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Category — Environment

Germany: Roof Water-Farm in Berlin

The German research project Roof Water-Farm (2013-2017) explores ways of combining building-integrated wastewater treatment with urban food production

From their website:

Roof Water-Farm demonstrates paths towards innovative city water management and urban food production. Potentials and risks of redesigning across sectors of infrastructure are explored and communicated.

The research association investigates opportunities for building-integrated water treatment systems to irrigate and fertilize roof-top greenhouses. Technologies for water treatment and aquaponics (plant and fish cultivation) will be examined at a demonstration and test site in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The research focuses on a hygienically safe usage of rainwater, greywater and blackwater as both a strategy for city water management and a potential for urban food production.

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November 14, 2017   No Comments

Denmark: ‘Noma’, The Most Famous Restaurant in The World, Will Open Its Mystery ‘Urban Farm’ Location in January!

A Very Short Film About the Past, Present and Future of Noma from Rene Redzepi on Vimeo.

Founder Rene Redzepi says: “The new restaurant will be nestled in our own urban farm…. We will grow a significant amount of our produce. … A new place were we can build a farm right in the city.”

By Jeremy Repanich
Robb Report
September 15, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Restaurant delay due to ancient stone wall discovered during construction.

Bloomberg’s chief food critic, Richard Vines, was the first to tip people off to the delay, tweeting that the much-anticipated reopening of one of the world’s top restaurants wouldn’t happen until mid-January.

But this delay isn’t happening because of problems with personnel, new menu development, or construction workers going on strike; it was a much more peculiar reason. Noma has now released a statement to explain what exactly happened:

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September 16, 2017   Comments Off on Denmark: ‘Noma’, The Most Famous Restaurant in The World, Will Open Its Mystery ‘Urban Farm’ Location in January!

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: The Benefit of Nature in High Density Urban Areas


We must keep every scrap of nature in and around our cities. Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
– E.O. Wilson in The Biophilia Hypothesis (1984)

By Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Project Director
and Deanne Manzer, Project Researcher MLA
and Kaitlyn Gillis, Project Advisor
June 26, 2017
(Must see.) Mike

Excerpt:

Greening Strategies

– Every home within a 5 min walk to a greenspace
– Restore or enhance 25ha of natural areas
– 30ha of additional public park – 20,000 trees planted
– 200 public greening projects
– 100 ha of green roofs and
walls, including 33 ha dedicated to urban agriculture
– 200 ha of skyrise greenway (1/2 the size of Stanley park)
– 400km of park connectors – 0.8ha of parkland / 1,000
residents

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September 15, 2017   Comments Off on Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: The Benefit of Nature in High Density Urban Areas

Hawaii: Rat Lungworm, the Tropical Parasite That Took Hawaii by Surprise

The most likely transmission route for the rat lungworm is the semislug P. martensi. Immature semislugs can be smaller than an uncooked grain of rice—easy to miss on a leaf of lettuce or kale. Illustration By Jee-Ook Choi.

Joint stiffness, fatigue, and nausea after eating kale from his garden—the earliest signs, it would turn out, of a mysterious parasitic infection.

By Alissa Greenberg
The New Yorker
June 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Rat lungworm has likely been present in Hawaii for hundreds of years, perhaps brought by rodents that stowed away aboard Polynesian ships. What, then, accounts for the apparent uptick in infections? All signs point to a newcomer to the archipelago—Parmarion martensi, a Southeast Asian semi-slug, so called because it sports a tiny shell too small to actually live inside. The animal can carry at least twice as many nematode larvae per milligram as other mollusk species; some researchers theorize that its spongy muscle tissue is especially easy for rat lungworm to penetrate.

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August 1, 2017   Comments Off on Hawaii: Rat Lungworm, the Tropical Parasite That Took Hawaii by Surprise

Study says: Carbon reductions made possible by urban farming are much smaller than many had assumed

It’s not apples and tomatoes that are responsible for most of the diet’s greenhouse gas emissions; it’s animals. Meat and dairy products contribute 54 percent of the American diet’s potential impact on climate change.

By Deena Shanker
Bloomberg
June 21, 2017

Excerpt:

There are many reasons to embrace urban agriculture. Greater access to produce could help improve the diet of city residents, and replacing pavement with soil could help abate water runoff, for example. But slowing climate change isn’t one of them. The potential economic benefits of urban farming are also less promising than proponents had hoped, the study found.

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June 27, 2017   Comments Off on Study says: Carbon reductions made possible by urban farming are much smaller than many had assumed

Israel: Ultra-Orthodox kids grow a green thumb in ‘mitzvah’ gardens

The gardens, like this one in Modiin Ilit on March 22, 2017, follow the commandment of kilayim, which requires that each species is planted a certain distance from the other. (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

“We’re in a city, we’re not in a moshav or village where we’re exposed to the ideas of orchards and gardens,” Rivkie added.

By Melanie Lidman
The Times of Israel
June 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Families have also gotten into the spirit of the garden. As a year-end gift, Rivkie gave each student a mint plant to grow at home and use for the end-of-Shabbat Havdalah service, which makes use of a pleasant-smelling herb. Rivkie said one girl’s family grew so much mint they gave cuttings to their relatives, and now the whole extended family uses their own mint.

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June 16, 2017   Comments Off on Israel: Ultra-Orthodox kids grow a green thumb in ‘mitzvah’ gardens

India: An Urban Farming Group In Bengaluru Is Teaching People Home Agriculture To Fight Pollution

“I was born and brought up in Bangalore,” says Dr Vishwanath. “When I was growing up, most people used to have a front and back garden.”

