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Category — Education

Green acres are flourishing on campus rooftops across Canada

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Elevator pitch: Arlene Throness of Ryerson’s farm, originally proposed by architect students (Mark Blinch/Ryerson University) Click on image for larger file.

Sustainability-minded green roof projects are appearing from Montreal’s Concordia to the University of Saskatchewan

By Leanne Delap
Macleans
November 28, 2016

Excerpt:

And at the University of Saskatchewan, an opportunity arose on top of the phytotron (a research greenhouse). The condensers were moved, leaving a bare expanse visible from an open walkway.

“Aha,” said Grant Wood, a professor of urban agriculture, who worked with the university’s office of sustainability to come up with “the rooftop.” After getting the engineering students to check on load-bearing weights, and “a lot of paperwork,” says Wood, pallets and recycled containers were moved onto the roof. The team started with 500 sq. feet of planting, for a yield of about a thousand pounds of produce this past year; the goal is to double that next year.

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November 29, 2016   No Comments

Recent grad of Florida’s Valencia’s horticulture program leads urban agriculture project

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Current and Former Valencia Students Bradley Holcomb, Caroline Chomanics, and Michael Clevenger (from left) at East End Market.

In the horticulture program: “We would problem-solve about the logic behind growing plants: what they need to survive; common diseases; landscape design; botany and the structural make-up of the plant.”

By Jimmy Sherfey
Valencia College
Nov 3, 2016

Excerpt:

Fleet Farming recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with matching funds from City of Orlando and Orlando City Soccer, totaling $250,000. With the money, Fleet Farming will bring its ‘Food, not lawns’ model to the Parramore neighborhood, setting up a Farmers’ Market at Orlando City soccer stadium that will distribute Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes filled with “hyper-local” produce. These boxes will include seasonal produce harvested by Fleet Farmers on 10-15 neighborhood “farmlettes” and sold at a flat rate through memberships held by market attendees.

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November 13, 2016   Comments Off on Recent grad of Florida’s Valencia’s horticulture program leads urban agriculture project

The new face of Canadian agriculture

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Tsawwassen Farm School is a unique educational program that is a collaboration between Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Tsawwassen First Nation and on TFN land. (Jean-Philippe Marquis)

Backyard chickens. One-acre market gardens. Rooftop bees. What used to be part of the rural landscape is creeping into the cement-and-steel terrain of Canada’s urban centres, creating an intersection of food, community and education.

By Nikki Wart
Macleans
Nov 3, 2016

Excerpts:

In the past year at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, 60 per cent of the applicants for the bachelor of science and agriculture program came from urban postal codes.

And few companies are doing it as well as Alvéole, a Montreal-based hive-keeping company founded in 2012.

“We’re basically setting up a hive and saying, ‘This is your hive, and you’re going to see food production and agriculture and environment through these bees,’ ” he says, adding that there are a lot of similarities between urban agriculture and traditional agriculture. For one, urban farmers still have to battle weather and disease.

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November 10, 2016   Comments Off on The new face of Canadian agriculture

Goa, India: School kids to be trained in urban gardening

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1. Short title and commencement.— (i) The scheme shall be called “Development of Kitchen Gardens”.

The Times of India
Oct 31, 2016

Panaji: Students in Goa will be soon taught to grow food in the comforts of their homes. Schools in Goa do not incorporate food education into their curricula, but, as a welcome change, the department of agriculture will be introducing this subject at select institutions in the state, after the Diwali vacations.

“We are going to have students grow vegetables within the school campus. This is to inculcate the interest of cultivation among them,” said director, agriculture, Ulhas Pai Kakode.

He added that schools with inadequate space can attempt teaching children on the terrace area as well. As part of this programme, agriculture officers will distribute free farming kits among students and teachers, and train them in the art of urban gardening. The kit will contain 16 items useful in the process of cultivation, including vegetable seeds, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, vermi-compost, spray pump, etc.

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November 8, 2016   Comments Off on Goa, India: School kids to be trained in urban gardening

Purdue Extensions’s Urban Agriculture Certificate 2016-2017

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The Urban Agriculture Certificate is a yearlong experience that combines classroom learning with field trips to prepare urban agriculture leaders for success with their project.

Begins on Wednesday, November 2 at 6 p.m

Urban Agriculture Certificate participants will:

• Receive in-depth instruction for urban organic crop production—from farm design through harvest techniques

• Clarify their project vision and strengthen their community impact

• Learn to think like an enterprise to achieve economic sustainability

This certificate follows a curriculum designed by Purdue Extension and is tailored to the dynamics of urban agriculture which occurs at a very small scale (usually an acre or less), at close proximity to non-agriculture land uses, and often in partnership with other individuals or organizations. The audience for this curriculum includes for-profit and non-profit market farmers and gardeners, community garden organizers, school garden leaders, urban homesteaders, and other urban agriculture project leaders.

