New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Entrepreneurs

The Kitchen Garden Goes High Tech

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Graphic by Christopher Silas Neal.

Of course, people don’t need technology to grow their own food. Urban gardeners have used cheap plastic gardening plates, pots and even casserole dishes to grow herbs and other foods.

By Jennifer Jolly
New York Times
May 19, 2015

Excerpt:

CounterCrop and Niwa, which retail for about $320 to $350, offer a wired step up from a window planter box — no dirt or green thumb needed. Each device lets you plant and grow a small crop of fresh vegetables.

CounterCrop is a self-contained, miniature garden with its own watering setup and advanced LED lights that mimic sunrise, sunset and seasonal shifts in nature. It’s nearly two feet long, one foot wide, and takes up the same amount of space as a medium-size microwave oven.

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May 19, 2015   No Comments

This urban farm is growing mushrooms for Cincinnati’s food scene

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Probasco Urban Farm grows mushrooms from long bags that are suspended from the ceiling under fluorescent lights.

“My current focus is to produce mushroom species that grow quickly and need less initial investment.”

By Drew Baugh
Bizjournals
May 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Probasco Urban Farm is bringing gourmet mushrooms to restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets across the city. The operation is running out of a facility on the edge of Camp Washington and Fairview at 2335 W. McMicken Avenue.

The business, owned by Alan Susarret, launched in spring 2013. Ater extended trials, Susarret said he has been able to keep a steady business since this past winter. Technically, though, his mushrooms have been on the market since fall 2012.

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May 17, 2015   No Comments

Ori: Handmade tool from Slovenia to help you determine growing spaces between the plants

The holes and the legend on Ori will guide your sowing and planting experience.

By Seed Guardians Association; Origo Co-op
2015

Excerpt:

The main purpose in the use of Ori is to help you determine growing spaces between the plants on your gardening surface. It can be considered as a gardening ruler with a twist of design.

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May 16, 2015   Comments Off on Ori: Handmade tool from Slovenia to help you determine growing spaces between the plants

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

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The Ultimate Guide to Producing High-Quality Herbs on a Market Scale

By Melanie Carpenter, Jeff Carpenter
Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: April 29, 2015

Both a business guide and a farming manual, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will teach readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal herbs.

Whether you’re trying to farm medicinal plants, culinary herbs, or at-risk native herbs exclusively or simply add herbal crops to what you’re already growing, successful small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter will guide you through the entire process—from cultivation to creating value-added products.

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May 9, 2015   Comments Off on The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

Urban farms could supply Manchester’s top restaurants – says the man behind Salford-grown exotic mushrooms

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Vincent and his fancy fungi.

Tampopo and Lowry Hotel interested in local-grown fungi from farm on the banks of the River Irwell

By Neal Keeling
Manchester Evening News
29 April 2015

Excerpt:

Two of the city’s best-known eateries have already expressed their interest in taking the Salford-grown fungi.

David Fox, co-owner of noodle chain Tampopo, said: “We tasted some of the delicious mushrooms when they were grown by Vincent, and they are perfect for our Korean sesame scented glass noodles, Thai fried rice and Japanese ramen. We are very excited about his vision for urban farms supplying restaurants in the city.”

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May 9, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farms could supply Manchester’s top restaurants – says the man behind Salford-grown exotic mushrooms

Seven African American Urban Farmers You Should Know

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Natasha Bowens, right.

“Community gardens help people reconnect with the earth, and this is especially important in areas that are struggling and have fewer resources.” Tanya Fields.

By Nicole L. Cvetnic
The Root
April 22 2015

Excerpt:

Natasha Bowens
Creator and author of The Color of Food
Frederick, Md.

After joining the food movement, Natasha Bowens instantly felt more alive and connected to the earth than she ever had before. She began discovering the historical inequalities in agriculture and the food system for people of color. When she was one of the few people of color selling food at a market a few years ago, some people did not take her efforts seriously.

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April 30, 2015   Comments Off on Seven African American Urban Farmers You Should Know

This Hollywood Restaurant Grows Your Food Next To Your Table

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When the founders began researching vertical gardens, they learned about aeroponic towers made by a company called Green City Farms—basically, plant-filled poles. Photos: via Tender Greens.

The chain, Tender Greens, is adopting a drought-friendly kind of farming.

By Adele Peters
Co Exist
Apr 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Once a week, the restaurant harvests produce from the towers and uses it in a daily special. “It’s fun for chefs,” he says. “They’re absolutely connected to the plants, because they’ve been watching them grow all week.”

With the restaurant’s high volumes, the towers can only provide a tiny fraction of the food served (and, sadly, diners can’t harvest their own greens to put directly in a salad). But the towers serve as a visible sign of the company’s bigger shift to ultra-efficient farming as California’s drought worsens. Hydroponic farming can save as much as 90% of the water that would be used to grow food in the field.

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April 28, 2015   Comments Off on This Hollywood Restaurant Grows Your Food Next To Your Table

‘Urban Homesteader’ to be produced by Emmy Award Winners

The Urban Homesteader – Sizzle Reel from Jeannine Glista on Vimeo.

