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Category — Book

The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America

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How the apple first came across the Atlantic Ocean with a relatively unknown Quaker woman long before the more famed “Johnny Appleseed”

By Helen Humphreys
The Ghost Orchard
Publisher: HarperCollins
09/05/2017

Reviewer: Dana Hansen
Quill and Quire

Her research and travels reveal that, at one time, so-called Indian orchards (defined in 19th-century dictionaries as orchards of ungrafted apple trees) existed all across the U.S. and in southern Ontario. The apple, she discovers, became an essential food to the Iroquois, the Seneca, the Oneida, the Algonquian, the Cherokee, and many other Indigenous peoples, and they were very successful in growing extensive, thriving orchards. Dreadfully and with dire results, many if not most of these orchards were either destroyed or violently appropriated by white settlers. “It is no accident that many of the white settlements sprang up where there was an Indigenous orchard. But first, of course, the original owners had to be vanquished. The apple thus became, in its infancy in North America, a tool for colonialism.”

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October 18, 2017   No Comments

Boosting bees could sweeten chance of a greener Mexico City

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Beekeeper Alfonso Cestelos Sanz blows smoke on a beehive at the Ectagono community project in Mexico City September 12, 2017. — Thomson Reuters Foundation picture.

Figures from the agriculture ministry (SAGARPA) show the number of hives in Mexico City, as well as honey production, dropped by about 17 percent between 2006 and 2015.

By Sophie Hares
Reuters
Oct 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Urban beekeeping is on the rise in cities such as London and New York where homeowners, companies and restaurants are setting up rooftop hives that each house thousands of bees. But strict rules in densely packed Mexico City about the location of hives restrict them mainly to the city fringes.

As the city continues to expand, reducing green areas, beekeepers have less space to work, said Adriana Pena Veliz, a vet who advises Efecto Colmena (Beehive Effect), which rescues and relocates bee swarms.

“The bees are starting to lose their habitat,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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October 16, 2017   No Comments

Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

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History of Urban Agriculture in Europe, in Spanish. The book is a Free PDF.

By José Luis Fernández Casadevante Kois y Nerea Morán
Libros en Acción
La editorial de Ecologistas en Acción,
Segunda edición, mayo 2016

Excerpt:

La primera parte será una historia de la forma en que se ha concebido la relación campo-ciudad en el urbanismo, aproximándonos a distintos modelos urbanísticos y territoriales que sirvan para contextualizar de forma nítida el marco en el que se integrarán las propuestas y actuaciones de agricultura urbana. Este recorrido nos llevará de los cercamientos de los bienes comunes a los orígenes de la ciu- dad industrial y sus problemas de habitabilidad, pasando por las utopías y teorías urbanas alternativas, como la ciudad jardín, que quisieron volver a reconciliar la ciudad con la agricultura. Un relato que continúa con el distanciamiento progresivo de las metrópolis de la actividad agraria, que siguió a la segunda guerra mundial de la mano del movimiento moderno y de la revolución verde. Terminando con la in uencia ecológista y las incipientes propuestas de reencuentro que se vienen proponiendo durante las últimas décadas.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

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Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City

By Graciela Arosemena
Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.L.; 1 edition
2012. 128 pages.

Excerpt from review by François Mancebo, PhD:

In her short book Urban Agriculture, Graciela Arosemena, gives an overview of urban agriculture’s history until the great rupture and asks a question: Now that agriculture has moved outside the city, is it time to bring it back again? Her answer is “yes”, for many reasons which she associates with the idea of making cities more sustainable. In her vision, urban agriculture can stop the vicious circle of real estate speculation, provide a healthy leisure, foster social cohesion, support a new management of organic waste to reduce city’s ecological footprint and provide food security—if not complete self-sufficiency—by allowing citizens to consume locally grown vegetables and ripe fruits.

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September 13, 2017   Comments Off on Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

The Book of Bees!

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Who survived being stung by 2,443 bees? This book answers all these questions and many more.

By Piotr Socha (Author), Wojciech Grajkowski (Author)
Thames & Hudson Ltd
(Sept. 22 2016)

From the Book bag:

The Book of Bees may look like a typical picture book, but it has a lot buzzing underneath the surface. It is adapted from the original Polish book Pszczoly. Packed to the brim with bee facts and figures and accompanied by the wonderful comic-style artwork of Piotr Socha, the book is an odd amalgam: part coffee table book/ nature encyclopaedia/factfile/picture book. Don’t be fooled by its simple cover; The Bee Book is a treasure trove of information just waiting to ‘bee’ harvested!

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September 1, 2017   Comments Off on The Book of Bees!

Ugly Vegetables

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It’s easy to appreciate a garden exploding with colorful flowers and fragrances, but what do you do with a patch of ugly vegetables?

By Grace Lin (Author, Illustrator)
The (Ages 3-8)
Charlesbridge; (July 1 2001)

Excerpt:

From Publishers Weekly:

In this debut children’s book, a girl and her mother chart their own course in spring planting and reap the benefits. The girl narrator is clearly disappointed when, unlike her neighbors who prepare flower gardens, she and her mother plant Chinese vegetables that, her mother insists, are “better than flowers.” While the other backyards yield colorful blooms, her garden becomes crowded with “ugly vegetables,” lumpy, bumpy and “icky yellow.” But when the girl’s mother uses them to make a soup, its “magical aroma” attracts neighbors to their door carrying bouquets of flowers from their gardens.

