New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — England

UK: From Forgotten London WWII Tunnels To Urban Farm: Q&A With Growing Underground

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Micro greens up close. Photo from Growing Underground.

We’re using food as something to break down barriers and engage in your local community, rather than just being a producer in the middle of nowhere

By Brittany Lane
Unreasonable
Jan 26, 2017

Excerpt:

When you discovered the tunnels, do you remember realizing the potential opportunity here? What did that feel like?

S: I remember the phone call to the guy at Transport for London when I said we want to meet and rent your tunnels. He was like, “You can’t do a nightclub.” We said we don’t want to; we want to build a farm. And I think at that point he was like, what? He literally came out a couple of days later and met us. They were really forward thinking and supportive.

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June 14, 2017   No Comments

The trouble with temporary: Impacts and pitfalls of a meanwhile community garden in Wythenshawe, South Manchester

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The Macmillan community garden polytunnel.

This paper focuses on research conducted at a community garden in Wythenshawe, established by Real Food Wythenshawe as an example of a ‘meanwhile’ or temporary growing site for people affected by cancer.

By Rebecca St. Clair, Michael Hardman, Richard P. Armitage and Graeme Sherriff
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Cambridge University Press
June 6, 2017

Abstract:

The rise of Urban Agriculture projects across the UK has led to a surge of interest in their efficacy and resulting social impacts. Real Food Wythenshawe is a Lottery-funded urban food project in the UK that aims to teach the population of Wythenshawe to grow their own food and to cook from scratch. The area, popularly referred to as ‘Europe’s largest council estate’, suffers from high levels of deprivation and has been described as a ‘food desert’ due to a perceived lack of access to fresh fruit and vegetables (Small World Consulting, 2013). In order to encourage Wythenshawe residents to grow their own food and to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables, Real Food Wythenshawe aims to transform unused areas of land into growing spaces, such as allotments and community gardens.

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June 12, 2017   No Comments

UK: The new urban farm in Plymouth that will teach children in a very different way to school

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The council wants to build this facility in the future.

Soon there will be cows, goats, rabbits and chickens all living in the middle of Plymouth on the edge of a housing
estate.

By Sarah Herald
Plymouth Herald
June 03, 2017

Excerpt:

Plans to create a community farm at Derriford Community Park have taken a step forwards after the council formally submitted plans to revamp a former dairy building.

The renovations of the old dairy at the farm will provide a space for schools and colleges to learn more about farm life and will also house a facility for keeping animals.

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June 10, 2017   Comments Off on UK: The new urban farm in Plymouth that will teach children in a very different way to school

Lord Heseltine addresses the potential of horticulture to benefit deprived communities

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Lord Heseltine.

“Step by step as urban living has created the huge conurbations, people have sought to use nature to humanise the built environment. I think this is a lesson with still much to teach us.

By Matthew Appleby
Horticulture Week
May 22, 2017
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

“There are no simple answers to complex questions but gardening can play a part. Derelict land is all too present. Provide them with the tools to plant it. If they plant it they may feel a pride in what they did. They may wish to defend it, even extend it. The work requires little skill but it offers ladders. If a person starts by tidying the garden of an elderly pensioner, there is a short journey to a full time job with elderly folk willing to pay someone to do the same in nearby more prosperous suburbs.

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May 23, 2017   Comments Off on Lord Heseltine addresses the potential of horticulture to benefit deprived communities

UK: Londoners Are Growing Food All Over The City

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Mural at the Bonnington Square Garden Association. Click on image for larger file.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall; Skip Garden, King’s Cross; Calthorpe Project, King’s Cross; Myatt’s Fields Park Greenhouses and Beehives, Camberwell; St Mary’s Secret Garden, Hackney; The Culpeper Community Garden, Islington; Allens Gardens, Stoke Newington; Curve Garden, Dalston; Grow Mayow, Sydenham

By Kate Hodges
Londonist
May 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Curve Garden, Dalston: Built on an old railway line, Dalston’s Curve Garden is a well-used community hub. There are beds that Dalston residents use for growing lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and peppers, a cafe that sells delicious, home-baked cakes and food made from local supplies, a pavilion for rainy-day picnics, and a greenhouse, complete with cosy woodburning stove and even cosier cat.

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May 20, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Londoners Are Growing Food All Over The City

Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, joins inner-city children on Gloucestershire farm visit

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Kate also joined a story-time session led by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, who founded the charity in 1976.

By Tom Powell
Evening Standard
May 3, 2017

Excerpt:

While helping to plant the onions, the Duchess asked: “Do any of you like onions?”

One child replied that they made their eyes water and the Duchess replied: “They make things nice and tasty. You can put onions in curries.”

She also saw a “super wriggly worm” and asked the children: “Have all of you held a worm before?”

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May 4, 2017   Comments Off on Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, joins inner-city children on Gloucestershire farm visit

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

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New Book: Charles is a pioneer of organic and no dig growing since 1983, creating and cropping four market gardens, the largest of seven acres.

By Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty
Permanent Publications
May/June 2017

They describe how to:

make compost and enrich soil
learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg
harvest and prepare food year round
make natural cosmetics, cleaning products and garden preparations

These approaches work as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The Authors’ combined experience gives you ways of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, including delicious vegetable feasts and many recipes and ideas for increasing self reliance, saving money, living sustainably and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round.

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May 1, 2017   Comments Off on No Dig Organic Home & Garden

Plot 29 : A Memoir – Therapy from an Allotment Plot

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Allan used Plot 29 to make sense of his childhood. Credit: Andrew Crowley

When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don’t want to talk I turn to Plot 29, or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows; my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away.’

