New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Entrepreneurs

Garden to Table Restaurants

The Pyramid Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas boasts local, sustainable American cuisine, using fresh ingredients from a terrace garden. The full and fresh 3,000-square-foot rooftop vegetable and herb garden includes a greenhouse. Photo from The Fairmont Dallas.

Eat ultra-local at these great garden-to-table restaurants

By Michael Harlan Turkell
USA Today
April 2014


The concept of farm-to-table has been trending for a while, yet some restaurants don’t have to rely on local farms for everything. We’ve gathered a slew of kitchens around the country that grow and serve vegetables, fruits and herbs from on-site gardens, usually cared for by the chefs and restaurateurs themselves. Chef Dennis Marron of Poste Moderne Brasserie and Bar in Washington, D.C. cultivates an array of fresh produce and herbs in Poste’s courtyard garden.

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April 23, 2014   No Comments

Two long-promised big Detroit urban agriculture efforts get underway

Michelle Lutz, farm manager for the RecoveryPark project, helps assemble a high tunnel Friday. ‘I hope to grow some really great food that the metro Detroit population really needs,’ she said. Photo by Jarrad Henderson/Detroit Free Press.

RecoveryPark, Hantz Woodlands projects finally get started

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writer
Apr 21, 2014


On Friday, the RecoveryPark project off East Grand Boulevard began construction of a “high tunnel,” a sort of greenhouse measuring 30 by about 145 feet, in which more than two dozen varieties of herbs and vegetables will be grown for sale to local restaurants and markets.

And on May 17, about 500 volunteers are expected to plant thousands of saplings for the Hantz Woodlands urban forest project on about 20 acres of cleared, vacant land on Detroit’s east side.

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April 21, 2014   No Comments

City Folk’s Farm Shop in Columbus, Ohio


“When we talk about sustainable living and urban homesteading, people think of hippy-dippy types,” she says. “But we’re really not in that category.”

By Emily Thompson
Columbus Monthly
April 2014


Amid the many businesses that sprawl up High Street, City Folk’s Farm Shop stands out with a bright orange awning and large logo boasting a chicken on the window. At first glance, the inside of the shop looks like a small-town garden supply store—standard gardening tools line the walls, birdhouses sit atop shelves and trashcans are off to the side. But a closer look reveals those trashcans are actually composting bins, and some of the products are even less recognizable. What exactly is a Nut Wizard, anyway? Customers frequent the store for this nut- and seed-gathering gadget, along with cheese-making kits, how-to books about fermenting, food dehydrators and the Farmer’s Almanac.

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April 14, 2014   No Comments

Jethro Tull’s most famous flautist swapped the excesses of life on the road for growing extremely hot chillies

Ian Anderson leaves his garden in Wiltshire to the pros, while he attends to his chillies.

Ian starts off his chillies in the swimming pool room, partly due to the conditions and partly because of the acoustics.

By Mark Diacono
The Telegraph
12 Apr 2014


“My chilli pepper adventures began with a salutary experience, courtesy of our Indian drummer, Ritchie Dharma, in 1967,” he says. “His mother cooked a powerful egg curry that sent me on the way to discovering the secret of the ‘hot’ behind hot curry.”

The natural chemical capsaicin is the villain, found in greatest concentration not in the seeds, but in the fleshy part of the chilli’s interior. It’s the active ingredient in pepper spray, used against bad guys, but Ian actually enjoys the effect:

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April 12, 2014   No Comments

Denver may OK front-yard sales of home-grown produce, eggs, honey

Eva Suel wraps bags of her homemade kale chips at a Denver Urban Homesteading farmers market on Saturday. Suel and her husband, Rinaldo, sell their goods at the market every Saturday. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

“It’s a good way to increase healthy food access and to promote economic development. More people growing their own food is always a positive thing.”

By Steve Raabe
The Denver Post


“In this economy, any chance for families to make a little extra income would be a positive,” Kniech said.

The amendment would allow residents to sell from their homes uncut fruits and vegetables, whole eggs, and home-prepared food products such as jellies, jams, honey, teas, herbs, spices and some baked goods.

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April 6, 2014   Comments Off

The Deerholme Foraging Book


Wild Foods and Recipes from the Pacific Northwest

By Bill Jones
Touchwood Editions
April 2014

The Deerholme Foraging Book is an exploration of the wild foods found in the Pacific Northwest. It is written by award-winning chef and author Bill Jones and features local mushrooms, edible plants, sea vegetables, and shellfish. The book is the product of twenty years of research and professional cooking with foraged foods. It serves as an introduction to the world of wild food and contains identification and sourcing information, harvesting and preparation tips, and more than one hundred delicious recipes featuring many types of wild foods.

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April 5, 2014   Comments Off

Austin-based urban farm aims to revolutionize the food supply chain

Green in the city: Participants of the tour were treated to gourmet delicacies and high-end cocktails. Urban Till produces dozens of varieties of herbs at its facility in Austin. Photo by Timothy Inklebarger.

The business started with four herbs — cilantro, dill, arugula and basil — in 2012 and has since grown to more than 50 varieties of herbs and lettuces.

By Timothy Inklebarger
Oak Park
March 25th, 2014


But within the nondescript walls of the multistory facility an urban farm has taken root. Its owners are fine-tuning a proprietary hydroponic method to grow thousands of high-end micro greens and other vegetables to be sold at some of the top restaurants in the Chicago area, including Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park and Autre Monde Café & Spirits in Berwyn.

