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Category — Design

Food-Producing Landscapes: Principles of Design


Food producing landscapes are more controversial than your typical landscape project.

By Brian Barth
Land 8
July 17, 2014


1) Use hardscape features to create aesthetic definition.

The clean lines of paths, patios, fences, raised beds, retaining walls, arbors, trellises and pergolas can all be used to create order out what can sometimes be a chaotic and cluttered plantscape. Fruit trees espaliered along a rigid structure (i.e. wood or wires) or a turning a hillside into a terraced vineyard are examples.

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July 26, 2014   No Comments

Andrea Reynosa planted a 6,000-square-foot field with clover in Brooklyn


Artists Probe Urban Agriculture

By Allison Meier
July 1, 2014


In collaboration with Smack Mellon’s FOODshed, Alloy real estate development, and Brooklyn Grange, artist Andrea Reynosa planted a 6,000-square-foot field with clover that is sprouting red flowers alongside the Manhattan Bridge. The space was formerly a parking lot. The flourish of vibrancy is temporary, but Reynosa is planning that through the clover, a site that might otherwise be an empty construction lot will have life that will in turn ameliorate the soil before a condominium moves in.

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July 19, 2014   No Comments

Why Landscape Architects Stopped Specifying Edible Plants (And Why They Have Started Again)

AndrewFarmerClick on image for larger file. By Andrew Farmer.

A ‘crop’ makes an urban landscape more complicated to manage and maintain.

By Brian Barth
Land 8
July 4, 2014


In the 150 years that landscape architecture has been formally recognized as a profession, there has existed a gulf of separation between our discipline and agriculture. Even though plants, soil, and people are fundamental to each field, the former focuses on aesthetics and the structural functions of human settlements (drainage, access and circulation, integration with the built environment, etc.), while the latter is centered on the process of cultivating edible species for consumption. Recently, however, there are signs of integration between the two disciplines and landscape architects are now being challenged to adopt new methods to mitigate the discord between them.

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July 16, 2014   No Comments

University of California launches urban agriculture website


“We’ll also share stories about urban farms around California and news around the state about urban agriculture policies and initiatives,”

By Pamela Kan-Rice
UC California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
July 2, 2014


As local food has gained popularity, more city folks are growing food in their own backyards. Now they have a new online resource to consult about urban farming. The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has launched a website to provide practical, science-based information for urban agriculture.

At the website at, visitors will find information on raising livestock, crop production, marketing and policies for farming in their backyards, on a few acres, at a school or in a community setting.

Rachel Surls, a UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Los Angeles County, and a team including UCCE farm advisors, policy and advocacy experts, urban planners, agricultural economists and others created the new urban agriculture website in response to the results of a UC survey of urban farmers in California.

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July 5, 2014   Comments Off

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is creating a 2.4-acre teaching garden adjacent to the kitchen

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is partnering with the Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio to establish a teaching kitchen at the downtown hospital to offer nutrition and cooking courses to patients and the community. Photo by Edward A. Ornelas / San Antonio Express-News.

The teaching kitchen and garden will be the first of their kind at a children’s hospital in San Antonio

By Jessica Belasco
San Antonio Express-News
June 4, 2014


The teaching kitchen will be instrumental in teaching the community the awareness of the relationship between food and health, he said.

The organic vegetable and herb garden, designed by Overland Partners Architects and Co’Design, will bring “the healing work of nature” to the downtown campus for patients and families to learn, play and meditate, said John Bel, president of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Foundation.

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July 4, 2014   Comments Off

Liam O’Farrell’s Fabulous Allotment Garden Paintings

liam1Click on image for larger file. ‘The allotment fair.’ Featured in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2010. This is based on an allotment fair in an allotment by the sea in Portsmouth, England.

“In my work I cherish the uniqueness of our dilapidated seaside towns, stumbling light industries. I exhibit often, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Society of British Arts and as far afield as Tokyo.”

Artist – Liam O’Farrell
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt from Dec, 2013 blog post:

The painting (The Allotment Fair) is based on an event at my mum’s allotment.

As the growing season nears its end the members organise an “Allotment show”. Quite a jovial affair. They pitch a large marquee, have a jumble sale and sell cake. At least thirty varieties of cake. So much cake!

The culmination of the show is the grand prize giving for the finest fruits and vegetables. They have the usual categories, ‘Largest pumpkin’, ‘Best onions’ and so on. Each winner is presented with a small trophy and large applause. No better way to while away a late summer afternoon.

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June 16, 2014   Comments Off

Egyptian Model of a Garden from Middle Kingdom ca. 1981-1975 B.C.

See larger image here.

Pond surrounded by sycamore fig trees with red fruit growing from the trunks and branches

From the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
Period: Middle Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 12
Reign: reign of Amenemhat I, early
Date: ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of
Medium: Wood, paint Copper

Excerpt from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art:

This model of a garden and portico was discovered in a hidden chamber at the side of the passage leading into the rock cut tomb of the royal chief steward Meketre, who began his career under King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II of Dynasty 11 and continued to serve successive kings into the early years of Dynasty 12.

In the center of the garden is a pond surrounded by sycamore fig trees with red fruit growing from the trunks and branches. The pond is lined with copper and could have been filled with water. Facing the garden is the porch of a house. Two rows of columns support the roof made of palm trunks split into halves. The rear columns have capitals in the form of papyrus stalks bound together, the capitals of the front columns imitate bundles of lotus. Rainfall is rare in Upper Egypt, but such an eventuality is provided for in three projecting spouts.

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May 24, 2014   Comments Off

Herbs and hops to grow over France’s pavilion for Milan Expo 2015

Curved hollows will frame interior spaces, while the designers hope that vines of hops will grow up through the gaps in the lattice.

Expo theme “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life.”

De Zeen Magazine
Apr 29, 2014


Vegetables, herbs and hops will be planted between the latticed timber structure of the pavilion representing France at the World Expo 2015 in Milan (+ slideshow).

Conceived by Paris studio XTU Architects, the competition-winning French pavilion design responds to the expo theme “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life.” by proposing a building based around a vision of the market hall as a centre for agricultural production.

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May 6, 2014   Comments Off

General Motors to Build Shipping Container Homestead for Urban Agriculture


A university student caretaker will live year-round in the home and manage the farm while using the land for agricultural research activities.

May 2014


The container home is about 40 feet long, eight feet wide and 10 feet tall. When completed this spring, the home will feature 320 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen. TAKD Design led the aesthetics and Integrity Building Group developed the build plans and will oversee construction.

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May 4, 2014   Comments Off

Modern Farmer magazine just beat GQ, New York, Vanity Fair for a National Magazine Award


Magazine’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief’s name is Ann Marie ‘Gardner’

By Seth Fiegerman
May 2, 2014


“I worked on it for about a year and my good friends thought, ‘What are you talking about? A farming magazine? Are you having a midlife crisis?’” she recalls. “People were worried.”

It wasn’t actually supposed to be a magazine. While reporting for The New York Times and Monocle, a publication she helped found, she noticed more and more people who were eager to learn about where their food comes from, how to grow things of their own and generally become more self-sufficient. She thought it might make for a good article, but the more she thought about it, the bigger the project became.

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May 3, 2014   Comments Off

Graphic: ‘The Technology of Backyard Micro-Farming’

See the complete graphic here.

“Unfortunately, thanks to misinformation on the Internet, some people may be led to believe that building a garden or collecting rainwater for it is illegal in some places.”

By Roslyn Willson/


Backyard Gardens

For those of you that do not have the time or inclination for a micro-farm that takes up your entire backyard, there are many other options including smaller green houses that utilize aquaponics — a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture, the latter of which is the farming of aquatic life such as fish, shellfish and plants. Even a 6×8 foot aquaponic garden covered with a greenhouse can generate enough fish and vegetables to make a big dent in your yearly food bill. Portable Farms ( is an example of just one company that cells such systems.

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April 30, 2014   Comments Off

ARUP’s ‘Cities Alive’ – 3.1 Integrating Urban Food

Eco-city, China by Arup.

Report envisages cities of the future as integrated networks of intelligent green spaces, designed to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Cities Alive
April 2014
160 pages

Excerpt: Pages. 85-89

“Rooftop farms in some of the world’s most crowded cities, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, are adding green to the gray. They are reconnecting city dwellers with nature, teaching consumers about homegrown food and offering a glimpse, perhaps, of a more secure and sustainable food supply.”
—Mary Hui, New York Times (2012)

Many commentors now predict that we will see peak food around the world in the next two decades— we will begin to consume more food than we can possibly produce. Following that, alternatives to the current model of mass agriculture will have to be found. A big potential for an alternative model lies within the idea of the natural city.

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April 9, 2014   Comments Off

Raised Beds Design For Schools Wins First Place

kitchbedsClick on image for larger file.

The Kitchen Community worked closely with award winning artist and designer, Jen Lewin Studios, to create the Learning Garden concept. The very first raised bed system was fabricated using sheet steel powdercoated in a pearlescent white finish.

Rotational Molding Division of SPE
Professional Division
1st Place – $3000
Jamie Wirkler, Product Manager, The Kitchen Community- Garden Bed


In 2012, The Kitchen Community connected approximately 30,000 children to nutritious food by creating 50 Learning Gardens in schools across the U.S. In 2013, an additional 110 schools were granted Learning Gardens to bring the total children impacted to 100,000 and growing.

An outdoor classroom and experiential play space enables children to learn the value of growing their own food, discovering where it comes from and how it should taste. Science, Technology, Education, Arts, and Mathematics are interwoven into our education program to provide teachers with a head start to using the Learning Garden.

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March 27, 2014   Comments Off

1946 – Hasty and Tardy in the Vegetable Garden

hast1Click on image to make larger.

“Watcha doin’ Tardy?” (Five pages)

Oct. 1946

Tardy is putting in a vegetable garden, and the next day, while checking on his carrots, Tardy discovers them all gone. He sets a trap to catch the thief and discovers that Hasty is responsible.

See the rest of the commix on next page.

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March 20, 2014   Comments Off

What if? New York as A Giant Urban Farm

For the past six years, the urban research nonprofit Terreform has carefully considered exactly what New York City would look like if everything New Yorkers ate was grown inside city limits.

The New York City (Steady) State is considering what it would mean if the city’s 8 million residents were entirely self-sufficient, from the food they eat to the fuel they burn.

By Adele Peters
Fast CoExist
Mar 6, 2014


“At some level, it’s absurd,” says Michael Sorkin, who leads Terreform. “We discovered that with intense use of vertical agriculture and a change in diet, we could in fact physically provide the facilities to grow 2,500 decent calories for every resident in New York. But the energy estimates were so enormous we estimated that 25 nuclear power plants would be required.”

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March 14, 2014   Comments Off