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Category — Australia

Otago, New Zealand community garden harvest feeds families

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otegBrian Seymour manages the 1.2 hectare garden which is run by the Salvation Army on behalf of Combined Churches.

600 families benefited from food grown at the garden

By Jo Mckenzie-Mclean
Southland’s Times
Last updated 14:39, January 20 2016

Excerpt:

Seymour said fresh vegetables were boxed with a selection of at least 10 vegetables and distributed to families who had been given a coupon from doctors, Work and Income, churches, and mental health and budget advisory services.

“That grows. I think last year we ended up with 20 different varieties. There are spuds, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, zucchini, carrots, onions, shallots, tomatoes…”

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January 24, 2016   No Comments

Community gardens in Canberra, Australia are the quiet achievers

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Ken and Chris Perrin run a community garden at Ainslie Church of Christ. Photo: Jamila Toderas

At the time there were 17 community gardens and at least 77 food-producing school gardening sites in the ACT.

By Ross Peake
The Canberra Times
Jan 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Pastor Ken Perrin says his family history is in the vegetable gardening business in Melbourne. “My uncle was a market gardener in the Dandenongs.”

A couple of years after he and his wife, Chris, were posted to the church, they decided to make better use of the sad-looking tennis courts.

“Because it’s an ageing congregation, the two tennis courts weren’t being used and they needed a lot of work done,” Chris Perrin says.

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January 19, 2016   Comments Off on Community gardens in Canberra, Australia are the quiet achievers

Hobart City Farm in Tasmania produces bumper garlic crop in small space

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“There’s a lot of community gardens in Australia, but we’re set up as a market garden, so we’re selling produce, renting the land – we’re business owners really.”

By Amy Bradney-George
www.freshplaza.com
1/14/2016

Excerpt:

Ms Stewart says only a quarter of their small site is dedicated to garlic, with the growing area just 15 by 20 metres. A significant amount of the crop has already been sold to local businesses, with more set to be available to consumers through the farm’s online store.

“We’ve just sold somewhere in the realm of 200kg to the Tasmanian Black Garlic Company,” she says.

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January 17, 2016   Comments Off on Hobart City Farm in Tasmania produces bumper garlic crop in small space

A rural training programme in Dunedin, New Zealand, aims at helping city youngsters get jobs on farms

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Harvesting radishes from a Taieri market garden for their graduation dinner last week are (from left) Farmhand programme manager Annika Korsten, Travis Cardno, University of Otago ecologist Jay Iwasaki and Micheal Hooper.

A farm training course for young urban people from Dunedin city has produced another five graduates who are now keenly pursuing careers in farming and horticulture.

By Rob Tipa
NZ Farmer
Dec 14, 2015

Excerpt:

“The course is evolving all the time with a variety of experiences for students,” Korsten said. “We’ve only been here for four months now. We want to use it as an outdoor classroom and a controlled environment which is an ideal space for hands-on learning.”

When they first started, the soil was puggy so students built raised beds and wood-chipped pathways then planted out green manure crops of mustard, oats and lupins to add organic matter to the soil.

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December 21, 2015   Comments Off on A rural training programme in Dunedin, New Zealand, aims at helping city youngsters get jobs on farms

Geoff Wilson’s ‘CitiesAlive’ – First Issue

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Murray Hallum’s simple aquaponics units using fibreglass tanks made at Maclay North, south of Brisbane, Queensland. Murray has been a remarkable pioneer of home-based and small commercial units that are well-meeting a need for sub-tropical equipment.

A regular online newsletter devoted to best urban food production using developing technologies.

By Geoff Wilson
Contact: wilson.geoff@optusnet.com.au
Vol. 1 No. 1.
November, 2015.
As an agribusiness journalist and communicator for the last 58 career years it has been my observation that sound, urban-based growing of food and greenery has big advantages for humans. G. Wilson
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Innovative urban algae farming for food – only some eight major species of an estimated world total of 73,000 algal species are currently harvested commercially for human foods. Yet the growing of algae foods and feeds on clean agribusiness wastes and clean carbon dioxide wastes is relatively easy technology that has enormous implications for existing agribusiness companies operating in urban locations. Two important products are algal omega-3 oils and and high quality algal proteins.

Further advancement of urban hydroponics and urban aquaponics – the former being now well advanced in rural areas, but easily adaptable for urban sites close to fresh food markets, while the latter is currently transforming from mostly a scientific hobby into a commercial reality for urban and peri-urban sites.

