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

Category — England

Kentish Town City Farm in London began in 1972


A documentary made for the heritage project by the young filmaker, Joe Dickie.

By the late 60’s some people were taking over vacant properties and doing the repairs themselves. The squatting movement was born, and with it, the roots of Kentish Town City Farm.

In 1972, a local organization called Inter-Action rented a house, a cottage and part of the disused timber yard known as Gloster Parquet – now the site of Kentish Town City Farm. They found, tucked behind the terrace houses, the remains of a complex of buildings surrounded by yards of overgrown weeds that backed onto the railway. The buildings included stables, a workshop, a store house and steel framed hangars. Local businessmen donated building materials and equipment worth over £5000. A team of volunteers, youth workers, farm workers and Inter-Action’s architects and builders converted the stables and buildings into a farm, riding school and gardens.

[Read more →]

July 30, 2015   No Comments

London’s first underground farm opens in WW2 air raid shelter

lonunferMichel Roux Jr in the underground farm Photo: Paul Grove.r

The Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This is a fine example of the dynamic startups that are helping London lead the world in green business innovation. I want even more entrepreneurs to help create these brilliant concepts that are delivering thousands of jobs and boosting London’s green economy to almost £30 billion a year.

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
Telegraph
29 Jun 2015

Excerpt:

Phase one crops include pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, Red Amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket.

“Our first shoots will be delivered to the surface in the next few weeks”, said co-founder Richard Ballard. “After eighteen months of research, development, growing trials – and tribulations – we’re about to start supplying into the market.”

[Read more →]

July 8, 2015   Comments Off on London’s first underground farm opens in WW2 air raid shelter

Feature documentary looking at the latest science about the health benefits of children re-connecting with nature

“I think that city farms could play a massive part in future health!”

By Toni Harman,
Producer / Director, A Probiotic Life
2015

As well as the general point about the need for our children to reconnect with nature, the film explores the latest science that suggests young children could really benefit from being more exposed to more farm microbes.

We recently returned from filming on an Amish farm in Indiana where the children have remarkably low rates of asthma and allergies – the scientists hypothesise that a diet of locally sourced organic food plus the children being exposed to the microbes from farm animals from a very young age – these could be conferring considerable health benefits for the Amish children.

[Read more →]

July 1, 2015   Comments Off on Feature documentary looking at the latest science about the health benefits of children re-connecting with nature

UK university students learn to grow food

growha
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.

[Read more →]

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

Group working to set up Oxford’s first city farm – UK

ctkids
City Farm supporters.

The Oxford City Farm group is one of 19 charities, groups and organisations from Oxfordshire trying to get the money from Aviva.

By Alex Wynick,
Oxford Mail
May 225, 2015

Excerpt:

The farm steering group, which is planning the farm for a site off Cornwallis Road, Cowley, has more than 4,000 votes so far.

Chairwoman Lucie Mayer said: “We want to transform the currently derelict farm site into a beautiful, innovative, inclusive, thriving and free to enter community space.

“This project is about bringing farming and a wide range of associated social and educational opportunities to the heart of East Oxford.

[Read more →]

June 4, 2015   Comments Off on Group working to set up Oxford’s first city farm – UK

Newcastle, UK envisages a future where food is produced on urban rooftops and green spaces

plateClick on image for larger file.

His Edible Map of Newcastle is “a guide to help visualise a city where fruit, vegetables, livestock, fish, bees and other food sources could flourish and be nurtured in streets, empty rooftops and under-used open spaces”.

By David Whetstone
The Journal
28 May 2015

Excerpt:

Another important contributor to the project was Mikey Tomkins, an academic researcher, artist and consultant in urban sustainability and urban agriculture.

For his doctorate, Mikey looked at community food gardens on London housing estates. Currently he is working as a consultant in the United States and Uganda, developing urban agriculture projects with poor communities, especially among refugees.

[Read more →]

May 29, 2015   Comments Off on Newcastle, UK envisages a future where food is produced on urban rooftops and green spaces

HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

notti
The VydroFarm system at The University of Nottingham’s Creative Energy Homes Project (left to right) Stephen Fry, commercial sales manager, HydroGarden; PhD student Matthew Woodward; Professor Mark Gillott, The University of Nottingham.

Two of HydroGarden’s vertical hydroponic systems have been installed in the University’s ‘Creative Energy Homes Project’.

By Sarah Jelly at HydroGarden
May 2015

The University of Nottingham is embarking on an exciting new hydroponics research project with the help of Coventry-based hydroponics experts, HydroGarden, as part of its investigations into new concepts for energy efficient food secure future living.

The project will be supervised by Professor Mark Gillott and undertaken by Matthew Woodward, an undergraduate student on the B.Eng Hons Architecture Environment Engineering Programme at The University of Nottingham’s Department of Architecture and Built Environment.

It will investigate the differences in the energy used by a hydroponic system with only LED lighting, and one that utilises a mixture of natural and artificial lighting sources. The work will consider the impact of these different growing environments on the growth and production of the plants.

[Read more →]

May 13, 2015   Comments Off on HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

Innovative Community Urban Agriculture project in the heart of Hull, UK

hukk

The farms purpose is to reconnect city residents with food, improve knowledge and understanding of where the food comes from.

Excerpt from their website:

Rooted in Hull is an urban agriculture concept based on a farm in a box. We are in the process of turning that concept into reality.

