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Category — Entrepreneurs

The Most Important Modern Farmer Might Be The Urban Cowboy

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This beautiful woman came to libertadurbanfarm and volunteered today. She also taught me about what I thought were weeds were actually a tasty green eaten in the Philippines and then she donated kneeling pads, a crap ton of seeds and bought some hot sauce. (From the Tweet under photo.)

Libertad Urban Farm is also one of about 40 community-run spaces, each with their own social justice projects, that grow serrano peppers for The Bronx Hot Sauce.

By Heather Corcoran
Good Food
February 10, 2017

Excerpt:

In the South Bronx, The BLK ProjeK’s Libertad Urban Farm is a women-led space for economic development. “You’re not having a real conversation about poverty if you’re not talking about women and children being the most affected by poverty,” explains BLK Projek executive director Tanya Fields, who founded the project three years ago. “It’s hard being a mother no matter where on the spectrum you are, but when you start to talk about the intersectional disparity, those who are the most marginalized are the ones who bare the greatest brunt of disparity. In a society like ours, the further you move away from the proximity of whiteness, the bigger you feel the disparity.”

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February 16, 2017   No Comments

Darius Jones: A Hard-knock Teen Turned Urban Farmer in Chicago

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Darius Jones with easter egg radishes.

Jones knows from experience that urban farming is a tranquil space that is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds. It was also calming to a kid who needed a way out.

By Christopher Nelson
NBC News
Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt:

As a teen growing up on Chicago’s West Side, Darius Jones got in trouble with the law.

He pleaded guilty to a felony and spent two years locked up. But the time spent at Cook County Jail led him to a garden boot camp. And that garden program led him to his life’s work: urban agriculture.

“The only reason I wanted to work for the garden was because, over the two years of sitting in max, I only went outside twice,” said Jones, who grew up in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. “It helped me reflect on life. It helped me to reevaluate my situation.”

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February 13, 2017   No Comments

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

Two of Martha Stewart’s Favourite Garden Gadgets

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10 gallon Compost Tea Brewer from Rittenhouse.

Compost Tea Brewers and and an Indoor Seed Starter

Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Jan 22, 2017

“One of the healthiest ways to feed your plants is to make compost tea, a combination of compost and water that’s heated to a certain temperature and brewed like regular tea. It doesn’t smell. I use the Rittenhouse Compost Tea Brewer. I have the 10- and 25-gallon systems, but they come in small sizes, too, so you can use one even if you only have a porch full of plants.”

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February 2, 2017   Comments Off on Two of Martha Stewart’s Favourite Garden Gadgets

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms

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Forthcoming March 2017

By Erin Benzakein, Julie Chai, Michele M. Waite (Photographer)
Chronicle Books
(March 7, 2017) 308 pages

From Erin Benzakein, a leader in the locaflor farm-to-centerpiece movement and owner of internationally renowned Floret Flower Farm, Cut Flower Garden is equal parts instruction and inspiration—a book overflowing with lush photography of magnificent flowers and breathtaking arrangements organized by season. This beautiful guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging gorgeous blooms year-round gives readers vital tools to nurture a stunning flower garden and use their blossoms to create showstopping arrangements.

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February 1, 2017   Comments Off on Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms

Urban Farmer brings lettuce to Long Island

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East Northport resident Jonathan Bernard is on a mission to bring urban farming to Long Island.

His goal revenue for the year is $150,000. While accounting isn’t a necessary skill for farming, it does help when he focuses on the business side of things.

By Paige McAtee
Patch
January 20, 201

Excerpt:

Bernard, 24, is a graduate from Half Hollow Hills West High School and Stony Brook University, where he earned his Bachelor’s in accounting.

The accountant-turned urban farmer, who has always loved to cook and grow vegetables, gave up crunching numbers to focus on urban farming with Square Roots. He officially started farming in October.

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February 1, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farmer brings lettuce to Long Island

Western Australia’s ‘Green World Revolution’ Builds Urban Farms

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Toby Whittington is using urban farming as a platform to create employment opportunities. Photo by Attila Csaszar.

More than 120 long-term unemployed Western Australians have grown their future opportunities at an urban farm in East Perth during the past two years, supplying fresh produce to more than 30 restaurants and cafes across the metro area four days a week.

By Katie McDonald
Business News Western Australia
Jan 31, 2017

Excerpt:

“We want to work towards introducing a farm like this in every major suburb in Perth, to have 100 farms with 600 people employed.

“Then we can start to talk about how we’re having an economic effect on poverty and unemployment.”

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January 31, 2017   Comments Off on Western Australia’s ‘Green World Revolution’ Builds Urban Farms

Antwerp, Belgium: ‘Caffungi’ urban farming – Turning coffee ground into oyster mushrooms

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(Be sure to turn on English subtitles. Use the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube image.)

‘In Belgium, too, we have an excess of organic waste, such as, for example, the large amounts of coffee grounds from espresso and other coffee machines.

From their Kisskissbankbank site

Excerpt:

CAFFUNGI LOVE BALLS

When we produce bulk we often deal with overproduction. Because of that we went looking for a way to use these leftovers and avoid they end up thrown away. This is how the Caffungi Love Balls came to life. The balls are artisanally made with oyster mushrooms. We use chickpeas, beans and loads of fresh herbs such as coriander and parsley. We get these ingredients at local farms. All balls are hand rolled and don’t contain preservatives. Our Caffungi Love Balls are 100% natural, free, local and vegan.

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January 27, 2017   Comments Off on Antwerp, Belgium: ‘Caffungi’ urban farming – Turning coffee ground into oyster mushrooms

FarmedHere, a pioneer of the new wave of commercial urban farms in the Chicago area, is closing its 90,000-square-foot facility for good

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Jose Velazquez dumps apples in a pressing machine Jan. 13, 2017, at Here Holdings’ processing plant in Carol Stream. Its FarmedHere operation is ceasing growing operations to focus on making food products at the plant. (James C. Svehla / Chicago Tribune)

“There’s a lot of good that FarmedHere did for indoor farming and hopefully lessons learned will prove beneficial for businesses that come after,” Thomann said.

By Greg Trotter
Chicago Tribune
Jan 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Last year, FarmedHere arrived at a crossroads: Grow large enough to offset the considerable labor and energy costs — or instead focus the business on making branded products, Laurell said. Ultimately, the company decided return on investment looked significantly better by giving up the farm.

“The more I learned about the reality of farming, it led to a change of strategy,” Laurell said.

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January 23, 2017   Comments Off on FarmedHere, a pioneer of the new wave of commercial urban farms in the Chicago area, is closing its 90,000-square-foot facility for good

Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

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Portion of large infographic. See complete graphic here.

Infographic

By PartSelect
GHHERGICH&Co.
Oct 2016

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that gained traction in the US in the 1990s, and has grown exponentially in popularity in the last few years. The concept of a CSA is beneficial on many levels, both for farms and for consumers. In a nutshell, CSA works to offer shares to members of their communities for a (usually quite reasonable) set price. In return, the customer receives a box of fresh, seasonal produce at regular intervals, usually weekly or monthly.

This arrangement is beneficial to farmers who work in an industry where it is normal for fluctuations in their business to occur. It gives farmers a baseline of support throughout the year, and can help them with cash flow ahead of their usual harvest.

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January 20, 2017   Comments Off on Many Urban Farmers Use Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Botanium – Grow Edible Greens

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Even here in Sweden it’s easy, and you don’t need a special “growing light”. Just put your plant under a standard CFL, fluorescent lamp or LED.

By Rasmus Tretow
Co-founder
Botanic

From Kickstarter:

Botanium is a compact, easy and effortless way of growing. Its a hydroponic pot, which means it grows plants like chilies, herbs and tomatoes without soil. It waters the plants automatically. The result? Faster growth and no need to worry about over or under watering. Leave it for a month and get back to a healthy plant.

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January 18, 2017   Comments Off on Botanium – Grow Edible Greens

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Spent Martin Luther King Day Building a Community Garden in Oak Cliff, Texas

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Mark Zuckerberg: “Today I helped plant a garden with members of the Oak Cliff community in Dallas as part of their Day of Service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Oak Cliff is a food desert, so the garden we worked on is going to be a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the community.”

By Beth Rankin
Dallas Observer
Jan 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Zuckerberg spent the afternoon with the Commit Partnership, an organization that “helps drive student achievement throughout Dallas County from cradle to career by leveraging data and collaboration to measure what matters, identify effective practices and align community resources to spread what works.” Together with For Oak Cliff, an organization that seeks to provide education and opportunities for kids, Zuckerberg and Commit cleared the vacant lot to make room for a community garden.

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January 18, 2017   Comments Off on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Spent Martin Luther King Day Building a Community Garden in Oak Cliff, Texas

Dublin farmer and the tubers for Mars

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Andrew Douglas, shown with Jayden Whelan, left, and Malena Behan, hopes his potatoes will feed explorers like in The Martian. Photo by Andres Poveda.

Andrew Douglas, a horticulturist who set up Dublin’s first rooftop farm, plans to supply potato pods to a Nasa mission on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, where the space agency is simulating life on Mars.

By Gabrielle Monaghan
The Sunday Times Ireland
January 15 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

A version of the Irish potato will boldly go where no spud has gone before — to a Mars simulation habitat run by Nasa.

Andrew Douglas, a horticulturist who set up Dublin’s first rooftop farm, plans to supply potato pods to a Nasa mission on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, where the space agency is simulating life on Mars. Nasa is hoping to send humans to the red planet by the 2030s.

In 2013, Douglas set up a kitchen garden on the roof of the Chocolate Factory building in Dublin before moving it to the top-floor science lab at Belvedere­ College. There are now 180 varieties of heritage and heirloom potatoes growing in upcycled water cooler bottles and artificial grass offcuts on the college’s rooftop. “Who better to help experiment with growing spuds on Mars than an Irishman?” said Douglas.

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January 15, 2017   Comments Off on Dublin farmer and the tubers for Mars

Urban Farmers Make Forbes’ – 30 under 30: Social Entrepreneurs

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Cofounders, Up Top Acres.

Across Washington D.C., Up Top Acres operates four rooftop farms totaling 1 acre in farmland. Growing a variety of produce, they sell their harvest to neighbors of the buildings they grow on and nearby restaurants. They’ve since harvested 60,000 pounds of food.

Forbes Magazine
2017

Excerpt from The University of Vermont:

If you’re looking for farmland in Metro Washington, D.C., try looking up. Way up.

In the nation’s capitol, Up Top Acres is transforming rooftops that would otherwise go unused into thriving organic farms. That work has landed Kristof Grina ’12, a Plant and Soil Science graduate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a coveted spot as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs of 2017. Grina is featured on the list with Up Top Acres co-founders Kathleen O’Keefe and Jeff Prost-Greene.

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January 11, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farmers Make Forbes’ – 30 under 30: Social Entrepreneurs

Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California

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Damien Cipio (left) and Pac Rucker tend the crops at East Bay enterprise Dig Deep Farms, which is partly funded by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

There are almost too many food-justice programs to name. They include urban farming nonprofits such as Acta Non Verba, Phat Beets and City Slicker Farms, as well as social enterprises like Youth UpRising’s Corners Cafe and a startup called Town Kitchen, which trains young people from low-income communities and delivers box lunches to offices and conferences.

By Jonathan Kauffman
San Francisco Chronicle
December 27, 2016

Excerpt:

News of a Bay Area chef with a farm barely raises an eyebrow these days. But when Sarah Kirnon became the social-enterprise director of Dig Deep Farms four months ago, she wasn’t out to cultivate premium ingredients for her Oakland restaurant, Miss Ollie’s. She had a bigger mission in mind.

The 6-year-old farm, which has 8 acres in the hills above San Leandro, isn’t just a source for organic radishes, greens and carrots. It is funded in part by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and many of the farmers who tend its citrus trees and lush fields were once incarcerated.

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January 4, 2017   Comments Off on Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California