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November 1, 2016   Comments Off on Purdue Extensions’s Urban Agriculture Certificate 2016-2017

‘Veggielante’ helps folks grow food in small spaces in Sacramento

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Con10u2Farm.com puts modules in schools to encourage gardens in city neighborhoods

By Cathie Anderson
Sacramento Bee
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Friends tease James Brady about his devotion to urban farming, calling him a veggielante and a veggie preacher, but that doesn’t stop his proselytizing. Brady and his business partners create microscale systems that allow schoolchildren and others to grow produce in small or nontraditional spaces.

They recently sold nine of their “adaptive growing modules” to Sacramento-area schools such as Luther Burbank High School, John Still and Pasadena Avenue Elementary School. The modules consist of raised storage bins hooked up to a recirculating water system and filled with a composted growing medium. A timer, which can be powered by solar energy, turns the drip system on and off as directed.

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October 25, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Veggielante’ helps folks grow food in small spaces in Sacramento

New-York: The Big Apple Goes Green

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Link to video. A short documentary on urban agriculture in the city of New York.

Three urban agriculture initiatives, the Earth School in Manhattan, a community garden in Bedford St. and the Science Barge in Yonkers.

By Gaël Link
2014
In English and French
(Must see. Mike)

C’est l’histoire de gens qui s’investissent à l’échelle de leur quartier pour promouvoir l’agriculture urbaine.
Les élèves de la Earth School profitent du jardin potager qui a vu le jour sur le toit de leur école, à manhattan.
Les habitants du quartier de Bedstuy, à Brooklyn, organisent une block party pour célébrer les douze ans du jardin partagé Greene Acres.

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October 20, 2016   Comments Off on New-York: The Big Apple Goes Green

40 Sophomores in Urban Agriculture Academy Embark on a Rural Immersion Tour in Southeast Nebraska

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Bryan students get a closer look at a corn planter during a Rural Immersion Tour in Southeast Nebraska.

“You get them up close to cows and pigs and machinery. They get to see what agriculture is really like, and what rural living is like.”

By Eric Taylor
Leader Associate Editor
Oct 5, 2016

Excerpt:

“Basically everything was new to me,” Tovar said. “And the smell was a lot stronger than I imagined.”

Tovar, Rodriguez and the tour group received a unique viewing when then went to visit the pig farm.

“That was the first time I’d seen a pig in person,” Rodriguez said.

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October 12, 2016   Comments Off on 40 Sophomores in Urban Agriculture Academy Embark on a Rural Immersion Tour in Southeast Nebraska

$2.5 Million Donation Preserves White House Kitchen Garden

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First Lady Michelle Obama embraces President Barack Obama as he surprises her during the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest. President chats with kids in the garden. Click on image for larger file.

The White House Kitchen Garden will be maintained and preserved into the future thanks to The Burpee Foundation And The W. Atlee Burpee Company Partnering With The National Park Foundation

Remarks by the First Lady at the White House Kitchen Garden Dedication

Oct 5, 2016
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt from transcript:

MRS. OBAMA: Hello everyone, I am so — I’m beyond thrilled. I’m probably as emotional as everybody sitting in this garden to be here with you today as we officially dedicate our White House Kitchen Garden.

People look at my daughters, and they see how time has flown by. And then I look at Tammy. And I remember Tammy to the day because she — her face is the same, but you did absolutely grow. (Laughter.) And you’ve matured is what you’ve done. You have grown into such a poised, gracious young lady. And I know your mother is proud. It’s just been a complete honor to have you by my side on this project. So, Tammy, thank you. (Applause.)

Oh, my goodness. I also want to say a few huge thank yous to a few more people — to the folks from the Burpee Foundation and the W. Atlee Burpee Company for their generous support of the National Park Foundation to preserve this garden for the future. And I want to recognize the Whole Kids Foundation for making this day possible. And what a beautiful day it is. This has been the garden’s luck, right? It rained all week and we were on pins and needles that we’d have to do this inside. And this is a perfect day — a perfect day.

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October 8, 2016   Comments Off on $2.5 Million Donation Preserves White House Kitchen Garden

Down on the Farm in Downtown Manhattan

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Students caring for a garden in a program run by Edible Schoolyard NYC, one of the nonprofits taking part in the Farm Fresh Festival for Kids.

“City Growers will be teaching kids about bees and pollination and honey,” Ms. Brose said, referring to one of the nonprofits taking part. “We’ll have beehives there.”

