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Special Issue: ‘Food growing in the city’ – Landscape and Urban Planning

Click image to see larger file. Demonstration garden, Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. Visitors studying gardening notices. Photo shows Bryant Park with New York Public Library; two boys, one on roller skates, and a man reading the notices. Garden is a project by the National War Garden Commission, 1918. Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer.

Taken together, the papers suggest that urban agriculture models need to be recognised more widely within mainstream urban planning and the urban development process.

Landscape and Urban Planning
Volume 170, February 2018, Pages 1-5
(Must see. Mike)

Food growing in the city: Exploring the productive urban landscape as a new paradigm for inclusive approaches to the design and planning of future urban open spaces

By Richard Coles, Sandra Costa

Abstract:

This special issue considers food growing in the city. It presents a series of papers which explore the interface between urban growing initiatives and the planned city, and identifies the development of the movement in different world regions and situations. It explores the characteristics of different food growing and urban gardening scenarios regarding the inherent properties of the urban agriculture/food growing complex as an urban movement, its drivers and the niche that it occupies within the city.

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December 8, 2017   No Comments

Interview with Henk Renting, longtime leader of urban agriculture movement

Henk Renting.

“Urban ag is part of building the three pillars and partnerships of a new food system, the private sector, the government, and civil society sectors.”

By Wayne Roberts
Medium
Nov 24, 2017

Excerpt:

There are many agendas that can be linked to urban agriculture.

One is a human agenda. I used to tend my own big gardens in my undergraduate days, and when I was in the Basque country. I think it’s about a lot more than a practical and low-cost way to get food to eat.

Growing food is the most basic, primordial way humans connect to nature. We work with soil, seeds and plants in co-production with Nature. Food is not just any old product. It becomes part of our body, so we become one, as in you are what you eat, in a very ontological sense. That’s why food and gardening are so often linked to spirituality, and seen as so essential to the meaning of life.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

Growing Urban Agriculture

Onions and greens on the Siyakhana Urban Farm in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Esther Ngumbi)

To feed the world’s growing population, we must do more to promote the success of urban farms through better tracking, financial incentives, land use, and support systems.

By Esther Ngumbi
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Oct. 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Increasing financial incentives could encourage urban farming to grow. Some public schools, hospitals, and other public institutions like universities receive tax breaks for obtaining a certain percentage of their food from urban farms. Such arrangements can create guaranteed markets for produce from urban farms. Some states and municipalities have programs to help such institutions redesign their procurement policies to increase the percentage of locally grown produce. Food retailers could also get tax incentives from the government for carrying products from urban farms. In addition, urban farms could receive tax breaks for donating excess produce to food banks and pantries. Most importantly, government could provide tax incentives to urban farms that work with food pantries and food banks in an effort to ensure that people receiving public assistance can buy fresh food from urban farms using food stamps.

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Growing Urban Agriculture

Voice of America: Urban Farms Gain Support

Robert Laing of Farm.One.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research based in Washington D.C. wants more urban farms. It said the benefits are almost unlimited.

By Bruce Alpert
Voice of America
October 15, 2017

Excerpt:

In the New City neighborhood of Tribeca, Robert Laing has opened up a privately-run indoor farm called Farm.One. He grows many kinds of herbs. His customers include well-known restaurants in New York City.

The restaurants can pick up fresh herbs hours before they are needed for that night’s dinner because his “farm” can be reached by bicycle from much of the city. Laing’s website tells customers that they can buy fresh herbs, even in a snowstorm.

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October 22, 2017   Comments Off on Voice of America: Urban Farms Gain Support

Marc Gasol, The Great Memphis Grizzlies Center, Grows His Own Fruits And Veggies

From Illustration by Kofong Hsia. WSJ

“The process of growing my own food. It helps mind and body. This is my delicious little heaven.” Marc Gasol.

By Corbin Smith
Sports Vice
Jun 27 2017

Excerpt:

As you can see, here, Marc is gardening in that finest but most thoroughly neglected of excellent gardening clothes: The basketball short and the athletic sandal. The cultural norms of the garden would have most people wearing a pastel cargo, a croc. Marc approaches the soil like an outsider, here. Basketball shorts, nice and breezy, a pair of athletics sandals, and a handsome tank top, allow the Spaniard to really suck the whole of the sunshine into his arms, surprisingly well toned for the offseason.

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October 21, 2017   Comments Off on Marc Gasol, The Great Memphis Grizzlies Center, Grows His Own Fruits And Veggies

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

Deadline Dec 15, 2017

The MDPI journal Sustainability is now calling 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.

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September 12, 2017   Comments Off on Call for papers: Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies

Una crónica de la agricultura urbana

Desde la gallina hasta la cocina: la ruta más corta.

Por Mark Cramer
Suburbano
13 Julio, 2017

Excerpt:

Para que llegue a nuestra cocina, un huevo tiene que hacer varios viajes. Desde la granja, viaja por camión al mercado de mayoristas. De allí, otro camión lo lleva al supermercado. Y, en las culturas dominadas por el automóvil, el huevo hace un tercer viaje motorizado, del supermercado hasta la cocina familiar.

Hay tres intermediarios: los transportistas, los mayoristas y los detallistas que venden a los consumidores. Algunas veces el huevo no descansa entre las escalas y llega al supermercado en dos días o menos, pero es más probable que llegue en 72 horas o más. Frecuentemente tarda hasta un mes antes de que llegue a nuestra cocina.

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July 30, 2017   Comments Off on Una crónica de la agricultura urbana

Gardening As One Way to Fight Trump-Era Hopelessness

Frida Berrigan speaks at an antiwar seminar in Sweden in 2011. (Credit: YouTube)

One family’s effort to grow their way out of despair.

By Frida Berrigan
Alternet/TomDispatch
July 11, 2017

Excerpt:

I work part-time for a small nonprofit that builds and manages community gardens. It employs (and hopefully empowers) young people to do the physical labor and community improvement work of growing food in and for our urban center. As we were organizing a new community garden in a poor and isolated part of our small city recently, a woman told me that she was excited about growing her own food because “you never know when they are going to stop shipping food in here.”

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July 15, 2017   Comments Off on Gardening As One Way to Fight Trump-Era Hopelessness

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

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

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

“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”


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

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


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

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