New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Book

Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer

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Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban cliché, and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.

By Antonia Murphy
Gotham
January 22, 2015
272 pages

“One month into our stay, we’d managed to dispatch most of our charges. We executed the chickens. One of the cats disappeared, clearly disgusted with our urban ways. And Lucky [the cow] was escaping almost daily. It seemed we didn’t have much of a talent for farming. And we still had eleven months to go.”

Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban cliché, and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.

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August 18, 2015   No Comments

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers

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Michelle Nelson has completed a Ph.D. in conservation biology and writes about food and conservation

By Michelle Nelson, photos by Alison Page
Harbour Publishing
May 2015

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers pinpoints easy-to-find greens and flowers that many don’t realize are edible—such as dandelion, clover, chicory, sheep’s sorrel and lamb’s quarters—and also introduces readers to the delicious leaves of such native plants as goldenrod and fireweed. And readers can also eat their way to conservation by enjoying edible invasive plants in salads, like garlic mustard and fennel.

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August 17, 2015   No Comments

Designing Educational Food Landscapes

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Guidelines For Schools

By Elizabeth Nowatschin
Project Soil

Excerpt:

In addition to educational motivations, school gardening is being driven by public health concerns about rising rates of obesity and diabetes in children; the local food and sustainable agriculture movements; increased interest in children’s environmental awareness; and social and community development goals. School food gardens have been shown to provide community building and engagement; social development for the students who work and play in these gardens; curriculum and learning that is relevant and integrated; an awareness of the environment, linked to place; increased food literacy and health of the garden participants; and an effective means to link to local food and sustainable agriculture.

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August 13, 2015   Comments Off on Designing Educational Food Landscapes

The Urban Homesteading Cookbook: Forage, Farm, Ferment and Feast for a Better World

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Michelle Nelson began urban homesteading in her downtown apartment.

By Michelle Nelson (Author), Alison Page (Photographer)
Douglas & McIntyre
(November 10, 2015)

In The Urban Homesteading Cookbook, Nelson explores the worlds of foraging wild urban edibles, eating invasive species, keeping micro-livestock, bees and crickets, growing perennial vegetables in pots, small-space aquaponics, preserving meats and produce, making cheese and slow-fermenting sourdough, beer, vinegar, kombucha, kefir and pickles. Nelson fervently believes that by taking more control of our own food we will become better empowered to understand our relationships with the environment, and embrace sustainable lifestyles and communities.

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August 6, 2015   Comments Off on The Urban Homesteading Cookbook: Forage, Farm, Ferment and Feast for a Better World

Food and the City – Histories of Culture and Cultivation

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Thirteen Essays On Urban Agriculture

Edited by Dorothée Imbert
Harvard University Press
July 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Food and the City explores the physical, social, and political relations between the production of food and urban settlements. Its thirteen essays discuss the multiple scales and ideologies of productive landscapes—from market gardens in sixteenth-century Paris to polder planning near mid-twentieth century Amsterdam to opportunistic agriculture in today’s Global South—and underscore the symbiotic connection between productive landscape and urban form across times and geographies. The physical proximity of fruit and vegetable production to urban consumers in pre-revolutionary Paris, or the distribution of fish in Imperial Edo, was an essential factor in shaping both city and surroundings.

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July 20, 2015   Comments Off on Food and the City – Histories of Culture and Cultivation

Just One Backyard: One Man’s Search for Food

onebNew book.

“We have all of the pieces of the puzzle that are needed to create sustainable food systems … we just need to put them together. It isn’t a matter of choice, it is a matter of survival.”

By Dr. Zahina-Ramos (Dr. Z)
He holds a M.S. degree in the biological sciences and a Ph.D. in geosciences.
Published Jan 2015

Sustainability is an entertaining and enlightening tale of how Dr. Zahina-Ramos turned his urban residential backyard into a research study to measure the many benefits of urban agriculture. This is no dry lecture based on puffed-up rhetoric. Dr. Z has skillfully accomplished one of the most difficult challenges- weaving heartwarming storytelling and scientific facts together in a way that even a novice can appreciate and enjoy.

The first half of the book takes the reader on a thoughtfully told journey through the history of food growing, from ancient times through the 21st century, carefully describing how our food supply has become dominated by an industrialized production system that is dependent on unsustainable practices and harms the environment.

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July 16, 2015   Comments Off on Just One Backyard: One Man’s Search for Food

Pee Wee’s Great Adventure

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A guide to Vermicomposting ~ 2nd edition

By Larraine Roulston
Freelance writer

The book’s sequel, ‘Pee Wee’s Great Adventure: a guide to Vermicomposting’ has Pee Wee describing an amazing adventure from a classroom worm bin to a backyard composter. Instructions are included on how to care for worms and harvest their castings.