By Laurel Graeber
New York Times
Sept. 15, 2016

Excerpt:

“What we’re doing is transforming the seaport into an imaginative farm,” said Susanne Brose, who developed the event with Sandra Velez. Two years ago, Ms. Brose established FreshKids, a company that produces children’s snacks without genetically altered or artificial ingredients. Ms. Brose’s business, the Howard Hughes Corporation and the Generation Fresh Foundation, a nonprofit she helped found, will present the festival, which will offer opportunities to investigate livestock, planting, harvesting, cooking and composting.

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September 24, 2016   Comments Off on Down on the Farm in Downtown Manhattan

Mushrooms from community garden sicken Los Angeles schoolchildren

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A toxic mushroom species, amanita pantherina, is believed to be the cause of multiple illnesses at a Silver Lake elementary school. (KABC)

According to a phone message sent to parents, the students were taking part in an afternoon “garden instruction” lesson at the garden, which sits on the edge of the campus.

By Veronica Rocha and Howard Blume
Los Angeles Times
Sept. 23, 2016

Excerpt:

A parent told KABC-TV that his 10-year-old son had to be hospitalized after someone working in the garden gave him and other fifth-graders mushrooms. After eating the mushrooms, students started throwing up.

Doctors have performed tests on the boy to determine what made him sick, the TV news station reported. District officials said they had no information about the types of vegetables in the garden.

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September 24, 2016   Comments Off on Mushrooms from community garden sicken Los Angeles schoolchildren

Washington: University of the District of Columbia campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city — 20,000 square fee

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Dean Sabine O’Hara describes the UDC rooftop farm to Sustainable Urban Agriculture students. Photo (CC BY-SA): Erik Assadourian.

The goal is to build an “Urban Food Hub” in each of the city’s eight wards, particularly the poorer ones.

Future Perfect
Sept 2016

Excerpt:

Right on campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city – 20,000 square feet – growing plump Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes and crisp red-stemmed Swiss Chard along the edges (areas of the roof that have the structural integrity to handle larger crops) as well as greens, flowers, and sedum in the interior sections (for insulation and water capture benefits). Much of this rooftop produce – grown mostly by volunteers – gets distributed to UDC’s faculty and staff through a community-supported agriculture program and to D.C. food banks as donations.

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September 22, 2016   Comments Off on Washington: University of the District of Columbia campus is the largest rooftop farm in the city — 20,000 square fee

A High School Urban Agriculture Program in Richmond, California

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Adam Boisvert, co-instructor of the Urban Agriculture Institute, waters carrots in one of the class’s 57 raised beds. Photo by Reis Thebault.

“They’re working really hard to make positive changes in the community,” he said. “That is the essence of the class: how you can take care of yourself—even in an urban area.”

By Reis Thebault
Richmond Confidential
September 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The class began as an after school program seven years ago but quickly became popular with the administration, said Richmond High School Principal José De León. At the time, it was part of a local push to begin community gardens in schools. Now, he said, Richmond High’s program is unique because it’s part of the school’s curriculum.

As an elective, the class is up against the likes of yearbook, dance and film, but De León said the course fills up every year—a sign that it’s popular among students.

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September 20, 2016   Comments Off on A High School Urban Agriculture Program in Richmond, California

Uganda: Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) demonstration farm

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Godfrey Kato a farming specialist at the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) demonstration farm at Kyanja Wakiso district explains that backyard farming is when one practices farming in sacks and buckets as a way of utilizing the small piece of land available.

He adds that one can grow close to 54 plants on one 100kgs sack depending on the type of crops one is planning to grow.

By Lawrence Mulondo
New Vision
7th September 2016

Excerpt:

Kato explains that one needs a sack, gravel stones, organic manure and soil to make a proper garden.

Mix soil with available organic manure like green manure from cover crops or animal/birds manure like chicken waste.

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September 13, 2016   Comments Off on Uganda: Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) demonstration farm

Ireland’s ‘Thank Potato’ Growers

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Andrew Douglas, with his potato plants of many different varieties. ‘Thank Potato’ potato collection is grown in up-cycled water cooler bottles and artificial grass off cuts, utilising waste stream materials to house and grow our potato plants.

Our main permanent feature is the growing and harvesting of over 180 different heritage and heirloom potatoes on the rooftop of a secondary school in Dublin city centre.

From UrbanFarm.ie
Thank Potato

Excerpt:

Why grow Potatoes as an urban food project?

The potato is the fourth most important food in the world. But so far, it has not featured prominently in the debate on food security. The potato crop is of key importance in that it provides high nutrition and is an adaptive species for climate change. Potatoes use less water per nutritional output than all other major food sources.

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September 6, 2016   Comments Off on Ireland’s ‘Thank Potato’ Growers