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Category — Fruit

Is it safe to eat apples picked off city trees?

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Wellesley College student Ciaran Gallagher checks the lead content in an apple tree in Cambridge.

Urban canners and college researchers are testing city-grown fruit to see if it is safe

By Bella English
Boston Globe
Nov 23, 2015

Excerpt:

Last month, the Wellesley researchers announced some unexpected results of their early tests: Not only are they safe, but fruits off city trees — or sidewalks — may be more nutritious than those on store shelves.

“We’re excited about these initial results, and the biggest surprise is the micronutrients,” says Brabander. “I think there’s a growing realization that urban environments can support a wide range of agricultural activities, from food projects to community gardens to foraging.” He and his students presented their methodology and preliminary results to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

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February 8, 2016   Comments Off on Is it safe to eat apples picked off city trees?

The Backyard Orchardist

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A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden, 2nd Edition

By Stella Otto
Illustrated by Glenn Wolff
Foreword by Peter Hatch
Chelsea Green
Nov 2015

For novice and experienced fruit gardeners alike, The Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden has been the go-to book for home orchardists for over 2 decades. This expanded and updated edition–organized into 6 easy-to-follow sections–offers even more hands-on horticulture. Award-winning author Stella Otto starts by systematically guiding readers through the all-important first steps of planning and planting the home orchard. Learn to:

• evaluate and build healthy soil

• choose the best planting site

• select fruit trees that are easy to grow and appropriate for your climate

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February 6, 2016   Comments Off on The Backyard Orchardist

Falling Fruit – database currently contains 1,317 different types of edibles

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Map of edibles distributed over 790,443 locations.

Our sharing page lists hundreds of local organizations – planting public orchards and food forests, picking otherwise-wasted fruits and vegetables from city trees and farmers’ fields, and sharing with neighbors and the needy.

Falling Fruit is a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets. By quantifying this resource on an interactive map, we hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods. Not just a free lunch! Foraging in the 21st century is an opportunity for urban exploration, to fight the scourge of stained sidewalks, and to reconnect with the botanical origins of food.

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December 14, 2015   Comments Off on Falling Fruit – database currently contains 1,317 different types of edibles

Activists Covertly Grafting Fruit Branches Onto Decorative Trees In San Francisco

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An example of grafting from the Guerilla Grafting website. (GuerillaGrafters.org)

They call themselves Guerrilla Grafters.

By Megan Goldsby
CBS
November 2, 2015

Excerpt:

They are a collection of activists and artists who use a technique called grafting to attach fruit tree scions, or baby branches, to maturing decorative trees. The practice of modifying city trees is illegal, so the grafters have to do their work in secret, sometimes working in the dark of night.

Margaretha Haughwout, who is a teacher and a grafter says they work to involve the neighbors who live near the trees, asking them to become stewards of their new tiny orchard.

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December 8, 2015   Comments Off on Activists Covertly Grafting Fruit Branches Onto Decorative Trees In San Francisco

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, Massachusetts City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

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The property owners get back at least 10 percent of the fruit harvested, or the processed preserves.

By Arun Rath
KPLU
Nov 26

Excerpt:

The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

“I think the first year we thought if we can harvest maybe 50 quarts of jam.

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December 4, 2015   Comments Off on Swapping The Street For The Orchard, Massachusetts City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Hunting down hidden dangers and health benefits of urban fruit in Baltimore, Maryland

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A pear hanging from a LUrC sampled urban fruit tree in Dudley Triangle. Dan Brabander and student Ciaran Gallagher taking in-situ measurement of fruit tree bark with XRF-NITON. Credit: Ciaran Gallagher and Dan Brabander.

“The intersection of urban geohealth and citizen science is an emerging research paradigm for prioritizing projects that have immediate implications for designing best practices that promote a wide expression of safe and sustainable urban agriculture.”

Science Codex
Via the Geological Society of America
Nov 2, 2015

Excerpt:

The League of Urban Canners study investigated the concentrations of lead in urban fruits when they were peeled and unpeeled as well as washed and unwashed. That was intended to distinguish whether the fruits were taking up lead internally or being contaminated by dry deposition from the air or from soil dust.

