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Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Cuba


Sinan Koont has spent the last several years researching urban agriculture in Cuba, including field work at many sustainable farms on the island.

By Sinan Koont
University Press of Florida (December 11, 2011)
Sinan Koont is associate professor of economics at Dickinson College.
A volume in the series Contemporary Cuba, edited by John M. Kirk
208 pages

“Pushed by necessity but enabled by its existing social and educational policies, Cuba in the 1990s launched the most extensive program of urban sustainable agriculture in the world. This study is to date the only book-length investigation in either English or Spanish of this important national experiment in transforming the environmental, economic, and social nature of today’s dominant system of producing food.”—Al Campbell, University of Utah

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August 11, 2014   No Comments

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild Hardcover


From the bestselling author of Crow Planet, a compelling journey into the secret lives of the wild animals at our back door.

By Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Little, Brown and Company
Sept 17, 2013

In The Urban Bestiary, acclaimed nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt journeys into the heart of the everyday wild, where coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before. Haupt’s observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose “home” is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives?

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August 2, 2014   Comments Off

The Permaculture Kitchen


Love Food, Love People, Love the Planet

By Carl Legge
Chelsea Green
June 2014

An introduction to cooking with local, seasonal, foraged, homegrown, fresh, and free-range produce. Recipes allow a variety of ingredients to be used, with vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

This is the ultimate introduction to economical, seasonal, and delicious cooking. The Permaculture Kitchen is written by a passionate smallholder and cook who explains how to make tasty meals using seasonal, foraged, homegrown, local, fresh, and free-range produce, including meat, and sustainably caught fish. This is a cookbook for gardeners who love to eat their own produce, and for people who enjoy a weekly veggie box, or supporting their local farmers’ market.

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July 20, 2014   Comments Off

Old Manhattan Has Some Farms


Forthcoming August 5, 2014

By Susan Lendroth (Author), Kate Endle (Illustrator)
Publisher: Charlesbridge
32 pages

My newest children’s picture book, Old Manhattan Has Some Farms, explores urban agriculture from a young child’s perspective. Slated for release by Charlesbridge Publishing on August 5, Old Manhattan employs the Old MacDonald rhyme as a framework for a lighthearted look at how communities across North America (including Canada) are adding locally grown foods to the menu.

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July 19, 2014   Comments Off

Informal Urban Agriculture – The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners


Forthcoming October 26, 2014

By Michael Hardman is Lecturer in Geography at the University of Salford, and Peter J. Larkham is Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University.
Series: Urban Agriculture, Springer
2014, Approx. 350 p. 35 illus., 34 illus. in color.

First major critical evaluation of guerrilla gardening in the UK

Responds to increasing concerns for local food production and food security

Urban agriculture, such as guerrilla gardening, could improved many spaces
- large and small – in every town or city

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July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Wissen wuchern lassen – Ein Handbuch zum Lernen in urbanen Garten


“Let knowledge mushroom – Handbook on learning from urban gardens

Herausgegeben von: Severin Halder, Dörte Martens, Gerda Münnich, Andrea Lassalle, Thomas Aenis, Eckhard Schäfer
In German

Focusing on practical answers this handbook assembles various modules for the creation of green learning spaces. At the same time it enables insight into the broad creative experiences of urban gardeners.

Here DIY knowledge of the gardening amateurs from Allmende-Kontor, Prinzessinnengarten and Bürgergarten Laskerwiese meets expert knowledge from the trained gardeners and farmers of Bauerngarten, Peter-Lenné-School and Humboldt University of Berlin. An open knowledge transfer in terms of discussions, seeds, garden map, redworms and recipes takes place.

It’s a compilation of Berlin farmer’s shrewdness, flowery manuals and common banana skins – for everyone looking for how to get the hands really dirty!

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July 10, 2014   Comments Off

The Big Allotment Challenge: The Patch – Grow Make Eat


By Tessa Evelegh
Hodder & Stoughton
10 April 2014

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is surprisingly easy whatever the size of your garden or allotment. You don’t need to be entirely self-sufficient but there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to harvest your own tomatoes, snip a few leaves from a salad bed or make strawberry jam from home-grown strawberries. And by planting some easy-to-grow flowering plants it’s perfectly possible to have freshly picked cut flowers to decorate your table.

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July 9, 2014   Comments Off

Allotment Gardens in England, France, and Germany, 1870-1919


The Working Man’s Green Space

By Micheline Nilsen
Associate Professor of Art History at Indiana University South Bend. She is the author of Railways and Western European Capitals: Studies of Implantation in London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels.
University of Virginia Press
Feb 2014

With antecedents dating back to the Middle Ages, the community garden is more popular than ever as a means of procuring the freshest food possible and instilling community cohesion. But as Micheline Nilsen shows, the small-garden movement, which gained impetus in the nineteenth century as rural workers crowded into industrial cities, was for a long time primarily a repository of ideas concerning social reform, hygienic improvement, and class mobility. Complementing efforts by worker cooperatives, unions, and social legislation, the provision of small garden plots offered some relief from bleak urban living conditions. Urban planners often thought of such gardens as a way to insert “lungs” into a city.

