New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Education

Urban farm partnership in Indianapolis fills need for healthy food, education and sense of community

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Lauren Brown, MLA ’12, heads the Indy Urban Acres cut flowers efforts, growing mostly wild flowers that are sold for commercial use. The nearly forgotten land is an example, Brown says, of how landscape architects can help turn something that seems like nothing into a vibrant, essential piece of a community.

“I love the groups that come out here,” Brown said. “Kids come out, and they have no idea where or how a tomato grows.

By Lisa Renze-Rhodes, Director of Media Strategy
Ball State University
Aug 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Indianapolis—On eight overlooked acres in the shadow of long-haul semi traffic, in a neighborhood represented on the city’s crime map with home invasion, burglary, theft and even assault icons, goodness grows.

It tastes like ripe tomatoes, sharp bell peppers and crisp cucumbers. It looks like wildflowers, waiting for a bride to carry them into happily-ever-after.

It feels like hope.

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August 30, 2015   No Comments

Designing Educational Food Landscapes

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Guidelines For Schools

By Elizabeth Nowatschin
Project Soil

Excerpt:

In addition to educational motivations, school gardening is being driven by public health concerns about rising rates of obesity and diabetes in children; the local food and sustainable agriculture movements; increased interest in children’s environmental awareness; and social and community development goals. School food gardens have been shown to provide community building and engagement; social development for the students who work and play in these gardens; curriculum and learning that is relevant and integrated; an awareness of the environment, linked to place; increased food literacy and health of the garden participants; and an effective means to link to local food and sustainable agriculture.

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August 13, 2015   Comments Off on Designing Educational Food Landscapes

Freeport, Illinois High School student farm supports CSA, weekly market

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Agriculture student Kaitlynn Ramprashad and Freeport High School FFA adviser and agriculture teacher Monica Pierce harvest broccoli florets from the student garden at the high school. Tony Carton/The Journal-Standard.

Freeport sophomore Joe Gillen grew up in the city and said he is learning a lot about food production and marketing.

By Tony Carton
The Journal-Standard
Aug. 4, 2015

Excerpt:

“When I came to the Freeport program I specifically wanted to teach urban agriculture, basically reaching kids that have little or no farm experience and then bringing something to them that they might find relevant,” Pierce said. “I studied urban youth gardening programs when I was in college and the effect that it can have on leadership development and job experience. It’s a very positive thing.”

Similar programs are already underway in Rockford, Chicago, Milwaukee and other big cities. Pierce said Freeport is a smaller town, but with a similar urban profile.

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August 13, 2015   Comments Off on Freeport, Illinois High School student farm supports CSA, weekly market

“Farmer John” Matthesen and California’s Urban Agriculture Movement

famrejAt Rodgers Ranch, Marian Woodard and John Matthesen, directors of the urban farm and teaching garden, work with volunteers to prepare soil for planting herbs and flowers. During the activity, they came across and inspected a California boa in the spiral herb garden. (Contra Costa Times)

I teach culinary students that they too can participate in the Silicon Valley startup environment

By Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow
Fox and Hounds
August 4th, 2015

Excerpt:

Matthesen is a leader in this urban ag movement in the East Bay. He and his wife, Marian Woodard helped found the Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm in 2012, which is a working farm on 2 acres in suburban Pleasant Hill.

Matthesen, known by his students as “Farmer John”, graduated from the University of Colorado, and spent 12 years in the hospitality field, in a range of jobs in hotels and restaurants. In 1987 he shifted fields to take a job with Sybase, the rapidly growing software firm then in Emeryville. For the next nearly 25 years he was active in software start-ups, including for some years as a member of a venture capital firm in San Francisco. Woodard is a graduate of UC Davis / Master Gardener program.

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August 12, 2015   Comments Off on “Farmer John” Matthesen and California’s Urban Agriculture Movement

Vertical Urban Farming in The Hague, Netherlands

HagueElementary school Bird of Paradise built a glasshouse on the roof of their gym.

