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Category — History

UK: Freightliners City Farm at 40: A refuge from city life in London

Freightlinders City Farm under construction in the late ’70s. Picture: Freightlinders City Farm.

Though 2018 is a year of celebration for Freightliners, there’s also nagging doubt. Its future is under threat.

By James Morris
Islington Gazette
Apr 4, 2018

Excerpt:

“We’re not 100 per cent certain of how it started,” Liz admits. “But we think it goes back to 1973, where the Maiden Lane Estate is now, on the other side of the Cally.

“We do know it was a community group coming together wanting to keep their own animals, grow food and live a bit of the good life. There was always a focus on children and young people, and giving them a safe space.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

The Models for ‘American Gothic’ Pose in Front of the Iconic Painting (1942)


Click image to see larger file.

Above, you can see Wood’s sister and dentist–otherwise known as Nan Wood Graham and Dr. B.H. McKeeby–posing in front of “American Gothic” in 1942.

Open Culture
Mar 27, 2018

Excerpt:

The impetus for the painting came while Wood was visiting the small town of Eldon in his native Iowa. There he spotted a little wood farmhouse, with a single oversized window, made in a style called Carpenter Gothic. “I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long to go with this American Gothic house,” he said. He used his sister and his dentist as models for a farmer and his daughter, dressing them as if they were “tintypes from my old family album.” The highly detailed, polished style and the rigid frontality of the two figures were inspired by Flemish Renaissance art, which Wood studied during his travels to Europe between 1920 and 1926.

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April 7, 2018   Comments Off on The Models for ‘American Gothic’ Pose in Front of the Iconic Painting (1942)

1881: ‘City Farmer’ Had a Different Meaning

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A ‘City Farmer’ was a city slicker who moved to the country to try his hand at farming

La Plata Home Press (La Plata, Missouri)
13 Aug 1881

The City Farmer

When formerly a city man who had made his ‘pile’, and, as he drove through the country and become fascinated with the beauty of the growing crops and things in general, would make up his mind to try his hand at so pleasant a business – his actions were carefully watched by the old farmers and his many blunders laughed at.

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April 1, 2018   Comments Off on 1881: ‘City Farmer’ Had a Different Meaning

1870 – Rhubarb Gatherers in England

Click image to see larger file. 1870 The Graphic.

The word rhubarb, too, was once thought dreadfully vulgar, and people spoke euphemistically of ‘spring gooseberries’.

From The Graphic
London UK
May 1870

Excerpt:

It comes at a fortunate time of the year for its own reputation, when we have grown tired of jam, if we have not cleared out our winter stock, when we are surfeited with apples, and before the more toothsome fruits, the currants, the cherries, the raspberries, have made their appearance, filling a gap in the gourmand’s calendar for which he is duly thankful.

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March 29, 2018   Comments Off on 1870 – Rhubarb Gatherers in England

The Shaker Book of the Garden

Includes an exact facsimile of the original Shaker Gardener’s Manual, published in 1843

By Lorraine Harrison
Barron’s Educational Series
2004

Excerpt:

The Shakers are noted among gardeners and farmers as the first commercial producers of species seeds. Today they are best remembered and respected for their holistic approach to tending the earth responsibly and reaping God’s bounty. This unusual book presents modern advice on gardening, food preservation, and cooking, all based on Shaker doctrine and values. It also includes a “book-within-a-book”- an exact facsimile of the original Shaker Gardener’s Manual, published in 1843 and retailed throughout the United States at that time for six cents.

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March 6, 2018   Comments Off on The Shaker Book of the Garden

Run the Jewels’ Michael Render on How Urban Farming Can Help the Black Community

Michael Render (aka Killer Mike, right) speaks with Decton Hylton, head of the Athens Land Trust’s community agriculture program, at the West Broad Market Garden. Photo Credit: Jessica Silverman

“When I was growing up as a kid, people had gardens right in their backyard. People had chickens right in their backyard, and I lived in Atlanta, I lived in the West End neighborhood in Atlanta. Dr. King’s parents lived there.

By Blake Aued
Flagpole
Feb 14, 2018

Excerpt:

It was a blockbuster afternoon for the West Broad Market Garden. With a film crew and his Run the Jewels partner El-P in tow, rapper and activist Michael Render—better known as Killer Mike, though he asked not to be identified by his stage name because his mother doesn’t like it—spent more than an hour touring the Athens Land Trust’s community garden in the largely black West Broad neighborhood on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the day before Run the Jewels played a sold-out show at the Georgia Theatre. They also met with students in the land trust’s Young Urban Farmers program and walked down the street to garden matriarch Ethel “Ms. Ethel” Collins’ house for dinner.

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February 20, 2018   Comments Off on Run the Jewels’ Michael Render on How Urban Farming Can Help the Black Community

Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat

Chapter 5. Back-to-the-Landers and Organic Farming

By Jonathan Kauffman
Harper Collins
Jan. 2018

An enlightening narrative history—an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan—that traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine.

Food writer Jonathan Kauffman journeys back more than half a century—to the 1960s and 1970s—to tell the story of how a coterie of unusual men and women embraced an alternative lifestyle that would ultimately change how modern Americans eat. Impeccably researched, Hippie Food chronicles how the longhairs, revolutionaries, and back-to-the-landers rejected the square establishment of President Richard Nixon’s America and turned to a more idealistic and wholesome communal way of life and food.