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June 9, 2014   Comments Off

100 Edible and Healing Flowers: cultivating – cooking – restoring health


By Margaret Roberts
Struik Nature (Random House Struik)
February 2014

Margaret Roberts is a well-known proponent of the use of natural products to enhance health and wellbeing. In 100 Edible and Healing Flowers, she encourages readers to create a garden of flowers that can be used in celebrations, in the kitchen, and also to produce medicines and cosmetics. In this hands-on, practical book, Margaret instructs how and when to plant, grow and harvest flowers, and supplies recipes that harness the medicinal, cosmetic and edible nature of these plants.

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June 1, 2014   Comments Off

1658 – First Children’s book – ‘Orbis Sensualium Pictus’

Potherbs grow in gardens, as 1. Lettice, 2. Colewort, 3. Onions, 4. Garlick, 5. Gourd, 6. The Parsnip, 7. The Turnip, 8. The Rhadish, 10. Perselie, 11. Cucumbers, 12. Pompions

The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures

By Joh. Amos Commenii
Lothbury, London

Excerpt from Open Culture review by Colin Marshall:

The Orbis holds not just the status of the first children’s book, but the first megahit in children’s publishing, receiving translations in a great many languages and becoming the most popular elementary textbook in Europe. It opens with a sentence that, in McNamara’s words, “would seem peculiar in today’s children’s books: ‘Come, boy, learn to be wise.’ We see above a teacher and student in dialogue, the former holding up his finger and sporting a cane and large hat, the latter listening in an emotional state somewhere between awe and anxiety. The student asks, ‘What doth this mean, to be wise?’ His teacher answers, ‘To understand rightly, to do rightly, and to speak out rightly all that are necessary.’

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May 27, 2014   Comments Off

Growing Food in a Short Season


Sustainable, Organic Cold-Climate Gardening

By Melanie J. Watts
Douglas and McIntyre
May 2014

Those fortunate enough to live in northern climes celebrate the warm summers blessed with some of the longest days of anywhere on earth—albeit for only a short season. This combination of a short temperate season and long hours of daylight presents a unique challenge for northern gardeners with hopes of harvesting before the autumn frosts arrive.

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May 25, 2014   Comments Off

A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War


‘War is the normal occupation of man – war and gardening’ Winston Churchill

By Ursula Buchan
Windmill Books, part of Cornerstone Publishing

The wonderfully evocative story of how Britain’s World War Two gardeners – with great ingenuity, invincible good humour and extraordinary fortitude – dug for victory on home turf.

A Green and Pleasant Land tells the intriguing and inspiring story of how Britain’s wartime government encouraged and cajoled its citizens to grow their own fruit and vegetables. As the Second World War began in earnest and a whole nation listened to wireless broadcasts, dug holes for Anderson shelters, counted their coupons and made do and mended, so too were they instructed to ‘Dig for Victory’.

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May 19, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture in South Africa: A Study of the Eastern Cape Province


By Alexander Counihan Thornton
The Edwin Mellen Press

This volume includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of urban farming in relation to agricultural production and public policy in South Africa. Thornton shows the complexity of the issue as it relates to rampant unemployment and how it can quell certain social problems like a lack of food. Urban farming should, theoretically, be prolific in developing countries experiencing problems associated with modernization which creates food security issues.

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May 14, 2014   Comments Off

‘Urban Agriculture’ – Springer’s new book series

Urban Agrriculture

Series Editors: Christine Aubry, Eric Duchemin, Joe Nasr

This new Urban Agriculture Book Series at Springer is for researchers, professionals, policy-makers and practitioners working on agriculture in and near urban areas. Urban agriculture (UA) can serve as a multifunctional resource for resilient food systems and socio-culturally, economically and ecologically sustainable cities.

For the Book Series Editors, the main objective of this series is to mobilize and enhance capacities to share UA experiences and research results, compare methodologies and tools, identify technological obstacles, and adapt solutions. By diffusing this knowledge, the aim is to contribute to building the capacity of policy-makers, professionals and practitioners in governments, international agencies, civil society, the private sector as well as academia, to effectively incorporate UA in their field of interests.

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May 12, 2014   Comments Off

Farming Cuba – Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up


By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country’s vegetables.

By Carey Clouse
Princeton Architectural Press
April 29, 2014
Carey Clouse teaches architecture and urbanism at UMass Amherst and is a partner at Crooked Works, a firm addressing the intersection between architecture and sustainability

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba found itself solely responsible for feeding a nation that had grown dependent on imports and trade subsidies. With fuel, fertilizers, and pesticides disappearing overnight, citizens began growing their own organic produce anywhere they could find space, on rooftops, balconies, vacant lots, and even school playgrounds. By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country’s vegetables.

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May 6, 2014   Comments Off