The owners of Urban Till, which operates the 30,000-square-foot urban farm, opened their doors to a select group of about 100 restaurateurs, chefs, sustainable food advocates and industry insiders for the first time on March 21.

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April 2, 2014   Comments Off

Ford Motors Commercial Features Detroit Urban Farmer Pasho Murray

Upside: Anything is Possible. Why do we work so hard? There are a lot of opinions. Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt ( explains that for some of us, it’s about trying to make the world a better place.

Ford Just Destroyed Cadillac’s Ad Praising Rich Guys Who Work All The Time

By Aaron Taube
Business Insider
Mar. 27, 2014


In order to draw a contrast, Ford mimicked the structure of Cadillac’s commercial. Only it decided to use Pasho Murray, a real woman who founded Detroit Dirt, a company that turns waste into compost and sells it to people who want to create urban gardens.

Murray looks out at a landfill and wonders why Americans aren’t more like other countries who buy locally-grown food.

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March 30, 2014   Comments Off

Sacramento: Oak Park Urban Garden Looks To Sell Its Produce

“I found out the zoning for residential areas prohibits being able to grow food from your backyard and sell it unless you go to a farmer’s market.”

CBS Sacramento
March 15, 2014


He created a 1000 square feet garden with everything from kale and beets, to lettuce and asparagus.

“Asparagus, I think, is the best crop for the home gardener … I can say we’ve saved thousands of thousands of dollars,” Chanowk said.

Now, his urban family farm is on a mission to offer healthy produce to a neighborhood filled with convenient stores and fast food restaurants.

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March 22, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver Urban farm co-op to deliver food from farm to desk


Weekly baskets will feature fruit, veg, flowers and honey

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
March 16, 2014


Nine local urban and peri-urban farms — ranging from just one-third of an acre up to seven acres — have formed a business co-operative and plan to operate a pooled warehouse and distribution system. By using hired staff to prep, package and deliver their products, the farmers will be able to double their production, according to farmer Emi Do.

FarmCity Co-op’s new business model will serve 300 food basket customers through the growing season and should gross close to $250,000, up from a collective $75,000 last year. The group received a $25,000 grant from the Vancity enviroFund to implement their plan.

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March 17, 2014   Comments Off

Twitter-enabled vending machine gives out free seeds for tweets


The company is also running a Pledge to Plant sweepstakes, which will reward 50 random people with a home garden package and a donation to their local garden program (valued at $550)

By Derek Markham
March 6, 2014


In an organic twist on the standard vending machines we’re all familiar with, one organic seed and food company is combining social media, gardening, and giveaways, all of which help promote the company’s generous garden grant program.

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March 14, 2014   Comments Off

Calgary Community Ale Brews Larger Urban Gardening Conversations

Approximately 1,300 one-litre growlers of Village Gardener Community Involved Ale were brewed last year. Photo credit: Colin Way.

Collaborative ale an example of ‘community at its core’

By Jennifer Neutel
Axiom News
February 25, 2014


Village Brewery gave kegs to the people who had provided hops, which the community association used for a fundraiser event. “It was a nice little endless loop of love,” Jim says.

In January, Village Brewery held a meeting with a diverse group of Calgarians interested in urban gardening and sustainability. Representatives from four community associations were among those in attendance and are looking into getting involved and providing hops this year.

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March 6, 2014   Comments Off

One acre, 43,560 sq. ft., $43,560, a project at Virginia State University

Clif Slade answers questions while participants look at crop varieties at the $43,560 demonstration plot. (Image from VABF)

“It’s all following the field of urban agriculture. Farmers now are retired people coming back to land left to their families, retired engineers, or may live in an urban area and just want to help communities.” (Huff Post article)

Excerpt from Farm Bureau, Virginia

The 43,560 Initiative, a project at Virginia State University, seeks to illustrate ways to farm a small amount of land for a big payoff.

“There’s 43,560 square feet in an acre. Our objective is to gross that much from one acre. There have been books written about it, and we’re attempting a demonstration to see if you can do it. We’re trying to make a dollar per square foot, and you would net about half of that,” said William Crutchfield, field coordinator for VSU’s Small Farm Outreach Program.

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February 7, 2014   Comments Off

Failure of high-tech rooftop greenhouse in Vancouver leaves $4-million trail of debt

Len McDonald works among the growing trays at Vancouver’s Alterrus rooftop greenhouse.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
January 27, 2014


The failure of the Alterrus rooftop greenhouse has left investors and creditors holding the bag for about $4 million and the city’s parking corporation EasyPark out of pocket for at least $13,104 in unpaid rent.

EasyPark’s liability could rise if the company is forced to remove the high-tech enclosure and mechanized vertical growing systems left on a downtown parking garage by the bankruptcy of Alterrus and its operating partner and marketing arm Local Garden Vancouver.

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January 28, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Rooftop Farm ‘Local Garden’ Bankrupt


Alterrus Systems Inc. – Closing Statement

By Former ASI/LGVI Management Team
Jan 22, 2014

The Companies, Alterrus Systems Inc. and Local Garden Vancouver Inc. on a consolidated basis, have been challenged with working capital issues for the past months. This combined with productivity challenges on the leafy green side of crop production led us to change focus to the micro-greens crop which represented lower operating cost and higher margins overall. The micro-greens market potential was one which required development and although headed towards the positive cash flow direction it was moderately slow getting there.

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January 25, 2014   Comments Off