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Category — Horticulture Therapy

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

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



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   No Comments

Mental Hospital Inmates Find Succour in Farming in Kozhikode, India

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


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   No Comments

Kim Wilde: ‘Horticulture gave me back my life.

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


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   No Comments

Columbia, Missouri community garden connects international students

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
March 31, 2015


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

‘The Mobile Garden’ used in Healthcare and Education

mobileMobile Garden with wheelchair access.

The main, circular, planting tray of The Mobile Garden is 1.2 meters in diameter and 15cm deep with drainage holes in the base and a central divider.

“The circular planting table has a depth of 15cm making it suitable for growing flowers, herbs, salads and some varieties of vegetables. The height is just right for a seated gardener or for those who find bending or kneeling difficult. It can be pushed around pretty easily on it’s castors. The planting table has a diameter of 1.2m that can be further divided by individual allotments or mini gardens for sharing, making it ideal for care homes looking to keep patients active.” November 2011, Able Magazine.

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April 8, 2015   Comments Off on ‘The Mobile Garden’ used in Healthcare and Education

Bessie, The Psychiatrist Who Finds Peace Of Mind At Stepney City Farm

Today the film goes live on ‘1000 Londoners’ – Bessie, Londoner #65

Directed by Ross Dickson
1000 Londoners
Feb 2015
(Must see. Mike)

“In my day job I’m a psychiatrist. There’s an overlap – sometimes when I’m at work and I’m with people that I’m supposed to be treating with medication and so forth, I say to them ‘have you got a local city farm?’ ” Bessie, Trustee at Stepney City Farm

Bessie moved to London from Adelaide about 20 years ago, and began working in social work with rough sleepers. She is now a psychiatrist and is also a Trustee on the board at Stepney City farm.

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February 12, 2015   Comments Off on Bessie, The Psychiatrist Who Finds Peace Of Mind At Stepney City Farm

Prison Garden: Gangsters, Swastikas, Tweakers and Permaculture

Neaners (center), Larry (far right), at the first garden site, during Neaners’ first month home from prison.

When you try to create a beautiful, sprawling permaculture garden with guys you meet in jail, it might not look like the glossy design handbook.

By Chris Hoke
Modern Farmer
January 21, 2015


When we designed a permaculture-style garden this last year, we had lofty visions. Our organization works with migrant farmworkers and folks we meet in the jail where we visit as regular chaplains. We seek out and serve the people society uses up or throws away — deporting them or locking them up in social dumpsters.

We already had the gang and drug recovery home, but this new garden would be a site of healing, healthy work in the soil, reconciliation with the natural world after years of trauma, drugs, violence and prison cells. Back to nature. Wendell Berry kind of stuff.

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January 22, 2015   Comments Off on Prison Garden: Gangsters, Swastikas, Tweakers and Permaculture

Urban farming in Tijuana for deportees

Deportee Roberto Marquez helps with the Bordofarms project. Photo by Alejandro Tamayo.

52-year-old Roberto Márquez, said he was deported in June after living in the United States for 48 years, where he held jobs in landscaping and farming, but eventually was convicted of drug charges.

By Sandra Dibble
U-T Santiago
JAN. 17, 2015


TIJUANA — It was an act of civil disobedience, carried out on federal land off a busy Tijuana thoroughfare in broad daylight. For hours on Saturday, volunteers built boxes, carted dirt and planted seedlings in what organizers say is the first step in an urban farming project aimed at addressing the issue of homeless U.S. deportees.

“These people want to work but nobody hires them, they have absolutely nothing,” said Miguel Marshall, 28, a member of Global Shapers Tijuana Hub, part of a World Economic Forum initiative that encourages young people around the world to come up with projects that address problems in their communities.

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January 19, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farming in Tijuana for deportees

Theatre and organic gardening come together in Santiago, Chile

Gabriel teaches how to sow seeds. Colectivo Sustento market day 2013.

Establish an organic garden in two of the centres: San Bernardo and Calera de Tango

By Penelope Glass


Because theatre is not all we do. Colectivo Sustento’s work outside the prison is a constant development towards self-sustainability through organic gardening, community garden initiatives and networking. Through this work Gabriel, ex Fénix & Ilusiones, has been trained in organic agriculture for 2 years (thanks to the CSA* Farm Huellas Verdes). He is our garden expert, who coordinates the Sustento garden, and runs workshops at our market days and in community settings. He is the logical choice to run community garden workshops in the juvenile centres.

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December 18, 2014   Comments Off on Theatre and organic gardening come together in Santiago, Chile

Singapore: Aquaponic urban farm puts seniors to work

homefrmClick on image for larger file.

According to Spark Architects, its Homefarm part retirement home, part retiree-run urban farm concept would achieve food security and production sustainability, and improved health and community spirit among Singapore seniors.

