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Category — Community Gardens

A Kale of Two Cities: Cultivating Social Justice

La Finca Del Sur.

Urban agriculture pioneers have repurposed vacant land, greened the city, created community space, and introduced city dwellers to fresh local food.

By Nevin Cohen and Kristin Reynolds
Huffington Press
Apr 14, 2014


In many ways, cultivating social justice is more important than bringing in a bountiful harvest because simply growing more food in the city, as healthy and delicious as it may be, will never feed all those in need. Even a vastly expanded urban agriculture system will not ensure healthy communities until cities address the roots of food system disparities: poverty, discrimination, and unequal power and privilege. That’s how urban agriculture can really make a difference.

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April 18, 2014   No Comments

Urban farmers dig in for spring planting at Providence community gardens

Mypeth Phommsarath, of Providence, levels out freshly composted soil to prepare the beds for vegetable plantings at the Manton Avenue Community Garden. Photo by Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal.

“There’s a desperate need (for community gardens). You see people growing food in the cracks in their yard.”

By Felice J. Freyer
The Providence Journal
April 6, 2014


Mypeth Phommarath was tilling the black soil in his two 4-foot-by-16-foot beds at the Joslin Park Community Garden. He plans to grow cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. Phommarath, 59, emigrated from Laos in 1990. He was laid off from his last job and hasn’t been able to find another; the garden will help feed his family.

Nelson Rocha, shoveling fresh compost onto his plot nearby, said he favors kale. Growing it himself, he can be sure it’s organic. And delicious. Rocha, 41, a financial analyst, blanches and freezes the kale to last the winter. He juices it. He uses it in muffins and sauces. He also enjoys coming to Joslin Park to meet other urban farmers while his 3-year-old twins play in the nearby playground.

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April 16, 2014   No Comments

Largest community garden in U.S. feeds the hungry in Denton, Texas

Volunteer Rebekah Jackson from Texas Woman’s University plants broccoli at Shiloh Field community garden. Photo by Ron Baselice.

Organizers hope to raise 30,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables on the 14.5-acre plot for needy families in Denton County.

By Melissa Wylie
Daily News
4 April 2014


The garden helps feed those living in poverty in Denton County, where 1 in 5 people lives at or below the federal poverty line and nearly one-third of residents do not earn a livable income.

Last year, volunteers harvested nearly 24,000 pounds of produce at Shiloh Field Community Garden. This year, they expect to harvest more than 30,000 pounds of fruit, vegetables and eggs to donate to nonprofit organizations, such as Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, crisis center Friends of the Family and child care center Fred Moore Day Nursery.

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April 14, 2014   No Comments

Three San Francisco urban agriculture projects featured in video

Recreation & Park department’s Community Gardens program, Department of Public Work’s Urban Harvesting Program, The Free Farm/Free Farm Stand

QuickBites: Urban Gardens
By San Francisco Government TV
Mar 24, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

Urban agriculture/gardening is becoming increasingly popular in San Francisco.
We look at 3 programs that are contributing to the uniqueness and success of this thriving community.

The first program is about the Recreation & Park department’s Community Gardens program, who manage over 30 neighborhood/community gardens in the city.

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April 6, 2014   No Comments

North Jersey group to start or expand 16 community gardens

Urban Farm in Paterson, NJ.

Non-profit grants sprout new public gardens across Passaic County

By Richard Cowen
North Jersey.Com
March 27, 2014


The Passaic County freeholders this week planted the seed money to start or expand 16 community gardens through its partnership with City Green, the urban farming non-profit.

With spring in the air, the freeholders doled out $31,375 to 16 schools, churches, libraries and non-profits who signed onto the county’s new “Dig In!” program. In the coming weeks, community gardens will be springing up all over Passaic County, from Paterson and Wayne to West Milford.

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April 5, 2014   No Comments

Chapter 18 – Urban Agriculture: The Allotment Gardens as Structures of Urban Sustainability

Organic allotment gardens on Cascais.

Complete Chapter On-line

By Rute Sousa Matos and Desidério Sales Batista
CHAIA (Center of Art History and Artistic Investigation), University of Évora, Évora, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

In Advances in Landscape Architecture
Edited by Murat Özyavuz
924 pages, Publisher: InTech,
Chapters published July 01, 2013


Although urban farming is conditioned by many social and political circumstances and political regimes, urban legislators and support institutions may make a substantial contribution to the development of a safe and sustainable farming through:

-The creation of a guiding environmental policy and the formal acceptance of allotment gardens as an urban feature;

The strengthening of the access to urban voids and to the safety of farming use;

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March 29, 2014   Comments Off

1736: Unearthing the History of Sheffield’s Allotments

Ralph Gosling’s Plan of Sheffield in the year 1736. See larger image here.

Gardeners professions: Button makers, Shoe makers, Cutlers, Bakers, Innkeepers, Widows, Clerk, Grocer, Schoolmaster, Husbandman, Gardener

Jane Withers, Adam J Smith
Furnace Park
Mar 17, 2014


As shown in the above map (the Cathedral is circled in red), urban gardens dominated Sheffield city centre (seen by the yellow arrows radiating from the Cathedral). Although the gardens illustrated in 1736 cannot be proved as allotments (very little documentation survives alluding to the use of these plots) it was thought that the total number of gardens shown could be in excess of 200.

