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Category — Book

‘Potager urbain’ – Urban Food Gardens

potagurb

Book in French on city farming

de Nicolas Bel (Auteur)
Relié: 288 pages
Editeur : Hachette Pratique (20 août 2014)

Excerpt from Brooklyn Grange article:

In addition to being the founder of Topager, Nicolas is also the author of the book on French urban ag (Potager Urbain), and an academic researcher at AgroParisTech (from what I gather, the French equivalent of Cornell’s College of Agriculture) and the farm I visited was essentially his data collection facility. At this particular location, he studies every measurable variable. First, he blended several soil mixes side-by-side to measure their productivity and health.

He also captures runoff via a simple “out spout” which drains into gallon water bottles, from which he collects samples on a regular basis. His methodology is incredibly thorough and it was exhilarating to meet such a focused and serious practitioner of our incredibly unique type of cultivation. We have a lot to learn from Nicolas and his colleagues at Topager, and only through an open exchange of information can we pioneers truly make progress.

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February 26, 2015   No Comments

Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems

deart

Features 51 poems written by 34 writers from seven countries

Editor Carol-Ann Hoyte
2015

Bursting with flavor and just the right infusion of insight, Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems presents a collection of poems from thirty-four writers on the most universal topic of all: food. Featuring a wide assortment of styles, from haiku to acrostics to free verse, these poems touch on topics that range from lighthearted to seriously thought-provoking. Whether the focus of the poem is a child’s battle over eating peas or a celebration of fair trade, this collection introduces kids to a fresh new view of where their food comes from.

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February 26, 2015   No Comments

Urban pollinators get the job done, San Francisco State study finds

tuning
To artificially pollinate some of the tomato plants floral clusters, researchers used tuning forks to reproduce the frequency at which bees buzz, releasing pollen. Photo by Drew Potter.

Wild bees provide adequate pollination service to tomato plants in San Francisco, researchers find

San Francisco State University
Eureka Alert
Public Release: 12-Feb-2015

Excerpt:

Even more surprising, neither the size of the garden nor the amount of green space in the surrounding area impacted the amount of pollinator service a plant received. Instead, the key factor was the “floral resource density,” or the abundance of flowers present within the garden in which the tomato plant was located. The more densely flowers were grown within each garden, the higher the yield of tomatoes.

“This is good news in San Francisco, because we have very limited space for urban agriculture,” said Potter, now an environmental consultant. “Small gardens with lots of flowers are enough to attract bees.”

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February 25, 2015   No Comments

Alberta writer has close relationship with food, farming

foodsh Her book can be found here.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith is winning international literary awards for her portrayal of Alberta farmers

By Steven Biggs
Country Guide
Feb 11, 2015

Excerpts:

In 1998, she started giving “Foodie Tootle” tours to city folks, taking them by bus to farms and ranches, ending the tours with on-farm dinners. Over the 12 years she did the tours, she took more than 600 people to over 50 farms and ranches.

Her own story is deeply entwined with food and farming. “I grew up drinking raw milk,” says Hobsbawn-Smith as she talks about being a farmer’s daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter. Raised in Saskatchewan, she moved to Calgary in the 1980s, becoming a cook, caterer, restaurateur, and classically trained chef.

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February 21, 2015   No Comments

The Living Landscape

livel

Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy
Timber Press
2014

A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers. And the replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden’s biological diversity and ecological function.

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February 18, 2015   No Comments

California Master Gardener Handbook–2nd Ed

mast

Packed with research-based information and more than 21 in-depth home horticulture topics

By D Pittinger
Copyright Date: 2015
Length: 756 pp.

Excerpt:

Since it was first published in 2002, the California Master Gardener Handbook has been the definitive guide to best practices and advice for gardeners throughout the West. Now the much-anticipated 2nd Edition to the Handbook is here—completely redesigned, with updated tables, graphics, and color photos throughout.

Whether you’re a beginner double digging your first bed or a University of California Master Gardener, this handbook will be your go-to source for the practical, science-based information you need to sustainably maintain your landscape and garden and become an effective problem solver.

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February 8, 2015   Comments Off

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

hotter

Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty

By Gary Paul Nabhan
Chelsea Green
2015

Excerpt from publisher:

With climatic uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers, gardeners, and orchardists in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate change. The solutions may be at our back door.

In Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, Nabhan, one of the world’s experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws from the knowledge of traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North America to offer time-tried strategies, including:

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February 5, 2015   Comments Off

The Tao of Vegetable Gardening

deppe

Cultivating Tomatoes, Greens, Peas, Beans, Squash, Joy, and Serenity

By Carol Deppe
Chelsea Publishing
2015

—Gene Logsdon, author, Gene Everlasting and The Contrary Farmer

“If you want to read the complete, deepest-down lowdown on how to grow organic vegetables successfully, this is the book. It also stands as a guide to the most genuine, independent lifestyle possible, relying only on nature and the author’s awesomely detailed knowledge of plant life to achieve successful food production and a contented way of life. The reader learns not only how to grow and cook vegetables, but how to breed new varieties and save the seed. And while you read her book, you are also charmed with the Tao philosophy of living—something I have come to believe is a sure path to tranquility.”

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January 29, 2015   Comments Off

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

healthcity

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   Comments Off

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

theregrows

“There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City”

By Mary Louise Schumacher
Journal Sentinel
Dec. 18, 2014

Excerpt:

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

eeberl
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

Excerpt:

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’

realrev
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

Excerpt:

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

biggle

Vegetables, small fruits and flowers for pleasure and profit

By Jacob Biggle.
Wilmer Atkinson and Co.
1912

Excerpt:

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

birdsberries

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.
1920

Excerpt:

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

rocker
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
Express
June 22, 2014

Excerpt:

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