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UK: How we founded Croydon’s first rooftop community garden

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croydCroydon is a large town in south London, England, the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.5 miles south of Charing Cross.

The rooftop cinema-garden will be here till the end of the summer when hopefully we’ll harvest and plan for spring.

By Joyce Veheary
The Croydon Citizen
22nd July, 2016

Excerpts:

On the rooftop of the Fairfield Halls NCP carpark, together we’ve created Croydon’s only rooftop community garden and with advice from @CroydonGardener, who specialises in ‘no-dig’ gardening, we’ve built raised beds full of veggies. Local businesses such as craft brewers Volden Brewery have donated spent hops to create compost, lavender has been lent from Mayfield lavender fields and individual locals have generously given soil and garden paraphernalia, making it a real community effort.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

10 Essential Allotment Gardening Tools

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peaf
Burgon & Ball Seed and Plant Spacing Rule.

UK’s National Allotments week from 18-24 August

By Richard Hood
The Independent
26 July 2016

Excerpt:

There’s still plenty of sowing and planting to be done in August – Swiss chard, spring onions and spring cabbages can all be sown now, and if you are quick about it, you should just be able to squeeze in a few fast maturing carrots. And to ensure your veg rows crop in precise, regimental, envy-inducing lines, you’ll need one of these. This ruler is made from sturdy beech wood, and comes inscribed with recommended plant spacings – perforated with poke holes for pinpoint sowing. A smaller, 30cm rule is available, but veg growers will get more use from the metre length version.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

Why Copenhagen Residents Want to Live on Urban Gardens

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dvasweDavid Skat Nielsen on his colony garden. (Lynsey Grosfield)

High rents are driving some Danes to not-quite-legal cabins and cottages.

By Lynsey Grosfield
City Lab
Jul 12, 2016

Excerpt:

For several years now, David Skat Nielsen has been cultivating a 7,400-square-foot patch of land on the island of Amager, in the greater Copenhagen area. Here, he pays 900 DKK ($133 USD) per month to get away from the stresses of apartment living, plant some fruit trees, build a greenhouse, and generally bask in the stillness of a hedged-in green space. Due to zoning restrictions, he can only live on the property for six months of the year, but he’s part of a growing group of Danes that would like to make these minimalistic garden lots into full-time homes.

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July 17, 2016   No Comments

German Garden Houses

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fregtDie Schrebergärten an der Schlossstrasse: Sie sollen günstigen Wohnungen für Familien weichen. Bild: Beat Mathys

There are now over one million allotment gardens in Germany. Berlin has the most with an estimated 67,000 gardens. It is a ridiculously green city. Hamburg is next with 35,000, then Leipzig with 32,000, Dresden with 23,000, Hanover 20,000, Bremen 16,000,

By Erin Porter
About Travel
July 13, 2016

Excerpt:

History: As people moved from the German countryside to city scapes in the 19th century, they weren’t quite ready to leave their green pastures.

Conditions in the cities were poor, with cramped dirty spaces, disease and serious malnutrition. Nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables were in scarce supply.

Kleingärten arose to address that problem. Garden plots allowed families to grow their own food, children to enjoy a larger outdoor space and connect with the world outside their four walls. A phenomenon among the lower-classes, these areas were called “gardens of the poor”.

By 1864, Leipzig had several collections under the direction of the Schreber movement. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber was a German physician and university instructor who preached about topics concerning health, as well as the social consequences of the rapid urbanization during the Industrial Revolution. The name Schrebergärten is in his honor and comes from this initiative.

Read the complete article here.

July 17, 2016   No Comments

‘We need German Germans’: Berlin garden colony under fire for rejecting Turkish families

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peacef Click on image for larger file.

According to the man, the colony already has too many ‘non-Germans,’ especially people of Turkish origin, with around 25 percent of members having an immigrant background.

RT.com
July 1, 2116

Excerpt:

A public garden colony in Berlin may be sued for its refusal to provide allotment spaces to Turkish families, explained by already having too many ‘non-German’ members.