These plots were popular with craftsmen of the time, whose green fingers itched with creativity and cultivation. The popularity of the city centre escapes grew, and by 1780, Flavell claims that there is evidence of between 1500 and 1800 allotments being leased within the city boundaries of Sheffield (see the ‘Further Reading’ section at the end of this post). This expansion could be accredited to the discovery of a more efficient crucible method for producing steel, thoroughly placing Sheffield on the industrial map and causing a need for an alternative past time, away from the grime and smoke of the industrial sites.

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March 27, 2014   Comments Off

London Primary School Expands Community Garden Project

Charlton Manor Primary School.

It will allow parents/carers to take their children to the farm and have access to a healthy meal with produce grown by school children.

Tim Baker, head master of local primary school, Charlton Manor, envisaged the concept of a community area for growing and cooking food at nearby Woodlands Farm. Tim is a pioneer when it comes to growing and eating healthy food in schools and his own school is an example to all schools on how to implement a seed to plate strategy. It is natural that he seeks to take this outlook out into the further community.

Woodlands Farm Trust

At Charlton Manor we have signed up with the Woodlands Farm Trust. We have our own allotment there that we are currently working on and the children visit regularly to work on the plot. The children can visit the animals and help out by looking after them.

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March 27, 2014   Comments Off

New Vancouver development includes courtyard community garden beds

canvasonniClick on image for larger file.

Canvas will comprise two buildings on either side of a landscaped courtyard with garden plots, a fire pit and a long communal picnic table to encourage socializing.

By Felicity Stone
Vancouver Sun
March 17, 2014


Jensen expects the Canvas homes will appeal to Emily Carr students and faculty, first-time buyers and investors serving the rental market. “The market actually reminds us of a similar buying opportunity on Main at Sixth and Seventh, a project of ours called Social,” he says. “It’s much more affordable than downtown, there’s some opportunities in the market, and just more and more people moving to the neighbourhood.”

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March 25, 2014   Comments Off

New book: “Community Gardening as Social Action”

bethelBethnal Green Allotment by Charles Ginner Date painted 1943. Click image for larger file.

Community Gardening: From Leisure to Social Action

By Claire Nettle
Imprint: Ashgate
Illustrations: Includes 12 b&w illustrations
Published: February 2014
Claire Nettle PhD is a community food systems researcher and consultant.

There has been a resurgence of community gardening over the past decade with a wide range of actors seeking to get involved, from health agencies aiming to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to radical social movements searching for symbols of non-capitalist ways of relating and occupying space.

Community gardens have become a focal point for local activism in which people are working to contribute to food security, question the erosion of public space, conserve and improve urban environments, develop technologies of sustainable food production, foster community engagement and create neighbourhood solidarity.

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March 24, 2014   Comments Off

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

New York Activists Sue Developers to Take Control of Community Garden

The Children’s Magical Garden allows classes from nearby schools to use the garden as part of their curriculum. Children’s Magical Garden Announces Lawsuit. Photo credit: DNAinfo/Serena Solomon.

Local volunteers established the Children’s Magical Garden in 1983

By Serena Solomon
DNA Info
March 10, 2014


Members of a Lower East Side community garden are suing to take control of the green space, arguing that the lot’s longtime owner effectively abandoned it.

Members of the Children’s Magical Garden filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court Monday, asking to be declared owners of the lot at 157 Norfolk St. and seeking an unknown amount of damages after the space’s former owner, developer Serge Hoyda, fenced the gardeners out of his portion of the space last year.

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March 18, 2014   Comments Off

City of Penticton BC not renewing garden license

Garden at Nanaimo Avenue and Backstreet Boulevard. Photo by Deborah Pfeiffer.

“We are not happy with this. We had no indication whatsoever they weren’t satisfied with what we were doing.”

By Deborah Pfeiffer
Mar 7, 2014


Peter Wallace, land administrator for the city, said there was a three year lease that was granted two and a half years ago with the association and that lease expires June 30, 2014.

The association also requested a lease extension and increase in size from .22 acres to .32 acres in the garden, adjacent to a parking lot.

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March 15, 2014   Comments Off

Community Garden Revolution: A Manual


By Miss Mary K. Hukill
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
January 2014

Start a Community Garden TODAY in your City, Town, Village, or Hamlet. Community Gardens can be in Neighborhoods, on Farms, the inner city, rural areas, at Schools, Colleges and Universities, on Roof Tops, on Blighted Land, tear down a vacant building and create a Community Garden.

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March 13, 2014   Comments Off

Costa Georgiadis, of TV’s Gardening Australia, says community gardens no threat

Costa at a local food event in Coffs Harbour. Photo by Kim Honan.

Costa says that if industry bodies see this movement as a threat, then they’re taking a backward step.

By Kim Honan And Fiona Wyllie
Abc Rural
Mon 3 Mar 2014


“Community gardens are about growing awareness and getting people inspired in local seasonal food,” he said.

“To think that spending money on an initiative like that that brings people closer to their food, and develops food as a health initiative, how could you think that a $1 million spent on growing community.

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March 10, 2014   Comments Off