New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Education

Turning a Football Field into a Farm

Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, at the organic farm on the school’s campus in Dallas, The farm used to be the school’s football field.

We’ve grown over 50,000 pounds of food since then. We give away ten percent of everything we grow. We call that tithing to the community.

By Jeffrey R. Young
Jan 9, 2018


I’m sitting there, and I got some advice from another college president who said, “When you’re with people of means, you should just ask them for something. Get them in the habit of thinking that your institution is something that they should support.” So I mentioned to Trammell, I said, “Hey, you know, people in our neighborhood, they don’t have a grocery store. I think people should have a grocery store.” Without missing a beat, he sidesteps the grocery store conversation and says, “You know, what I’m really passionate about are community gardens.”

[

January 16, 2018   No Comments

The nation’s first USDA-recognized urban agricultural fellow program yields nine budding entrepreneurs

Fellows Mark Davis and Sonia Allen gather tomatoes destined to go to a farm stand at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

They want to connect city residents with the power and profit that can rise from the ground

By Dina Weinstein
Richmond Mag
January 8, 2018


Tricycle Gardens’ Executive Director Sally Schwitters developed the Urban Agricultural Fellowship because many of the nonprofit’s volunteers and interns did not have technical farming skills. With classroom sessions and fieldwork, the fellowship program is educating a new generation of urban farmers through the wisdom of an aging farming workforce.

The program has been a longtime dream of Schwitters. Financial support and participation by experts from Virginia Tech, The Rodale Institute, Bon Secours and the U.S. Department of Agriculture meant that a formal 41-week program could be developed. The fellowship also helped Tricycle double its staff and increase its production.

[

January 14, 2018   No Comments

Hope Farms – Houston, Texas

Hope Farms is the epicenter where all our healthy programs come together: growing affordable produce in the middle of a food desert, giving kids lifelong skills with hands-on cooking and gardening classes

By Gracie Cavnar
Chairman of the Board
Recipe for Success

We began in the schools, giving monthly hands-on classes that put children in touch with their food from seed to plate and we made it fun. We started adding gardens and built the program from there to include after-school, summer camp, parent classes and community outreach. Our strategy is powerful. Children are changing their habits and attitudes, surprising themselves by trying and even liking vegetables that they would never even touch before. Parents report that their children now want to help cook and more often reach for the healthier option without prompting. In 2013, we scaled our proven Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™, making it available to any school, anywhere.

[

December 22, 2017   Comments Off on Hope Farms – Houston, Texas

Brunei: Workshop provides knowledge to start urban farm

Brunei local agricultural business intelligence company, Agrome IQ, recently conducted its Sprout IQ Workshop on growing tomato at one’s backyard.

Borneo Bulletin
Dec 5, 2017


The workshop held in Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd headquarter, Gadong, included educating participants with the climate and soil requirements, step-by-step processes in growing tomato such as treating the seeds and sterilising the soil medium, preventing and curing from diseases and pests associated with tomato plants, and on how to market their produce to generate income.

[

December 14, 2017   Comments Off on Brunei: Workshop provides knowledge to start urban farm

KI Urban Agri-Culture Learning Lab in Indianapolis

Communities Creating Change: Our Voice, Our Choice is a campaign to encourage and sustain urban agriculture in the mid-north/northwest area of Indianapolis



KI Urban Agri-Culture Learning Lab: The house we are currently rehabbing will serve as a public space for individuals and groups to learn about and engage in aquaponics, urban gardening and urban farming. Empowering individuals and groups with the knowledge, skills and experience to grow their own food and strengthen/expand their relationships by working together to address a common problem and builds community.

[

December 5, 2017   Comments Off on KI Urban Agri-Culture Learning Lab in Indianapolis

Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill School Gets Millions In Greenhouse Funding

The Urban Assembly Unison School is one of seven schools slated to receive greenhouse funding from Eric Adams’ $7 million initiative.