View from above, a view to the future

By Tom Voorma
Projectleider Stadslandbouw – Gemeente Den Haag
DSB | afd. Archeologie, Natuur- en Milieueducatie
Postbus 12 610 | 2500 DK Den Haag |
Bezoekadres Spui 70 of Van Kinsbergenstraat 85
The Hague, The Netherlands
August 2015

If you take a look around on the web, you’ll notice that pigs still don’t fly but there ARE things growing in the sky!
Tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, beans and potatoes and more, and it is not just that one weird artists experiment somewhere, on a forgotten roof, and it is also not just Chicago, Boston and Hong Kong. This phenomenon is spreading like nature is used to. And now we’ve even got it where we are now, The Hague, city of Peace & Justice in The Netherlands.
Elementary school Bird of Paradise built a glasshouse on the roof of their gym. After having had fun flexing and strengthening their bodies and minds, students can go upstairs and learn where their food comes from and how to feed their body in a healthy manner.

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August 11, 2015   Comments Off on Vertical Urban Farming in The Hague, Netherlands

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Announces Support for New “Ag on the Go” Program

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PA Friends of Agriculture Program Receives $20,000 Donation from Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

“We created Ag on the Go in order to provide fun, hands-on, science-based experiments focusing on food nutrition, farming and the environment to inner city schools that typically are not served by our Mobile Agriculture Education Science Labs.”

By Mark O’Neill
Media and Strategic Communications Director
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
July 29, 2015

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Friends of Agriculture Foundation is gearing up for the start of its new “Ag on the Go” program, which targets students attending inner city schools in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and York during the 2015-2016 school year.

“We created Ag on the Go in order to provide fun, hands-on, science-based experiments focusing on food nutrition, farming and the environment to inner city schools that typically are not served by our Mobile Agriculture Education Science Labs,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) President Rick Ebert, who serves as chairman of the Friends of Agriculture Foundation. “A huge benefit of the new program is that it can be especially helpful to school districts struggling with tight budgets.”

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August 5, 2015   Comments Off on Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Announces Support for New “Ag on the Go” Program

Unique urban agriculture container used for demonstration garden in Montreal

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Borough Mayor Russell Copeman in front of the Conserre. Click on image for larger file.

The project is aimed at promoting awareness of the potential of urban agriculture among citizens.

PR News Wire
July 20, 2015

Excerpt:

The Conserre is a container that was transformed into a demonstration garden in which various vegetables, fine herbs and edible flowers were planted on July 7. The project is aimed at promoting awareness of the potential of urban agriculture among citizens. The Conserre will remain at the Vendôme metro station until the fall of 2015. Every week, community education workers will be on site to maintain the garden and answers questions from citizens.

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July 25, 2015   Comments Off on Unique urban agriculture container used for demonstration garden in Montreal

Historic Moore Farm Estate in Ottawa to become a showcase for urban farming and ecotourism

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National Capital Commission chief executive Mark Kristmanson, right, and Sylvain Bertrand, chair of the Co-operative de solidarité de la ferme Moore, signed a five-year lease Tuesday at the historic Moore Farm Estate in Gatineau. Julie Oliver / Ottawa Citizen

“This is a place where urban residents, as well as visitors from across the country, will be able to come and experience sustainable agriculture practices in a beautiful setting in the heart of a great city.”

By Don Butler
Ottawa Citizen
July 21, 2015

Sylvain Bertrand, the co-operative’s chair, said the group hopes to have some activities underway in the former stable by this fall, including a café, educational programs and displays, and a boutique selling local processed goods.

Next year, there are plans to grow organic vegetables and offer them for sale at the farm.

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July 22, 2015   Comments Off on Historic Moore Farm Estate in Ottawa to become a showcase for urban farming and ecotourism

Urban agriculture thriving in Baltimore

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Forty to 50 hoop houses are scattered across the city, including at three high schools – Lake Clifton, Patterson and Green Street Academy – which provide learning experiences for the students.

By Doug Tallman
University of Maryland Extension
Jul 8, 2015

Excerpt:

University of Maryland Extension is providing the technical expertise to build a thriving urban agricultural community.

“Anyone can grow, but other things need to happen in order to grow quality produce,” said Manami J. Brown, city Extension director.

And with that thriving community, urban agriculture is not only helping to feed city residents but it also promotes healthy living and improves the environment.

