New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Book

Pee Wee Meets the Pollinators

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The 6th book about Pee Wee the red wiggler worm

By Larraine Roulston
Castle Compost
2017

In this story, Nancy, Pee Wee and Reddy visit a rooftop garden and learn about the amazing work of pollinators. During their adventure they witness the birth of a monarch butterfly, follow a bee and meet a chorus of crickets. The story features composting, vermicomposting, compost tea and finished compost. It also contains poems, songs as well as additional notes to benefit teachers, parents and children.

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January 22, 2017   No Comments

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat

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Bee introduces us to people who can only eat food of a certain colour; toddlers who will eat nothing but hot dogs; doctors who have found radical new ways to help children eat vegetables

By Bee Wilson
Basic Books
Originally Harper Collins
Reprint edition (November 8, 2016)

We are not born knowing what to eat. We all have to learn it as children sitting expectantly at a table. For our diets to change, we need to relearn the food experiences that first shaped us.
Everyone starts drinking milk. After that it’s all up for grabs.

We are not born knowing what to eat; we each have to figure it out for ourselves. From childhood onwards, we learn how big a portion is and how sweet is too sweet. We learn to love broccoli or not. But how does this happen? What are the origins of taste? And once we acquire our food habits, can we ever change them for the better?

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January 21, 2017   No Comments

Growing Vegetables in Drought, Desert & Dry Times

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The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening without Wasting Water

By Maureen Gilmer
Sasquatch Books
Release date: December 29, 2015

Here is the definitive guide to growing healthy organic vegetables without wasting our precious water resources! This incredibly timely book will give dedicated home gardeners the know-how to grow delicious produce in dry times, focusing on four different low-water conditions in the western United States: voluntary water conservation, drought, and both high and low desert.

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January 16, 2017   No Comments

Book: Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions – Connecting Urban-Rural Spheres in Casablanca

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The example of Casablanca, one of the fastest growing cities in North Africa

Edited by Undine Giseke, Maria Gerster-Bentaya, Frank Helten, Matthias Kraume, Dieter Scherer, Guido Spars, Fouad Amraoui, Abdelaziz Adidi, Said Berdouz, Mohemed Chlaida, Majid Mansour, Mohamed Mdafai
Routledge
2015

This book demonstrates how agriculture can play a determining role in sustainable, climate-optimised urban development. Agriculture within urban growth centres today is more than an economic or social left-over or a niche practice. It is instead a complex system that offers multiple potentials for tomorrow’s megacities. Urban open space and agriculture can be connected to productive urban landscapes – this forms new urban-rural linkages in the urban region and helps shape the city. But in order to do this, agriculture has to be seen as an integral part of the urban fabric and it has to be put on the local agenda.

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January 12, 2017   No Comments

‘Asking For Permission Doesn’t Grow Gardens’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Tunnel houses fully skinned with plastic. Click on image for larger file.

Michael Ableman is a farmer, author, photographer and urban and local food systems advocate.

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016

Excerpt:

Fulfilling endless municipal requirements absorbed staff resources and money, and delayed the real work of planting crops. It was useless to try to explain to city officials the realities of farming, the urgency of spring, that we had staff hired and plants waiting.

In a climate that only provides a seven-month window to crank out long-term crops such as tomatoes and peppers, losing a month or two can be disastrous. That first spring on this new site was vanishing and we desperately needed to plant the now leggy “past due” tomato, pepper, and eggplants that were becoming as stressed as we were, waiting for the wheels of the city bureaucracy to grant us permission to begin.

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January 10, 2017   No Comments

The Children’s Garden – Growing Food in the City

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Forthcoming May 2017

By Carole Lexa Schaefer, Illustrated by Pierr Morgan
Sasquatch Books
Release date: May 2, 2017

Welcome to the Children’s Garden–a beautiful place to connect with nature and the food cycle! Illustrated with colorful paintings, this charming picture book features a diverse group of children connecting to food through hands-on outdoor activity.

Down the road from Woodlawn Avenue, on a street called Sunnyside, there’s a garden patch grown by children who live in the neighborhood. A sign on the garden’s gate says: Children’s Garden, WELCOME! That means: Come in, please. Listen, see, smell, touch–even taste!

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January 9, 2017   No Comments

‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Sole Food’s first spring harvest, cut and come again greens. Click on image for larger file.

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia – one of the worst urban slums in North America

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016

Excerpt:

High-level alignment and support does not always trickle down into complex bureaucratic municipal systems that were established to regulate conventional infrastructure such as the construction of a garage or a school, the remodeling of a kitchen, or the building of bridges and roads.

In fact, from the earliest days on our Astoria farm and especially as we began to expand to other sites, it became clear that our needs were entirely foreign to the existing system, totally different from anything that had ever been done in the city. Building inspectors, for example, did not differentiate between a bricks-and-mortar building designed to house auto parts, and a tunnel house used for extending the growing season, which is merely a sheet of 6-mil plastic stretched over a steel frame. And this was just the start. We soon discovered that there simply were no municipal codes that addressed greenhouses, or composting, or multi-acre parking lots full of food.

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January 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

Growing, Older – A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables

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Lacking a partner’s assistance, Gussow continued the hard labor of growing her own year-round diet. She dealt single-handedly with a rising tidal river that regularly drowned her garden, with muskrat interlopers, broken appliances, and bodily decay.

By Joan Dye Gussow
Chelsea Green Publishers
2010

Michael Pollan calls her one of his food heroes. Barbara Kingsolver credits her with shaping the history and politics of food in the United States. And countless others who have vied for a food revolution, pushed organics, and reawakened Americans to growing their own food and eating locally consider her both teacher and muse.Joan Gussow has influenced thousands through her books, This Organic Life and The Feeding Web, her lectures, and the simple fact that she lives what she preaches. Now in her eighties, she stops once more to pass along some wisdom-surprising, inspiring, and controversial-via the pen.

