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Category — Horticulture Therapy

Afghan refugee leads game-changing urban farm in Cleveland

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Mohammad Noormal came to Cleveland as a refugee in October 2014, after working for five years as a translator for the U.S. army in his home country of Afghanistan.

For Mohammad, the Garden and Farm project has opened the door to integration in Cleveland

By Raluca Besliu
Fresh Water
August 13, 2015

Excerpt:

Mohammad is also the manager of a game-changing initiative for education, urban farming and refugee integration, the Learning Garden and Production Farm. Created as a collaboration between The Refugee Response and The Urban Community School (UCS), the Garden and Farm occupies six vacant parcels adjacent to the school. They act as a learning space, where children participate in hands-on lessons that complement and enhance the curriculum in a wide variety of subject areas, including math, art and science.

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August 22, 2015   No Comments

Head of South Madison Farmers’ Market looks to train formerly incarcerated men to farm in the city

madisonfRobert Pierce, with the South Madison Farmers’ Market, at the market outside Meriter Hospital in Madison. Photo by Michelle Stocker.

The workshop, titled Commercial Urban Agriculture, will provide the men with the tools necessary to explore several avenues of income through organic farming.

By Jordan S. Gaines
The Capital Times
Aug 1, 2015

Excerpt:

“Urban agriculture says if you grow enough food, why don’t you sell it to pay your bills? I’m teaching people how to sustain and that’s why we’re teaching these guys how to grow food,” Pierce said.

In partnership with Anthony Cooper, director of reentry services for the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, Growing Power, Inc. Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Pierce will provide an underemployed group of men with the skills to create a business feeding an under served population.

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August 9, 2015   Comments Off on Head of South Madison Farmers’ Market looks to train formerly incarcerated men to farm in the city

Vancouver Food Gardens: Seeds of a better community

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Gardeners collect the bounty at High Top Hub, the shared community garden at Bosa False Creek.
Photograph by: Dan Lum

Food gardens have the power to create instant community in urban environments

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
August 6, 2015

Excerpt:

A white paper released earlier this year by the Happiness Research Institute put it bluntly: “Loneliness kills.”

The institute cites studies suggesting that loneliness among the elderly can be a significant health risk and lead to dementia and depression. A 2010 meta-analysis of 148 studies on social relationships and mortality involving 308,000 participants found that people with strong social connections are 50 per cent more likely to survive the period of the study regardless of age, sex and pre-existing health conditions.

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August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Food Gardens: Seeds of a better community

Sheriff’s Department Urban Farming Program Looks to Grow Success, Reduce Recidivism in Massachusetts

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Tomatoes grow from vines planted in the yard of the Suffolk County House of Corrections

Last year’s total agricultural yield? One-thousand-fifty pounds of food.

By Times Staff
East Boston Times – Free Press
July 29, 2015

Excerpt:

While some might see the Urban Garden strictly as a mixture of soil and vegetation, its significance is much greater. Tangled into the roots of cabbages and raspberries are messages about responsibility, pride and nutrition. As Director of Vocational Education Captain David Granese states, “We are not just growing things out there, we are teaching valuable lessons. Having participants watch our garden grow, they get to see the fruits of their labor, literally, and they’re learning to grow a garden to sustain themselves.”

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August 4, 2015   Comments Off on Sheriff’s Department Urban Farming Program Looks to Grow Success, Reduce Recidivism in Massachusetts

Atlanta homeless shelter producing pounds of veggies on rooftop garden

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Residents grow much of their own food in the organic rooftop garden at Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. Click on image for larger file.

It is a homeless community on the cutting edge of the green revolution and organic urban farming.

By Gloria Tatum
Bayview
July 25, 2015

Excerpt:

The rooftop garden is at its capacity with eighty raised vegetable beds, but plans are underway to refurbish the roof on the older building next to the garden. “We will double the size of our garden once we get that roof finished,” Carl Hartrampf, a board member and the rooftop garden coordinator, told APN.

Some of the vegetable beds are harvested every 30 to 60 days, and then they are immediately replanted. When it doesn’t rain, two 500 gallon tanks, filled with rainwater, pump water to the garden.

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August 1, 2015   Comments Off on Atlanta homeless shelter producing pounds of veggies on rooftop garden

Boeing Employees Volunteer at The Growing Experience Urban Farm in Long Beach

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“For nearly 100 years, Boeing has demonstrated its commitment to communities around the globe through its Global Month of Service,”

By Asia Morris
Long Beach Post
July 23 2015

Excerpt:

This Saturday, Boeing employees will roll up their sleeves and dirty their hands to provide much-needed assistance at The Growing Experience (TGE) Urban Farm in Long Beach, for the third consecutive year, as part of the company’s annual Global Month of Service Initiative.

