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and the Rhode Island Foundation together provided the project, Lots of Hope, with $100,000 to put toward developing urban farms throughout Providence and its surrounding urban areas.
February 6, 2013 No Comments
In Burlington, Vermont, more than 8 per cent the food consumed by residents is grown within the city limits.
By Mark Cullen
Feb 01 2013
Indulge me for a moment and imagine a new residential development of quality homes surrounding an 18-hole, championship golf course. A well-designed community of semis, towns and fully detached homes are knit together by winding, well-treed streets. Every garage has a golf cart in it and every golf cart has two large garden trugs in the back.
Say what? OK, change that golf course to a farm. And not just any old farm, the latest “urban” farm, where half of the green space normally devoted to the golf course is a huge garden that produces food for the immediate community. Fresh greens and produce are sold to local green grocers and restaurants. People travel long distances to see this place. And local residents only travel a few blocks to pick up their groceries, fresh from the land.
February 4, 2013 No Comments
International Network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF Foundation) – Update 18
Soukra, Tunisia. Focus Cities: Helping urban farmers adapt to climate change and water stress. By IDRCCRDI.
RUAF Update # 18 January 2013
Ir. Marielle Dubbeling has been appointed the new Director of the RUAF Foundation. She has taken over from Ir. Henk de Zeeuw, as per 1 October 2012. We again want to express our heart-felt thanks to Henk de Zeeuw for all the work he did in the past years. Henk will continue working for RUAF, though on a part-time basis.
Excerpt from bulletin:
In October 2012, The Metropolitan Municipality of Lima (Peru) approved two new ordinances that recognise and promote urban agriculture in the city: (1) Ordinance N° 1628 approves the Environmental Metropolitan Policy, and makes explicit reference to the promotion of urban agriculture and the re-use of treated waste water for urban greening; (2) Ordinance N° 1629, promotes the development of urban agriculture as a strategy for environmental management, social inclusion and local economic development in the Province of Lima and announces the creation of a Municipal Programme on Urban Agriculture. For the coming 2 years the following targets have been set:
• the creation of more than 2000 new urban gardens
• to join 33000 urban farmers in an urban farming network
January 31, 2013 No Comments
Rooftops are not the spot to be for an LA earthquake since most do not have railings
By Kathleen Gasperini
Mother Earth Living
Living in a brick loft in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, two blocks over from Skid Row, the largest homeless shelter in the country, may not seem the ideal place to start one’s journey toward becoming an urban farmer, but dreams can begin anywhere.
The idea started when my 97-year-old grandmother, who comes from the seasonal foothills of the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York, had sent me a copy of Capper’s magazine. It was completely different than what I usually had to read for work—fashion, action sports, and lifestyle magazines—and I was intrigued. After browsing through her Capper’s which was filled with her colorful commentary on Post-its, I started to wonder about the possibility of raising a chicken on the fire escape stoop outside my window. After all, I did have a couple of geraniums out there and a row of herbs.
January 28, 2013 No Comments
Call for Abstracts/Papers for Special Issue of ‘Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems’
Special Issue Editors:
Carolyn Dimitri (New York University, firstname.lastname@example.org),
Andy Pressman (National Center for Appropriate Technology-ATTRA project, email@example.com)
Lydia Oberholtzer (Penn State, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Interest in urban food is growing, not only on the part of consumers, but also on the part of federal and local policymakers. While policymakers typically focus on the food access aspect of urban farming, growth in urban and suburban agriculture can provide new opportunities for small and medium-sized farmers. Worldwide, according to the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 15 to 20 percent of food is raised in urban settings. Urban agriculture is best known for its widespread adoption in developing country where often many urban residents rely on urban farms as a key source of food. Recently, however, attention has turned to urban agriculture in the United States, and other developed countries, where it has been offered as a solution to increase the food security of low-income households in cities.
January 21, 2013 No Comments
Betting the Farm
Story By David Lepeska
Volume 2, Issue 40.
2013 NEXT CITY
Complete 15 page story costs $1.99.
But such heroism doesn’t come cheap. Growing Power spends about $3.2 million a year, according to tax filings from 2010, the most recent year for which reports are publicly available. That year, the organization took in $1.2 million in revenue and $2.4 million from grants and donor funding, which means that two-thirds of its annual budget came from philanthropy and public support.
