New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Articles

Six ‘urban agriculture’ terms explained

4kidsFrom left, Marissa Jacobsen, Brenna Leyden, Ryland Aksamit, and Hailey Brundage repair a drip hose before planting tomatoes in a raised bed at the Mickle Middle School community garden in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by Kristin Streff.

Foodscaping, CSA, Co-op, Farmer’s Market, Soil Contamination, Food Desert

By Ellen Meyers
Christian Science Monitor
July 6, 2014


Foodscaping is a gardening practice that makes people’s home landscapes edible. For example, homeowners may incorporate more edible plants into their entire yards instead of relegating them to small garden plots. Many businesses are also taking up foodscaping, making fruits, vegetables, and herbs as part of their curb appeal.

The practice itself has turned into a business. One company, Nashville Foodscapes, designs, implements, and maintains foodscapes for its customers, according to the business’s website. For one customer’s yard, Nashville Foodscapes put in a fruit tree, a herb spiral, edible dogwood, and other edible plants.

[

July 16, 2014   No Comments

A new vision for urban farming

wargard1919 War Gardens medallion.

A model where agriculture is reintegrated into urban and suburban areas — and locally produced food is sold and consumed locally.

By Jason Reed and Robert Puro
Daily News
July 7, 2014
Jason Reed, a movie producer formerly with Disney, and Robert Puro are co-founders of, a Los Angeles-based social venture dedicated to promoting innovation and investment in sustainable and urban agriculture.


One key to improving the urban farm system is aggregation. It’s easier, and certainly more cost-effective because of its scale, to collect on a daily basis hundreds of boxes of lettuce, truckloads of tomatoes, etc., sort them and then designate their ultimate destination — which is usually another, smaller sorting operation within a city. In the large-scale commercial farming operation, it’s one crop with one fleet of semi trucks from one aggregated source. The aggregation system for urban farming is obviously different — which means it’s riskier for the entrepreneur who wants to create that network.

[

July 15, 2014   No Comments

The New Yorker Magazine: Gentrification And The Urban Garden

A rendering of City Slicker Farms’ plans for a farm and park in West Oakland. Image courtesy City Slicker Farms.

If young home buyers like chickens and goats and kale, real-estate agents like them even more.

By Lauren Markham
The New Yorker
May 21, 2014
(Must read. Mike)


The “blighted” lots suitable for urban agriculture are often found in lower-income neighborhoods like NOBE, as well as in post-industrial neighborhoods like West Oakland and West Berkeley. These also happen to be neighborhoods that developers see as ripe for construction. For decades, the overgrown grass across the street from Jeff DeMartini’s commercial property in West Berkeley (formerly his grandfather’s cabinet factory) had been giving him trouble: weeds encroaching on the sidewalk, phallic graffiti, dead trees that occasionally came crashing down. Last year, a community-agriculture organization called Urban Adamah acquired the space, and announced plans to install a small farm—chickens, goats, and all. At first, DeMartini worried that the animals might degrade the site even further. “I thought, Will it smell?” But, within a matter of weeks, interest in his property spiked, and prospective renters came calling.

[

May 22, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture: Food Equity and Food Ecology

Bradner Gardens Park and Community Garden. Photo by Ken Kailing. Click on image for larger file.

“I don’t think there is anything easy about finding the right urban agro-ecology, but I do know it needs to happen.”

Ken Kailing,
Good Food World
May 2nd, 2014


Urban agriculture, whether grown in community gardens or in large commercial warehouses, is here to stay – and increasing. And along with it, new accommodations need to take place between neighbours.

[

May 22, 2014   Comments Off

National Geographic: Urban Farming Yields Fresh Foods, Land Reuse


In backyards and on once-barren city lots, local growers produce crops and livestock.

By Martha M. Hamilton
for National Geographic
May 18, 2014


A new wave of urban agriculture is flourishing because it benefits consumers concerned about sustainably grown food as well as cities with land to spare. It started in 2008, fueled both by economic stress and concerns about nutrition, childhood obesity, and diabetes highlighted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

[

May 19, 2014   Comments Off

German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama in White House Food Garden


May 2 at the White House

Photo by Guido Bergmann
May 2, 2014

A German government handout shows a White House staff member (C) explaining the herbs and vegetable garden to US President Barack Obama (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) at the White House in Washington D.C., USA, 02 May 2014.

German Chancellor Merkel arrived in Washington for a much-anticipated visit with Obama during which they discussed the current crisis in the Ukraine and the spy affair that rankled German-US relations.

May 15, 2014   Comments Off

Does Urban Agriculture Contribute to Household Food Security in Southern African Cities?

Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF). Photo by Julian Raxworthy.

Growing Out of Poverty

By Bruce Frayne, Cameron McCordic, Helena Shilomboleni
Urban Forum (Issue on Africa’s Urban Food Deserts)
June 2014, Volume 25, Issue 2,
pp 177-189

The literature on urban agriculture (UA) as a food security and poverty alleviation strategy is bifurcating into two distinct positions. The first is that UA is a viable and effective pro-poor development strategy, and the second is that UA has demonstrated limited positive outcomes on either food security or poverty. These two positions are tested against data generated by the African Urban Food Security Network’s (AFSUN) baseline food security survey undertaken in 11 Southern African cities.

[

May 9, 2014   Comments Off

Wedding ring ‘found on carrot’ after 16 years


A Swedish woman has discovered her wedding ring on a carrot growing in her garden, 16 years after she lost it.