Volunteers of all ages will work alongside TGE staff and the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), which oversees the farm, to help with the greenhouse’s vertical plant towers, community food forest, community garden maintenance and orchard harvesting. Volunteers will also work in the community kitchen to preserve vegetables and make fig jam.

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July 30, 2015   Comments Off on Boeing Employees Volunteer at The Growing Experience Urban Farm in Long Beach

Bordofarms: A Project Focused on Solving Deportee Economic Issues Through Urban Farming

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José de Jesús González, right, the leader of Bordofarms’ workers, begins the day tending young plants in boxes along the Tijuana River, Feb. 25, 2015. Eros Hoagland for Al Jazeera America.

Volunteers built boxes, carted dirt and planted seedlings in what organizers say are the first step in an urban farming project aimed at addressing the issue of homeless U.S. deportees.

By Miguel Marshall
Huffington Post
July 21

Excerpt:

The Tijuana Global Shapers Community (a diverse group of young leaders affiliated to World Economic Forum), proposed a project focused on building technology based vertical farms along the edge of the Tijuana River — a project similar to the New York highline but with a productive twist. The idea was inspired by an experience with Angel Ventures Mexico where we invested, through an Angel Group, in Home Town Farms; a startup doing vertical farming in the neighboring San Diego area.

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July 27, 2015   Comments Off on Bordofarms: A Project Focused on Solving Deportee Economic Issues Through Urban Farming

In St. Louis, foreign refugees are farming on city-owned land to earn a few extra greenbacks.

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Mang Zam, late of Myanmar, tending his vegetables in St. Louis.(Wayne Crosslin/International Institute of St. Louis)

Raising Crops That Remind Them of Home

By Ted Hesson
National Journal
July 7, 2015

Excerpt:

July 7, 2015 In a city best known for deep-fried ravioli and butter cake, you might not expect bitter eggplant—dubbed “pumpkin on a stick,” for how it looks on the stem—to be a runaway hit.

Yet bitter eggplant, common to cuisine in parts of Africa, Asia, and Brazil, has become one of the most popular crops at two urban farms in St. Louis, bringing in $6 to $7 per pound. Used in a soup or a sauce, it is a favorite among the locale’s most recent arrivals, refugees from such strife-torn lands as Burundi, Myanmar, and Nepal. For the past few years, refugee farmers have raised the exotic crop, and many others, through a program run by the International Institute of St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants adapt to life in a city whose heyday has long passed.

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July 18, 2015   Comments Off on In St. Louis, foreign refugees are farming on city-owned land to earn a few extra greenbacks.

Why Joining the Urban Agriculture Movement Will Make You Healthier

washgarCommon Good City Farm produces food for low-income neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.

In 2014, the USDA reported a total of 8,268 farmers markets nationwide, an increase of 76 percent since 2008. That increase was partly due to demand for more local food.

By Corinne Ruff
US News and World Report
June 23, 2015

Excerpt:

As a gardener and researcher of human rights for adequate food and nutrition, Anne Bellows, professor of food studies at Syracuse University, says these urban farms play an important role in retaining public health.

“It’s important to understand and be aware of what the huge multitude of benefits are,” she says. “The food and the nutrition are important, but also very critical are benefits like access to green, quiet, safe space where other people are meeting and working – some place that is a refuge.”

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July 3, 2015   Comments Off on Why Joining the Urban Agriculture Movement Will Make You Healthier

What Kale and Arugula Have to Do with Reducing Recidivism in Miami, Florida

nationsUrban Greenworks executive-cirector James Jiler and Roger Horne, director of community health relations, share some freshly picked fruit from Cerasee Farm. See more photos of inner city gardens in Miami here. Photos by Ryan Stone.

This group is soothing inner-city tensions, spade in hand.

By Chris Peak
Nation Swell
June 18, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s mango season in Miami, and James Jiler’s kitchen counter keeps filling with bags and bags of the tropical fruit. The towering mound accumulates nearly faster than he can slice the mangos apart or blend them together in a summer daiquiri.

Tasty as the fresh fruit is already, it’s even sweeter to Jiler because of where it comes from: many of the mangoes were nurtured and picked by at-risk youth, halfway house residents and the formerly incarcerated. As the executive director of Urban Greenworks, Jiler provides green jobs and environmental programs like planting in urban spaces or science education in schools to troubled residents of Miami. Since the organization’s start in 2010, roughly 55 people have been employed by the nonprofit, plus hundreds more have served as volunteers.

