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Category — Community Gardens

In Pursuit of Resilient Community Gardens

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A Comparison between Bottom-Up and Hybrid Initiatives in New York and Amsterdam

By Beatriz Pineda,
Spanish urban planner and architect living in Amsterdam
This academic article is the final product of the Research Master’s in Urban Studies conducted at the University of Amsterdam (2012-2014).

Except from Abstract:

The numerous bottom-up initiatives appearing in Western cities, especially since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, leads this research to focus on the future and endurance of these projects. Sometimes implemented and maintained only by citizens, other times supported by institutions, all of these initiatives aim at becoming successful and resilient. But how to measure the resilience of these grassroots efforts is still open to debate.

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November 23, 2014   No Comments

Philippine cemetery’s vegetable garden inspires town to go organic

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In Barangay Bulac, no resident has gone hungry because anyone can harvest vegetables from backyards or public gardens, village chief Dante Al Fernandez said.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
3 November 2014

Excerpt:

A public cemetery in Barangay (village) Poblacion here has become the launch pad of this town’s biggest nutrition program anchored on organic vegetable farming.

Vegetable gardens can be seen in the town’s barangay hall compounds, road shoulders, school campuses and backyards, thanks to a project that started in plots on vacant lots of Himlayan ng Bayanover a year ago.

“We found out that our soil is fertile enough to produce quality vegetables such as string beans, eggplants, tomatoes and papaya,” said Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez.

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November 9, 2014   Comments Off

University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension aids local urban farms, gardens

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UD Cooperative Extension is assisting with local urban gardens and farms.

The city of Newark announced that its first community garden will be opening in 2015 at Fairfield Park.

By Adam Thomas
University of Delaware
Oct 28, 2014

Excerpt:

“We’re fortunate to have over 100 Master Gardener volunteers just in this county and in the last few years we’ve had such an explosion of requests to support urban agriculture projects, school gardens, community gardens and back yard, small-scale production that we’ve focused on training Master Gardeners to help,” said Murphy, adding, “A subset of the Master Gardeners has really dedicated their volunteer time to providing urban agriculture outreach programs.”

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November 7, 2014   Comments Off

Is there a future for Krakovo gardens in Ljubljana, Slovenia?

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Gardens in the Krakovo district. Photo by E. Kase.

Only twenty years ago the Krakovo gardens were an important source of fresh vegetable for town people in Ljubljana.

By Katja Vadnal, Marijana Jakše, Vesna Ali? and Danica Jereb-Bolka
Field Actions Science Reports
Special Issue 1 2010

Abstract:

Urban agriculture is more or less marginalized within the theory, as well as within the conceptualization of sustainable development for Slovene towns. The spatial development plan of Ljubljana reflects the situation: permanent and temporary locations for gardens are to be situated all over the town, but there is no place for them in the inner city centre, in visually exposed sites, or near areas of cultural heritage. Yet, in the very inner centre of Ljubljana, 1.8 ha of allotment gardens are protected as cultural heritage. Therefore the case of these gardens, known as the Krakovo gardens, was used to discuss the perspective of urban agriculture in Ljubljana.

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November 6, 2014   Comments Off

New Vancouver Community Garden in SE False Creek

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Photos By Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

By Chris Reid
Shifting Growth
Nov 3, 2014

The new Southeast False Creek Temporary Community Garden is up and running with 222 community garden beds and seating for the emerging False Creek community. This space is temporarily being used as a community garden for local community members to grow food. The garden will last (likely) for 2 years and we’ll keep everyone posted about the garden timelines.

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November 3, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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

Excerpt:

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   Comments Off

Top Ten Agriculture Projects in Dallas

Promise of Peace Community Garden Kickstarter program.

By Liz Essman
Food Tank
Oct 6, 2014

Excerpt:

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   Comments Off

The Growth of Allotment Gardens [Infographic]

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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

Excerpt:

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   Comments Off

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

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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

Excerpt:

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

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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

Excerpt:

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

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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
AmNy
September 23, 2014

Excerpt:

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

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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

Excerpt:

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

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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

Excerpt:

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

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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

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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

Excerpt:

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