By Elizabeth Grice
The Telegraph
2 Apr 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Plot 29 : A Memoir
By Allan Jenkins
HarperCollins Publishers
Mar 23, 2017

Excerpt:

“When I am disturbed, even angry,” Jenkins says, “gardening is a therapy. Whatever mood I’m in, I can walk through the gates and here, among the seeds and the trees, my breathing and my heart rate slow. My voice becomes slower and oddly deeper. It’s a great antidote to newspaper politics and to anxiety, a place where you can just be.”

Jenkins had plenty to be disturbed about. He and his older brother Christopher spent their early years in and out of “feral” children’s homes, often cruelly separated despite their closeness. At the ages of five and six, they were fostered by a middle-aged couple, Dudley and Lilian Drabble, in the Devon countryside, but spat out again at puberty to go their separate ways.

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April 2, 2017   Comments Off on Plot 29 : A Memoir – Therapy from an Allotment Plot

UK: Rooftop farming: how nature flourishes on London’s skyline

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Bee London head gardener Sean Gifford on one of the rooftop gardens Credit: Vibol Moeung

Bee London, which represents 320 businesses across the area, is working with the Wildlife Trust to design and deliver greening projects to Midtown

By Alice Vincent
The Telegraph
25 Mar 2017

Excerpt:

The winter purslane at the five star Rosewood Hotel in Holborn is excellent. Served immediately after picking, it is sweet and fresh. Amandine Chaignot, the hotel’s Executive Chef, tells me it’s the best crop they’ve ever had. However, I’m not eating it in the marble-walled serenity of the restaurant, but in the wind and drizzle on Rosewood’s roof, where it is grown in one of Bee London’s rooftop gardens.

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April 1, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Rooftop farming: how nature flourishes on London’s skyline

UK: Plymouth’s amazing urban farm is beginning to take root

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Volunteers did their bit today, planting 216 fruit trees as part of Derriford’s new community park.

By Sabel
The Herald
March 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Volunteers have helped plant Plymouth’s biggest orchard as part of a huge community park which will provide a green space in the growing city.

More than 200 fruit trees are set to provide free food for residents as new homes and roads are built.

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March 18, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Plymouth’s amazing urban farm is beginning to take root

UK: Oxford City Farm group celebrate after signing a 40-year lease with Oxfordshire County Council

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The pigs have been ordered, the shovels are sharpened and the champagne is chilling on ice.

By Petet Hughs
Oxford Mail
Mar 3, 2017

Excerpt:

Ms Mayer, a nurse at Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice in East Oxford, was first inspired by the city farms she grew up with in London.

She said: “I had seen what amazing resources they are for city kids to learn about food farming and animals, but what I love about them is that it is learning by doing; being surrounded by lovely animals.

“There are so many people who seem to get an immense therapeutic benefit from it.”

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March 9, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Oxford City Farm group celebrate after signing a 40-year lease with Oxfordshire County Council

British designer Vanessa Harden’s Subversive Gardener line of jewelry and accessories

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They tap into the urban, guerrilla gardening movement in which gardeners take over vacant lots or concrete medians for gardens. Harden creates ball caps with hidden garden rakes, rings with garden tools embedded in the design and other sly, clever accessories.

By Vanessa Harden
(Must see. Mike)

Tools for Her is the new collection of accessories designed to function as guerrilla gardening tools. Tools for Her presents a trio of brass ‘nail-dusters’ that can be used as a spade, rake and shovel in urban gardening. Each tool is paired with fabulous nail polish and seed varieties to stylishly integrate gardening assaults into the guerrilla gardener’s daily routine.

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March 8, 2017   Comments Off on British designer Vanessa Harden’s Subversive Gardener line of jewelry and accessories

UK: Murder inquiry after woman, 80, found dead at London allotment

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Police at the scene in Colindale, north-west London. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Body of allotment association secretary Lea Adri-Soejoko was discovered in lockup store at site in Colindale, Met police say

By Haroon Siddique
The Guardian
Mar 2, 2017

Excerpt:

“She was due to attend a meeting in the Barnet area around gardening and good practice and she did not turn up to that meeting,” said DCI Noel McHugh, of the Met’s homicide and major crime command. “So a friend became concerned and then alerted family members.”

Neighbour Danila Catruta, 39, said she had been left scared by the murder: “Since I heard about it I keep thinking about the situation. How can people do this? I feel very sorry about what happened because no one should be treated like this.”

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March 4, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Murder inquiry after woman, 80, found dead at London allotment

UK: Brighton & Hove Allotment Strategy 2014-2024

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Brighton & Hove?s allotment community is comprised of 6000 food growers with 3100 plots on 37 sites.

Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & HoveAllotment Federation
2014

Excerpt:

The strategy emphasises increasing the number of people growing high quality local food by ensuring the availability of good quality land. It promotes a self- sustaining and efficient service, encourages site participation, while fostering biodiversity, organic practices, good food and healthy living. It encourages a cooperative approach.

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February 23, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Brighton & Hove Allotment Strategy 2014-2024

United Kingdom: Meet the hobby farmers, the City types spending their free time working the land

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Part-time farmer Nigel Tuck, at Golland Farm, works for a Swedish bank.

Despite being unable to tell one end of a sheep from another, well-paid City workers continue to buy up chunks of British countryside as an answer to all their problems.

By Fred Redwood
The Telegraph
Jan 28, 2017

Excerpt:

How easy was it for an advertising executive to turn his hand to farming all of a sudden? “The bureaucracy is straightforward and much of the work is logical and sequential,” says Richard, 56. “You just follow the times of the year and stick to a routine. Yet to be really successful involves a huge learning curve. Things like the breeding lines of sheep are enormously complicated and the simplest things can be surprisingly complex.” Grimsacre Farm, listed with Humberts for £1?million, is under offer.

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February 5, 2017   Comments Off on United Kingdom: Meet the hobby farmers, the City types spending their free time working the land