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Category — Environment

Why Two California Indian Tribes are Growing Their Own Food, and Why It Isn’t Easy

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Watch Tending the Wild: Decolonizing the Diet.

Big Pine Reservation’s Sustainable Foods Program and Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Food Sovereignty Program

By Clarissa Wei
KCET
Nov 21, 2016

Excerpt:

Big Pine Paiute-Shoshone tribe member Joseph Miller shows me around his town’s garden. There are two hoop houses with herbs and fresh heads of lettuce just popping out of the ground. Tomatoes are in abundance, with so many hybrid varieties that it’s hard to keep track.

“What we’re working towards is being able to not only create a sustainable food source, but to create food security,” Miller says. “We want to give our people the right to know without being in the dark and wary about where their food is coming from, or how long it’s been on a truck.”

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November 28, 2016   No Comments

Zimbabwe: Climate Change Changes Face of Urban Agriculture

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zimclim

Research has shown that trees can help us to adapt to a changing climate and combat drought by influencing rainfall patterns and helping to retain the water received.

By Chipo Masara
All Africa
Nov 13, 2016

Excerpt:

Rain is something that Zimbabweans very much look forward to. For years, many have looked up to their rain-fed agricultural projects to bring them food relief in the face of gnawing hunger that has resulted from the country’s economic collapse. The unpredictable pattern that now characterises the rainy seasons, however, has lately been rendering people’s effort useless.

Urban agriculture is part of Zimbabwe’s urban landscape and in Harare; frantic efforts by the city council to put an end to it came to naught — to the extent of the authorities seemingly throwing in the towel. It would seem they finally realised how unreasonable their push was to destroy an activity that brought food relief for many food-insecure urban households, most of who have been left to scrap for a living after their breadwinners lost jobs following either company closures or retrenchments.

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November 20, 2016   Comments Off on Zimbabwe: Climate Change Changes Face of Urban Agriculture

New Zealand: Construction of Christchurch’s new edible garden and cafe to start 2017

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An early design for Otakaro Orchard.

The project is being driven by the Food Resilience Network, a collaborative group of about 30 organisations which have joined forces to encourage a strong local food economy.

By Liz Mcdonald
The Press
November 3 2016

Excerpt:

Project co-ordinator Chloe Waretini, of the Food Resilience Network, said it would be Christchurch’s most regenerative building.

It would not only be about resources such as water, energy and food, but also about making cities “more dynamic, lively and people-centred”, Waretini said.

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November 9, 2016   Comments Off on New Zealand: Construction of Christchurch’s new edible garden and cafe to start 2017

You Don’t Know ‘Till You Grow

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1903veggarden

The importance of becoming rooted in gardening

By Claire Livingstone
4th geography student at University of British Columbia
Nov 2, 2016

It is estimated that one fifth of the greenhouse gases that we’re each responsible for, come from how we consume food(1). According to New York Times writer Michael Pollan(2), growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for the environment, as it reduces a sense of dependency on the ‘cheap energy’ that composes so much of an individual’s carbon footprint. As a fourth year UBC Geography student, I am exposed to the importance of being mindful of one’s environmental impacts on an individual level. In order for big changes to happen, we must start with the little ones, and shift how we interact with the Earth on a daily basis.

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November 3, 2016   Comments Off on You Don’t Know ‘Till You Grow

Paris, France launches licenses to ‘green’ (végétaliser) all you want

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The goal by 2020 is to green Paris on more than 100 hectares with a third devoted to urban agriculture

This article has been roughly translated by Google Translate from La Relève et La Peste
By Christophe Noël et Jean-Pierre Viguié / Mairie de Paris
Oct 6, 2016

Roughly translated:

Here’s good news! Passed unnoticed this summer, this law passed by the elected council of Paris on July 1, and allows Paris residents to acquire a permit to green/grow on the place that you like best! A very nice alternative to green our cities from the 100% concrete …

Paris is one of the least “green” capitals where one finds relatively little space and almost no real green lung, as there are in London or Central Park. The mayor of Paris has made a strong move this time with her 100% green proposal. We see real, bold proposals for the French capital. The goal by 2020 is to green Paris on more than 100 hectares. All alternatives are in the proposals. Roofs, walls and facades can and will be grown on, a third will be devoted to urban agriculture. This proposals is long overdue. The proposal was passed under a near media blackout.

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October 19, 2016   Comments Off on Paris, France launches licenses to ‘green’ (végétaliser) all you want

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

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Walking and biking on a gravel trail along the new Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver, BC.

These results “strongly suggest that getting out into natural environments” could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers, Mr. Bratman said.

By Gretchen Reynolds
New York Times
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.

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September 12, 2016   Comments Off on How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Dubai’s Sustainable City Includes Urban Farming

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There is a 3 hectare farm running across the City’s central spine. This community farm accommodates 38,000 sqft (3,500 sqm) of Biodome Greenhouses dedicated to the growing of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

By Nick Webster
The National AE
Sept 4, 2016

Excerpts:

The city’s urban farm produces more than 20 kinds of herbs and will soon start growing fruit and vegetables once the productive landscape matures. About 2,000 date palms are on the property. Green compost is used on everything grown.

“We are also looking into composting our food waste, turning it into a resource that will improve our soils.

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September 10, 2016   Comments Off on Dubai’s Sustainable City Includes Urban Farming

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

Interview with Karl Linn: Community Gardens: Reclaiming a Commons

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One of his accomplishments was to convince the Berkeley planners to turn over a piece of land next to a BART tunnel for the establishment of a communal garden, where it still exists—The Carl Linn Peralta Community Garden.