Gussow’s memoir Growing, Older begins when she loses her husband of 40 years to cancer and, two weeks later, finds herself skipping down the street-much to her alarm. Why wasn’t she grieving in all the normal ways? With humor and wit, she explains how she stopped worrying about why she was smiling and went on worrying, instead, and as she always has, about the possibility that the world around her was headed off a cliff. But hers is not a tale, or message, of gloom. Rather it is an affirmation of a life’s work-and work in general.

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December 23, 2016   Comments Off on Growing, Older – A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables

Cities of Farmers

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Urban Agricultural Practices and Processes

Editor(s): Julie C. Dawson, Alfonso Morales
University of Iowa Press U
2016
326 pages, 18 figures, 13 table

Excerpt from publisher’s site:

This is a rare find! An academic book that is highly readable, relevant, well researched, and, as the topic requires, down to earth. Especially helpful to city planners, health promoters, community leaders, and all who love what a garden does for a day outdoors, a yard or parkette, a great meal, and quality time with others.”—Wayne Roberts, author, The No Nonsense Guide to World Food and Food for City Building

“In Cities of Farmers, Dawson and Morales perform the Herculean task of examining the historical, regulatory, production, and distributional aspects of urban agricultural systems while simultaneously exploring the significant benefits and challenges of urban agriculture. With a healthy mix of new and more established voices, the chapters will interest a range of audiences, providing clear concepts, lessons, and examples that render key messages actionable.”—Julian Agyeman, Tufts University

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December 15, 2016   Comments Off on Cities of Farmers

Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City

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Drawing on both his academic research and teaching, and 15 years’ experience as a practicing urban farmer

By Robert Biel
UCL Press
December 2016

Faced with a global threat to food security, it is perfectly possible that society will respond, not by a dystopian disintegration, but rather by reasserting co-operative traditions. This book, by a leading expert in urban agriculture, offers a genuine solution to today’s global food crisis. By contributing more to feeding themselves, cities can allow breathing space for the rural sector to convert to more organic sustainable approaches.

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December 14, 2016   Comments Off on Sustainable Food Systems: The Role of the City

The Ultimate Guide to Urban Farming

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ufsr

Just released – Sustainable Living in Your Home, Community, and Business

By Nicole Faires
Skyhorse Publishing
Published 15 November 2016

How to maximize your food production in an urban environment.

The idea of bringing agriculture into the city has been promoted by many on both sides of the political fence: proponents of sustainability and prevention of climate change as well as those who worry about government and social instability. To address the urgent need for a shift in the way our food is produced, The Ultimate Guide to Urban Farming offers a practical education in everything there is to know about city agriculture: how to grow a lot of food in any kind of urban living situation, from apartment to full-scale commercial venture.

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December 7, 2016   Comments Off on The Ultimate Guide to Urban Farming

Mycorrhizal Planet

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chmyForthcoming February, 2017.

How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

By Michael Phillips
Chelsea Green Publishing
Feb. 2017

Mycorrhizal fungi have been waiting a long time for people to recognize just how important they are to the making of dynamic soils. These microscopic organisms partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia, if it could be stretched it out in a straight line. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. The boost to green immune function in plants and community-wide networking turns out to be the true basis of ecosystem resiliency. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat.

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November 28, 2016   Comments Off on Mycorrhizal Planet

1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

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britzediblecity623 Click on image for larger file.

City Farmer Hosts Author For Lecture Series

By Elizabeth Godley
Vancouver Sun
Feb 22, 1982

Dream of ‘city farming’ explained

Richard Britz knows a lot of people think his theories are naive.

But the architect cum systems designer cum landscape philosopher from Eugene, Ore., doesn’t mind.

Britz is author of a resource manual for urban agriculturalists called The Edible City. He was in Vancouver Saturday to speak at the first of 18 weekly lectures sponsored by City Farmer.

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November 14, 2016   Comments Off on 1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

Journal: Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems

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urbjorn

Volume 1 Issue 1, July 2016

Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems, formerly published by Baltzer Science Publishers, recently joined the ACSESS portfolio of agricultural and environmental journals.
The Journal is supported by RUAF.

Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed and open access journal focusing on urban and peri-urban agriculture and systems of urban and regional food provisioning in developing, transition, and advanced economies.

The journal intends to be a platform for cutting edge research on urban and peri-urban agricultural production for food and non-food (e.g. flowers, medicine, cosmetics) uses and for social, environmental and health services (e.g. tourism, water storage, care, education, waste recycling, urban greening). It aims to explore, analyse and critically reflect upon urban and regional food production, processing, transport, trade, marketing and consumption and the social, economic, environmental, health and spatial contexts, relations and impacts of these food provisioning activities.

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October 30, 2016   Comments Off on Journal: Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems

Farming on the Fringe

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fring

Peri-Urban Agriculture, Cultural Diversity and Sustainability in Sydney

Dr Sarah James
Visiting Fellow
School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)
College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University
Springer Publication 2016

This volume offers a new perspective to debates on local food and urban sustainability presenting the long silenced voices of the small-scale farmers from the productive green fringe of Sydney’s sprawling urban jungle. Providing fresh food for the city and local employment, these culturally and linguistically diverse farmers contribute not only to Sydney’s globalizing demographic and cultural fabric, but also play a critical role in the city’s environmental sustainability.

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October 24, 2016   Comments Off on Farming on the Fringe