New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — History

Ancient grain reveals the development of the earliest cities

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

A new study shows that the Mesopotamian farmers during a food crisis did not try to farm their land more intensively, but converted more land to arable land. (Photo: Shutterstock)

How were the first cities established and how did they develop? The analysis of 8,000 years old grain from ancient Mesopotamia has some answers.

By Rasmus Kragh Jakobsen
Science Nordic
Oct 3, 2017

Excerpt:

At this time, people lived in villages of perhaps 100 to 200 people, and then suddenly, some 6,000 years ago, over a period of a few centuries, these villages grew to cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants.

The development of arable farming, which provided food for all these people, is a key piece of the puzzle to understand how these cities grew so quickly.

In recent years, archaeologists have obtained a new peep-hole that allows them to see back in time. Amazingly enough, packets of information have survived 8,000 years in the form of grain from burned down houses.

[Read more →]

October 10, 2017   No Comments

Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

History of Urban Agriculture in Europe, in Spanish. The book is a Free PDF.

By José Luis Fernández Casadevante Kois y Nerea Morán
Libros en Acción
La editorial de Ecologistas en Acción,
Segunda edición, mayo 2016

Excerpt:

La primera parte será una historia de la forma en que se ha concebido la relación campo-ciudad en el urbanismo, aproximándonos a distintos modelos urbanísticos y territoriales que sirvan para contextualizar de forma nítida el marco en el que se integrarán las propuestas y actuaciones de agricultura urbana. Este recorrido nos llevará de los cercamientos de los bienes comunes a los orígenes de la ciu- dad industrial y sus problemas de habitabilidad, pasando por las utopías y teorías urbanas alternativas, como la ciudad jardín, que quisieron volver a reconciliar la ciudad con la agricultura. Un relato que continúa con el distanciamiento progresivo de las metrópolis de la actividad agraria, que siguió a la segunda guerra mundial de la mano del movimiento moderno y de la revolución verde. Terminando con la in uencia ecológista y las incipientes propuestas de reencuentro que se vienen proponiendo durante las últimas décadas.

[Read more →]

September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Raíces en el asfalto – Pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana

Forest Shomer – Seedman Since 1972

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

In 1982, Forest Shomer Came to Vancouver and Spoke at City Farmer’s ‘Urban Agriculture Lecture Series’

Interview by Greg Peterson
Nov, 2016

Forest started urban farming in 1969 in Berkeley, California. Through the People’s Park Movement, he was launched into gardening and got the basic training and motivation for becoming a seedman.

He has been a full time, independent, professions seed provider since 1972 and has owned, led, or helped launch at least four seed companies, and founded the nonprofit Abundant Life Seed Foundation which produced and distributed up to 600 types of open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds.

[Read more →]

September 19, 2017   Comments Off on Forest Shomer – Seedman Since 1972

36-Year-Old Bushwick Garden Razed in New York, Sold to Developer to Usher in ‘New Era’

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

A neglected 36-year-old community garden — once a vibrant hub for block parties and cookouts and home to the largest vegetable patch in the neighborhood — was bulldozed last week

By Gwynne Hogan and Janon Fisher
DNA Info
June 29, 2017

Excerpts:

In it’s heyday, the green space — also known as The Secret Garden — was a leafy retreat, rising from the ashes of burned-out Broadway with sprawling vegetable patches of cabbage, collard greens, string beans, turnips, scallions, rutabagas and white onions, according to a 1983 New York Times report. The story said the garden was likely the largest vegetable patch in Bushwick, decades before urban farming became a fad.

[Read more →]

July 6, 2017   Comments Off on 36-Year-Old Bushwick Garden Razed in New York, Sold to Developer to Usher in ‘New Era’

1943: Girl Scouts Learn to Victory Garden

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Click on image for larger file.

Professor Harry Nelson of San Francisco’s Junior College

Ann Rosener, photographer
United States. Office of War Information.
1943 Feb. Mar.

Guiding hand behind the establishment of many West coast Victory Gardens, Professor Harry Nelson of San Francisco’s Junior College still finds time to give his ten-year-old daughter Pat (left) and her Girl Scout friends some pointers in transplanting young vegetables

May 25, 2017   Comments Off on 1943: Girl Scouts Learn to Victory Garden

1934 ‘How’s Crops?’ renamed ‘Brownie’s Victory Garden’ in WW2

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Theatrical Short, Van Beuren Studios
Distributed by: RKO Radio Pictures
Cartoon Characters: Cubby Bear (Brownie Bear), Cubby’s Girlfriend, Opossum, Worm.
Directed By George Stallings.
Originally Released in 1934.

[Mike’s note: This is a 1934 cartoon released and renamed in the 1940’s to help with the war effort. ‘Victory Garden’ was not a term used in 1934. Cubby was the original star. She was renamed Brownie.]

Cubby rises and shines with the dawn, and, reading a headline, learns that a “mysterious menace” is attacking farms and destroying crops. He uses his ingenuity to uncover the mystery. Cubby and his girlfriend go underground and create a crop of synthetic vegetables in their underground cave-factory, then force them upward through the soil.

[Read more →]

April 7, 2017   Comments Off on 1934 ‘How’s Crops?’ renamed ‘Brownie’s Victory Garden’ in WW2

1935 by Beate Hahn – ‘Hooray, We Sow and Harvest!’

