Category — Articles
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
Aug 15, 2016
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.
August 20, 2016 No Comments
Urban farming just doesn’t make sense as a food production system.
By Tim Worstall
Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London
July 4, 2016
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.
July 4, 2016 Comments Off on Forbes Opinion: Urban Farming Is A Ludicrously Stupid Idea
“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
June 18, 2016
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.
June 24, 2016 Comments Off on Urban farm brings fresh produce from farm to fork in Edmonton, Maryland
Digging in the dirt for food has acquired status.
By Monique Keiran
May 29, 2016
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.
June 5, 2016 Comments Off on Gardening is regaining its coolness
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
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.
June 3, 2016 Comments Off on Examining press coverage of farm-to-table movement
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
May 15, 2016
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.
May 21, 2016 Comments Off on Urban farming: From floating food forests to vacant lot crops
“It’s amazing how urban gardening and urban agriculture really connects people, because food crosses all cultural and language barriers.”
By Lisa Johnson
Apr 12, 2016
Then the man opened Google Translate, an app that provides two-way speech translation.
“I am a tomato farmer from Syria,” the man said, through his phone.
“I was stoked and I said, ‘oh, you like tomatoes?'” said Stone, who invited his new neighbour into his greenhouse.
April 16, 2016 Comments Off on Tomatoes and Google connect a Canadian urban farmer to new Syrian neighbour
All urban agricultures are not sustainable, and some may even produce deleterious effects on the city inhabitants as well as on the city itself.
By François Mancebo, PhD,
Director of the IRCS and IATEUR, is professor of urban planning and sustainability at Rheims university. He lives in Paris.
The Nature of Cities
April 8, 2016
Get back to the ground level: conventional farming within cities is potentially a much graver concern, be it located in a skyscraper or just in the ground. The big issue here is the dissemination of pesticides and fertilizers as well as of the wastes and the by-products of industrial urban agriculture, especially in vine-growing or grain-growing regions—two agricultural productions with high added-value—where vines and fields are frequently incorporated in the city. The inhabitants of such cities are exposed to critical levels of pesticides on a daily basis without them even knowing. Well, they are beginning to know, and it appears that they are not happy at all.
April 9, 2016 Comments Off on Confronting the Dark Side of Urban Agriculture
“Unretired seniors are working overtime”
By Denise Ryan
The Vancouver Sun
April 8, 2016
Sharon Slack, 73, head gardener at City Farmer in Kitsilano, said she finds the traditional idea of retirement preposterous.
“The whole image they sell you about retirement — all those TV ads that say: Retire! Do all the things you want to do! Travel! Entertain! Good grief,” she said. “I didn’t do that when I was young. Why in the world would I do it now?”
Slack loves her job, but work isn’t just a pleasure — it’s also a practical matter, she said.
April 8, 2016 Comments Off on City Farmer’s Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, Makes Vancouver Newspaper Frontpage Twice in 6 weeks
By John Currin. The Gardeners. 2001. See original here.
Land that grows lawns, shrubs, trees and flowers could just as well be producing food.
Mar 25, 2016
The capital region is a great place to grow things; there’s no reason more of its landscaping can’t be edible, especially as concerns grow over nutrition, food safety and rising food prices.
Urban agriculture is a growing movement, increasingly supported by municipal governments. The City of Victoria, for example, allows gardening, within certain guidelines, on boulevards, the city-owned strips of land between private property and streets. It has regulations and guidelines for community gardens.
April 1, 2016 Comments Off on Victoria, BC Editorial: Urban gardens feed the soul
Across centuries, villagers have been leaving farm work for the big city, but now town dwellers are becoming part-time farmers — the reverse green revolution in the happily balancing equations of Mother Nature.
By Raja Murthy, an independent journalist who shuttles between Mumbai and the Himalayas.
March 21, 2016
This Green Knight is a humble crusader fighting for the urban farming movement. He could be anyone: The boy or girl next door, a banker, a software engineer or it could even be you.
“We are farmers that live in apartments,” goes the Gotham Greens’ anthem from their 9th Avenue headquarters in New York. “We see green fields where others see rooftops. We fuel blooming communities where others fear urban decay. And we purvey the freshest produce grown on earth”.
March 29, 2016 Comments Off on Rooftop revolution begins; the Green Knight rises
But for me, with ‘hundreds of millions of urban dwellers suffer(ing from) under-nutrition’, anything that helps to bring nutritious food closer to the urban table can only be worth pursuing.
By Laurie Winkless
March 9, 2016
However questionable the profitability of the farms reviewed in this paper may be, urban farming continues to hit headlines. And that is for a simple reason – with more people living in cities than ever before, the race is on to find better ways to feed us. Across the world there are some seriously high-tech projects that are attempting to reinvent crop-farming. After the 2011 earthquake in Tohuko, Japan, a previously unused part of a Fujitsu factory became the country’s first viable indoor vertical farm. Blue and red LEDs illuminate stacked trays of salad leaves, while they are hydrated using a water mist (BRIEF ASIDE: These wavelengths are chosen because they increase the rate of photosynthesis, making the whole ‘turning sunlight into food’ process a lot more efficient).
March 15, 2016 Comments Off on Forbes: Urban Farming: Fad Or Futureproof?
Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb., is seen among residential homes last October. Urban farms have become a celebrated trend, yet earning a living at it is tough, a new survey finds. Nati Harnik/AP
“Getting land is a difficult thing,” which limits profitability, Willerer says. “If [the city] made it a little easier, people would give it more of their time and energy.”
By Tracie Mcmillan
Mar 7, 2016
Many urban farmers, however, see themselves less as profit-driven businesses and more as social enterprises addressing concerns like food insecurity, education and community-building. Two-thirds of the farms surveyed identified those three concerns as their primary focus, while about a quarter said they were driven by market concerns. (The remaining 10 percent of farmers indicated missions that could not be neatly classified in those four categories; Dimitri said these farms were generally occupied with a social mission other than those listed.)
March 13, 2016 Comments Off on Urban Farms Fuel Idealism. Profits? Not So Much
Arizona Senate Bill would exempt refugees and others with community gardens from strict health rules
SB 1004 passed in the Senate on Feb. 22 and is now pending in the House of Representatives Agriculture, Water and Lands committee.
By Josh Burton
Mar 4, 2016
A community garden where refugees such as Bhutanese-American Punya Koirala grow the vegetables of their homelands may soon be able to sell produce to grade schools and universities under a recently introduced bill.
Koirala and his parents have been growing spinach and other produce in the Cross-Connection Community Garden, which is part of the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program. Not too long ago, this refugee who once farmed within sight of Mount Everest thought his vegetarian family would have to live without fresh produce in their Arizona home.
March 12, 2016 Comments Off on Arizona Senate Bill would exempt refugees and others with community gardens from strict health rules
It turns out that women are the fastest-growing class of new hunters in British Columbia and have been for a decade, driven by a renewed interest in back-to-the-land self-sufficiency.
By Randy Shore
Mar 5, 2016
“People in the city are really engaged with hunting for food and building the skills they need,” said hunting instructor Dylan Eyers of Eat Wild (eatwild.ca). “I run 10 CORE (see graphic) classes a year and they always sell out.”
In order to become a successful hunter, certain financial, physical and psychological barriers must be overcome. Gutting and disarticulating a large mammal in the field takes skill and emotional balance. Hauling a carcass out of the bush takes physical strength. And you’ll need a truck to get it home.
March 6, 2016 Comments Off on It’s time to go back to the land/backyard and grow/hunt/fish-for your own food