Category — History
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
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.
February 15, 2017 No Comments
When the Spanish arrived in 1519, they drained many of the lakes, shrinking Xochimilco’s agricultural capacity, and forbade the cultivation of indigenous products like chia, a seed favored for its nutritional properties.
By Naomi Tomky
January 31, 2017
But weekdays, calm descends and the garden’s age-long purpose—as a place to cultivate crops—comes into relief. Ricardo Rodriguez, a 41-year-old pioneer in Mexico’s urban agriculture movement, is my guide through the quiet backside of the chinampas (floating islands) where Rodriguez helps the local farmers who are revitalizing traditional agriculture.
Rodriquez has nothing against the usual eating, drinking, and partying that goes on in the park. But he is quick to emphasize, “That’s just one of the three parts of Xochimilco.” The second part is the commercial farms that propagate huge fields of flowers using pesticides.
February 6, 2017 No Comments
Wapato tubers were a dietary staple among the indigenous people of the Fraser and Columbia rivers — the garden site is in what is now the Katzie First Nation territory
The History Blog
The tubers were wild plants, not domesticated, and wapato plants can grow deep underground all on their own. It’s an assemblage of rocks that makes it clear that this site wasn’t just a very prolific wild potato patch, but a cultivated wetland garden ingeniously customized by the indigenous people of the area to enhance harvest yields.
January 8, 2017 Comments Off on 3,800-year-old wetland potato garden found in Canada
New York Times
Oct 25, 1860
A Bad Trade – A New York merchant, who does a little farming in a small way, in the eighteenth Ward, had a few barrels of very choice apples on his trees this Fall. Last week a man who was passing by made him a tempting offer for the apples, which was accepted, and the purchaser agreed to gather them the next morning. Our City farmer waited some time for his customer the following morning, and finally proceeded to his business without seeing him. Upon returning home in the evening, he found the purchaser had been there and gathered the apples, but left without paying for them. The City farmer has not seen him since.
December 1, 2016 Comments Off on 1860: Brooklyn City Farmer involved in ‘A Bad Trade’
The farmer’s children can’t lay in the street, however. They might get hit by a taxi.
About New York
By Richard Massock
Aug 23, 1930
(Early use of the term ‘urban agriculture’. Mike)
Right here on Manhattan Island, with its skyscraper, tenements, subways and million population, there’s a farm.
It is the only one in town and it is bounded on three sides by seven story apartments. On the other side is the Tenth Avenue elevated railroad. It is an easy tomato’s throw from Broadway at 213th Street.
It is not, of course, a rancho. It is just a city block in size and it belongs to a New Orleans man who rents it to the Benedettos, Vincent, his wife, their four boys and five girls.
November 25, 2016 Comments Off on 1930: Only working farm in Manhattan 86 years ago
Urban agriculture. Lewis A. Wade hoeing his corn on one-eighth acre on the Chicago river bank between Van Buren Street and Jackson boulevard bridges, not far from the loop. Bridge is elevated lines’ span south of Jackson. (Tribune photo.) [Early use of the tern ‘urban agriculture’. Mike] Click on image for larger file.
Chicago City Farmer
Chicago Daily Tribune
Aug 7, 1940
In the shadow of loop buildings a garden was thriving yesterday. It occupies one-eighth of an acre on the west bank of the Chicago River, between the Van Buren Street and Jackson Boulevard bridges.
Lewis A. Wade has a photographic studio in an adjoining building and tends the garden. He reported yesterday that the corn and tomato yields are exceptionally good. And the lilacs, roses snowballs, and iris grow as luxuriantly as in a rural setting.
November 17, 2016 Comments Off on 1940 Chicago: Cultivates Flowers and Vegetables in Shadow of the Loop
City Farmer Hosts Author For Lecture Series
By Elizabeth Godley
Feb 22, 1982
Dream of ‘city farming’ explained
Richard Britz knows a lot of people think his theories are naive.
But the architect cum systems designer cum landscape philosopher from Eugene, Ore., doesn’t mind.
Britz is author of a resource manual for urban agriculturalists called The Edible City. He was in Vancouver Saturday to speak at the first of 18 weekly lectures sponsored by City Farmer.
November 14, 2016 Comments Off on 1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver
Hoosiers don’t just grow foods in the countryside, where acres of land are open for planting. They grow food in backyards and kitchen windows — in alleyways and on rooftops.
By Erica Quinlan, Field Editor
Oct 31, 2016
During World War II, Victory Gardens were encouraged by the U.S. government to encourage citizens to grow their own food.
“The response we had was pretty amazing,” Toner said. “In Indiana, by 1945 we had gathered up more than 800,000 Victory Gardens. By 1945, Indiana’s Victory Gardens produced almost $11 million in wholesale dollars — nearly $26 million in retail value.
November 9, 2016 Comments Off on Indianapolis has deep roots in urban ag
Click on image for larger file. (L-R) Barbara Raynor, Greg Birdsall, Paula Ford and Michael Levenston stand amid the beginnings of a “demonstration garden” for handicapped people, which will be situated within a garden located at Sixth and Maple. The new garden will feature raised beds and easy access for the handicapped. Jim Harrison Photo.
City Farmer brought together Raynor and Kuchta, acting as consultants, with landscape architect Mary-Jane McKay and carpenter Greg Birdsall to put together a demonstration garden specially designed for the handicapped to work in and learn from.
