Category — History
Another readily available atomic mutant Paige Johnson mentions is the ‘Rio Star’ grapefruit, “which accounts for 75% of the grapefruit production in Texas … bred solely to produce flesh and juice that is more red in color than previous varieties.”
2 Oct, 2015
Have you ever seen a strangely misshapen tomato growing in your vegetable garden? A uniquely pigmented plant in your backyard that’s just not like others, able to thrive even in the harshest of seasons? There’s a very good chance that it could be an atomic heirloom from a forgotten atomic garden of the 1950s and 60s.
November 29, 2015 No Comments
Color photography made in Paris using Autochrome Lumière technology between 1914 and 1918.
A wealthy banker of the time, Albert Kahn commissioned four photographers to create an archive of the period using the technique based on a series of color filters made from microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red, green and blue.
November 28, 2015 No Comments
“Probably the most famous commercial heirloom is the Moon and Stars watermelon.”
By Amy Goldman
Published Oct. 27 2015
On two hundred acres in the Hudson Valley, Amy Goldman grows heirloom fruits and vegetables–an orchard full of apples, pears, and peaches; plots of squash, melons, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and beets. The president of the New York Botanical Garden has called her “perhaps the world’s premier vegetable gardener.” It’s her life’s work, and she’s not only focused on the pleasures of cultivating the land and feeding her family–she’s also interested in preserving our agricultural heritage, beautiful and unique heirlooms that truly are organic treasures.
November 26, 2015 No Comments
By Helen L. Wilbur (Author), Robert Gantt Steele (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press
February 17, 2010
When Lily learns about a lottery for land plots to grow Victory Gardens, she tries to apply. But when the garden club president tells her she’s too young to participate, Lily refuses to give up. She knows where there’s a house with a big yard. The Bishops live in the largest house in town. It also has the largest yard. But the Bishops’ son was the first soldier from the town to die in the war. Now Mrs. Bishop has hidden herself away in their house. When Lily asks Mr. Bishop for the use of a small plot within his yard, his grudging approval comes with the stern warning, “No bothering Mrs. Bishop.”
November 7, 2015 Comments Off on Lily’s Victory Garden (Tales of Young Americans)
Chapter 51 – Maximilian becomes a ‘city farmer’ so he can visit with his true love Valentine
“Horticulture seemed, however, to have been abandoned in the deserted kitchen–garden; and where cabbages, carrots, radishes, pease, and melons had once flourished, a scanty crop of lucerne alone bore evidence of its being deemed worthy of cultivation.”
Chapter 51: Pyramus And Thisbe
Maximilian Morrel visits his love, Valentine, the daughter of Monsieur Villefort.
The proprietors of the mansion had many years before thought it best to confine themselves to the possession of the house itself, with its thickly planted court–yard, opening into the Faubourg Saint–Honore, and to the garden shut in by this gate, which formerly communicated with a fine kitchen–garden of about an acre. For the demon of speculation drew a line, or in other words projected a street, at the farther side of the kitchen–garden. The street was laid out, a name was chosen and posted up on an iron plate, but before construction was begun, it occurred to the possessor of the property that a handsome sum might be obtained for the ground then devoted to fruits and vegetables, by building along the line of the proposed street, and so making it a branch of communication with the Faubourg Saint–Honore itself, one of the most important thoroughfares in the city of Paris.
October 22, 2015 Comments Off on 1844 – Kitchen Garden described in “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas
Written in Latin between 1304 and 1309 by Petrus de Crescentiis, a wealthy lawyer from Bologna in Italy, Ruralia Commoda was the only publication of its kind during Henry VIII’s reign.
Royal Collection Trust
The Queen’s Gallery
According to the manual, the size of the garden and the perfection of the trees and plants within it were an expression of a king’s status, wealth and mastery over his environment. A royal garden should occupy a plot of 20 acres or more, and the planting of fragrant herbs was recommended because they ‘not only delight by their odor, but … refresh the sight.’ The gardener should ‘between these plants … form turf in the fashion of a seat, flowering and pleasant.’ The royal garden should include walks and bowers, ‘where the king and queen can meet with the barons and lords when it is not the rainy season’ and should be surrounded by suitably high walls.
September 27, 2015 Comments Off on First Garden Manual in the Western World
Historic Boston Inc. will restore 18-19th century Fowler-Clark farm, home and barn
By Jule Pattison-Gordon
Bay State Banner
“We’ll be the key for urban agriculture in Boston,” said Spence. UFI’s larger goals include vacant land acquisition, then leasing to those who wish to start urban farms. The organization also conducts research and development of new farming ideas.
“There’s a lot to be learned here by a lot of different people. Hopefully it will be a real inspiration to the people who are already growing tomatoes in their front yards, but also to people who are thinking about it or who would like to,” said Kathy Kottaridis, executive director of HBI. “It should draw people throughout the region who really want to learn techniques for urban farming and harvesting methods and use of planting beds.”
September 23, 2015 Comments Off on A restored historic site and urban farming training and education center in Boston
More than 600 volunteers had come together in the decade before the farm’s creation to find a suitable site for the urban farm
By Emma Bartholomew
11 September 2015
“We are in contact with the volunteer who led that movement, and the original farm manager, we have recordings of them, we want that to be at the archives so future generations can see how community action created the farm in the 80s.
“I think that kind of thing was much more usual and possible in the 80s because there were people who were able to and who did give their time because they felt that was important.
September 20, 2015 Comments Off on £10,000 Grant to Archive Thousands of Photos, Slides And Film Footage Of Hackney City Farm History
A documentary made for the heritage project by the young filmaker, Joe Dickie.
By the late 60’s some people were taking over vacant properties and doing the repairs themselves. The squatting movement was born, and with it, the roots of Kentish Town City Farm.
