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Healthy city harvests: Generating evidence to guide policy on urban agriculture


This book asks questions about the contribution of urban agriculture to food security of urban households, about the safety of crops and animal foods from urban producers in different places, and about ways of developing policy to promote safe and healthy food production.

Editors: Donald Cole • Diana Lee-Smith • George Nasinyama
International Potato Center (CIP) and Makerere University Press, 2008
260 pages

Excerpt from Forward by Richard Stren:

From the perspective of local governments, this is one of the first books which explores, in a truly multidisciplinary fashion, the complex range of issues which both help explain why urban agriculture takes place, and looks carefully at the important obstacles to its effective uptake in a particular local context. From different professional viewpoints we learn about health benefits of urban farming for children’s nutritional status, about health risks from heavy metal and organic contaminants in food and about the proper management of urban livestock to reduce risk. We also learn about the history of public health efforts to control illness and disease in 19th century Europe and America, as a backdrop to the construction of colonial building and public health regulations that were commonplace in African cities by the 1940s.

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January 23, 2015   No Comments

A new children’s book about urban farming features Will Allen


“There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City”

By Mary Louise Schumacher
Journal Sentinel
Dec. 18, 2014


You knew it had to happen: a children’s book about urban farming featuring Will Allen.

“There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City” is the 12th “We Love to Learn” book from Sharp Literacy, an organization that encourages learning for urban youth through reading, writing and research based on hands-on projects and the visual arts.

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December 20, 2014   Comments Off

Carrots among the concrete: the role of urban agriculture

Beehives at Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin.

Another key to making urban agriculture economically viable, according to André, is its being seen as an integral part of closed loop systems using urban waste for compost and nutrition.

By Rob Hopkins
Transition Network
Oct 21, 2014


In order to weave urban agriculture, and its potential, into our discussions this month on ‘Reimagining Real Estate’, who better to talk to than André Viljoen and Katrin Bohn, architects, academics and authors of the recently published Second Nature Urban Agriculture; designing productive cities? Their first book, Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs), published in 2004, put the idea of urban agriculture onto the agenda of the architectural profession. Things have changed a lot since then. I caught up with them by Skype a few weeks ago. As André told me, the reception when 10 years ago they first suggested to publishers a book on urban agriculture was “agriculture? We do architecture!”

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November 4, 2014   Comments Off

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) – ‘Retool the system by funding and supporting urban agriculture’

See Ryan’s new book here. Hardcover – October 14, 2014

“There should be a garden in every schoolyard, a kitchen in every school and a salad bar in every cafeteria…”

By Nicole Goodkind
Yahoo Finance
Oct 15, 2014


Rep. Ryan believes the way to retool the system is by funding and supporting urban agriculture, subsidizing farmers who produce fruits and vegetables and creating markets for local growers. Ryan also believes that schools need to make changes.

“There should be a garden in every schoolyard, a kitchen in every school and a salad bar in every cafeteria so we can begin to teach our young people how to eat,” he says.

Of course, changing the agricultural industry isn’t easy. Agribusiness lobbyists have spent over $63 million so far this year and have contributed quite a bit to the campaigns of house members, including $694,007 to Ohio representative John Boehner. Going against big agriculture seems a bit like David going up against Goliath.

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October 15, 2014   Comments Off

1912 – Biggle Garden Book


Vegetables, small fruits and flowers for pleasure and profit

By Jacob Biggle.
Wilmer Atkinson and Co.


Now just a few hints about the final problem of the average gardener – the selling end of the business: … Agronomist Medford has evolved a shipping package which it called a “home hamper.” It measures twenty-four inches long, fourteen inches wide, ten inches deep, and weighs about thirty pounds when filled. It contains about six baskets holding about one-half peck each; these are filled with vegetables in season, from radishes to cauliflower. Assortment is made to furnish soup, salad and substantials, with occasional fancies, such as eggplant and cantaloupes.

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September 29, 2014   Comments Off

Birds and berries in my grandmother’s garden


Worthy, indeed, is the garden that is planted, not for beauty alone, but for the welfare of Nature’s children as well.

By the Bird Man.


A host of fruit-loving birds lived in the garden in early summer. They feasted continuously on choke and wild cherries, and cloyingly sweet mulberries. Seldom at any other season, did the shy, elusive cedar wax-wings enter the garden, but love of the purple fruit of the mulberry dispelled all fear in June. The bluebirds and orioles were equally fond of it, but they must, perchance, satisfy their appetites with that which fell to the ground, for the wax-wings claimed the trees.

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September 26, 2014   Comments Off

Chas Hodges’ rock ‘n’ roll allotment: From Chas & Dave to growing his own

Chas Hodges from pop duo Chas & Dave in his Hertfordshire allotment. Photo by Luke Santilli.

Chas of the popular British rock/cockney (or rockney for short) band Chas & Dave.

By Jane Clinton
June 22, 2014


He is clearly in his element as he gives me a guided tour: “Come and smell this wild garlic,” he says pulling a piece from the earth. “It doesn’t get fresher than that.”

Next he holds up some newly unearthed spring onions: “You get them in the supermarket and there’s no smell. Hmm lovely,” he sniffs, and smiles. “Here, you can have that as a present.” He laughs as he hands me the first of many such gifts.