The group believes that the process of growing food at home can encourage green cover

By Shreya Kalra
India Times
June 4, 2017

Excerpt:

Harish Mysore took a Garden City Farmers workshop five years ago, and now he grows everything from coriander to eggplant to pomegranate. His hobby of growing simple flowers such as roses has been magnified to home agriculture. He says organic farming opened up a “whole new gate” for him. Not only does growing food at home have health benefits, but the food also tastes much different.

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June 5, 2017   Comments Off on India: An Urban Farming Group In Bengaluru Is Teaching People Home Agriculture To Fight Pollution

The potential for urban household vegetable gardens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

David Cleveland in his home garden. Photo Credit: Daniela Soleri

UCSB research professor David Cleveland and his students model the effect of household gardens on greenhouse gas emissions

By Julie Cohen
The UC Santa Barbara Current
September 6, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Want to help mitigate global climate change? Grow some veggies.

Turning lawn into a vegetable garden can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara research professor David Cleveland.

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April 15, 2017   Comments Off on The potential for urban household vegetable gardens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Urban agriculture already plays an important role in global food production, but can it keep cities fed?


A city farm in East Perth, Western Australia. The UN is urging cities to include food production in its urban planning. Image: Orderinchaos, CC BY-SA 3.0

A diversified urban food supply system, with food originating from a range of sources, might instead bolster a city’s resilience because it would be less sensitive to the impacts of climate change.

By Pay Drechsel
CGIAR
2 March 2017
Pay Dreschel is research theme leader for Resource Recovery, Water Quality and Health, International Water Management Institute.

Excerpt:

The findings of the Ouagadougou-Tamale study imply that achieving a sustainable, resilient urban food system is not a simple question of either local or global food supply chains; both are necessary. The more diverse urban food supply systems, the more resilient.

Local agricultural production needs to be considered in urban planning because most cities already are dependent on locally produced food. Overall, the extent of urban agriculture on a global scale warrants a reorientation of agricultural policies and development work, which are mostly focused on rural contexts.

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March 14, 2017   Comments Off on Urban agriculture already plays an important role in global food production, but can it keep cities fed?

City of Toledo, Ohio offers vacant lot to urban farmer


Thomas Jackson cleans up a pile of wood chips, branches, and tree stumps in an attempt to beautify the neighborhood around his Milburn Avenue home in Toledo.

The site is OK for mulch, not growing

By Tom Troy
The Blade
Feb 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr. Jackson said city officials are trying to work with him, and have suggested two other sites to place the wood chips. He said the Bancroft Street site is covered with concrete, so he would be able to compost there, but not grow vegetables.

“There’s definitely negotiations going on. I have a letter from economic development stating that they are working with me to get a new site,” Mr. Jackson said.

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February 22, 2017   Comments Off on City of Toledo, Ohio offers vacant lot to urban farmer

Louisiana tribes restore traditional diets in the face of climate change


Photography by Edmund D. Fountain.

Native Americans are losing their ability to live off the land as it has crumbled into the Gulf of Mexico. Some of them are trying to figure out how to survive on what’s left.

By Barry Yeoman
Food and Environmental Network
Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast, The Lens
February 9, 2017

Excerpts:

A few decades ago, the Pointe-au-Chien tribal members of Louisiana fed themselves well—they fished in nearby waters, raised livestock, planted fruits and vegetables, trapped marsh hens, and even hunted turtle and alligator. But as the tides, driven higher by climate change, started to eat up the tribe’s territory leaving fewer places to put a garden or raise livestock and less terrain to hunt and forage for wild plants, the tribe turned to processed foods. And as water levels continued to rise, so did rates of diabetes and cholesterol.

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February 15, 2017   Comments Off on Louisiana tribes restore traditional diets in the face of climate change

Martha Stewart: A Winter Harvest from My Vegetable Greenhouse


Here’s Ryan harvesting some cutting celery, another ingredient of my green juice. This hardy annual can be used in place of celery and is easier to grow. The fine green leaves and thin hollow stems are especially good to flavor soups and stews.

Photos from her food producing greenhouse

Martha Up Close and Personal Blog
Feb 7, 2017

Excerpt:

My expansive outdoor vegetable garden is bare, but I’m fortunate to have lots of wonderful vegetables growing in the ground in a special greenhouse located behind my Equipment Barn. As many of you know, its design was inspired by Eliot Coleman, an expert of four-season farming.

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February 14, 2017   Comments Off on Martha Stewart: A Winter Harvest from My Vegetable Greenhouse

Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

Some urban farmers who spoke to ZwNews have expressed their fears that the floods being experienced in the country at the moment could lead to serious food insecurity.

By Lovemore Lubinda
ZWNews
Jan 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Kudakwashe Tagara, another Harare resident who last season had to send some of his urban farming produces to his parents in the rural areas (Mutoko) after they failed to harvest more to eat, said the floods have affected their livelihoods to a greater extent.

“The situation is compromising our ability to fend for our families; all my small fields dotted along the Mukuwisi River have been rendered a complete write-off. I won’t get anything this year, my aging parents in Mutoko depend on what I provide them,” he said.

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January 31, 2017   Comments Off on Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

Pictures of urban horticulture projects in Bologna.

Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated

By Daniela Gasperi, Giuseppina Pennisi, Niccolò Rizzati, Francesca Magrefi, Giovanni Bazzocchi, Umberto Mezzacapo, Monique Centrone Stefani, Esther Sanyé-Mengual, Francesco Orsini, and Giorgio Gianquinto
Sustainability Journal
December 2016

Abstract:

In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability.

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January 19, 2017   Comments Off on Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

Dublin farmer and the tubers for Mars


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