By Stu Robarts
December 2, 2014


Spark says that its actual aim is to “generate discussion about the many potentials that can emerge from the mixing of two typically separate realms.” Specifically, in this case, it’s referencing the combination of accommodation and facilities for seniors with an urban farm. It notes the context that Singapore has a significantly aging population, growing city populations and imports over 90 percent of its food. The Homefarm concept, it says, addresses all of these issues.

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December 6, 2014   Comments Off on Singapore: Aquaponic urban farm puts seniors to work

Urban Agriculture Training program for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants to New York City

Zakyat’s friendships at the farm have also led to a job! Brooklyn Grange farm intern Allie directed Zakyat to Tribeca Pediatrics, where she will begin training as a medical assistant.

On two of the world’s largest rooftops farms, the Refugee and Immigrant Fund, in collaboration with Brooklyn Grange, runs the Urban Farm Recovery Project.

By Ellie Lanphier
RSF Social Finance
Nov 14, 2014


Zakyat left her native Togo in West Africa three years ago to join her father in the United States. Upon her arrival in New York she began attending the English Language Learners International School in the Bronx, excelling particularly in her math and science courses. She graduated in June of 2014 after three years of hard work and hopes to go to college someday to study biology.

Zakyat joined RIF’s Urban Farm Recovery Project in March of 2014, balancing her school work with her internship at the farm. She enjoys learning about all the different vegetables and says that the program has improved her confidence to use English.

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December 1, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Training program for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants to New York City

Hope Farms looks to make ‘food desert’ thing of past

Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar poses with students at MacGregor Elementary School, one of several schools around Houston where students grow vegetables and learn about healthy eating. Next Recipe for Success will open Hope Farms in the Sunnyside area, where access to fresh produce is minimal. Michael Paulsen, Staff

“A major piece of Hope Farms is the job training, where we’ve targeted veterans, specifically with an inclination towards homeless veterans”

By Amber Hewitt
Houston CHronicle
Nov 6, 2014


Sunnyside is one example of Houston’s food deserts, where the nearest grocery store is almost twice as far as the nearest convenience store or fast-food restaurant.

Gracie Cavnar, founder of Recipe for Success, knew something had to be done, so she created Hope Farms, a food-access project meant to empower Sunnyside’s residents to provide healthful foods to their children.

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November 17, 2014   Comments Off on Hope Farms looks to make ‘food desert’ thing of past

What the Doctor Ordered: Urban Farming

Community gardens in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven give residents the opportunity to grow their own vegetables. Credit Domingo Medina

It’s not just the doctor saying, ‘You need to eat more vegetables; next patient, please.’ This is about really showing them how to do it and making them part of the process.”

New Haven Farm
By John Hanc
New York Times
Nov 6, 2014


This is hardly the city’s garden spot. Yet alongside the street, on a quarter-acre of land tucked between a muddy parking lot and the Quinnipiac River, a garden does grow; a lush, well-tended vegetable garden, where, on a recent Tuesday, about 35 people, most of them local residents, were busily harvesting carrots and kale that they helped raise.

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November 16, 2014   Comments Off on What the Doctor Ordered: Urban Farming

Toronto/Parkdale urban farming project should be expanded

Eugene Hennie and Amy Ness show off some of the vegetables they have grown in the Co-Op Cred garden in Parkdale.

An innovative project is a win-win for the disadvantaged: it provides work for the unemployed and produce for the local food bank.

By Catherine Porter
Toronto Star
October 19, 2014


Eugene Hennie rushed between the towering buildings of South Parkdale, Amy Ness and me trailing behind.

He had an important meeting to go to.

I’d have to visit the garden quick.

Their Thanksgiving harvest was more than a week ago. These were the hardy fall leftovers — some straggly eggplants, a few overgrown Brussels sprouts.

“You should have seen it two weeks ago,” Hennie said breathlessly. “There were tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers. Oh, it was beautiful. Seeing those plants grow from seed — it was like I was growing.”

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October 25, 2014   Comments Off on Toronto/Parkdale urban farming project should be expanded

The allotment that helps abused and neglected children thrive in Hartlepool, UK

Teenagers help transform Hartlepool Team 34 allotment. Photograph: Kelly Henderson

A team of unemployed teenagers has transformed an abandoned allotment into an oasis with chickens, courgettes and hedgehogs for children and young adults in care

By Maria Evrenos
19 September 2014


The garden, which has been nicknamed A Lot O’ Love, she believes, will be a crucial place for foster children and parents to meet and talk about their experiences. “There is one individual who comes who is quite a troubled young man, and I know for a fact that when his foster carer brings him along it’s making a difference for them as well as him. If he wasn’t coming here, he’d likely to be at home causing havoc. He’s learning by coming here that actions have consequences. If he’s playing up they say that he can’t go to the allotment. They’re using it as a carrot rather than saying ‘you’re grounded’.”

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October 3, 2014   Comments Off on The allotment that helps abused and neglected children thrive in Hartlepool, UK