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Click on image for larger file.

Published in Germany – A Garden Book For Children

By Beate Hahn (Horticulturist)
(The author is the mother of famous landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander)
1935 Wilh, Gottl, Korn Verlag, Breslau, Printed in Germany, 110 pages
(This translation was kindly done by Evelyne Teichert.)

Introduction

Today is yet another grim, cold day in November. Outside the wind is blowing through the streets, urging snowflakes along high up into the air. It roars around the street corner, and anyone who meets it will be blown down. This is quite ugly weather, and everyone is happy when they can once again sit in their warm home.

Here in our home a bright wood fire is crackling in the fireplace. When all the big and the small people have completed their daily tasks, we assemble around the red sheen of the fire, because father tells us stories. Mother says that this way she’ll never be able to mend all the torn children’s clothes, but everyone else thinks it is marvelous. If Peter and Lore move over just a bit, then you too will be able to join us on the bench by the fire and listen in. We also have a baked apple for you. you can hear them already crackling in the oven. Lisel, the oldest among us, gets up from time to time to tend to them.

[Read more →]

April 6, 2017   Comments Off on 1935 by Beate Hahn – ‘Hooray, We Sow and Harvest!’

Progress threatens Istanbul’s historic gardens

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

The Yedikule gardens provide a livelihood for more than 200 people in Istanbul. TRF/Stephen Starr

“Ten days ago they came and cut down all the trees almost to the roots,” he says. “I don’t know why they did that; maybe because they want a give better view for tourists to take photos of the walls. Who knows?”

By Stephen Starr
Reuters
Mar 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Recep Eraslan, 64, has worked a tiny sliver of land on Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet peninsula for more than three decades.

He grows spring onions, arugula and cabbage on a 1.25-acre (0.5 hectare) plot along the city’s ancient Byzantine-era walls that are part of one of the oldest urban gardens, or bostans in Turkish, in the world.

[Read more →]

March 24, 2017   Comments Off on Progress threatens Istanbul’s historic gardens

1906 Quebec ‘Journal of Agriculture’ Promoted School Gardens

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

The artisan who has to work ten hours a day at his trade, if he has been trained to love his garden, not only finds moderate working in it a pleasing recreation, but finds that it adds materially to his slender income.

By Mr. George Moore
Journal of Agriculture and Horticulture
July 1, 1906
(The Journal was the official organ of the Council of Agriculture of the Province of Quebec.)

Excerpt:

Again, looking at the question from an economic or several stand point, the advantages of a knowledge of horticulture are not to be despised. The lot of many a poor family might have been made smoother had their head have been taught, how properly to cultivate the little plot of land by which their cottage was surrounded.

[Read more →]

March 17, 2017   Comments Off on 1906 Quebec ‘Journal of Agriculture’ Promoted School Gardens

95-year-old Landscape Architect, Cornelia Oberlander, Describes Her Mother’s Gardening Book

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Horticulturist Beate Hahn published ‘The Garden Primer for Kids and Mother’ in 1935.

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer
Mar 14, 2017
(Must see! Mike)

At her home/office in Vancouver, Canada’s famous landscape architect shows us one of her mother’s books on gardening. The book’s artist, Ursel Bartning (1905 – 1990), featured Cornelia in many of the images throughout the book including the cover.

[Read more →]

March 15, 2017   Comments Off on 95-year-old Landscape Architect, Cornelia Oberlander, Describes Her Mother’s Gardening Book

Historic farmhouse in Boston will serve as headquarters of the Urban Farming Institute

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


Courtesy Historic Boston Incorporated.

Renovations underway on historic Fowler Clark Epstein farmhouse

By Yawu Miller
The Bay Street Banner
Feb 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Since September, work crews have been busy tackling decades of paint that adorns the 18th century face of Mattapan’s Fowler Clark Epstein Farm. They have embarked upon a historical restoration of the building that is expected to be completed later this year. The Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, built between 1786 and 1806, once occupied part of a 330-acre Dorchester estate; over the years, it was subdivided into smaller lots at a time when the Mattapan section of Dorchester was dominated by farms.

[Read more →]

February 21, 2017   Comments Off on Historic farmhouse in Boston will serve as headquarters of the Urban Farming Institute

Louisiana tribes restore traditional diets in the face of climate change

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


Photography by Edmund D. Fountain.

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

Excerpts:

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.

[Read more →]

February 15, 2017   Comments Off on Louisiana tribes restore traditional diets in the face of climate change

Mexico’s Ancient Floating Gardens Double As An Experiment In Urban Farming

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Ricardo Rodriguez, founder of the De La Chinampa a Tu Mesa program. (Naomi Tomky)

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
smithsonian.com
January 31, 2017

Excerpt:

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.

[Read more →]

February 6, 2017   Comments Off on Mexico’s Ancient Floating Gardens Double As An Experiment In Urban Farming

3,800-year-old wetland potato garden found in Canada

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

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
2016-12-31

Excerpt:

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.

[Read more →]

January 8, 2017   Comments Off on 3,800-year-old wetland potato garden found in Canada

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

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

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.

[Read more →]

December 1, 2016   Comments Off on 1860: Brooklyn City Farmer involved in ‘A Bad Trade’