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September 25, 2014   Comments Off

1889 – My Handkerchief Garden. Size 25 x 60 feet


Results: a garden, fresh vegetables, exercise, health, and $20.49

Author: Barnard, Charles, 1838-1920
Publisher: New York, Garden Publishing co.


At last it was found; a six-room house with a mere handkerchief of a garden, measuring about one-thirtieth of an acre, or about as big a city back yard. The soil was a wet, heavy clay, full of stones, and shaded by a number of tall trees growing on the next lot. In March, 1887, we moved to the place, and on the twenty first we paid twenty-five cents for one ounce of Tennis Ball Lettuce seed. So it was the scrap of a garden began, and thereon does hang the more or less learned remarks that make this book.

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September 24, 2014   Comments Off

1876 – Vick’s flower and vegetable garden

1876 Vick's Flower and Vegetable Garden Book


The Vegetable Department is, to many of our readers, exceedingly interesting, and should be to all; for while we have no sympathy with those who say they “see more beauty in a Cabbage or hill of Potatoes than in the finest flower that ever grew,” we do most heartily agree with those who take pride and pleasure in culture of choice vegetables, and their improvement, and who are ready to say, with Diocletian, “Were you to come to my garden, and see the vegetables I raise with my own hands, you would no longer talk to me of empire.”

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September 22, 2014   Comments Off

Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production In Ghana:


Characteristics, Benefits And Risk Mitigation

Edited by Pay Drechsel and Bernard Keraita
Second Edition
September 2014

The second edition of this book presents updated research findings on urban and peri-urban agriculture and vegetable farming in Ghana’s major cities with a special focus on the risks and risk mitigation related to the use of polluted water sources as it is common across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Foreword to the Second Edition

Over the last 10 years, the International Water Management Institute’s research in Ghana has had a major thrust in urban agriculture in general and (wastewater) irrigated vegetable farming in particular. The first edition of this book was published in 2006 under the title Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risks –demand was high and it eventually ran out of print but the research resulted in many new studies that have improved our knowledge of the subject.

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September 19, 2014   Comments Off

Future Farmers: a guide to running an urban food growing traineeship


The sky’s the limit for London’s future farmers

By Sustain: The Alliance For Better Food And Farming
Sept. 2014

A new guide aimed at organisations hoping to train the next generation of urban farmers, is being launched today on a rooftop farm in central London. The document – titled Future Farmers; a guide for running an urban food growing traineeship – is being launched by the Mayor of London’s food advisor, Rosie Boycott, as part of Urban Food Fortnight, which will see London’s food growers selling produce at over 100 events and outlet.

Chair of London Food Board, Rosie Boycott, said: “Training and apprenticeships are key to making sure there are enough skilled people to start food growing enterprises and help to meet the demand for locally produced, great quality food that we see here in London. This new initiative provides a comprehensive and practical guide to help nurture the next generation of professional urban growers.”

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September 16, 2014   Comments Off

Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive


“Bee populations are diminishing due to human impact”

By Mark L. Winston
Harvard University Press
August 2014

Being among bees is a full-body experience, Mark Winston writes—from the low hum of tens of thousands of insects and the pungent smell of honey and beeswax, to the sight of workers flying back and forth between flowers and the hive. The experience of an apiary slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe. Bee Time presents Winston’s reflections on three decades spent studying these creatures, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world.

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September 15, 2014   Comments Off

FAO publication – Manual ‘A vegetable garden for all’


Graphical interface makes an easy read for all

2014 FAO 5th Edition
260 pages
(Must See. Mike)

A Vegetable Garden for All is a self-instruction manual in family horticultural production, prepared originally by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, in support of the Technical Cooperation Network for Food Production.

The objective of this manual is to present a technology suitable for family horticultural production and consumption. It is a manual for small-scale farmers, school teachers, children, and urban and peri-urban families with access to small plots of land. Better nutrition and better incomes can be achieved through families working in horticultural production.

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September 8, 2014   Comments Off

Espaces et sociétés: ‘Agriculture et ville’


n° 158, 2014/3, Pages: 232

“L’engouement actuel pour les jardins partagés, les fermes urbaines, les circuits-courts alimentaires, témoignent en Europe et aux États-Unis d’un lien agriculture et ville en renouvellement. Or ce dernier pose nombre de questions relatives à l’évolution des pratiques, à l’organisation productive, l’aménagement, etc. Ce dossier analyse la manière dont ce lien se manifeste et les enjeux qu’il soulève en Europe, avec une mise en perspective à partir de cas des pays du Sud.

L’objectif des textes réunis dans ce numéro d’Espaces et Sociétés est de rendre compte de la diversité des enjeux que porte l’articulation renouvelée entre ville et agriculture. Le dossier se compose de six articles scientifiques, et d’une interview croisée de chercheurs reconnus portant sur le thème du dossier.”

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September 5, 2014   Comments Off

Second Nature Urban Agriculture – Designing Productive Cities


Just published, August 2014

By André Viljoen, Katrin Bohn
Routledge August 2014
300 pages
(Must see. Mike)

This book is the long awaited sequel to “Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities”.

“Second Nature Urban Agriculture” updates and extends the authors’ concept for introducing productive urban landscapes, including urban agriculture, into cities as essential elements of sustainable urban infrastructure. It reviews recent research and projects on the subject and presents concrete actions aimed at making urban agriculture happen.

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August 23, 2014   Comments Off