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July 3, 2015   Comments Off on What Kale and Arugula Have to Do with Reducing Recidivism in Miami, Florida

The Real Seeds of Change Are Being Planted by Offenders in Balinese Prisons

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A quiet revolution is underway in Bali’s prisons.

Bangli Prison Organic Farm is the main producer of organic food seeds distributed to regional farmers by the local nongovernment IDEP Foundation

By Ade Andreawan
Jakarta Globe
Apr 27, 2015

Excerpt:

On the inside of Bangli Prison in central Bali, seeds of life are transforming inmates in a correctional revolution of wellbeing not only for health of the prisoners, but the birth of a pioneering food-seed social enterprise — possibly a world-first in prison reform models — providing nourishment for tens of thousands across Bali, and strengthening Indonesia’s food sovereignty in the process.

Bangli Prison Organic Farm, supported by an Indonesian donor-funded team of permaculture and community development experts, is the main producer of organic food seeds distributed to regional farmers by the local nongovernment IDEP Foundation.

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May 30, 2015   Comments Off on The Real Seeds of Change Are Being Planted by Offenders in Balinese Prisons

British Journal Public Health: Urban agriculture: long-term strategy or impossible dream?

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1922. Children at work in a community garden. Click on image for larger file.

Lessons from Prospect Farm in Brooklyn, New York

By T. Angotti
April issue of the British Journal Public Health
February 24, 2015

Excerpts:

Abstract:

Proponents of urban agriculture have identified its potential to improve health and the environment but in New York City and other densely developed and populated urban areas, it faces huge challenges because of the shortage of space, cost of land, and the lack of contemporary local food production. However, large portions of the city and metropolitan region do have open land and a history of agricultural production in the not-too-distant past. Local food movements and concerns about food security have sparked a growing interest in urban farming.

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May 4, 2015   Comments Off on British Journal Public Health: Urban agriculture: long-term strategy or impossible dream?

Mental Hospital Inmates Find Succour in Farming in Kozhikode, India

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Students harvesting spinach from the farm garden set up by Kanivu at the Government Mental Health Centre at Kuthiravattam.

“We are happy that we are able to provide the patients toxic-free vegetables.”

By Shafeeq Alingal
New India Express
25th April 2015

Excerpt:

At the Government Mental Health Centre at Kuthiravattam in Kozhikode a group of patients, cured of their mental illness, is seen watering the plants and harvesting the vegetables at the plot which once used to be left abandoned inside the compound of the centre. The credit goes to the group of farmers, activists and environmentalists for joining hands under the aegis of a small collective called ‘Kanivu’.

The mission is aimed at bringing about a change both in the ambience of the centre and the mindset of the patients and the staff.

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May 2, 2015   Comments Off on Mental Hospital Inmates Find Succour in Farming in Kozhikode, India

Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

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Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate’.

The singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture

By Jane Merrick
The Independent
19 April 2015

Excerpt:

The Eighties pop star Kim Wilde has revealed how gardening helped her through bouts of anxiety and to restore “balance” after a turbulent time in the music business.

In a BBC appeal for the charity Thrive, which helps people with physical disabilities and mental health issues through gardening therapy, Wilde says: “Horticulture really brought me back to life. Gardens are always the first place I go to regenerate … they are a complete sensory experience.”

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April 28, 2015   Comments Off on Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

Columbia, Missouri community garden connects international students

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A small plot next to the Kirkman House at 410 N. Tenth St. is prepared Tuesday for the inaugural spring season of planting by Columbia College’s International Club members. Jefferson Middle School English Language Learners students helped college students tend the plot to create connections and a community for Columbia international students. Photo by Natalie Helms.

Buretta said working in the garden is a great way for the students to meet other people and feel more at home in a foreign place.

By Natalie Helms
Missourian
March 31, 2015

Excerpt:

A 14-year-old from Somalia and a college student from Nigeria were among those in the dirt planting potatoes and spinach Tuesday afternoon on the grounds of Columbia College.

Ferihiya Osman, the 14-year-old Somali, and Rotshak Dakup, a Columbia College sophomore who came to the U.S. in 2013, started as strangers but ended up as team members tending to the college’s community garden. The plot, known as the “Cougarden” after the school’s cougar mascot, will be the centerpiece of an effort to bridge the age gap between Columbia’s international students.

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April 9, 2015   Comments Off on Columbia, Missouri community garden connects international students