“We found there was no difference between these variables,” said Ciaran Gallagher, an undergraduate researcher majoring in Environmental Chemistry at Wellesley College, who will be presenting the research on Monday, Nov. 2 at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore. Gallagher will be co-presenting with geoscience undergraduates Hannah Oettgen and Disha Okhai.

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November 9, 2015   Comments Off on Hunting down hidden dangers and health benefits of urban fruit in Baltimore, Maryland

NPR: Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

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Phil Forsyth, executive director of the Philadelphia Orchard Project, leads a fruit tree planting at Bartram’s Garden in West Philadelphia. Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project.

“It’s the presence of the tree, the constancy of the tree, that’s so special.”

By Alastair Bland
NPR
May 21,

Excerpt:

Fruit trees produce food, but also provide shade, keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, improve water quality and may even deter crime. Advocates say they also have a longer lasting impact on communities than vegetable beds.

“When you plant lettuce, you produce food for today, which is great, but when you plant a tree, you’re feeding people tomorrow,” says Nina Beth Cardin, director of the Baltimore Orchard Project, a program of the Baltimore non-profit Civic Works. The orchard project has planted thousands of apple, serviceberry, pawpaw, fig and pear trees on public and private land around Baltimore.

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June 1, 2015   Comments Off on NPR: Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

Documentary: “Food Cartographers” track food growing in the wild in cities

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The conclusion of Welty’s Boulder study is that residents could get their produce from urban agriculture five to six months a year.

By Anna Maria Barry-Jester
FiveThirtyEight
Dec 16, 2014

Excerpt:

Last week, FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films published the first in a series of short documentaries called The Collectors, profiles of people who use data in innovative ways. “Cartographers of the Edible World” introduced Evan Welty and Caleb Phillips, who built an open-source, user-generated website that catalogs the location of edible plants all over the world. When the two men met, Phillips was interested in technology for social organizing. Welty was using publicly available data to map arable land. They both had maps for personal use that helped them forage food from city parks and public spaces in Boulder, Colorado, where they live.

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December 17, 2014   Comments Off on Documentary: “Food Cartographers” track food growing in the wild in cities

Kelowna Fruit Tree Project brings in more than 36,000 pounds of food from backyards

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Casey Hamilton: ‘ We have so many apples right now we can’t give them away.’

About 30 per cent of the fruit is split between the volunteers and homeowners

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Nov 8, 2014

Excerpt:

The Okanagan is the most productive fruit- growing region in Canada, and what began as a committee of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council quickly took on a life of its own. Hamilton organized 85 picks this season, in backyards and a handful of orchards, exceeding the project’s goal of 25,000 pounds of fruit by more than 10,000 pounds.

In just three years, the organization has grown to more than 400 volunteers in Kelowna and Penticton, some of them the very people the fresh fruit was meant to benefit, including people with developmental disabilities and people transitioning from street life.

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November 9, 2014   Comments Off on Kelowna Fruit Tree Project brings in more than 36,000 pounds of food from backyards

Chestnut farmer on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon

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A Low-Tech Organic Chestnut Farmer from Cooking Up a Story on Vimeo.

Chris Foster of Cascadia Chestnuts

By Rebecca Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
Oct 14, 2014

Excerpt:

I’ve had a curiosity about chestnuts for many years – since childhood, actually. We used to go Fall hunting for the ‘perfect’ chestnut as they fell to the ground. But those were horse chestnuts, not the edible type. There was the old classic song, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, kept alive most notably by the Nat King Cole version. But the edible kind weren’t available by the time I was growing up – most of the big American chestnut trees were wiped out by a fungus in the early 1900’s. For me, chestnuts were a mythical food.

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October 14, 2014   Comments Off on Chestnut farmer on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon

Airdrie’s community orchard brings urban agriculture to park – Alberta, Canada

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Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown addressed the audience at the community orchard planting event at Jensen Park on Sept. 20, expressing his excitement about what this project will bring to the neighbourhood and the city. Photo by Jessi owan/Rocky View Publishig.

This is such a great way to give residents access to fresh food.

