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Category — Community Gardens

First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Which Neighborhoods in Chicago Have the Most Gardens

University of Illinois researchers analyzed high-resolution satellite images found and found more than 4,000 gardens in the city, and plotted them on a map.

“We decided to scan the entire land area of Chicago looking for gardens that hadn’t been reported on any list: backyard gardens, utility right of ways and other things that I could see in Google Earth.”

By Casey Cora
DNA Info
October 28, 2014


In addition to the residential gardens, researchers identified community gardens, urban farms and gardens outside schools. Factor those in and the number of Chicago’s food-producing gardens swells to 4,648 — and that’s not counting the small gardens invisible to Google Earth.

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October 28, 2014   No Comments

Top Ten Agriculture Projects in Dallas

Promise of Peace Community Garden Kickstarter program.

By Liz Essman
Food Tank
Oct 6, 2014


Eat the Yard is a closed-loop urban farming operation in the Oak Cliff neighborhood. Food grows in one of several locations, including residential plots, urban rooftops, and in backyards. When ripe, crops are delivered daily to area markets and restaurants. Eat the Yard is proud to offer veggies picked the same day as sale, using biodiesel-run equipment. They also offer free compost services to restaurants using their products. In addition, they also grow soil and brew a concentrate called “Worm Shine” compost tea, a living cultural medium. Microbes in the tea help build a microclimate of soil diversity, improving the strength and nutrient content of the garden.

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October 21, 2014   No Comments

The Growth of Allotment Gardens [Infographic]

See the complete Infographic here.

In 2013, there were 78,827 people in English local authorities on allotment waiting lists.

By Wes Maxwell
Daily InfoGraphic
Oct 15, 2014


Today, allotment gardens exist mainly to provide European urban populations with a source organic food unharmed by pesticides and chemicals used by large-scale produce distributors. According to today’s infographic, when used efficiently, allotment plots can “provide enough land to feed a family of four for a year”. At an average rate between £25-£125 ($40 -$200) per year to rent, allotment gardens provide those seeking to live a healthier, more organic lifestyle with an affordable personal space to do so. Unfortunately, allotments have been decreasing in popularity and frequency.

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October 17, 2014   No Comments

Neighbors in Brooklyn Fight For An Imperiled Garden They Transformed From An Abandoned Lot Into An Oasis Of Green

Photo by Ali Jacobs.

Gardeners will begin repairing the vegetable bed that was destroyed by some of the landlords’ workers

By Anna Gustafson
Ditmas Park
September 25, 2014


When the landlords of a plot of land that is now the Maple Street Community Garden in Prospect Lefferts Gardens showed up at the site on Tuesday, ready to raze the green space for which neighbors have painstakingly cared for the past year and a half, the volunteer gardeners had a resounding message for them: No.

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October 5, 2014   Comments Off

The allotment holder, Bristol

Pete Clee: ‘I’ve had my plot for 30 years.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian.

Pete Clee: ‘Experienced and lazy is my gardening style. I know what I don’t have to do’

By Lia Leendertz
The Guardian
6 September 2014


I’ve had my plot for 30 years, and walk around the other plots here most mornings, so I’ve always known what’s going on. I would report problems to the secretary and eventually someone said, “Why don’t you join the committee?” I said, “Because you’re a load of old codgers!” – they were pretty clueless and unwelcoming, the old guard: dig for victory types. They frowned on women having plots.

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October 2, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farming in Brooklyn: a return to the land

East New York Farms has been supporting community gardens in Brooklyn since 1998. (Credit: Nurys N. Garcia/East New York Farms)

The first people here more than 350 years ago worked the land

By Georgia Kral
September 23, 2014


John M. Ameroso is one of the pioneers of the movement in Brooklyn.

“We were trying to say for a long time you can utilize the space we have,” he said. “[And now] every time I’m at Added Value (farm in Red Hook), there’s people who show up and they say they want to get involved.”

As the first employee in the Cornell Cooperative Extension-run USDA urban gardening program, Ameroso organized and helped establish community gardening projects all over the borough.

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October 1, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Farming’s Grande Dame: Karen Washington

During the growing seasonn, Karen Washington works nearly every day in the Garden of Happiness, the community garden that she helped found in 1988 across the street from her home in the Bronx. Photo by Chester Higgins Jr.

A Believer in Vacant Lots

By Dan Shaw
New York Times
Sept 19, 2014


Karen Washington, a community activist who has been called “urban farming’s de facto godmother,” found her bliss when she moved to the Bronx nearly 30 years ago and began growing vegetables in her backyard. Gardening was not part of her heritage.

“My parents and grandparents were not farmers,” said Ms. Washington, who recently retired after 37 years from her day job as a physical therapist. “I took out books from the library and learned what to do.”

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September 21, 2014   Comments Off

A gardening effort in Camden, N.J., brings fresh food to New Jersey’s biggest food desert

The Esperanza Community Garden in North Camden. Photo by Michael Morgan. Click on image for larger file.

We have about 130 gardens and yet there are about 12,000 abandoned lots in the city, including 4,000 city-owned abandoned lots that are there for the taking.

By Lynda McCullough
Food Tank
Aug. 29, 2014


In 2008, when the economy melted down, people in Camden, which is one of the poorest cities per capita in the nation, faced tougher times than most. We’re the worst food desert in New Jersey and one of the nine worst in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A lot of people started to come to us about starting a community garden to help get fresh food and save on their grocery bills. We went from about 30 community gardens in 2008 to over 130 today; according to the University of Pennsylvania, which is partnering with us on the USDA’s Community Food Project grant, about 15 percent of the population of the city gets some of its fresh produce from our program.