In other words, the country’s most prominent urban farm can’t put the proverbial food on the table. It’s a situation that doesn’t bother the farmer-in-chief. “I’m not going to say we’re ever going to walk away from trying to get grants and funding,” Allen said in an interview later that morning in a Growing Power greenhouse. “Farmers get tax breaks, tax credits, subsidies. So when people say this isn’t totally self-sustaining, what does that mean? No business is totally self-sustaining.”
January 17, 2013 No Comments
Harvesting a Crisis
By Hilary Sinclair
Dec 4, 2012
“Try and think of something that food doesn’t affect in our society and in our lives,” said Sheedy. “It affects our social relationships. It affects our environment. It affects our health. It’s fundamental.”
Separation is perhaps the biggest problem in our food system — we are geographically separated from what we eat.
According to June Komisar, associate professor in the department of Architecture Science at Ryerson University, who specializes in designing for urban agriculture, our current system presents two problems.
December 5, 2012 No Comments
“Working in the media, there is an unappealing tendency to get sucked in by the notion that WE are the insiders, and WE know all the secrets of the universe.”
By Libby Brooks
She is the Guardian’s acting comment editor, joining the paper in 1998.
From Stepney City Farm website
Nov. 26, 2012
As my month at Stepney City Farm draws to an end, I am left reflecting on all the weird and wonderful things that I’ve done over the past four weeks. I chose to spend this sabbatical from my day job as a comment editor and columnist at the Guardian because, having spent the past few years commissioning and writing articles about how this country is – for reasons various, economic and political – going to hell in a handcart, I wanted to spend some time with people who are walking the talk.
Clipping the ferrets’ toenails or filling up the leaf mulcher may not appear to have anything to do with the global recession or benefits cuts, but the ethos at Stepney City Farm – self-sufficiency, education, community outreach – is exactly what a lot of folk are groping for at present, be that through the Occupy movement or even David Cameron’s much-derided Big Society.
November 27, 2012 No Comments
Spencer and Mara Welton run Half Pint Farm, a two-acre vegetable farm in the Intervale. They sell their produce at the Burlington Farmers Market; early in the season, they have greenhouse-grown starter plants. Photo by Sally Pollak.
“We wanted to prove that two people could have a small farm that would provide a lot of other people with food, and a livelihood for us.”
By Sally Pollak
Burlington Free Press
May 19, 2011
The Weltons own and operate Half Pint Farm, a two-acre Intervale farm they started in 2003. Forty percent of their business is through the Burlington Farmers Market, Welton said. They have a CSA (community supported agriculture), and sell produce to area restaurants.
At the farmers market, the Weltons run a well-attended stand on a diagonal crosswalk in City Hall Park, near the fountain. These early weeks of the market, Half Pint sells plant and herb starts: peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and tomatillos. On a summer Saturday in the height of the season, some 300 to 500 customers visit their stand, Welton said.
November 11, 2012 No Comments
The money the church earns goes back into the farm
By Kristy Etheridge
Nov 9, 2012
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – In the shadow of the Charlotte skyline, there’s a small community garden called Seigle Farm that’s growing some beautiful produce in an area where fresh food is hard to come by.
Places like the Belmont neighborhood where the garden is located are called “food deserts,” or places that don’t have access to fresh, healthy food nearby.
The garden started when uptown Charlotte’s Harvest Moon Grille made a deal with Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church. The restaurant teaches the community how to grow fresh, healthy food; the church puts in the elbow grease.
November 10, 2012 No Comments
She started her garden in Detroit in 1962, when she moved to her current house.
By Amanda Lewan
November 8th, 2012
She may not strike you as a farmer, this 80-year-old woman who lives in a rundown area of Detroit’s East Side.
But Lyla Hadad has been tending a large garden filled with vegetables next to her two-story wood frame home for 50 years, and passing out the bounty to people in her neighborhood around Chalmers and E. Warren Avenue.
The area surrounding her garden are hardly bucolic.
November 9, 2012 No Comments
“It offers a needed amenity for the neighborhoods that don’t have, within close reach, access to fresh food right now,” said Mayor Joe Reardon
By John Pepitone and Sarah Clark
Fox 4 KC.com
October 22, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As part of an effort to make the food we eat healthier, sustainable and affordable — leaders in both Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., are encouraging more farming in urban neighborhoods. Urban farmers in some of the poorest neighborhoods are growing, eating and selling their own food.
“It’s good eating,” said Erika Bush, a resident of the Juniper Gardens housing project in Kansas City, Kan. “It’s good living. And if you’re trying to cut costs on your grocery bills and things like that, it helps with that too.”
November 1, 2012 No Comments