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July 15, 2015   Comments Off on Pee Wee’s Great Adventure

Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants

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Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library

By Bonnie Worth (Author), Aristides Ruiz (Illustrator)
Random House Books for Young Readers
March 27, 2001

With the able assistance of Thing 1 and Thing 2 — and a fleet of Rube Goldbergian vehicles — the Cat in the Hat examines the various parts of plants, seeds, and flowers; basic photosynthesis and pollination; and
seed dispersal.

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July 14, 2015   Comments Off on Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants

Children’s book: ‘The Curious Garden’

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As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

By Peter Brown (Author)
Little, Brown Books for Young Reader
2009

One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time.

While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

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July 14, 2015   Comments Off on Children’s book: ‘The Curious Garden’

‘Urban gardening’ is Palm Beach professor John Zahina-Ramos’ passion

autDr. John Zahina-Ramos grows several forms of carrots, as well as dozens of other kinds of easily sustainable fruits, vegetables and herbs in his Palm Springs backyard garden.

If only 5 percent of (West Palm Beach) residents produced the same amount of food I did during this study, the economic impact to these households would total between $130 million and $195 million dollars each year.”

By Steve Dorfman
Palm Beach Post
July 7, 2015

Excerpt:

John Zahina-Ramos didn’t intend to become one of the world’s most passionate advocates for “urban gardening.”

He just wanted to get back to his roots — literally.

A native Iowan who grew up on a farm that dates back to the 19th century, Zahina-Ramos, 54, missed tending to fruits, vegetables and herbs. So, in 2009, this wetlands scientist and Palm Beach State College adjunct professor, planted what he meant to be “a small garden” in the backyard of the Village of Palm Springs home he shares with husband Edward Ramos-Zahina.

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July 13, 2015   Comments Off on ‘Urban gardening’ is Palm Beach professor John Zahina-Ramos’ passion

Children’s book: The Carrot Seed – 1945

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His mother said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”

Ruth Krauss (Author), Crockett Johnson (Illustrator)
HarperCollins
1945

When a little boy plants a carrot seed, everyone tells him it won’t grow. But when you are very young, there are some things that you just know, and the little boy knows that one day a carrot will come up. So he waters his seed, and pulls the weeds, and he waits…

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July 9, 2015   Comments Off on Children’s book: The Carrot Seed – 1945

Little Critter: A Green, Green Garden

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The author has published over 300 children’s titles

By Mercer Mayer (Author, Illustrator)
HarperCollins (March 1, 2011)

Little Critter® and his family plant some vegetables. After lots of watering, weeding, and waiting, they enjoy a delicious meal—all from their green, green garden.

Mercer Mayer began writing and illustrating children’s books in 1966, and since that time, he has published over 300 titles. Open almost any of the award-winning author/illustrator’s books, and out may pop dragons, cuddly monsters, wonderful creatures, and endearing critters.

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July 5, 2015   Comments Off on Little Critter: A Green, Green Garden

Children’s book: The Gardener – 1997

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But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece — an ambitious rooftop garden –

By Sarah Stewart (Author), David Small (Illustrator)
Square Fish
1997

Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers’ faces with the flowers she grows.

But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece — an ambitious rooftop garden — which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile.

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July 4, 2015   Comments Off on Children’s book: The Gardener – 1997

Grow: Stories from the Urban Food Movement

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This book is dedicated to everyone who is strengthening the soil and rebuilding the world one meal at a time.

By Stephen Grace
Bangtail Press
June 1, 2015

What do a rapper, a returned soldier, a reformed gangster, a grandmother, a petroleum geologist, a bestselling author, and a microchip engineer have in common? They are all wresting control of food from an industrial system responsible for a plague of poor personal and planetary health. Stephen Grace embarks on a journey of discovery to understand what motivates these urbanites working to reinvent the way we feed ourselves.

From the driver of a repurposed garbage truck healing the soil to a guerrilla gardener bombing the city with seeds, a cast of extraordinary characters emerges as Grace makes his way into the heart of a revolution. He discovers that food can be a means to tackle some of our most pressing problems, from youth crime to the healthcare crisis, from resource depletion to climate change.

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June 22, 2015   Comments Off on Grow: Stories from the Urban Food Movement

UA magazine 29 – City Region Food Systems

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This issue addresses the growing attention for policy and practice approaches that focus on food issues from a city-regional perspective

RUAF
May 2015

Excerpt:

Food is increasingly an urban issue. This is gaining broad recognition among local, regional and national governments, international and support organisations, civil society, the private sector, consumers and academia. Evidence for this recognition can be found in cities in all regions of the world, where policy and programme initiatives are being undertaken in various fields related to urban and peri-urban food production and supply – as many of the articles in this Magazine illustrate.

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May 27, 2015   Comments Off on UA magazine 29 – City Region Food Systems