By Richard Whittaker
Works and Conversations
Apr 29, 2001

Excerpt:

RW: In establishing a commons, would you say, that ideally part of what it would consist of would be a garden?

Karl Linn: Well in the past I saw an interesting development. I worked in about ten cities and established two non-profit corporations and inspired about eight others that were the first pioneering community design centers where volunteer professionals worked with economically disenfranchised neighborhoods helping them to build these common areas—architects, landscape architects, anthropologists, sociologists, lawyers, just name it. There was always some vegetation, but primarily we used recycled building materials, voluntary labor and tax delinquent land. From urban renewal demolition we used marble steps, bricks and flagstones.

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June 26, 2016   Comments Off on Interview with Karl Linn: Community Gardens: Reclaiming a Commons

New York’s public floating food forest raises $32,000

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In 2016 in New York City people will be able to visit a barge containing edible, perennial plants. We want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh food as a commons too.

By Adam Born
City Metric
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

A leased barge, measuring in at 120 x 30 feet, will provide the foundation for a forest growing a range of produce. Whilst touring piers around New York state for six months, the forest will accommodate up to 300 people per day coming aboard, exploring and foraging for anything from herbs, berries and kale to kiwis.

The project is partly inspired by the growing urban agriculture movement found in New York City, now home to the largest rooftop farms in the world. From what was once a hobby for a few keen enthusiasts, this expansion has been supported by grassroots movements, volunteering and municipal programs.

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June 19, 2016   Comments Off on New York’s public floating food forest raises $32,000

Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

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MikeSharonCity Farmer’s Michael Levenston and Sharon Slack, along with other staff, have created a climate-change adaptation garden. Photo by Carlito Pablo.

Inside City Farmer’s office is a copy of Resilient Gardens 2016: Climate Change, Stress Disorders, Pest Update. Levenston and Slack recommended this new book by Salt Spring Island–based pest-management and gardening expert Linda Gilkeson.

By Carlito Pablo
Georgia Straight
June 8th, 2016

Excerpt:

Last summer was so hot that many probably thought it was one for the books. Well, it turned out that Earth in 2015 had its warmest summer in recorded history. It was another sign that the planet is heating up, due mainly to human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere.

For some folks in Vancouver, the dry conditions at the time made gardening so challenging that they immediately started an experiment.

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June 9, 2016   Comments Off on Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

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perdyEntomologist Christian Krupke at the Purdue Bee Laboratory with pollen collected by Indiana honeybees. (Purdue Agriculture photo/Tom Campbell)

Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

By Keith Robinson
Purdue University
May 31, 2016

Excerpts:

“Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected,” said Krupke. “The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

Long, now an assistant professor of entomology at The Ohio State University, said she was also “surprised and concerned” by the diversity of pesticides found in pollen.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

The real value of urban farming. (Hint: It’s not always the food.)

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citry(Artisticco/Shutterstock)

The environmental benefits of urban farming get even more complicated when we consider indoor “vertical farms,” which are often touted as a sustainable option that use less soil and water. Although designs differ, some of these set-ups can use an enormous amount of energy, especially if they require artificial lighting.

By Brad Plumer
VOX
May 16, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s hard to make sweeping generalizations here,” Santo told me. When designed right, urban farms can make some modest but valuable improvements to the sustainability of our food system. But when designed poorly, they can end up being even worse for the environment — say, if they’re using fertilizer inefficiently and polluting nearby waters with nitrogen run-off.

In our conversation, Santo mentioned one feature of urban farms that often gets shortchanged in dry policy discussions: “They can reconnect people with how to grow food.”

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May 22, 2016   Comments Off on The real value of urban farming. (Hint: It’s not always the food.)

Shorebird finds protection in Moncton-area community garden – New Brunswick, Canada

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kildThe white-bellied killdeer, described as “very vocal” is a shorebird you can find without going to the beach. (Alain Clavette)

“I think a mother killdeer could not have chosen a better place for a nest,” said Clavette.

By Paul Hantiuk
CBC News
May 07, 2016

Excerpts:

Community gardeners near the Moncton Area Control Centre were expecting to dig in for another planting season but instead found a killdeer had set up a nest right in the middle of their plot.

Charles Daigle, a photographer who works for NAV Canada in Riverview, found the bird when he went to till the garden. He has since done his best to make sure it would be protected.

“We’re going to be delayed a bit of course. I’m in charge of the garden but I talked to the people who are in charge of the building and basically we all made the decision unanimously to give the bird some space and let it do its thing.”

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May 14, 2016   Comments Off on Shorebird finds protection in Moncton-area community garden – New Brunswick, Canada

A meta-analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in mediating climate change

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Africa is undergoing an unprecedented urban transition both in pace and scale.

By Shuaib Lwasa, Frank Mugagga1, Bolanle Wahab,
David Simon, John P Connors and Corrie Griffith
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
2015, 13:68–73

Abstract:

This paper systematically reviews literature on urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry (UPAF) in mediating climate change. The study includes both peer-reviewed and grey literature (274 literature sources), and synthesizes evidence and agreement on both UPAF’s potential and limitations for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Eight East and West African cities were included in the review: Accra, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Kampala, Ibadan and Nairobi. The review focuses on urban livelihoods, ecosystem services and urban policy responses as pathways to mediating climate change.

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May 3, 2016   Comments Off on A meta-analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in mediating climate change