Our long-term goal is to get The Urban Homesteader broadcast nationally on PBS. Our short-term goal is to kick things off by producing 2 webisodes (11 minute web videos) then expanding that to 5 webisodes.

By Derek Markham
TreeHugger
April 23, 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Urban Homesteader project, led by a couple of seasoned media professionals who are involved with the popular PBS shows Bill Nye The Science Guy and Biz Kid$, aims to help more people learn to homestead in the city through a series of web videos featuring experts who know their urban homesteading skills and practice them to positive effect on their own little piece of the city.

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April 24, 2015   Comments Off on ‘Urban Homesteader’ to be produced by Emmy Award Winners

From Italy – Orto Urbano

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The big castors allow you to move your Orto Urbano to whichever position you want – in the sun, in the rain, or in the shade

What Is An Orto Urbano Kit

Orto Urbano is a practical solution for creating a mobile “urban garden” to place on apartment balconies and terraces.

Orto Urbano makes it possible for anyone to cultivate their own vegetable garden or green space completely independently, even without a garden.

Orto Urbano is easy to assemble; it comes in three pieces usually used for packaging and shipping kits.

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April 23, 2015   Comments Off on From Italy – Orto Urbano

An Urban Organic Marijuana Farmer in Vancouver, Washington

Starting a Recreational Marijuana Business- CannaMan Farms from Cooking Up a Story on Vimeo.

Starting a Recreational Marijuana Business: CannaMan Farms

Story and video by Rebecca Gerendasy
Co-founder
Cooking Up a Story
Food.Farmer.Earth.

Excerpt:

April 20, 2015, Vancouver, Washington. Three years ago, at age 42 and fast approaching 20 years in the mortgage business, Brian Stroh, sold his real estate brokerage firm and after careful research decided to dive into the nascent recreational marijuana business.

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April 21, 2015   Comments Off on An Urban Organic Marijuana Farmer in Vancouver, Washington

Farmers in India’s city fringe villages have switched to growing lawn grass

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Around 400 acres of land in Chande village are being used for lawn grass farming. Photo Manoj Bidkar.

Move over sugarcane, tomato, onion and sundry other traditional farmland crops. Farmers minting money like never before.

By: Sandip Kolhatkar
Pune Mirror
Apr 5, 2015,

Excerpt:

For the past six to seven years, almost 90 per cent of farmers in Chande village, close to the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park in Hinjewadi with a population of 800, have turned to carpet grass manufacturing, minting money like never before. Neighbouring Nande village has also followed suit with this far more lucrative farming option.

Jotiba Mandekar, a young famer in his 40s, had first mooted the idea of lawn grass farming in early 2000, after tips from a Karnataka-based gardener.

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April 12, 2015   Comments Off on Farmers in India’s city fringe villages have switched to growing lawn grass

Portland’s ‘Your Backyard Farmer’ Transforms Yards into Organic CSAs, Part 1

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Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter. Donna and Robyn originally created the company Your Backyard Farmer and began CSA farming operations in the backyards of their clients because they were having trouble accessing land to start their farm. Photo by Lisa D. Holmes.

“Seattle Urban Farms is doing it. Farmscapes in L.A. is doing it. Most of the people we’ve taught are still active. Green City Growers in Boston is doing very well.”

By John Clark Vincent
Mother Earth News
4/1/2015

Excerpt:

“We showed up at a client’s home, and they had pulled every one of their pea plants out of the ground. So we asked them where the pea plants went, and they told us they were looking for peas. They thought they were in the roots, and we were like, holy cow, you don’t know what peas are? So we told them they should go to the grocery store and look at the produce and figure out what all these vegetables actually look like,” says Robyn Streeter.

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April 9, 2015   Comments Off on Portland’s ‘Your Backyard Farmer’ Transforms Yards into Organic CSAs, Part 1

AKER : print your urban farm

AKER Crowdfunding Video from Tristan Copley Smith on Vimeo.

Start growing your own food this Spring with these flat pack, open source urban farming kits.

AKER is efficient and designed to make maximum use of space for growing food: balconies, rooftops and small to medium sized gardens are perfect. Each kit is also material efficient, fitting onto a single 4’x8′ sheet of material.

AKER needs no tools and snaps together without needing screws or glues. That means no mess and a quick, simple assembly for any kit (with documentation!).

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April 8, 2015   Comments Off on AKER : print your urban farm

Pittsburgh law students tackle urban agriculture and food policy issues

Jaclyn Clifford and Marlene van Es will soon be graduating from the University of Pittsburgh Law school and are starting a firm for legal aid to entrepreneurs who want to start environmental oriented businesses in the city.Photo by Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette.

By Diana Nelson Jones
Pittsburgh Post_Gazette
March 26, 2015

Excerpt:

“Jackie and I said, ‘This is what we’re passionate about and there’s a lack of legal services in this area,’” said Ms. van Es, a New York native with a degree in agriculture from Cornell University.

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April 6, 2015   Comments Off on Pittsburgh law students tackle urban agriculture and food policy issues

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.

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