In 1972, a local organization called Inter-Action rented a house, a cottage and part of the disused timber yard known as Gloster Parquet – now the site of Kentish Town City Farm. They found, tucked behind the terrace houses, the remains of a complex of buildings surrounded by yards of overgrown weeds that backed onto the railway. The buildings included stables, a workshop, a store house and steel framed hangars. Local businessmen donated building materials and equipment worth over £5000. A team of volunteers, youth workers, farm workers and Inter-Action’s architects and builders converted the stables and buildings into a farm, riding school and gardens.
July 30, 2015 Comments Off on Kentish Town City Farm in London began in 1972
Thirteen Essays On Urban Agriculture
Edited by Dorothée Imbert
Harvard University Press
(Must see. Mike)
Food and the City explores the physical, social, and political relations between the production of food and urban settlements. Its thirteen essays discuss the multiple scales and ideologies of productive landscapes—from market gardens in sixteenth-century Paris to polder planning near mid-twentieth century Amsterdam to opportunistic agriculture in today’s Global South—and underscore the symbiotic connection between productive landscape and urban form across times and geographies. The physical proximity of fruit and vegetable production to urban consumers in pre-revolutionary Paris, or the distribution of fish in Imperial Edo, was an essential factor in shaping both city and surroundings.
July 20, 2015 Comments Off on Food and the City – Histories of Culture and Cultivation
Many of the challenges – including securing land – remain the same, more than a century after this report was written by philanthropic leaders.
By Rose Hayden-Smith
UC Food Observer
July 2, 2015
In 2013, Bill Loomis wrote an amazing piece about Pingree for the Detroit News. He wrote:
“Most of the unfortunate would be glad to raise their own food,” Pingree argued. “They are willing to work, and we ought to give them a chance to do it.”
Pingree’s idea of “ethical relief” was met with strong resistance from many who believed that the unemployed – many of them immigrants – were “too lazy” to work. Skeptics, of course, were wrong: 3,000 families applied for the 975 allotments available the first year of the program (1894). The program grew during the next two seasons (1,546 families participated in 1895, 1,701 families gardened in 1896).
July 13, 2015 Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Is Part Of Our History
Devastation in Yemen: historic district of Sana’a before and after – in pictures
By Arnel Hecimovic
12 June 2015
A Saudi-led air strike killed at least six civilians and destroyed historic houses in the old quarter of Sana’a, two days ahead of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva. The air raid was the first in the Unesco world heritage site in Yemen’s rebel-held capital since the coalition started its air campaign in March against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
June 13, 2015 Comments Off on Sana, Yemen: Historic urban gardens in Unesco world heritage site damaged by war
“Did we cultivate more assiduously our backyard gardens, those of us whose daily grind chains us fast to a bell or whistle or even an office clock, there would be fewer nervous breakdowns.”
By Ida D. Bennett
Doubleday, Page and Co.
There are certain plant-poisons – herbicides – on the market which it is claimed will kill out scrub oak, burdock, Canada thistle, and like persistent perennial growths … It is considerations like this which make the growing of one’s own kitchen vegetables so desirable,
April 27, 2015 Comments Off on 1909: ‘The Vegetable Garden’
German Shingel fills a tub for watering the garden under the watchful eye of his father, Yevgeniy. To outwit Russia’s short growing season, many dacha owners set flats of seedlings on their urban windowsills in March. Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen.
One out of three Russians owns a dacha. In the Moscow region, where there are some one million dachas. Boris’s dacha, like most in Valday, is a garden plot with a cabin. Such plots, originally six sotkas (.15 acre), date back to Soviet-era land distribution programs that allowed Russians to endure postwar food shortages made worse by the disaster of centrally planned agriculture.
By Cathy Newman
Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen
(Must see. Mike)
The soil is sacred, almost mystical to Russians, a legacy of pagan beliefs and peasant tradition. “The religion of the soil,” philosopher Nikolay Berdyayev called it. A dacha provides the opportunity to dig in that soil and be close to nature. “By the end of the day I am tired and stressed,” a Valday woman tells me. “I go to the garden, touch the ground, and bad things go away.”
In July the soil yields cucumbers and feathery dill, also squash, peas, and green onions. July is for berries: black, red, and white currants; blueberries; blackberries; raspberries; gooseberries; and delicately perfumed wild strawberries, which, even more than the resinous astringency of pine, is the smell of summer. August brings mushrooms (a light rain is known as a “mushroom rain”): the prized beliy, or white mushroom, and boletes that grow near birch trees and can be dried. Also potatoes—always potatoes. A Valday garden is unthinkable without them, although they cost less to buy than grow.
March 29, 2015 Comments Off on In pinched Soviet times ‘dacha gardens’ grew some 90 percent of Russia’s vegetables
Parsons commandeered 3/4 of an acre of De Witt Clinton Park for 360 plots that functioned as miniature gardens. [DeWitt Clinton Park] [glass negative]: children’s garden plots, looking toward the east side of the park.
Click on image for larger photo.
Click here for massive original photo.
Parsons opened the first farm garden on the west side of Manhattan, near tenements that dominated the neighborhood at the time – 360 plots.
New York City Parks
Although the era of social reform in the early 20th century was still driven by government and charitable organizations, in many ways Farm Gardens were early manifestations of a community gardening aesthetic. The first farm gardens in New York City appeared in 1902 in De Witt Clinton Park, shepherded by a “Mrs. Henry G. Parsons,” who despite the seeming formality was in fact a groundbreaking female who went on to become one of the first senior–level park administrators.
February 14, 2015 Comments Off on First farm gardens in New York City appeared in 1902 in De Witt Clinton Park