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Category — Climate Change

Seattle’s Ambitious Plan to Build a Food Forest for the City

foodfThe Beacon Food Forest currently covers 1.8 of its 7 intended acres.

Building a local food infrastructure has as much to do with strengthening community as it does with planning garden plots.

By Gwendolyn Elliott
Seattle Weekly
Mar 11 2014


At the moment, BFF co-founder Glenn Herlihy and his group are celebrating a small victory. With his steering committee, he just signed a memorandum of agreement with Seattle P-Patch and SPU making the Beacon Food Forest—essentially an oversized community garden—an officially organized group, subject to the rules and responsibilities of a P-Patch.

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March 22, 2014   Comments Off

Flooding in England causes concern amongst community gardeners


Safe Crop Growing after a Flood

By John Harrison
Allotment Gardening Diary
February 2, 2014


One thing we thought we would never have to worry about was flooding. Well, we’re 600 feet up a hill and it’s a clear run down to sea level. Of course the law of buttered toast comes into action. That’s the law that states “A slice of buttered toast when dropped will always land butter side down on the floor”

The rain pours down, soaks the land until it can absorb no more and then pours down the hillside. Even with a land drain and soakaway between the hillside and the back of the old cow sheds, when it’s really bad it forces its way out of the wall in jets and rises from the floor. But, on the glass half full principle, the roof leak has been fixed!

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February 20, 2014   Comments Off

Rain Gardens, Permeable Pavement, Bioswales, Rain Water Harvesting, Green Roofs, Downspout Planters, Enhanced Tree Pits for Homes, Gardens, and Communities

Every year, more than 27 billion gallons of sewage and dirty rainwater are discharged into New York Harbor during CSOs.

Green Infrastructure Toolkit
By Grow New York City


This guide is designed to educate homeowners, community gardeners and others interested in storm water management techniques which can help minimize water pollution as it results from rainfall in cities that have combined sewers and other locations that experience flooding and storm water problems. The photographs, detailed drawings, material lists and descriptions provide a starting point for those interested in utilizing these practices in their homes, gardens and communities.

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September 20, 2013   Comments Off

Labor Day Special: Just Harvest: urban farming in a climate crisis


Free Speech Radio News: ‘Three Part Harmony Farm’ in Washington, DC

Length: 29:05 minutes (26.62 MB)
Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Listen here.

On Capitol Hill, elected officials have long supported big agricultural and industrial-scale farming that requires massive inputs of chemicals and fossil fuels. But can this system continue to feed the population of a warming planet?

Just a few miles up the road from where lawmakers set far-reaching policy, some DC residents are organizing to create something different.

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September 10, 2013   Comments Off

International Living Building Institute Addresses Urban Agriculture


Radical Green Building Takes a Giant Leap Forward as The International Living Building Institute’s New Standard Addresses Social Justice, Urban Agriculture and Community Scale Impacts

“The program introduces a new focus on urban agriculture, requiring a minimum amount of site square footage be dedicated to food production except in the densest urban environments – the more suburban a site is, the more food production is required.

“All projects must integrate opportunities for agriculture appropriate to the scale and density of the project using its Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R.) as the basis for calculation.”

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November 13, 2009   Comments Off

Bio-fuel crops to grow on vertical farm in Boston


Eco Pod: Pre Cycled Modular Bioreactor For Downtown Crossing

Taking advantage of the stalled Filene’s construction site at Downtown Crossing, Eco Pod is a proposal to immediately stimulate the economy, and the ecology, of downtown Boston. Eco Pod (Gen1) is a temporary vertical algae bio reactor and new public Commons, built with custom prefabricated modules. The pods will serve as bio fuel sources and as micro incubators for flexible research and development programs. As an open and reconfigurable structure, the voids between pods form a network of vertical public parks/botanical gardens housing unique plant species a new Uncommon for the Commons.

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October 4, 2009   2 Comments

Growing awareness in the UK – people planting fruit and veg and returning to traditional trends

Photo from Plant for Life Environment Report.

Gardens across the UK are changing for the better, with more people planting fruit and veg and returning to traditional trends that benefit wildlife. But are gardeners as green as they think they are?

By Paul Evans
The Guardian, July 9 2008

– gardens plays a crucial role in the environment debate. They account for 15%-25% of the land area in Britain’s towns and cities, and their importance in offsetting some of the effects of climate change – through plants absorbing CO2, cooling urban micro-climates and supporting wildlife, and soils absorbing rainwater run-off and reducing flooding – is a message that is beginning to create trends in gardening.

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August 13, 2008   Comments Off

“Urban Carbon Farming” – From the Desk of Jac Smit


Photo: Jac Smit standing in blue shirt on far left. (photo taken in New York, 2001, at a meeting of the Support Group For Urban Agriculture. Beside Jac standing, Luc Mougeot IDRC, Yves Cabanne UNCHS/UNDP, Gordon Prain CGIAR, sitting l to r, Michael Levenston City Farmer, Olivia Argenti FAO.

Jac Smit is one of the world’s leading thinkers on the subject of urban agriculture. His seminal book “Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities” is a classic.

The Climate-Neutral Post-Carbon City
May 30 2008

A decade ago, late 1990s, we engaged in the establishment of the urban agriculture industry. A visit to Google tomorrow will find 1,740,000 entries. It was then targeted at food security and building community. Since then we have added farming the city as an economic generator and as an element of Urban Greening.

The next step is to add carbon farming as a core or foundational element of this industry. Another turn of phrase, we are adding a core commodity to those we are familiar with such as vegetables, poultry, herbs, fruit and flowers.

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May 31, 2008   Comments Off

In the ‘New York Times’, Michael Pollan Writes about Planting Some of Your Own Food


Food gardening is back in fashion and Michael Pollan brings it to a new audience … readers of the New York Times. Read his well-written article especially the concluding five paragraphs about urban agriculture.

Published: April 20, 2008
Photo credit: Alia Malley

“A great many things happen when you plant a vegetable garden, some of them directly related to climate change, others indirect but related nevertheless. Growing food, we forget, comprises the original solar technology: calories produced by means of photosynthesis. Years ago the cheap-energy mind discovered that more food could be produced with less effort by replacing sunlight with fossil-fuel fertilizers and pesticides, with a result that the typical calorie of food energy in your diet now requires about 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce. It’s estimated that the way we feed ourselves (or rather, allow ourselves to be fed) accounts for about a fifth of the greenhouse gas for which each of us is responsible.”

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April 21, 2008   Comments Off