Our plan is to create a unique micro farming enterprise in the heart of the City of Hull, a city with no permanent land available.

We are designing the project to be structurally mobile and self sufficient. Mobility is an essential part of the project allowing it to make the most of vacant development sites in the area as an “in the meantime” site use.

[Read more →]

May 12, 2015   Comments Off on Innovative Community Urban Agriculture project in the heart of Hull, UK

Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

kimw
Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate’.

The singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture

By Jane Merrick
The Independent
19 April 2015

Excerpt:

The Eighties pop star Kim Wilde has revealed how gardening helped her through bouts of anxiety and to restore “balance” after a turbulent time in the music business.

In a BBC appeal for the charity Thrive, which helps people with physical disabilities and mental health issues through gardening therapy, Wilde says: “Horticulture really brought me back to life. Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate … they are a complete sensory experience.”

[Read more →]

April 28, 2015   Comments Off on Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

GroCycle Online Course Will Bring Network of Mushroom Growers

Step-by-step instructions to turn anyone into a used coffee ground mushroom farmer

We decided to bring this ultra eco-friendly idea to the rest of the world with our GroCycle Online course. People from 15 countries have already joined us. It’s the first DIY program that gives step-by-step instructions to turn anyone into a used coffee ground mushroom farmer! We recently rolled out our Kickstarter campaign and received an amazing response from all over the world.

[Read more →]

March 30, 2015   Comments Off on GroCycle Online Course Will Bring Network of Mushroom Growers

City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees

beeredA honeybee visits a flower in Bath, England (Nick Upton).

Other pollinators don’t like urban areas as much as rural, but bees live in similar numbers across different landscapes

By Marissa Fessenden
Smithsonian.com
February 12, 2015

Excerpt:

Katherine Baldock, of the University of Bristol, surveyed pollinator abundance across 36 different sites that spanned farmland, nature reserves and urban areas. Her team counted honey bees, bumble bees and other flying pollinators. The group found that each area had about the same amount of total pollinators. Even though urban areas might not seem like the ideal place for flower-loving bees, those landscapes held more diverse bee species, though the other pollinators were less diverse and numerous. Baldock and her colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

[Read more →]

February 24, 2015   Comments Off on City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees

Bessie, The Psychiatrist Who Finds Peace Of Mind At Stepney City Farm

Today the film goes live on ‘1000 Londoners’ – Bessie, Londoner #65

Directed by Ross Dickson
1000 Londoners
Feb 2015
(Must see. Mike)

“In my day job I’m a psychiatrist. There’s an overlap – sometimes when I’m at work and I’m with people that I’m supposed to be treating with medication and so forth, I say to them ‘have you got a local city farm?’ ” Bessie, Trustee at Stepney City Farm

Bessie moved to London from Adelaide about 20 years ago, and began working in social work with rough sleepers. She is now a psychiatrist and is also a Trustee on the board at Stepney City farm.

[Read more →]

February 12, 2015   Comments Off on Bessie, The Psychiatrist Who Finds Peace Of Mind At Stepney City Farm

Urban agriculture is bringing food production back into our cities

sili

We’re about to see a lot more growing of produce in our cities as urban farming steps in to help boost global food production

By Ryan McChrystal
Elite Business Magazine
07 January 2015.

Excerpt:

GrowUp started off by building a prototype demonstration farm – the GrowUp Box – 18 months ago following a successful Kickstarter campaign. It consists of a greenhouse above a shipping container where the fish live. “We set up first of all because we wanted to have something up and running to show people that food can be grown in cities using aquaponics.”

Originally built at London Bridge, the box moved to Stratford as part of a bigger project called Roof East – formerly an empty rooftop carpark, now a haven for food lovers. “Since December last year, we have been working on the business model for scaling aquaponic urban farming to a commercial model in cities like London, looking at the different operation models and at some variations in production systems,” says Hofman.

[Read more →]

January 25, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture is bringing food production back into our cities

Guerrilla Gardening Research

guershr

How would you feel if a piece of disused land or a neglected urban space, such as a grass verge or roundabout, was suddenly made into a productive veg patch or pretty flower field?

Shropshire Star
Dec 24, 2014

Excerpt:

Professor Larkham, associate head of Birmingham City University’s School of the Built Environment, says: “Guerrilla gardening is an international phenomenon. Those involved take part for a number of reasons, from brightening up their neighbourhoods to using gardening as a form of political protest.

“The land they are targeting is quite varied. It seem to range from traffic roundabouts and roadside grass verges to bits of land that one planner once called SLOP – Space Left Over after Planning – to derelict sites, unused patches of land which are clearly in somebody’s ownership but aren’t in any sort of productive use.

[Read more →]

January 7, 2015   Comments Off on Guerrilla Gardening Research

‘Smart urban farmers’ at Grow Bristol, UK

growbr
Project founders Dermot O’Regan and Peter Whiting.

The project grows vegetables using a system based on aquaponic techniques

By Katie Pavid
The Bristol Post
November 06, 2014

Excerpt:

One of the groups who have been nominated is Grow Bristol, an urban farming venture.

The team are developing and demonstrating innovative and sustainable ways of growing food in the city spaces of Bristol for the benefit of everyone who lives here.

[Read more →]

November 18, 2014   Comments Off on ‘Smart urban farmers’ at Grow Bristol, UK