Dec 31, 2011


Lena Paahlsson had long ago lost hope of finding the ring, which she designed herself, reports Dagens Nyheter.

The white-gold band, set with seven small diamonds, went missing in her kitchen in 1995, she told the paper.

Although the ring no longer fits, she hopes to have it enlarged so she can wear it again.

[

May 7, 2014   Comments Off

Modern Farmer magazine just beat GQ, New York, Vanity Fair for a National Magazine Award


Magazine’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief’s name is Ann Marie ‘Gardner’

By Seth Fiegerman
May 2, 2014


“I worked on it for about a year and my good friends thought, ‘What are you talking about? A farming magazine? Are you having a midlife crisis?’” she recalls. “People were worried.”

It wasn’t actually supposed to be a magazine. While reporting for The New York Times and Monocle, a publication she helped found, she noticed more and more people who were eager to learn about where their food comes from, how to grow things of their own and generally become more self-sufficient. She thought it might make for a good article, but the more she thought about it, the bigger the project became.

[

May 3, 2014   Comments Off

The Downside to Farming Downtown


Duck! I am literally ducking from the non-organic food scraps that might get thrown at me by the people about to read this week’s column.

By Mijune Pak
April 9, 2014


Reserving ‘unwanted land’ (hard to think any even exists in Vancouver) for growing produce isn’t a bad thing, but maximizing valuable space needs to be considered.

Vertical farming or rooftop farming are two suggested urban-farming methods, but the upkeep cost of a vertical farm is outstanding — think of implementing a hydroponic system to start.

As for a rooftop garden, it also requires a pricey drainage system and it’s small scale, but so are the standard community gardens now.

[

April 20, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit urban farming project uncovers grisly past

Michael Score, president of Hantz Farms, stands on the site of a planned farm in inner-city Detroit with a burned and abandoned house in front of him and a garage behind him that was just discovered last week while clearing out wild brush. Photo by Alex Panetta.

Build a farm near crackhouses, and all bets are off about what stories the soil might tell.

By Alexander Panetta
Mar 23, 2013
The Canadian Press


DETROIT – Stunning things are being discovered in an effort to clear land for a new farm in inner-city Detroit.

Last week, workers found a building. The crumbling brick-sided structure was either a garage or a shed, and had been hidden by the wild brush that has sprouted in the east end of the economically suffering city.

Ask about the building, and they point to a dog. There it is, dead, with a bullet hole through its ribs. It appears to be a brown mastiff, sprawled out on the grass where it was found last Friday. It looks neatly groomed and is still wearing a collar.

[

March 29, 2014   Comments Off

27-acre Urban Farm Planned For Shuttered Detroit School

Kettering’s campus is outlined in orange.

Officials padlocked 35 schools about seven years ago, followed by 29 more in 2009. Of 172 schools that were open in 2010, about 100 remain open.

By Corey Williams
Associated Press
March 12, 2014


DETROIT (AP) – A nearly 27-acre urban farm that will provide produce for Detroit public school students’ meals is planned at a former high school as part of the district’s efforts to reuse empty buildings instead of tearing them down.

The Kettering Urban Agricultural Campus will include hoop houses for an extended growing season, land redevelopment for planting and a food processing facility, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Mrozowski told The Associated Press Wednesday ahead of an official announcement.

[

March 13, 2014   Comments Off

Gardening’s still the most radical political behavior anyone can do

A woman looking at the Victory Garden Harvest sitting on the lawn, waiting to be stored away for the winter. Photo, Oct 1943, Walter Sanders.

Democracy needs gardeners! My liberating DIY revolution

By Megan Mayhew Bergman
Mar 2, 2014
Megan Mayhew Bergman is the author of the story collection “Birds of a Lesser Paradise”


When my husband and I first moved to our house in downtown Raleigh, N.C., nine years ago, we were fascinated by the empty lot between our 1890s Victorian and the neighbor’s bungalow. “That’s where the victory garden used to be,” my neighbors said, pointing to a slightly shaded quarter of an acre. This garden existed, of course, before the Krispy Kreme was built and the drunks used to sip 40s and eat glazed doughnuts behind our fence.

[

March 8, 2014   Comments Off

Beantown Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Boston

Photo from City Spouts by Susan Young.

From rooftops to abandoned lots, from school yards to greenhouses, gardens and farms are popping up all over Boston as urban agriculture and the local food movement continues to grow.

By Bonnie Averbuch
Food Tank
Feb 15, 2014


4. CitySprouts provides a school gardening program that is integrated into the Boston Public School’s curriculum. CitySprouts is currently operating in 12 public schools in Cambridge, MA. The organization also provides support and resources to public schools across Boston. These services are available through three different programs: Classroom to Garden, which supports teachers as they extend their lessons into the school gardens; Food Education through food-producing school gardens; and CitySprouts Summer Intern Program, which helps youth build connections with their local food system and the urban natural environment.

[

February 23, 2014   Comments Off

Singapore’s Edible Gardens


The Edible Gardens team launches their pop-up store Nong – which will eventually pave the way for one of the largest urban farms in Asia

By Natasha Hong
Time Out Singapore
Jan 27, 2014


Since 2012, the duo of Singaporean Bjorn Low and UK-born Rob Pearce (and their team of volunteers) have worked with local restaurants – including Artichoke, Morsels and The Cajun Kings – to help set up sustainable veggie plots amid forgotten rooftops and concrete dead spaces, as well as spread the word for city-grown greens.

[

February 4, 2014   Comments Off