By Lucill Dahm
Aug 16, 1987
You just can’t hold a determined green thumb down._
Although Barbara Raynor, 52, developed rheumatoid arthritis 15 years ago, eventually leaving her with two artificial knees and a “narrowing lifestyle,” she has been able to create and maintain a backyard “urban garden.”
Aside from the very noteworthy feat of actually accomplishing the carpentry hobby off the ground, Raynor has used the unique perspective of a disabled person to open the door to an activity previously denied to a person without the full use of his or her body.
November 6, 2016 Comments Off on 1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver
Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016
Almost 40 years ago, non-profit City Farmer created ‘Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture’
By Micheal Levenston
City Farmer Society
Oct 23, 2016
City Farmer created its unofficial, non-profit ‘Office’ in 1978 and has run it for almost 40 years to promote the concept of producing food in the city. Over the years, some have referred to City Farmer’s executive director as Canada’s ‘Minister’ of Urban Agriculture. However, City Farmer has always been and remains a tiny NGO.
In the 1980’s, one gentleman flew from Germany to see us and arrived at our office door expecting to see a bustling, official government office. He was disappointed to see a spartan room, staffed by one scruffy employee.
In January of 2016, City Farmer sent Canada’s new federal cabinet ministers a short booklet outlining a proposal asking the Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.
In September, 2016, US Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016, a comprehensive urban agriculture bill, was introduced in the US Congress.
It has taken 40 years to move an idea of an Office of Urban Agriculture to centre stage. Without a doubt, Senator Stabenow’s bill will be copied around the world.
October 23, 2016 Comments Off on Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016
“In the town of Sheffield in Yorkshire where a great iron manufacture is carried on, there is hardly a journeyman cutler who does not possess a piece of ground which he cultivates as a garden. These people take exercise without doors, but also eat many greens, roots etc. of their own growth, which they would never think of purchasing.” Dr. Buchan who lived in the town 1760-1769.
By N. Flavell
The Agricultural History Review
Many acres of the horticultural land surrounding Sheffield in the late eighteenth century were utilized as allotment gardens. Provincial town histories, apart from those of Birmingham (where small gardens were often different in character) make little or no mention of anything similar for this period.
October 21, 2016 Comments Off on Urban allotment gardens in the eighteenth century: the case of Sheffield, UK
We welcome papers on every European region, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century
Organisers: Tim Soens (University of Antwerp) and Erich Landsteiner (University of Vienna)
11-14 September 2017, Leuven, Belgium
Deadline for submissions: 8 October 2016
At the beginning of the 21st century, urban or community agriculture is rapidly gaining importance. All over the worlds urban dwellers are gathering to cultivate crops and vegetables or raise some poultry or pigs, often on a cooperative basis and on tiny plots of ‘marginal’ land. In a urban world characterized by globalizing food markets, social polarization, but also increasing food insecurity, citizens practice urban agriculture in a combined effort to diversify their food supplies, shorten the food chain and strengthen community life. Urban Agriculture is a highly diversified and multi-layered phenomenon, and its roots are both very old and very recent. Throughout European history it has appeared in different shapes and disguises. In some periods of Europe, Urban Agriculture seemed to decline at an early stage, whereas in others urban economies and societies remained firmly based on more or less specialized and commercialized agrarian production until the recent past.
October 3, 2016 Comments Off on Call for papers: The Resilience and Decline of Urban Agriculture in European History
The gardens date back to the time of the Land Enclosures in the 1840’s when the land was given to poor cottage holders of Hucknall by the Duke of Portland.
By Pam Wilkinson
Sept. 14, 2016
Secretary Pam Wilkinson said: “We would like to record and present the history of this site and are asking for any stories, photos artefacts from the families of Hucknall.
“Generations of Hucknall families have since rented the allotments to provide much needed food for themselves and their families.
September 21, 2016 Comments Off on UK: Hucknall Allotment Holders Searching for Historic Records – begun in 1840’s
Michael Levenston and Joan MacNab check swiss chard in Strathcona backyard. Click on image for larger file.
(See: Revisiting the garden in the photo after almost 40 years – – At the end of this post. September, 2016.)
By Elizabeth Godley
Feb 15, 1982
If Vancouverites plowed under their lawns and boulevards and planted beans or potatoes, brussels sprouts or kale – they could supply the entire Lower Mainland with fresh veggies.
But before you run for the rototiller, Michael Levenston isn’t really serious. it’s just that, as a member at a volunteer organization called City Farmer, he’d like city folk to start thinking about urban agriculture.
According to Levenston’s calculations, there are about 2,600 hectares of potentially arable land in the City of Vancouver alone not counting parks, cemeteries, golf courses or land in more sparsely populated suburbs – that could, given half a chance, grow food.
September 17, 2016 Comments Off on 1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”
Harold Steves’ family has been involved in B.C. agriculture for more than 130 years, and with his collection of rare locally-adapted seeds, he hopes to remain so well into the future.
By Matt Meuse
Aug 22, 2016
One of Steves’ most popular plants is the alpha tomato, which dates back to the original Steves catalogue from 1877, bred to thrive in Lower Mainland soil and weather. According to Steves, it blooms a week earlier than other varieties, and produces red tomatoes a full month earlier.
Another point of pride in Steves’ collection is the black Russian sunflower. Steves believes he may be the only source of seeds for this particular strain in the world.
September 1, 2016 Comments Off on Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture