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Category — Community Gardens

Alice’s Garden presents a stage for urban agriculture in Milwaukee

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Guy Irving (from left), 20, and Rayonna Wilson, 15, from New Life Community Center, arrive at Alice’s Garden with kale to plant on Tuesday. ‘I like how everyone comes together as a community (at Alice’s Garden). There is a lot of hard work and dedication (here),’ said Irving. – Image credit: Angela Peterson

“[Farming] is not rural. That’s the stereotype,” she said. “People have been growing food in cities forever.”

By Marion Renault
Journal Sentinel
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

Weyonia Shurn, 16, used to eat chips for breakfast and buy junk food from other students at her high school.

But after spending the last month mulching and weeding alongside almost 30 teenage workers at a 2-acre urban garden located in Lindsay Heights, Shurn said that, for the first time, she’s interested in being healthy.

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July 29, 2015   No Comments

In St. Louis, foreign refugees are farming on city-owned land to earn a few extra greenbacks.

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Mang Zam, late of Myanmar, tending his vegetables in St. Louis.(Wayne Crosslin/International Institute of St. Louis)

Raising Crops That Remind Them of Home

By Ted Hesson
National Journal
July 7, 2015

Excerpt:

July 7, 2015 In a city best known for deep-fried ravioli and butter cake, you might not expect bitter eggplant—dubbed “pumpkin on a stick,” for how it looks on the stem—to be a runaway hit.

Yet bitter eggplant, common to cuisine in parts of Africa, Asia, and Brazil, has become one of the most popular crops at two urban farms in St. Louis, bringing in $6 to $7 per pound. Used in a soup or a sauce, it is a favorite among the locale’s most recent arrivals, refugees from such strife-torn lands as Burundi, Myanmar, and Nepal. For the past few years, refugee farmers have raised the exotic crop, and many others, through a program run by the International Institute of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants adapt to life in a city whose heyday has long passed.

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July 18, 2015   No Comments

Scotts Miracle-Gro awards $40,000 grant to Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

sct40The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is one four communities competing for a Miracle Gro People’s Choice Community Garden Grant. (Source: Miracle Gro).

“When people come together in a garden, or gather on a green space, something good happens.”

By Princess Hayes
Michigan Chronicle
June 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Scotts Miracle-Gro teamed up with local community members at the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’s in Detroit to build the new Children’s Sensory Garden, the 644th garden built since the GRO1000 program launched.

The new garden provides Detroit youth an opportunity to experience nature first hand, serving as an outdoor classroom. It is yet another example of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative using agriculture as a platform to promote education and values.

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July 12, 2015   Comments Off on Scotts Miracle-Gro awards $40,000 grant to Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

These ten urban agriculture projects have changed the food system in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Newly Completed Community Garden at CRC.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is home to 100,000 honey bees, which produce around 70 pounds of chemical-free honey annually for the hotel restaurant and spa.

By Eden Kinkaid
Christian Science Monitor
Food Tank
June 22, 2015

Excerpt:

Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to a diverse network of urban agriculture projects transforming the city’s landscape and its local food system. While each project has unique objectives and strategies, all share similar goals: to increase access to healthy food, and give back to the community. Here are 10 urban agriculture projects currently growing in the Queen City.

100 Gardens designs and installs aquaponic systems in urban settings. The organization considers aquaponics, the practice of growing fish and vegetables in an integrated system, to be a model for sustainable food production. 100 Gardens uses aquaponic laboratories (“AquaLabs”) in places like schools and prisons to teach science, technology, math, and engineering in a hands-on way.

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July 5, 2015   Comments Off on These ten urban agriculture projects have changed the food system in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why Joining the Urban Agriculture Movement Will Make You Healthier

washgarCommon Good City Farm produces food for low-income neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.

In 2014, the USDA reported a total of 8,268 farmers markets nationwide, an increase of 76 percent since 2008. That increase was partly due to demand for more local food.

By Corinne Ruff
US News and World Report
June 23, 2015

Excerpt:

As a gardener and researcher of human rights for adequate food and nutrition, Anne Bellows, professor of food studies at Syracuse University, says these urban farms play an important role in retaining public health.

“It’s important to understand and be aware of what the huge multitude of benefits are,” she says. “The food and the nutrition are important, but also very critical are benefits like access to green, quiet, safe space where other people are meeting and working – some place that is a refuge.”

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July 3, 2015   Comments Off on Why Joining the Urban Agriculture Movement Will Make You Healthier

Portland has 358 plots in nine different community gardens.

rportlMatthew Day (front) and Brad Hammond, two of 80 volunteers helping to create community garden plots on Portland’s Eastern Prom, put down newspapers as one of the ‘no-dig’ layers that help to cover the grass and turn it to compost. Photos by Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer.

Sixty new plots will make a dent in the 200-plus waiting list for a community garden spot.

By Beth Quimby
Portland Press Herald
June 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Dozens of volunteer gardeners on Saturday transformed a section of lawn on the Eastern Promenade into 60 new community garden plots for Portland residents.

And they did it all without having to dig up any sod.

The event, called a “permablitz,” was organized by the Resilience Hub, a Portland nonprofit that promotes permaculture, or ecologically friendly agriculture and social design; Cultivating Community, a Portland nonprofit that promotes better access to healthy, local foods; and Portland’s Urban Agriculture Sub-Committee. About 80 volunteers showed up to create new planting beds behind the tennis courts.

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July 2, 2015   Comments Off on Portland has 358 plots in nine different community gardens.

Urban Farming Is Booming, But What Does It Really Yield?

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The benefits of city-based agriculture go far beyond nutrition.

By Elizabeth Royte
Ensia and the Food & Environment Reporting Network
Apr 27, 2015
Elizabeth Royte is the author of three critically acclaimed books; her writing on science and the environment has appeared in Harper’s, National Geographic, Outside, The New York Times Magazine and other national publications.

Excerpt:

FarmedHere, the nation’s largest player in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) pumps out roughly a million pounds (500,000 kg) per year of baby salad greens, basil and mint in its 90,000-square-foot (8,000-square-meter) warehouse on the industrial outskirts of Chicago. Like many hydroponic or aquaponic operations (in which water from fish tanks nourishes plants, which filter the water before it’s returned to the fish), the farm has a futuristic feel — all glowing lights and stainless steel. Employees wear hairnets and nitrile gloves. But without interference from weather, insects or even too many people, the farm quickly and reliably fulfills year-round contracts with local supermarkets, including nearly 50 Whole Foods Markets.

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June 20, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farming Is Booming, But What Does It Really Yield?

Wageningen scientist in the Netherlands says community gardens are not always good for social cohesion

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Veen studied seven community gardens in Almere (two), Amsterdam, Assen, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam and Zutphen.

Horticulture Week
12 June 2015

Excerpt:

“It is often assumed that community gardens benefit the neighbourhood, but the gardens are also a ‘real world’ in which issues arise,” Veen said. “Municipalities, initiators of urban agriculture projects and other stakeholders should adjust their often high expectations. A neighbourhood community garden does not break through existing social structures just like that, and it is hard to bring people from different socio-economic backgrounds into contact with each other.” Veen’s research does show that neighbourhood community gardens allow people to get to know each other better and ask each other for help more easily.”

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June 20, 2015   Comments Off on Wageningen scientist in the Netherlands says community gardens are not always good for social cohesion

Urban agriculture blooms on Saskatoon’s empty lots

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SASKATOON, SK CHEP Good Food Inc. staffers and volunteers water food plots in 300 plastic half barrels on a property at 20th Street West and Avenue K, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The barrels, which had contained organic vegetable oil, were donated by Bioriginal. The food from the plots will be sold at the Farmer’s Market. Photograph by: Greg Pender, The StarPhoenix.

“We are in an agricultural hot spot, yet we are disconnected from that, from being in a city.”

By Chris Morin
The Starphoenix
June 11, 2015

Excerpt:

On one piece of the most undesirable land in Saskatoon, a group committed to urban agriculture wants to prove people can grow something from nothing.

Members of CHEP, an organization that promotes access to healthy food, have taken a small unused plot of land off 20th Street and Avenue K and filled it with 150 barrels, which will be used to grow a variety of vegetables.

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June 19, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture blooms on Saskatoon’s empty lots

City Slickers plans to create new West Oakland farm

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City Slicker Farms’ planned urban farm and park. Image: City Slicker FarmsClick on image for larger file.

All told, the new farm and park will more than double the organization’s current output of fresh produce. Its three market farms now grow between 7,000 and 9,000 pounds of food per year.

By Piper Wheeler
Berkeley Side
June 4, 2015

Excerpt:

The vacant lot at the corner of Peralta and 28th streets in West Oakland doesn’t look like much at the moment. Razor wire and cyclone fencing enclose 1.4 acres of overgrown grass and flowering weeds, with just a small shed and a few shade structures built near its center.

Across the street, at a salvage yard, giant hydraulic arms stack shiny cubes of compressed steel and aluminum. A ragtag line of pickups waits to sell their loads of broken fridges and scavenged scrap.

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June 12, 2015   Comments Off on City Slickers plans to create new West Oakland farm

A Community Garden Conference at Monmouth University, New Jersey

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Gardening for Good – August 7 – 9, 2015

Keynote speakers for the conference include:

Dr. Sean Morrissey, Project Administrator, Thrive.Org.UK
Thrive is the leading charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health.

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June 12, 2015   Comments Off on A Community Garden Conference at Monmouth University, New Jersey

Nature’s Path Foods contest offers three $15,000 grants to urban farms/community gardens

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Contest starts today! Apply between June 8, 2015 at 12PM PST and June 22

At Nature’s Path, we think your neighborhood is ripe with possibility. That’s why we plant the seeds for success through our annual Gardens for Good grant program, now entering its 6th year. Sprouting from our previous community garden initiatives, Gardens for Good encourages others to provide accessible, healthy, organic food to their communities. Each year, we award three $15,000 grants to deserving nonprofits with organic garden projects. If you’re a nonprofit with a passion for feeding your community, we invite you apply.

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June 8, 2015   Comments Off on Nature’s Path Foods contest offers three $15,000 grants to urban farms/community gardens

La Finca Del Sur community garden flourishes in the South Bronx, NY

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Ruiz Martinez, Gabriel Gallarda, and their neighbor, Staci Ellis, maintain a leased bed at La Finca Del Sur. Photo: David Sommerstein.

This farm was founded especially to be a safe place for women.

By David Sommerstein
NCPR
May 26, 2015

Excrpt:

La Finca Del Sur is a thriving community garden set in one of the most unlikely places, amidst a spaghetti swirl of off-ramps and train lines in the South Bronx.

On a traffic-choked street in the Motthaven-Port Morris neighborhood of the South Bronx, Freddy Gonzalez, a volunteer with La Finca del Sur, blared salsa from a cassette player and hawked vegetables — garlic, Swiss chard, string beans, corn, organic popcorn, and more.

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June 4, 2015   Comments Off on La Finca Del Sur community garden flourishes in the South Bronx, NY

Victoria, British Columbia hopes community grows alongside urban gardens

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A boulevard garden on Haultain Street, near Asquith Street, in Victoria. Photograph By DARREN STONE, Times Colonist

Councillors last week approved a process called Growing in the City to put the final touches on its new boulevard gardening guidelines.

By Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
May 24, 2015

Excerpt:

The hope is to update the community garden policy, create an inventory of city-owned land for food production and look into small-scale commercial urban agriculture.

Coun. Geoff Young said the city initiative reflects demand from the public.

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June 3, 2015   Comments Off on Victoria, British Columbia hopes community grows alongside urban gardens

Community Gardens in São Paulo, Brazil

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Conheça 6 hortas comunitárias espalhadas por São Paulo

By Marcia Sousa
CicloVivo
27 de Abril de 2015

Excerpt:

As hortas comunitárias estão invadindo as cidades. Com muita disposição e vontade de “fazer a diferença”, muitas pessoas têm dedicado tempo e suor para colocar literalmente a mão na massa. O CicloVivo separou 6 iniciativas espalhadas pela cidade.

Horta da Vila Indiana

Localizada em uma praça entre as ruas Souza Reis e Corinto, está a horta comunitária da Vila Indiana – bairro do Butantã, próximo à Cidade Universitária. Com extensão modesta, ela também é conhecida como “Hortinha do Kiko”, em homenagem a um morador querido da região.

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June 1, 2015   Comments Off on Community Gardens in São Paulo, Brazil