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Category — Horticulture Therapy

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
Feb 14, 2018


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   No Comments

Chickens are helping senior citizens fight loneliness in a major way

A few little chooks are making big changes in the lives of elderly patients, helping them fight depression and dementia.

By Jessica Salter
31 Oct 2014


Owen Turnbull is giving a tiny five-day-old chick a bath in the sink of a communal launderette. The chick, which is chirping away as he talks to it, is one of four orphans. ‘Their mam died three days ago,’ he says, in his soft Geordie accent. ‘I found her when I went to feed them. I was sad about losing her – I do get attached to them.’

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February 17, 2018   No Comments

UK: TV’s Mark Lane helps turn derelict Whitechapel wasteland into a gardeners’ world

The site was full of rubble and weeds, but volunteers have turned it into a lush garden with an orchard, pond, plant nursery and food growing area.

By Mike Brooke
Dockland sand East London Advertiser
Feb 14, 2018


Mark himself has to use a wheelchair after his car crash. But the former Royal Institute of British Architects’ director retrained and set up a garden design business, then joined the Gardeners’ World programme.

“I am living proof of how the great outdoors and wildlife can change your life,” he said.

“My disability in a strange way has made me determined to promote the great outdoors to others.

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February 15, 2018   No Comments

New Zealand: Can vegetable gardening help at-risk youth?

Bailey Perryman and Fiona Stewart from urban farm enterprise Cultivate Christchurch. Bailey uses the broad fork to prep for seedlings; Fiona is about to dig out the cow horns used to prepare the biodynamic soil amendment BD500.

Cultivate Christchurch, she explains, provides somewhere young people in need of extra support to be in employment can come and learn about working the land and working with others.

By Mary Lovell-Smith
NZ Gardener
January 30 2018


It is only Jackson’s third day on the farm and the 23-year-old is bursting with enthusiasm. “It’s amazing, I love it here,” he says. “I’ve worked in cafés and done a carpentry course, but I’ve been out of work for a while due to medical reasons. I was apprehensive before I began, but once I arrived here, I just love the place. You can pick your jobs. You get tired, you have a break.”

He says he has done “a bit of gardening in the past” but doesn’t know a lot about plants. “I want to learn to build planter boxers. On my third day I built a trellis. I want to learn new skills to take on with me.”

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February 3, 2018   Comments Off on New Zealand: Can vegetable gardening help at-risk youth?

Greening Iraq’s Refugee Camps: “This garden is my kingdom”

Globally, there are around 65 million people living in refugee situations at the moment. Approximately one third of these live in protracted situations—long-lasting periods of uncertainty. Gardens can provide food and income but also a sense of beauty, home, and hope in a challenging situation.

By Helene Schulze
Food Tank
Jan 2018


The Lemon Tree Trust is a United Kingdom-based nonprofit organization which facilitates greening innovation and urban agriculture in refugee camps in Iraq, Uganda, and Jordan. “People are arriving with almost nothing and are literally making home, so the garden becomes representative of a space that people have control over, some ability to be creative, and a space to just be in after they’ve undergone this process of forced migration,” says co-founder Mikey Tomkins. “It’s a question not only of personal dignity but also of social, communal dignity.”

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January 22, 2018   Comments Off on Greening Iraq’s Refugee Camps: “This garden is my kingdom”

St. Vincent’s turns urban garden into a teaching tool for kids, resource for homeless in Phoenix

Nika Forte, the urban farm program coordinator at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, said she will use the farm as a teaching tool for homeless volunteers to obtain jobs. (Source: Samantha Pouls/Cronkite News)

St. Vincent’s will team up with farms and nurseries throughout Arizona to employ some of the farm’s volunteers, who must work in the garden for at least three months and maintain a specific amount of hours.

By Samantha Pouls
Cronkite News
AZ Family
Dec 20, 2017


When the officials at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix found out they won a quarter-million-dollar grant to improve their urban farm, they already had a plan to install an irrigation system, plant fruit trees and add shade to extend the growing season.

Those improvements will help the nonprofit provide more fresh fruits and vegetables from the 1-acre farm to food boxes for needy families and to the organization’s downtown Phoenix kitchen, which serves hundreds of meals each day.

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December 29, 2017   Comments Off on St. Vincent’s turns urban garden into a teaching tool for kids, resource for homeless in Phoenix

Hope Farms – Houston, Texas

Hope Farms is the epicenter where all our healthy programs come together: growing affordable produce in the middle of a food desert, giving kids lifelong skills with hands-on cooking and gardening classes

By Gracie Cavnar
Chairman of the Board
Recipe for Success

We began in the schools, giving monthly hands-on classes that put children in touch with their food from seed to plate and we made it fun. We started adding gardens and built the program from there to include after-school, summer camp, parent classes and community outreach. Our strategy is powerful. Children are changing their habits and attitudes, surprising themselves by trying and even liking vegetables that they would never even touch before. Parents report that their children now want to help cook and more often reach for the healthier option without prompting. In 2013, we scaled our proven Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™, making it available to any school, anywhere.