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July 19, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture thriving in Baltimore

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

Spencer Ellsworth connects Rockford, Illinois urban farmers with eaters and people with the land

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Spencer Ellsworth provides instruction to young urban farmers as part of Angelic Organics’ Roots and Wings program.

Ellsworth’s interest in the link between topics like urban planning, food access and class dynamics, combined with his passion for gardening, drove him to a career in urban agriculture.

By Lindsey Holden
Rockford Register Star
Jun. 30, 2015

Excerpt:

Some might say Spencer Ellsworth’s profession is a paradox.

As an urban farm manager at Angelic Organics’ Learning Center, the educational branch of the community-supported farm, his job is to help people learn how to grow things in the middle of a city. But Ellsworth thinks combining urban spaces and farming isn’t such a foreign concept. He sees helping to “connect farmers with eaters and people with the land” as the best way to promote access to healthy food for all people.

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July 11, 2015   Comments Off on Spencer Ellsworth connects Rockford, Illinois urban farmers with eaters and people with the land

Elementary kids dig weeklong camp about urban farming, food in Cedar Rapids

kidsfKenyon Sales (from left), 10; Chaley Brinkman, 10; Aiden Christiansen, 9; and Eli Jennings, 11, pull weeds in a future salsa garden during day camp in the Matthew 25 Urban Farm.

Other activities include learning about growing food, creating healthy soil, composting, and creating outdoor art.

By Katy Stites
KCRG-TV9
June 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Elementary aged kids are learning about local foods this week. As a part of a weeklong summer camp hosted by Matthew 25, a local non-profit, the kids are getting their hands dirty with planting and picking. They spend most of the week on an urban farm near downtown Cedar Rapids.

“There’s different kinds, bigger and smaller, and it’s just fun to try different foods,” fourth-grader Logan Liddiard said.

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June 25, 2015   Comments Off on Elementary kids dig weeklong camp about urban farming, food in Cedar Rapids

Greenhouse Project Classrooms in New York Give Students Hands On Experience With Conservation

Students are growing more than 9,000 lbs of vegetables a year

By Cindy Hsu
CBS2
June 12, 2015

Excerpt:

At the hydroponic greenhouse at Manhattan School for Children on the Upper West Side, students are growing more than 9,000 lbs of vegetables a year, using no soil, no pesticides, and only rainwater.

“It’s called VIG, vertically integrated growing,” 7th grader Equem Roel said.

It’s a way to grow plants using less water, space, and energy.

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June 21, 2015   Comments Off on Greenhouse Project Classrooms in New York Give Students Hands On Experience With Conservation

Bringing the Farm to the City: How a Local Land Grant University is Supporting a Different Kind of Agriculture

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Dr. Ellen Harris, Director of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center taking a look at the red leaf lettuce being grown at the 144 Acre Muirkirk Agricultural Experimentation.

The work I witnessed during my time at UDC makes me excited for the future of how research and extension can help support urban agriculture as a safe, efficient, and healthy component of local and regional food systems.

By Ann Bartuska, Ph.D., Deputy Undersecretary, Research, Education, and Economics
United States Department of Agriculture
June 11, 2015

Excerpt:

This year I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of urban agriculture operations. From California to Cleveland, the ability of individuals to realize the multidimensional benefits of agricultural production and leverage them in an urban context has been nothing short of amazing.

This past week I visited a University that is heavily involved in both the research and extension aspect of urban agriculture — right in the backyard of the Department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

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June 19, 2015   Comments Off on Bringing the Farm to the City: How a Local Land Grant University is Supporting a Different Kind of Agriculture

UK university students learn to grow food

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Anthropology student Celia Briseid selling freshly harvested vegetables at Growhampton’s weekly market day. Photograph: Joel Williams

I helped out for several years on an allotment owned by a neighbour who didn’t have time to use her full plot.

By Tess Riley
The Guardian
May 25, 2015

Excerpt:

In 2013, Growhampton was one of 25 student union projects to be helped financially by the National Union of Students (NUS), as part of their students’ green fund. Growhampton combines training, volunteering and education in food growing for students at the University of Roehampton. It manages the Hive, an ethical cafe constructed from two former shipping containers and upcycled furniture.

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June 6, 2015   Comments Off on UK university students learn to grow food