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February 8, 2018   Comments Off on Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat

Growing a Sustainable City?: The Question of Urban Agriculture

Their comprehensive research includes interviews with urban farmers, gardeners, and city officials, and reveals that the transition to “sustainability” is marked by a series of tensions along race, class, and generational lines.

By Christina D. Rosan and Hamil Pearsall
University of Toronto Press
208 pages. © 2017

Urban agriculture offers promising solutions to many different urban problems, such as blighted vacant lots, food insecurity, storm water runoff, and unemployment. These objectives connect to many cities’ broader goal of “sustainability,” but tensions among stakeholders have started to emerge in cities as urban agriculture is incorporated into the policymaking framework.

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February 5, 2018   Comments Off on Growing a Sustainable City?: The Question of Urban Agriculture

1990 Flashback: Compost Bins Featured at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

City Farmer’s Lorenzo Mele shows our bins to the media

CBC’s “Down to Earth”
Part 1 and 2, 1990
At the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

In those early days, we brought ‘home compost bins’ from Europe and invited inventors to create bins that were rodent-resistant. One of the bins was built by Lorenzo Mele, eventually named the ‘Lorenzo Bin’, which was based on a design that City Farmer created for the cover of a brochure we’d produced for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) now ‘Metro Vancouver’. The design came after a year’s research, talking with experts about how to ‘build out’ rodents from compost pile.

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February 1, 2018   Comments Off on 1990 Flashback: Compost Bins Featured at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

Flashback to 1987: City Farmer on CBC’s ‘Country Canada’

Three gardens in Vancouver in 1987.

Vancouver’s Demonstration Food Garden, Lord Roberts School Garden and Strathcona Community Garden

By Michael Levenston
CBC’s ‘Country Canada’
May 1987

In 1987, City Farmer had staff working at three different sites, our Demonstration Food Garden in Kitsilano, the Strathcona Community Garden in the East End of Vancouver, and the Lord Roberts School Garden in the West End. City Farmer staff, Sheila and Wendy, can be seen working with pick-axes on a berm at Strathcona, and Antoinette is interviewed while teaching at Lord Roberts.

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January 21, 2018   Comments Off on Flashback to 1987: City Farmer on CBC’s ‘Country Canada’

Flashback to 1990: City Farmer Promotes Home Composting

The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden in 1990

The styles have changed but the message is the same

By Michael Levenston
TV reporting at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden
2150 Maple Street, Vancouver, BC
1990

Most of the bins we feature today are different from the ones we experimented with three decades ago, but our work remains the same, getting urban residents to recycle some of their yard and kitchen scraps and turning it into soil by home composting.

Vancouver Engineering, Solid Waste, has supported us in this effort. John Evans, Paul Henderson, Chris Underwood are three of the leaders at the City of Vancouver who have driven our work. Backyard bins are still sold at a subsidized rate of $25 per bin, worm composting is still taught in schools and at adult wormshops, and research on the latest bins and techniques is ongoing.

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January 16, 2018   Comments Off on Flashback to 1990: City Farmer Promotes Home Composting

1936 – El Monte homestead project

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This garden supplied him, his wife and child with all their vegetables all winter.

Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Photo date: March 6, 1936.

C. Dudley Adams, who works by day as an insurance salesman, is shown working in some of his spare time in his prize vegetable garden on the federal government’s small farm homestead project at El Monte. This garden supplied him, his wife and child with all their vegetables all winter.

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January 13, 2018   Comments Off on 1936 – El Monte homestead project

City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

City Farmer’s Moberley Luger teaches children about worm composting at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

Flashback by Michael Levenston
Suzette Myers reporting at that time
TV News 2001

These youngsters marched into our garden in their school uniforms (à la Madeline children’s book) and delighted us with their sweet engagement with worms. Moberley Luger, then a young instructor, now a university professor of English, gave the students their first experience at composting.

For over twenty five years, City Farmer has lead such classes both at our demonstration garden and in Vancouver schools. Young visitors see how compost from a worm bin feeds the soil as was they walk about after the class, tasting, touching and smelling the plants we grow.

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January 3, 2018   Comments Off on City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

The True Story Behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

There was indeed an actual Mary and she did actually have a lamb.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
December 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Sometime later, it’s uncertain exactly when, Mary was heading to school with her brother when the lamb began following them. The siblings apparently weren’t trying very hard to prevent the lamb from tagging along, even hauling it over a large stone fence they had to cross to get to Redstone School, the one-room schoolhouse they attended. Once there, Mary secreted her pet under her desk and covered her with a blanket.

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December 24, 2017   Comments Off on The True Story Behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Oakland Museum Digs Into Urban Farming

A new exhibition, Take Root, opens this weekend

By Caleb Pershan
Eater San Francisco
Dec 14, 2017

Excerpt:

The East Bay has long been fertile ground for farmers and gardeners, with chefs like Jeremiah Tower and Paul Bertolli of Chez Panisse and then Stars and Oliveto and Michael Wild of Bay Wolf cultivating local food systems and putting local produce at the center of the plate. In 2006, Oakland’s City Council even announced a goal that the city grow one-third of its own food.

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December 16, 2017   Comments Off on Oakland Museum Digs Into Urban Farming