By Jessi Gowan
Airdrie City View
Sep 25, 2014

Excerpt:

“We are trying to tie into that potential within the community to grow our own fruits and vegetables, and I think this is a really great initiative and a great start,” said Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, at the community planting event on Sept. 20.

“We’ve always been known as a farming community when you look back at our history, and we still are in the surrounding area. This is one of the first steps as to what urban agriculture could look like here, turning what would otherwise be just grass into something that we can use, take care of and nurture.”

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October 4, 2014   Comments Off on Airdrie’s community orchard brings urban agriculture to park – Alberta, Canada

After delays, Chicago urban orchard project could soon bear fruit

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Chicago’s First Urban Orchard Would Be Open To The Public, And Would Replace A Blighted Strip Of Former Cta Property In Logan Square.
Courtesy Altamanu.

Rare apples, as well as its cherries, plums, and paw paws—a fruit indigenous to the northern U.S.

By Chris Bentley
Archpaper
Aug 6, 2014

On a gray plot of land vacant since 1949, urban farmer Dave Snyder wants to give Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a taste of what he calls “the Golden Age of Apples.” “One hundred years ago there were maybe 15,000 varieties of apples commercially available in the U.S.,” he said. “America’s crop was the apple.”

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August 21, 2014   Comments Off on After delays, Chicago urban orchard project could soon bear fruit

Growing Power receives donation of 4,000 fruit trees from Stark Bro’s

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“The donation will help us plant trees on some of the 2,500 vacant lots in Milwaukee, helping us to provide good food, help the environment and even create jobs to maintain them.”

Excerpt from Growing Power Facebook:

A BIG day for us at Growing Power! We received over 4,000 fruit trees from Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. based out of Missoiuri. 4,000!!! Apples, peaches, pears, plums, even strawberries, raspberries and blueberries were all donated to us from Stark Bro’s! We’ll be using them in a variety of ways, but mainly with HOME GROWN Milwaukee to plant urban fruit farms on vacant lots all over the city! We had a big group of volunteers from Teach for America on hand to help us start getting the trees into pots with soil. We know this donation will help us continue to transform our local food system. Thank you Stark Bro’s!

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June 22, 2014   Comments Off on Growing Power receives donation of 4,000 fruit trees from Stark Bro’s

Urban Fruit: A Documentary About The Urban Farming Movement In Los Angeles

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Urban Fruit, a film by Roman Zenz, tells the story of a handful of Angelenos growing food within the city of Los Angeles.

PRWEB
June 10, 2014

The city of Los Angeles, California was originally built on farming. In the 1920’s, Citrus groves flourished and stretched for miles, due to LA’s rich soil and prime growing conditions. Then, post WWII, the changing zoning laws and increased land prices pushed the agricultural industry far from the city center.

In today’s America, many citizens have a disconnected relationship with their food, where it comes from, and what is in it. However, a revolution is occurring, where many are taking back control of what they choose to consume, by reclaiming a skill that has been lost to the industrial food machine: growing their food themselves.

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June 11, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Fruit: A Documentary About The Urban Farming Movement In Los Angeles

United States’ first rare varieties heritage orchard to open in Chicago

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Urban gardener Dave Snyder’s mission to save rare apple varieties found fertile ground in Chicago. Photo: Megan Baumann.

How One Chicago Farmer Plans to Save America’s Favorite Fruit

By Lori Rotenberk
Next City
May 22, 2014

Excerpt:

Next month, after six years of working tirelessly to make the project happen, Snyder and CROP members will see Chicago break ground for the nation’s first rare varieties heritage orchard in the Logan Square neighborhood. This autumn, they’ll plant trees, vines and shrubs there.

Both a public space with benches, paths and commemorative tiles, as well as a lush garden of nearly 200 shrubs and fruit-bearing trees, Heritage Orchard, as it will be called, will produce apples and pears, cherries and other fruits such as the pawpaw, the Esopus Spitzenberg, and the Blue Pearmain (a blueish-hued apple!).

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May 31, 2014   Comments Off on United States’ first rare varieties heritage orchard to open in Chicago