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September 8, 2014   Comments Off

Integrating Urban Farms into the Social Landscape of Cities


Recommendations for Strengthening the Relationship Between Urban Farms and Local Communities

By Melissa N. Poulsen, MPH & Marie L. Spiker, MSPH, RD Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
With illustrations by Alex Winch July 2014
44 pages
(Must read. Mike)

Executive Summary:

In cities across the U.S., urban farming is gaining traction as a way of productively using degraded vacant land while increasing access to fresh produce within cities. As urban farming continues to be promoted by municipal governments and others, it is important to understand how to ensure these projects are viable. One consideration for urban farms located in populated areas of a city is the reaction of residents who live in neighborhoods surrounding farms. Urban farms differ from urban gardens in their emphasis on income-generating agricultural activity. As such, they can challenge traditional images residents might have for how land is used in city neighborhoods. Urban farming projects are most likely to survive and thrive if they have local support, but how can these projects gain community buy-in? Through interviews with urban farmers, neighborhood leaders, community residents, and other key stakeholders in Baltimore City, we sought to understand the processes that are most effective for gaining the acceptance of city residents for urban farming.

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September 7, 2014   Comments Off

Halifax refugee families farming in the heart of the city

Children play at the site of a refugee community garden on Willett Street in Halifax. (CBC)

About 80 refugee families are now buying their own seeds and growing their own food

CBC News
Aug 25, 2014


Refugees accustomed to growing their own food in their home countries are finding garden space in their newly adopted Halifax neighbourhood.

This summer, Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services is helping seed the fourth garden in four years. The Mosaic Ministries, an independent church on Willett Street in Halifax, donated the land in Fairview.

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September 3, 2014   Comments Off

The Rapid Growth of Community Gardens in Canada

Sylvia watering her garden. Photo by Dylan Copland.

Vancouver now has over 75 of them; Halifax 25; and Ottawa, at least 40.

By Dylan Copland
Nature Canada
August 2014


Vancouver has instituted tax breaks for landowners who develop green spaces on their property. The city now allows developers to classify community gardens as class eight recreational property, reducing the cost owed to the government to about a third of typical commercial property tax fees.

In Ottawa, Just Food, in concert with garden organizers and the city government, works with an $85,000 a year budget to provide tools, equipment and construction and gardening materials to those looking to work in or organize a community garden.

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September 1, 2014   Comments Off

A peak time to examine community garden etiquette in Los Angeles

Community gardens involve many personalities, and they may come into conflict — even if they haven’t met in person. Photo by Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times.

“With this many plots and people gardening so close to one another, there are bound to be issues.”

By Kimberly Stevens
LA Times
Aug 19, 2014


With community gardens growing in popularity and expanding rapidly, more personalities come into play, and that can make for conflict. Renner has heard about almost every breach of etiquette imaginable. Fruit and vegetable theft tops the list, in his opinion. “It happens in every garden, and I’ve seen people ready to take out a shovel or a machete if they can catch the thief,” he said.

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August 27, 2014   Comments Off

Astor Free Community Garden in Jersey City

Leila Harrison, 3, is known to the community as “Lady Astor” and has grown up working in the the Astor Free Community Garden. Photo by Julie Kayzerman.

Seven hundred and sixty-six people had to be able to eat,” she said of the number of people she believes have been affected by the garden.

By Julie Kayzerman
The Jersey Journal
Aug 15, 2014


“This was a garbage lot!” Bland said of the garden that is in full bloom growing watermelons, onions, squash, beets, carrots, potatoes, grapes, peppers, cantaloupes, okra, kale, strawberries, corn and cherry tomatoes — all planted by people of all ages to produce organic free food to feed the community.

The garden brings together all different generations with 3-year-olds working alongside senior citizens, who come to the garden to relax in a safe, positive environment.

“It’s very hands on, she eats, she touches, she smells and it’s good because she’s learning,” said June Glenn-Lawson, who recently cooked the squash that her granddaughter, Leila, planted and grew.

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August 26, 2014   Comments Off

Anchorage, Alaska’s refugee gardeners

Gardeners are Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, who fled their home country of Bhutan after years of poverty, repression and civil war.

By Tara Young, Megan Edge
Alaska Dispatch News
August 4, 2014


According to Riley, the program provides opportunity for “Anchorage’s newest residents” to make change, practice their English and become part of the local community.

On one July day this summer, Anita Gurung and her family were among the gardeners. With smiles on their faces, they pulled root vegetables out of the ground to sell at a local farmers market

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August 15, 2014   Comments Off

How Urban Agriculture Builds Food Security in Rainier Valley, Seattle

rainierPhoto credit: Just Garden Project.

One 4×8 foot raised bed allows a family to grow up to $200 worth of food each growing season.

By Curbed Staff
Seattle Curbed
July 29, 2014


Started in 2010, the Just Garden Project, a program run by Seattle Tilth, has built more than 100 gardens for low-income households throughout King County – providing nutritious food for more than 2,000 people. The Just Garden Project subsidizes the construction of gardens for low-income residents at the cost of $25 for one raised garden bed, which includes construction, seeds, a growing guide, and free gardening classes – a small price to pay for a tool that will allow families to sustainably feed themselves over a long period of time.

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August 12, 2014   Comments Off