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August 30, 2017   Comments Off on Ugly Vegetables

Holistic Goat Care

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A Comprehensive Guide to Raising Healthy Animals, Preventing Common Ailments, and Troubleshooting Problems

By Gianaclis Caldwell
Chelsea Green Publishing
June 07, 2017

Excerpt:

Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late.

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August 29, 2017   Comments Off on Holistic Goat Care

Tokyo: Mirai Corporation uses vertical farming

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Grant Imahara visits Tokyo and meets with the group at Mirai, whose goal is to bring farm-fresh food to the middle of one of the busiest cities on the planet.

Also see Mouser’s 40 page ebook on Vertical Farming

Mouser.com
2017

Excerpt from book:

Fast-forward to the 20th Century, and the evolution of vertical farming accelerates, drawing on human need, land availability, and industrial advancements. By March 4, 1909, when Life Magazine published what is now known as the first vertical farm illustration, the concept included an open-air building with vertically stacked “vertical homesteads” that cultivated food for consumption.

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August 15, 2017   Comments Off on Tokyo: Mirai Corporation uses vertical farming

The Woman Hobby Farmer

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Female Perspectives on Farming Challenges and Solutions

By Karen Lanier
CompanionHouse Press.
Forthcoming Sept 2017

Hobby farming is alive and thriving in urban, semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective.

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June 13, 2017   Comments Off on The Woman Hobby Farmer

The Aquaponic Farmer

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Forthcoming: A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System

By Adrian Southern & Whelm King
New Society Publishers
Sept 1, 2017

Aquaponic farming — raising fish and vegetables together commercially — is the most promising innovation for a sustainable, profitable, localized food system. Until now, systems have largely focussed on warm-water fish such as tilapia. A lack of reliable information for raising fish and vegetables in the cool climates of North America and Europe has been a major stumbling block.

The Aquaponic Farmer is the game changer.

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June 2, 2017   Comments Off on The Aquaponic Farmer

Home Grown Food Summit 2017 – Register To Watch For Free

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38+ experts share their best secrets for growing all your own food and medicine

Speakers:

Mike Adams
The Coming Antibiotics Apocalypse

Howard Garrett
Planting & Managing Trees
(The Right Way!)

Sally Fallon
Nourishing Fats In Your Diet

Sayer Ji
Nightshades Illuminated

Joel Salatin
Salad Bar Beef

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May 30, 2017   Comments Off on Home Grown Food Summit 2017 – Register To Watch For Free

The Food Forest Handbook

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Design and Manage a Home-Scale Perennial Polyculture Garden

By Darrell Frey & Michelle Czolba
New Society Books
April, 2017

A food forest is a productive landscape developed around a mix of trees and perennials. Rooted in permaculture principles, this integrated approach to gardening incorporates a variety of plants such as fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, and perennial herbs and vegetables. Food forests can help increase biodiversity, protect valuable habitat for beneficial insects, and promote food security and resilience, all while providing an abundant harvest.

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May 29, 2017   Comments Off on The Food Forest Handbook

Worms at Work

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Harnessing the Awesome Power of Worms with Vermiculture and Vermicomposting

By Crystal Stevens
New Society Publishers
June 1, 2017

Increasingly, we want to know where our food comes from, who grows it and how it is grown, and interest in permaculture, backyard composting, and gardening in general, is growing. So how does the budding gardener ensure that the soil is healthy and nutrient-rich enough to support growing some great food? One answer — worms! Vermiculture is the healthiest and most cost-effective way to ensure that your soil receives the nourishment that it needs. A simple vermicompost bin can produce completely natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used to boost soil health and, in turn, increase crop yield.

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May 25, 2017   Comments Off on Worms at Work

Writer bringing energy to Vale Urban Farm in Schenectady, New York

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Sharon Astyk stands with her children Zion Woods, 4, and Malkiah Woods, 5.

A science blogger and author who has written four books on agricultural, energy policy and food preservation. “It’s amazing to me how much land and agricultural possibilities there are in cities.”

By Bill Buell
The Daily GAzete
April 27, 2017

Excerpt:

During her time in Knox, Astyk produced four books, beginning with “Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front” in 2008. She followed that up with “Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation” and “A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil” in 2009, and then wrote “Making Home: Adapting our Homes and Our Lives to Settle in Place” in 2011.

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May 5, 2017   Comments Off on Writer bringing energy to Vale Urban Farm in Schenectady, New York

Global Urban Agriculture

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One of the first volumes to bring together evidence from urban agriculture in the Global North and the Global South

Edited by A WinklerPrins,
US National Science Foundation, USA
May 2017 / Hardback / 251 Pages
(Must see. Mike)

In one of the first books to consider urban agriculture in a global context, this book brings together material from around the world, illustrating how urban agriculture is much more than growing food. The book opens with an introductory chapter (WinklerPrins) defining urban agriculture and discussing how the topic has been differentially treated around the world, comparing and contrasting UA between the Global North and South.

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May 2, 2017   Comments Off on Global Urban Agriculture