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December 22, 2017   Comments Off on Hope Farms – Houston, Texas

Like Farmer, Like Dog

A Series Exploring The Relationship Between Urban Farmers And Their Canine Companions In New York City

Produced by Kat Johnson, Micaela Heck, and Jordan Werner.
Dec 2017


In the first episode we hung out under the Williamsburg Bridge at North Brooklyn Farms with Emma and her feisty pup Jam. This time, we’re taking a trek up to the Randall’s Island Urban Farm to meet Erica Harte and Baxter. Erica is a farmer and educator in the farm’s Edible Education Program.

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December 20, 2017   Comments Off on Like Farmer, Like Dog

The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Students in Westminster High School’s agriculture program harvest acorn squash growing in the fields at the school in Westminster.

“This is a small showcase of what agriculture can be for the new generations,” said third-generation Orange County farmer A.G. Kawamura, who served as California’s agriculture secretary from 2003 to 2010 and started the nonprofit OC Harvest, now known as Solutions for Urban Agriculture.

By Theresa Walker
Orange County Register
November 22, 2017


The eight acres of farmland at Westminster High, the largest remaining public school farm in Orange County, is at the heart of an initiative to grow fresh produce for the food bank to give to those who rely on the bounty of others in times of need.

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November 29, 2017   Comments Off on The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Seeds of change sown by juveniles and judge in this community garden in Bay St. Louis

“It gives these kids an ability to see that even where they are in life, they can still help other people,” said Hancock County Youth Court Judge Elise Deano. “I think that’s very, very important for us and for them.”

By Patrick Ochs
Sun Herald
November 18, 2017


ince its debut in fall 2016, Ruth’s Roots has been doing its namesake proud.

Thanks in part to the Mississippi State Extension Service, Ruth’s Roots houses rows of salad tables, long garden boxes that will eventually be turned into “Mississippi” gardens with the state’s cash crops.

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November 26, 2017   Comments Off on Seeds of change sown by juveniles and judge in this community garden in Bay St. Louis

Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: The Surrey Food Bank’s vertical farm system. (Photo © Pixel Perfect Photography)

Vertical farms allow food banks to grow their own produce with high-tech systems in an effort to fight food insecurity year-round.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats


One of the biggest arguments against food banks getting into the vertical-farming business is simply that these systems are pricey. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma paid $140,000 for its two Growtainers, securing a grant from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation to purchase the vertical farms. It costs an additional $680 per month for electricity to power them.

For nonprofits, cost can be a barrier and, in some locations, indoor farms are an unnecessary expense. The learning curve can also be steep and most food banks rely on volunteer labor to handle maintenance and harvesting, often with training from the manufacturers of the vertical systems.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Veterans Start Vet Veggies to Inspire Other Vets

Vet Veggies harvests 600 heads of lettuce every week using a process called Hydroponics and they do it all inside this single container.

Arkansas Matters
Nov. 10. 2017


Jerry Martin is a veteran and a farmer, but not just any kind of farmer.

Martin said, “I’m a Vietnam Veteran. I went into service in 1969. ”

The goal is to provide fresh farm to table vegetables for the Northwest Arkansas community. “Vet Veggies is a concept where we provide fresh local vegetables,” said Martin.

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November 16, 2017   Comments Off on Veterans Start Vet Veggies to Inspire Other Vets

Homeless Shelter Opens Community Garden In The East Village, New York

Here, for the community to see people [out in the garden], and maybe come inside and talk to them, it just breaks down those barriers.”

By Ciara McCarthy
Oct 26, 2017


Project Renewal, the longtime housing and social services charity for homeless individuals, celebrated the opening of its new community garden on Wednesday. The garden brings a welcome addition to the organization’s oldest shelter on Third Street. The green space, which includes seating area for the shelter’s residents and a greenhouse where they’ll be able to grow fresh food, arrives thanks to a partnership between Project Renewal, the local community board, and the Department of Homeless Services.

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November 3, 2017   Comments Off on Homeless Shelter Opens Community Garden In The East Village, New York

Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

Colin McGlibery of Pleasant Hill harvests persimmons at Charlotte’s Orchard in Vacaville. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Volunteers will harvest more than 50,000 pounds of fruit for donation between this Saturday and next. All fruit will be distributed among food banks, local food pantries, shelters and community dining halls.

By Susan Hiland
Daily Republic
Oct 22, 2017


Charlotte Sturgeon lost her husband in 2006. He had big plans for the persimmon trees he planted but without him no one in the family knew his plans. That year, the round, orange fruit rotted and Sturgeon couldn’t stand to see that happen.

“We didn’t know what to do,” daughter-in-law Laurie Sturgeon said.

Her mother-in-law got in touch with The Urban Farmers, a nonprofit organization in Lafayette that harvests excess backyard fruit to donate to those in need.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on Hundreds of volunteers pick persimmons for food banks in Vacaville, California

On this Seattle farm, seniors grow food and community

Turunesh Gura, 78, takes a break from working on at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in Seattle. Kuow Photo/Megan Farmer.

This work is an opportunity to make connections in their adopted country and to practice English with native speakers.

By Patricia Murphy
Oct 20, 2017


“They don’t go out they don’t go to senior centers or community centers — because of the language barrier,” Michael Neguse said.

“So what we’re trying to do here is take them out of their houses, to come here to meet other people. To meet other ethnic groups and other languages and come and work together.”

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on On this Seattle farm, seniors grow food and community