By Kathleen Culliton
Patch Staff
Nov 29, 2017


“This is about keeping Brooklyn’s kids at the forefront of innovation and growing their futures,” said Borough President Adams.

“Young people across the borough will now have the opportunity to learn about growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and plants that will empower them to make healthy choices.”

[

December 1, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill School Gets Millions In Greenhouse Funding

The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Students in Westminster High School’s agriculture program harvest acorn squash growing in the fields at the school in Westminster.

“This is a small showcase of what agriculture can be for the new generations,” said third-generation Orange County farmer A.G. Kawamura, who served as California’s agriculture secretary from 2003 to 2010 and started the nonprofit OC Harvest, now known as Solutions for Urban Agriculture.

By Theresa Walker
Orange County Register
November 22, 2017


The eight acres of farmland at Westminster High, the largest remaining public school farm in Orange County, is at the heart of an initiative to grow fresh produce for the food bank to give to those who rely on the bounty of others in times of need.

[

November 29, 2017   Comments Off on The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Dean of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture Discusses Urban Agriculture

Karen Plaut, interim dean of Purdue University’s College.

Urban agriculture is about more than just the number of farms in a city. It’s a way of viewing the entire food system, from farm to grocery store.

By Erica Quinlan
AgriNews Publications
Nov 16, 2017


“Only 314 people are employed in the farm sector in Marion County,” she said. “But, as many of our FFA students have heard, if you eat, if you wear clothes — most of us are involved in agriculture or farming at some level.

“The university defines urban agriculture as the growing, processing and distribution of food crops and animal products by and for the local community within an urban environment.

“There’s a huge opportunity for careers in agriculture.”

[

November 25, 2017   Comments Off on Dean of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture Discusses Urban Agriculture

How This Elementary School In The Bronx Is Using Farming As A Vehicle For Change

Tucked within the poorest congressional district in America, sandwiched between the largest strip of public housing in the country, you’ll find a farm.

Emma Loewe
MBG Editorial
Nov 13, 2017


Back inside the farm, aptly named The National Health, Wellness & Learning Center, Ritz explains why he thinks growing food has led to happier, healthier kids. “When you put a seed in a little kid’s hand, you’re making them a promise that little seed is going to grow into something great that they can eat. And then they get to watch it happen.” This instills in them a sense of pride and a new interest in what they’re putting into their bodies. A lot of kids start their time at P.S. 55 not knowing that food comes from the ground at all, but they all leave with an understanding of every part of the growing process.

[

November 20, 2017   Comments Off on How This Elementary School In The Bronx Is Using Farming As A Vehicle For Change

The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher and self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) Stephen Ritz shows you how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom.

By Stephen Ritz (Author)
Rodale Books (May 2, 2017)
304 pages
(Must see. Mike)


What if we taught students that they have as much potential as a seed? That in the right conditions, they can grow into something great?

These are the questions that Stephen Ritz?who became a teacher more than 30 years ago?sought to answer in 2004 in a South Bronx high school plagued by rampant crime and a dismal graduation rate. After what can only be defined as a cosmic experience when a flower broke up a fight in his classroom, he saw a way to start tackling his school’s problems: plants. He flipped his curriculum to integrate gardening as an entry point for all learning and inadvertently created an international phenomenon. As Ritz likes to say, “Fifty thousand pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crop is organically grown citizens who are growing and eating themselves into good health and amazing opportunities.”

[

November 14, 2017   Comments Off on The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

Canada: Victoria school garden teaching students value of outdoor activity

Westshore Centre for Learning student Josh Hill (right) and a member of the Western Garden Club help themselves to a lunch of pumpkin and apple soup, mixed greens, croutons and pumpkin pie at the school’s campus in Colwood Thursday. The students grew and harvested everything in the meal in the community garden. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

The garden has been happening in various capacities on the property for the last 12 years, however, this year the school was able to add a greenhouse, thanks to funding from the Horner Foundation

By Kendra Wong
Victoria News
Nov. 6, 2017


As part of the school’s sustainable resources class, which runs from February to June and gives students a Grade 11 science credit, students learn how to plant and nurture seedlings, transplant, weed out and harvest in the roughly, 4,000-square foot garden on Sooke Road. Students had their own grow boxes and planted a variety of tomatoes, lettuces, cabbages, raspberries, carrots, beets, herbs, apples, squash and onions.