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November 8, 2015   Comments Off on Geoff Wilson’s ‘CitiesAlive’ – First Issue

Future farming: hi-tech project growing hydroponic herbs and fish unveiled near Sydney

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Green Camel uses computer controlled planting and one staff to lay young herb seedlings on conveyer belts,
read More (Sarina Locke)

“We use all that water to grow the fish, then every single drop used to grow the fish is used to grow the crops.”

By Sarina Locke
ABC Rural
Nov 1, 2015

Excerpt:

Levi Nuppnen said the greenhouse on the south-west fringe of Sydney could produce 15,000 kilograms of barramundi and 130,000 kilograms of leafy greens a year on just 5,000 square metres of land.

“Every drop of water is accountable, every single joule of sunlight as well,” he said.

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November 7, 2015   Comments Off on Future farming: hi-tech project growing hydroponic herbs and fish unveiled near Sydney

Australia: Canberra City Farm establishes new community garden at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands

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Linda Ayliffe, joint team leader of the propagation and gardening group for City Farm, was happy to see the signing of a licence for a new community garden. Photo: Jay Cronan.

“This centre will deliver a range of educational programs for aspiring urban gardeners and community members to learn how to produce their own food in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way.”

By Keira Jenkins
Canberra Times
Oct 22, 2015

Excerpt:

The 10-year agreement gives the community group, and their partners in the Urban Agriculture Australia Initiative, access to 19 hectares of land next to the wetlands to develop an environmental education centre.

Canberra City Farm president Jodie Pipkorn said the new licence opened up a wide range of possibilities and has given the group certainty for the next decade.

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October 30, 2015   Comments Off on Australia: Canberra City Farm establishes new community garden at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Scientists wade through waist deep crocodile waters all in the name of wild rice

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eaderRobert Henry (left), leader of the expedition, on day six. Photo by Lisa M. Hamilton.

Known for its prolific crocodiles, bird-eating spiders, and taipan snakes, Cape York, Australia is also home to Oryza sativa, the wild relative to the plant we know as rice.

Story and photographs by Lisa M. Hamilton
The California Sunday Magazine
Sept 2015

Excerpt from Press Release
By Kat Garen
Dadascope Communications

Scientists, agronomists and entrepreneurs are scouring the world to discover the secret to feeding a planet of 9 billion. The solution might lie in a little known corner of Australia—Cape York—a remote peninsula 100 miles from Papua New Guinea that’s part of the world’s greatest concentration of free-flowing rivers and extensive savanna. Known for its prolific crocodiles, bird-eating spiders, and taipan snakes, Cape York is also home to Oryza sativa, the wild relative to the plant we know as rice.

James Beard award-winning writer Lisa Hamilton traveled to this faraway corner of the world with Australian geneticist Robert Henry to uncover the secrets of rice’s wild relative, which could hold the key to feeding the world’s population:

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September 3, 2015   Comments Off on Scientists wade through waist deep crocodile waters all in the name of wild rice

Melbourne, Australia residents defend ‘urban agriculture officer’ position

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A laneway garden in North Carlton, cultivated by local residents for a decade, was ripped out in March by Yarra Council after complaints. Photo: Paul Jeffers

The urban agriculture officer role is about “sustainability, and it’s about cooling our city with vegetation”

By Clay Lucas
The Victoria Age
May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

It is the kind of first-world problem that could only be so hotly debated within one of Melbourne’s richest, left-leaning councils: whether to continue funding a $100,000-a-year “urban agriculture officer”, to help gardens on public land flourish.

While Yarra Council considers whether it will fund an adventure playground in Fitzroy used by some of the city’s neediest children, a more heated debate is raging within over whether to cut a position encouraging guerilla gardens.

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May 26, 2015   Comments Off on Melbourne, Australia residents defend ‘urban agriculture officer’ position

Council gardener at centre of ‘urban agriculture’ debate in Melbourne, Australia’s inner north

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Jane Miller says the City of Yarra needs to be more supportive of residents trying to establish laneway gardens and other “urban agriculture” spaces. (ABC Local: Clare Rawlinson)

Residents and local councillors are divided over an “urban agriculture” plan for Melbourne’s laneways and footpaths, including the position of a part-time gardener.

By Clare Rawlinson
774 ABC Melbourne
May 13, 2015

Excerpt:

The gardener is employed by the City of Yarra as part of council’s $100,000 urban agriculture strategy – a plan to rejuvenate disused public spaces for community gardens.

Since the strategy’s inception four years ago, councillors have persistently tried to axe it and debate is flaring again ahead of the council’s annual budget being set next week.

The draft budget has cut funding for the “urban agriculture facilitator” – a gardener who helps residents navigate council bylaws when trying to establish their own patches of urban agriculture.

