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Category — History

1860: Brooklyn City Farmer involved in ‘A Bad Trade’

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eagle Click on image for larger file. Old Brooklyn Farm Lands.

Apples taken

New York Times
Oct 25, 1860

Brooklyn News

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.

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December 1, 2016   No Comments

1930: Only working farm in Manhattan 86 years ago

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213thJune 8, 1933. Broadway, east side, north from 213th Street, with the N.E. corner in the foreground. Behind the billboards is a truck garden.

213and10 Manhattan area today. Click on image for larger file.

The farmer’s children can’t lay in the street, however. They might get hit by a taxi.

About New York
By Richard Massock
Corsicana Daily
Aug 23, 1930
(Early use of the term ‘urban agriculture’. Mike)

Urban Agriculture

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.

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November 25, 2016   No Comments

1940 Chicago: Cultivates Flowers and Vegetables in Shadow of the Loop

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chicagodailytrib-aug-7-1940
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.

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November 17, 2016   Comments Off on 1940 Chicago: Cultivates Flowers and Vegetables in Shadow of the Loop

1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

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britzediblecity623 Click on image for larger file.

City Farmer Hosts Author For Lecture Series

By Elizabeth Godley
Vancouver Sun
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.

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November 14, 2016   Comments Off on 1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

Indianapolis has deep roots in urban ag

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indyh

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
AgriNews
Oct 31, 2016

Excerpt:

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.

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November 9, 2016   Comments Off on Indianapolis has deep roots in urban ag

1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver

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backyardfarmer1987621 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
Vancouver Courier
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.

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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

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officelogo
1978 – City Farmer Society’s logo. Vancouver BC, Canada.

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.

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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

Urban allotment gardens in the eighteenth century: the case of Sheffield, UK

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shef2
Central part of Ralph Gosling’s Plan of Sheffield 1736 showing urban gardens. Click on image for larger file.

“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
pas 95-106
2003

Abstract:

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.

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October 21, 2016   Comments Off on Urban allotment gardens in the eighteenth century: the case of Sheffield, UK

Call for papers: The Resilience and Decline of Urban Agriculture in European History

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histr
Gemüsegarten, Vegetable garden 1716. Click on image for larger file.

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

Excerpt:

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.

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October 3, 2016   Comments Off on Call for papers: The Resilience and Decline of Urban Agriculture in European History

UK: Hucknall Allotment Holders Searching for Historic Records – begun in 1840’s

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hucknall
Aerial shot of gardens on either side of bypass. Click on image for larger file.

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
Dispatch
Sept. 14, 2016

Excerpt:

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.

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September 21, 2016   Comments Off on UK: Hucknall Allotment Holders Searching for Historic Records – begun in 1840’s

1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”

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joanmikevancouversun1982
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
Vancouver Sun
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.

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September 17, 2016   Comments Off on 1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”

Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

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steve
Living agricultural legend Harold Steves maintains a collection of seeds for rare plant varieties specially adapted for the Lower Mainland. (MPMG)

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
CBC News
Aug 22, 2016

Excerpt:

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.

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

Philadelphia Obituary: Mary S. Corboy, city farm pioneer

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maryc

When Philadelphia magazine awarded Ms. Corboy the Philadelphian of the Year in 2008, the magazine wrote: “Armed with a BlackBerry and a sarcastic wit, Mary Seton Corboy is showing Philadelphia that the solution might be right beneath our feet.”

By Bonnie L. Cook
Philly.com
Aug 9, 2016

Excerpt:

In 1998, she found that vehicle in Greensgrow, a one-acre lot at 2501 E. Cumberland St. on which she built raised gardens and greenhouses to grow herbs and produce. What she couldn’t produce she had trucked in from local growers: peaches from South Jersey, tomatoes from Lancaster County, and meats, cheeses, and breads from farms within a short drive of Philadelphia.

The project was intended to breathe life into the long-neglected Philadelphia neighborhood – and it did.

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August 12, 2016   Comments Off on Philadelphia Obituary: Mary S. Corboy, city farm pioneer

Warsaw, Poland, Children working in a vegetable garden during WW2. From the collection of Yad Vashem

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polkids Click on image for larger file. During the first half of 1940, the organization’s aid activities focused on opening public soup kitchens and distributing food to the needy, on taking in the thousands of Jewish refugees and POWs who were pouring into the ghetto, and establishing institutions for childcare.

Janusz Korczack’s orphanage was situated at 92 Krochmalna Street and housed 150 children.

Photographer: Foto Forbert, Warszawa
Origin: Judenrat, Warsaw
ad Vashem Photo Archive

A short time after Warsaw was occupied by the Germans, the Jewish community organized a social welfare committee known as the Zydowska Samapomoc Spolczna (Jewish Social Self-Help), or the ZSS, in order to provide social assistance to the Jewish residents. Funding for the activities came primarily from the Polish branch of the Joint, which was also located in Warsaw. The Joint, short for The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was an agency that had been founded by Jews in America in 1914 in order to provide aid for Jewish communities located outside the United States. Since it was an American institution, the Joint was permitted to continue its activities in occupied Poland.

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July 23, 2016   Comments Off on Warsaw, Poland, Children working in a vegetable garden during WW2. From the collection of Yad Vashem

Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience

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“As for food, such was the primacy of urban agriculture, fruit and vegetables were named after the Edo suburbs known for producing them.”

Prof. Dr. Makoto Yokoharia, Marco Amatib, Jay Bolthousec & Hideharu Kuritad
The Planning Review
Volume 46, Issue 181, 2010
Special Issue: Metropolitan Peripheries
pages 51-59

Abstract:

This paper advocates the re-establishment of garden zones both in and around cities. Mixed land-use garden zones are conceptualized as spaces where urban residents can craft their own local food cultures and agro-biographies in response to the globalization of agriculture and food consumption. The case for creating garden zones is made by first outlining the legacy of post-war growth and planning policies, which attempted to clearly demarcate the line between urban and agricultural use. And, second, investigating the current demographic shifts which threaten the existence of domestic agricultural production and necessitate a new pro-urban agriculture planning paradigm. To develop this new planning paradigm, the third section looks back at the city of Edo to identify the urban agricultural heritage of what is now the modern-day megalopolis of Tokyo.

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June 22, 2016   Comments Off on Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience