New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Entrepreneurs

Welcome to Tha Flower Factory: Vacant East Baltimore lot blossoms into something beautiful

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waltWalker Marsh created “Tha Flower Factory,” by transforming a vacant lot in East Baltimore into a half-acre full production flower farm. He submitted a winning idea in Baltimore City’s Growing Green Design Competition and hopes to inspire other urban farmers while beautifying the neighborhood, reducing pollution levels and providing job training. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office).

Walker’s idea represents a creative way of thinking about supporting urban agriculture, eliminating blight, reducing stormwater runoff, lowering lead levels, adding a community resource, providing job training and beautifying the city.

By Zoe Zellers
WWMT West Michigan
August 18th 2016

Excerpt:

What happens when residents walk by and see the beauty that has bloomed on their block? What’s their reaction like and how does that make you feel?

Everyone loves it! Folks have seen it from the very beginning when the growers and I were just out there moving rocks around to beautiful sunflowers popping up. I have received nothing but support and it makes me feel accomplished because I know people enjoy what I’m doing.

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August 26, 2016   No Comments

Atlanta Resorts’ rooftop garden takes farm-to-table to a higher level

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roofchef
Resorts Chefs. Resorts culinary staff, standing from left Steve Klawitter and David Wong, and Robert Levenson, seated, enjoy creating menu items with the garden’s produce.

“So consider this year a 2.0. We went out early with seedlings and basically doubled what we did last year with a lot more tomatoes, squash, eggplant, every herb you can think of.”

By Scott Cronick
Atlanta City Weekly
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Guests can also taste four types of tomatoes (Roma Plum, San Marzano Plum, Rutgers and Brandywine), five types of peppers (bell, Cubanelle, Serrano, jalapeno and Thai hot ), and other vegetables including eggplant, cucumber, bitter melon and luffa.

“The chefs personally harvest them,” Batten says. “They put a lot of pride in being able to go out and grow and then harvest. If they need something quick or have an idea for something, they don’t have to wait for an order to come in.”

[Read more →]

August 22, 2016   No Comments

Nanofarm: The first appliance that grows food for you

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Kickstarter drive begins

By Replantable
Aug. 22, 2016

From January 2016 until just a few weeks ago, 30 nanofarms have been put through their paces in the homes of our beta testers. Each beta tester has had the chance to harvest between 2-4 crops of produce, and they are very happy with the results.

While the beta testers agree the nanofarm does a great job growing food, they had lots of helpful criticism that led to the added features you see in the production model:

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August 22, 2016   No Comments

Philadelphia Obituary: Mary S. Corboy, city farm pioneer

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When Philadelphia magazine awarded Ms. Corboy the Philadelphian of the Year in 2008, the magazine wrote: “Armed with a BlackBerry and a sarcastic wit, Mary Seton Corboy is showing Philadelphia that the solution might be right beneath our feet.”

By Bonnie L. Cook
Philly.com
Aug 9, 2016

Excerpt:

In 1998, she found that vehicle in Greensgrow, a one-acre lot at 2501 E. Cumberland St. on which she built raised gardens and greenhouses to grow herbs and produce. What she couldn’t produce she had trucked in from local growers: peaches from South Jersey, tomatoes from Lancaster County, and meats, cheeses, and breads from farms within a short drive of Philadelphia.

The project was intended to breathe life into the long-neglected Philadelphia neighborhood – and it did.

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August 12, 2016   Comments Off on Philadelphia Obituary: Mary S. Corboy, city farm pioneer

Detroit plots course on land use as leader in urban farming

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Greg Willerer, owner of Brother Nature Produce, harvests some leafy greens for a local restaurant. He farms in the city’s north Corktown neighborhood and is one of dozens of Detroit farmers trying to carve out a living. Photo by Larry Peplin.

Willerer and other farmers are eager to expand land ownership in a city that is a national leader in urban farming. But city planners don’t have green thumbs when it comes to figuring out how much of the vacant land should be farmed and how much preserved for other uses.

By Marti Benedetti
Crains’ Detroit Business
Aug 6, 2016

Except:

Dan Carmody, Eastern Market president, said Detroit is a national leader in urban farming because of “the sheer number of people participating in it.”

He said there are 20,000 people working on 1,400 gardens or growing sites in the city.

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August 11, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit plots course on land use as leader in urban farming

Chicago Community embraces its garden theater

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Devene Parker and Aida Zeleke of Green Scene Chicago’s Summer Stock Ensemble take a seat under the still-growing scenery for their upcoming play.

All the action takes place in the Winthrop Harmony Arts Garden, which flourishes where a long-vacant three-flat in Uptown, then a trash-covered lot, once stood.

By Sue Ontiveros
Chicago Sun Times
Aug 1, 2016

Excerpt:

We’re accustomed to theatrical ventures where the crew builds and paints the necessary scenery. This is the first one I can remember where the theater troupe planted and watered it.

But that’s just what’s happening as Green Scene Chicago’s Summer Stock Teen Ensemble gets ready for its free performances Aug. 11 and 12 of “Jacklyn and the Beanstalk,” a fresh approach to the childhood classic. The play talks about conquering fears while putting in a good word for beans. (In this case, purple pole beans.)

[Read more →]

August 7, 2016   Comments Off on Chicago Community embraces its garden theater

The no-stink, no-mess, biodegradable food scrap container that goes right into your compost

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undersweb

Made from 100% recycled corrugated boxes

By Gabe, Greg and Glenn
PostModern

The idea for {POST}MODERN grew (literally) from stinky plastic buckets in our families’ kitchens. About 10 years ago, our hometown of Seattle started curbside collection of food scraps. We loved the idea of composting food waste, but the countertop containers and compostable bag liners were disgusting, wet, stinky additions to our homes. So, we started working on ways to make collecting food scraps easy and clean.

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July 31, 2016   Comments Off on The no-stink, no-mess, biodegradable food scrap container that goes right into your compost

Urban farming plan earns woman statewide award in Rome, New York

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sunyChristina Carambia stands at her family garden in Hounsfield, NY, with the check she earned from SEFCU for her start-up business. She wants to build indoor gardens at the building.

Christina Carambia’s Underground Greens is a business plan that was chosen this spring for a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise award in the statewide New York Business Plan Competition.

By Steve Jones
Rome Sentinel
July 9, 2016

Excerpt:

Working in her “vertical farm,” Christina envisions 40 Romans, each assigned to maintaining 1,000 square feet of vegetables.

“I’d like to be able to give jobs to local people like myself, to single moms like myself who can work from 9 in the morning after they drop off their kids at school until 3 in the afternoon,” Christina continues. “So many single moms and dads are coming up to me and telling me they want to be a part of this. Since many features of indoor farming can be automated – such as watering and temperature control — I can offer a flexible work schedule.”

[Read more →]

July 14, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming plan earns woman statewide award in Rome, New York

The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

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(Must see video. Mike) The hotel itself is made from balsa wood and includes traditional hollow tubes in the bedrooms, which is a popular nesting choice for solitary bees. Other key features, such as sugar water baths and ultraviolet patterns, have been included based on scientific research that suggests that bees are attracted to these, and will therefore be enticed to enter the bee hotel to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

We’ve just created the world’s poshest insect residence: a luxury bee hotel, in partnership with Kew Gardens!

By Taylors Tea of Harrogate since 1886

Excerpts;

Our teas need bees

Without these buzzy little flavour creators, life would be very bland. Research has found that animal pollination makes the tastiest fruit, and many of the ingredients in our wonderfully distinctive fruit and herbal teas – created with the help of the plant experts at Kew Gardens – need bees simply to survive. or Click on the packs to see for yourself.

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July 13, 2016   Comments Off on The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

Restaurants in Singapore take to urban farming

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danl
Open Farm Community’s chef Daniele Sperindio in his element.

The harvest is only a fraction of the produce they require but chefs say it is worth the effort

By Annette Tan
Today Online
July 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Edible Garden City has gone on to help numerous other restaurants set up their own edible gardens. Last year, it started a 29,000sqf urban farm with Open Farm Community (OFC), a restaurant in the Dempsey area, in collaboration with chef-owner Ryan Clift and lifestyle company Spa Esprit Group.

The farm at OFC cultivates a mix of herbs, vegetables and fruit trees, including basil, red hibiscus, sweet potatoes, mustard greens, morning glory (kangkung), eggplant, papaya and okra (lady’s fingers). The produce is used in the restaurant’s seasonal menu that changes every four months.

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July 13, 2016   Comments Off on Restaurants in Singapore take to urban farming

Fence Gardening by Invivo Design Studio

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fencegWith our vertical vegetation products (A.K.A. “living walls” or “vertical gardens”), you can enjoy herbs, flowers, and vegetables within arm’s reach – even in downtown apartments and compact townhouses.

Vertical Urban Ecology – Invivo’s pocket planters allow you to turn any fence or railing into a vertical garden.

By Yael Stav and Gordon Glaze
Invivo Design Studio
Vancouver, BC

Excerpt from their website:

Invivo Design Studio was founded in Tel-Aviv by life partners Yael Stav and Gordon Glaze. Design research at the studio started by purchasing vertical vegetation systems from established vendors and assessing them for food production in our small Tel-Aviv Yard.

Invivo’s yard soon became a tourist attraction in it’s own right with weekly tours being conducted for sightseers regularly. It became a venue for instruction of vertical vegetation, permaculture and urban agriculture. The yard was inspiring in its methods and prolific in its yield.

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July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Fence Gardening by Invivo Design Studio

Wonky Misfits tattoos – supporting imperfect/ugly fruits and vegetables movement

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tatoos

Temporary tattoos based on imperfect fresh product. The idea is to help build awareness of what real produce can look like and highlight the impacts our high cosmetic standards are having on the food industry.

By Ruby James-Strawhan
Wonky Misfits

Excerpt:

1. An estimated 20-40% of fresh produce is rejected before it hits the shelves because of how it looks.

2. We are wasting the resources that go into the production of fresh produce: Labour, Money, Time, Water, Energy and Love.

3. We are undercutting farmers, by selling imperfect produce at a cheaper price, even though they cost the same to create.

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July 8, 2016   Comments Off on Wonky Misfits tattoos – supporting imperfect/ugly fruits and vegetables movement

Fast-Food Chains Are Getting Into Farming Their Own Produce

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B.Good Got A Farm! And It’s On An Island!

B.Good, in Boston, is embarking on a new experiment in hyperlocal sourcing.

By Adele Peters
Fast Co-Exist
06.30.16

Excerpt:

They began growing kale in an unused alley next to a restaurant. In 2015, they started buying kale from an urban farmer using a hydroponic shipping container in Boston, and then began operating their own kale-filled shipping container under a local highway.

The island farm seemed like a natural next step. The island has an unusual history; for years, it served as the site of homeless shelters, and a farm next to the shelters helped feed residents and doubled as a job training program. But when the rickety bridge leading from Boston to the island was declared unsafe and demolished in 2014, the farm and shelters were abandoned.

[Read more →]

July 5, 2016   Comments Off on Fast-Food Chains Are Getting Into Farming Their Own Produce

Mobile farmer’s market rolls into west side Salt Lake City neighborhoods

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“We had samples of peas and raspberries. The kids were like eating it up and the kids were looking through all the produce that we had,” said Olschewski.

By Todd Tanner And Tamara Vaifanua
Fox 13 Salt Lake City
JUNE 27, 2016,

Excerpt:

The Urban Greens Market is now open for business. Salt Lake City leaders unveiled the new mobile farmer’s market at the Sorenson Unity Center – one of five spots on its weekly route.

“It really makes fresh produce walkable. People can walk over from the house, get fresh produce and then walk back,” said Shawn Peterson with the Green Urban Lunch Box.

[Read more →]

July 3, 2016   Comments Off on Mobile farmer’s market rolls into west side Salt Lake City neighborhoods

The Business Of Edible Landscaping in Florida

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frit
Photo by Daylina Miller/Wusf

There are 36 varieties of bananas at the nearly seven-acre farm, and so much more.

By Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
June 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Pete Kanaris founded GreenDreams, a landscaping company that helps clients grow their own food. He owns SandHills Farm, and it serves as both a nursery for plants and a testing ground for plants he recommends to clients.

“We’re really just learning to work with nature out here,” Kanaris said. “We have almost 750 fruit trees in the ground, almost 25 diff clumping varieties of bamboo… It’s a research site.”

[Read more →]

July 2, 2016   Comments Off on The Business Of Edible Landscaping in Florida