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May 21, 2015   Comments Off on Council gardener at centre of ‘urban agriculture’ debate in Melbourne, Australia’s inner north

Sydney Mayor building a $1.65 million ‘city farm’ for inner-west hipsters — complete with stingless bees and a ‘bee hotel’

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Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore wants to bring farming to the inner city. Picture: John Appleyard.

“The benefits reach well beyond the commercial value of the food itself to educational, cultural and social values for participants and the broader community.”

By Miles Godfrey
The Daily Telegraph
May 12, 2015

Excerpt:

The farm, which should have a 100-tree fruit orchard, 1000 square metres of land for crops, chicken hutches, outdoor kitchens, farmers’ markets and animal husbandry classes, is expected to be running by July 2016 and could mirror a similar “urban farm” in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park.

The Sydney project has been on the cards since 2009 and will produce an estimated 4.5 tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year, host composting demonstrations and cooking classes.

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May 11, 2015   Comments Off on Sydney Mayor building a $1.65 million ‘city farm’ for inner-west hipsters — complete with stingless bees and a ‘bee hotel’

Australia: Rooftops offer a viable and sustainable space for growing edible produce

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Dr Sara Wilkinson tends a tomato crop on a rooftop above Broadway at UTS. Photo: Peter Morris.

She is developing a template for a rooftop farming licence agreement that will set out the terms, roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in rooftop food production.

By Robin Powell
Sydney Morning Herald
February 17, 2015

Excerpt:

The UTS study compared three types of gardens on the roof of three campus buildings. Vegetables and herbs were grown in a raised bed, a vertical garden and a wicking bed. (A wicking bed waters plants from below through a capillary action that draws water from a reservoir in the base of the container. The soil is separated from the water by a layer of geotextile fabric, and the plant roots take up moisture as needed. The reservoir means that watering – the most labour-intensive aspect of container-gardening – is reduced from every second day to about once a week.)

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February 19, 2015   Comments Off on Australia: Rooftops offer a viable and sustainable space for growing edible produce

Exploring The Potential For Urban Food Production On Sydney’s Rooftops.

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A little explored environmental gain in Sydney is the retrofit of roofs for urban food production.

By Associate Professor Sara J Wilkinson & Lindsay Page
Faculty of Design Architecture and Built Environment, UTS, Australia

Abstract:

There are environmental, economic and social benefits of retrofitting rooftops on city buildings for food production. Environmental benefits include lower carbon food miles, potential reductions in building related operational carbon emissions, reductions in the urban heat island, increases in bio-diversity and reductions in storm-water run-off. Economically, the benefits are reduced roof maintenance costs, lower running costs and direct access to fresh food. Thirdly the social or community gains are the creation of spaces where people can engage in growing food. Psychological and therapeutic gains accrue when people engage with natural environments. However there are barriers which include perceptions of greater risk of building leaks, high costs of installation and maintenance, and access and security issues.

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February 19, 2015   Comments Off on Exploring The Potential For Urban Food Production On Sydney’s Rooftops.

Hobbiton Movie Set – Hobbit Green Roofs in New Zealand

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A total of 37 smials, or Hobbit holes, nestled within the bucolic countryside

By GreenRoofs.com
Dec 29, 2014

The vivid descriptions of the peaceful, merry, and diminutive Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have been brought to life through the magic of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson. Situated within the picturesque 1,250 acre Alexander sheep farm on New Zealand’s North Island, the 12-acre Hobbiton™ Movie Set represents Tolkien’s vision of the idyllic Middle-earth village of the Shire.

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January 2, 2015   Comments Off on Hobbiton Movie Set – Hobbit Green Roofs in New Zealand

Australia: Urban fringe agriculture under threat

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Ben And Mark Honey Are Facing Urban Encroachment Near Their Dairy Farm In Kiama, Nsw (Sarina Locke)

Agricultural land on the fringes of our major cities is some of the most productive in the country, but urban encroachment is putting it at risk

Producer Cathy Pryor
ABC.AU
Nov 26, 2014

Excerpt:

Wayne Shields’ farm has been in his family since the 1970s, when his father first bought the fertile patch of land on the Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne’s east. In those days, the Peninsula was a quiet rural retreat from city life, frequented by holiday makers making a pilgrimage to the coast.

Forty years later, 30 per cent of the Mornington Peninsula is classified as urban and the boundary of metropolitan Melbourne is only 500 metres from the Shields farm.

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November 27, 2014   Comments Off on Australia: Urban fringe agriculture under threat