“We are open-minded, but somewhere there has to be a limit for social proportions. We want a neighborhood colony,” a high-ranked member of the Kolonie Frieden (Peace Colony), who opted to stay anonymous, told The Local.

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July 6, 2016   Comments Off on ‘We need German Germans’: Berlin garden colony under fire for rejecting Turkish families

Bratislava, Slovakia: Community gardens are starting to take root across the capital

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slovakiKrasanský Zelovoc

“We drew inspiration from abroad where such gardens are very popular.”

By JANA LIPTÁKOVÁ
The Slovak Spectator
June 28, 2016

Excerpt:

So far Vnútroblok has launched three gardens. The first one was located on a private plot at the Sasinkova street that was for sale but the owner enabled them to launch and run the garden there until he sold it. In order to be able to move out when they are asked to do so, they put wooden boxes with soil for growing plants on wooden palettes. The garden existed for three years, between 2013-2015.

Afterwards they agreed with the Bratislava city council to use an abandoned vineyard at Pionerska and started their first season here in the spring of 2015. Here the group grows vegetables and fruits in garden boxes as well as grapevines. And in the spring 2016 they launched a movable garden at a courtyard of a school at Karpatská street.

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July 4, 2016   Comments Off on Bratislava, Slovakia: Community gardens are starting to take root across the capital

UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

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belo
‘I keep bees in the grounds of St John’s church in Waterloo.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

Carole Wright is an urban beekeeper and gardener in south London

By Jim Cable
The Guardian
June 25, 2016

Excerpt:

I moved to the South Bank after living in a hostel for two and a half years and being essentially homeless. Within two weeks I came across a community garden off Library Street. My grandparents used to live overlooking the space but I didn’t recall a garden, so I went in. “Why have you got all these raised beds, a couple of ponds and a lovely greenhouse next to these ramshackle pre-fabs? What’s that all about?” That’s how my involvement with Bankside Open Spaces Trust began. I started by volunteering; I became a trustee and after about a year I got a job as a community gardener running after-school clubs and Saturday gardening based on food-growing.

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June 29, 2016   Comments Off on UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

Ireland: Bees, spuds and peas: fresh ideas for sustainable urban living

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ireandAndrew Douglas’s Urban Farm project demonstrates just how much can be achieved in small spaces in the city.

Urban Farm is Douglas’s startup that establishes agriculture projects in Dublin.

By Una Mullally
The Irish Times
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

There are lime trees somewhere in Dublin that inner city bees are having the times of their lives with. Andrew Douglas, of Urban Farm, knows this because the honey the bees make in hives on a rooftop in Dublin 1 tastes citrusy.

“At full summertime, it’s like Heathrow Airport here, a lovely line of direct flight, they fly back in and fly out,” Douglas said, standing atop the roof of Belvedere College as the bees buzz around their hives in the sunshine.

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June 22, 2016   Comments Off on Ireland: Bees, spuds and peas: fresh ideas for sustainable urban living

Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

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parpeachThe north-south orientation of the walls and the ability of limestone to trap the sun’s heat provided a few extra degrees of warmth for the fruits, allowing them to flourish farther north than their usual habitat.

At its high point, this area produced upwards of 15 million fruits a year, thanks largely to the murs à pêches, or ‘peach walls’. Established in the 17th century, this clever network — some 500 hectares of walls — helped protect the peach trees from the cold.

By Anna Brones
AtlasObscura
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

The peaches of Montreuil became famous. They attracted royalty, earned a horticulturalist a prestigious Legion d’Honneur, and spurred an agricultural industry. Yet eventually, urban sprawl engulfed the walls.

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June 21, 2016   Comments Off on Historic, Hidden Gardens Producing Peaches in the Suburbs of Paris

Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin

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berlinl

In the last decade Berlin has become a hot spot and the international “capital” of urban gardening: In 2002 there were some eight urban gardens in Germany and none in Berlin, meanwhile (August 2013) there are more than 100 urban gardens in Berlin.

By Stephanie Wunder
SOLINSA
Ecologic Institute
September 2013

The study analyzes urban gardening initiatives in Berlin. It focused on the following aspects:

First, it sheds a light on how urban gardening motivates community involvement with specific reference to the development of Berlin’s urban gardening movement. It also clarifies the role of sustainability in these efforts and motivations.

Second, it looks for the success factors as well as barriers faced; with a particular focus on the role of governance structures, knowledge sharing and decision making processes.

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June 8, 2016   Comments Off on Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin

Cotswold Club 1944 – Growing their own, the Village Produce Association during WW2

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Rare 12 minute film.

There’s even a role for the children in bringing up the rabbits for food too!

Director: Charles de Lautour
United Kingdom 1944
Strand Film Company
Ministry of Information for Ministry of Agriculture
Donald Taylor, Edgar Anstey

If you can’t buy it, why not grow it yourself? If you’ve too much, then why not sell at the village produce stall? With WWII in full swing and many foods rationed, the Village Produce Association comes into its own in this film shot in the Cotswold village of Somerton, Oxfordshire.

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June 6, 2016   Comments Off on Cotswold Club 1944 – Growing their own, the Village Produce Association during WW2

Rare UK video, 1942: Greenford and Northolt Dig for Victory Campaign

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From the plot to the pot

(Must see. Mike)

The Chairman of the Allotment Gardens Committee
Councillor A. J. Johnson
1942

Take up your trowels! During WWII, Britain’s food imports were severely restricted and local councils across the country commandeered public and private land for the growing of vegetables and crops. Here, an Ealing councillor implores local residents to take on an allotment to help feed the nation. ‘Dig for Victory’ was one of the war’s most iconic and successful mass publicity campaigns.

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June 2, 2016   Comments Off on Rare UK video, 1942: Greenford and Northolt Dig for Victory Campaign

Eindhoven, Netherlands: Lighting giant Philips has built one of the world’s largest city farming research facilities

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The 234 square metres GrowWise Center, which opened last July, is developing the perfect blueprint for growing food for city dwellers all year round using sustainable and efficient techniques.

By Jessica Cheam
Eco-Business
May 27, 2016

Excerpt:

It also helps save resources: Where it would take 60 litres of water to produce one kilo of tomatoes in, say, a typical greenhouse production facility in Spain, the same amount of tomatoes will only require five litres of water at the GrowWise farm.

Mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel, regards this technology – which integrates lighting, climate control, software controls, sensors and logistics in one harmonious solution – as just one of the ways smart city applications will revolutionise global food, energy, and water systems in the coming years.

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May 31, 2016   Comments Off on Eindhoven, Netherlands: Lighting giant Philips has built one of the world’s largest city farming research facilities

UK: The National Trust’s Top 10 Kitchen Gardens

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kitcThe kitchen garden, Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire Four-and-a-half acres of organic gardens with rare varieties and period features.

The kitchen garden, Attingham Park, Shropshire; The kitchen garden, Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire; The kitchen garden, Chartwell, Kent and more

From the National Trust

When it comes to self sufficiency, we’re leading the way at many of our kitchen gardens. From keeping rare breed chickens to growing organic Georgian prickly cucumbers, the fully working kitchen gardens on our estates are great places to witness the ‘plot to plate’ revolution. To experience a slice of the good life and learn how easy, fun and interesting it is to grow your own produce, you may like to visit some of our top kitchen gardens.

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May 30, 2016   Comments Off on UK: The National Trust’s Top 10 Kitchen Gardens

‘Generation rent’ neglecting their gardens, warns Royal Horticulture Society

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rentThere has been an increase in younger tenants, known as ‘Generation Rent’ Credit: Jeffrey Blackler/Alamy.

The Royal Horticulture Society last year launched its Greening Grey Britain campaign with the launch of Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign and a three year target to transform 6,000 grey spaces into thriving gardens.

By Patrick Sawer
Telegraph
21 May 2016

Excerpt:

“Gardens are good for our towns and cities. This reduction of plants in front gardens and increase in grey is harmful for wildlife reducing their homes and food sources,” said Ms Biggs.

“It is also damaging for the nation’s health linked to increasing pollution and increasing temperatures during heat waves and puts our homes at more risk from flooding.”

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May 26, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Generation rent’ neglecting their gardens, warns Royal Horticulture Society