Category — Articles
Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”
For the special issue of the MDPI journal Sustainability
Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
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.
February 23, 2017 Comments Off on Call for papers: “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”
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
January 27, 2017
(Must read. Mike)
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.
January 29, 2017 Comments Off on By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland
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
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.
January 17, 2017 Comments Off on A Slower Pace for TV’s Graham Kerr, ‘Galloping Gourmet’ now 82
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
Jan 5, 2017
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.
January 5, 2017 Comments Off on California farmers fear foreign workers will be deported
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
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.”
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
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
Oct 27, 2016
(Savage Minds is a group blog that has been writing about sociocultural anthropology since 2005.)
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.
November 5, 2016 Comments Off on Evangelizing in the Garden: Conservative Christian efforts to Convert Non-Believers via Urban Agriculture in US Cities
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 Comments Off on Economics Is Scarce Resources Allocation – What Resource Constraint Does Urban Farming Solve?
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