While other schools have gardens, Jennifer Freeman of Zero Mile Solutions who helps support the development of the garden, said this one is unique in that gardening is integrated into the curriculum.

[

November 13, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Victoria school garden teaching students value of outdoor activity

New Urban Farm in D.C. Is About More Than a Food Desert

Kelly Miller Farm is scheduled to open in spring 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chris Bradshaw)

Bradshaw hopes the data will help build the case for more urban farms like this to be built on public lands. “There are more conversations now around protecting public lands for the public good, versus privatization,” he says.

By Stephanie Castellano
Next City
October 24, 2017


“I didn’t have no help when I got out, not even from my parole officer,” he says. With Kirby, at Kelly Miller Farm, he’ll be teaching workshops on gardening, composting and carpentry, skills he learned while incarcerated. Passing those skills on to others, Luther says, won’t just lead them to jobs, it will help them become entrepreneurs.

“We don’t just want jobs, we want careers,” he says. “The farm’s not just about growing, it’s about making money, and that’s something many people in this community don’t have.”

[

October 30, 2017   Comments Off on New Urban Farm in D.C. Is About More Than a Food Desert

Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

Jenna Jaski of Victory Gardens Vancouver helps facilitate the Classroom Gardener program at East Van’s David Livingstone elementary school. The program is one of many across the city that aim to get students out of classrooms and into the garden and the kitchen. Photo by Dan Toulgoet.

Every class gets to spend time in the garden and by the end of the year-long session, every student will have had a chance to experience all the facets of the garden.

By Jessica Kerr
Vancouver Courier
Oct 23, 2017


“Teachers are looking for ways to get kids learning outside because they need to get kids moving and there’s a ton of benefit for children’s physical health being outside,” she said, adding that being outside also has mental health benefits.

“We see huge numbers of children struggling with anxiety in school, so how do we take them outside? Because being outside is very protective against mental health problems in children.”

[

October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver students dig in for Farm to School month

China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

Sky Farm in Shanghai uses rooftop agriculture to help urban residents experience nature up close. By Daniel Holmes and Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone.

With approximately 10 billion square meters of exposed roof space across Chinese cities as of September 2011, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the concept has plenty of capacity to grow.

By Liang Chenyu
The Sixth Tone
Oct 24, 2017
(Must see. Mike)


Atop Red Star Macalline Group’s headquarters sits a rooftop farm called Yiyun, which translates as “leaning on the clouds.” Chilies, white gourd, eggplant, chives, and other vegetables flourish across the 4,600-square-meter garden cultivated by the company, which is China’s largest national furniture retailer. The harvested produce is used in the staff cafeteria, and the farm also provides thermal insulation for the building’s top floor, which houses expensive rosewood furniture.

[

October 24, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

Salad days at Toronto inner-city school

Student Josh Harrison-Maul poses for a photo on the rooftop garden at Eastdale C.I. on Gerrard St. E., near Broadview Ave. (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)

Tyler Beckett wants to be a landscaper and the urban farming program on the roof of his inner-city school has greened his thumb.

By Kevin Connor
Toronto Sun
October 15, 2017


“It’s helping get me prepare for a job when I’m done school,” said the 16-year-old Eastdale Collegiate Institute student in the Regent Park area.

“I like getting involved with the garden and helping the kids in school. We used to go to the corner and buy chips, now we are eating salads.”

[

October 21, 2017   Comments Off on Salad days at Toronto inner-city school