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Category — Horticulture Therapy

San Quentin State Prison – Insight Garden Program (IGP)

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The Garden Class Begins With A Guided Meditation.

“The guys in the program have so many Aha! moments when they learn how growing food and creating gardens can be a solution for healing many systems: social systems, food systems and environmental systems.”

Kalliopeia Foundation
2016

Excerpt:

THE H-UNIT AT San Quentin State Prison just north of San Francisco houses inmates serving sentences under 15 years. Enclosed in a far corner of the barren blacktop expanse sit four raised beds of greens, herbs and ornamental plants. At this green oasis, men enrolled in the Insight Garden Program (IGP) are offered the opportunity to re-envision their lives as fertile ground. Here, inmates dig the soil, plant seeds, pull weeds and spread mulch. Along with this vocational training, they’re also introduced to holistic practices like mindfulness meditation and systems thinking. This unique approach helps inmates connect to self, nature and community, providing a foundation for a healthier life while in prison and after release.

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September 21, 2016   No Comments

Chicago: 28–year-old master gardener started three organic urban farms

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“It definitely keeps you sane when you’re in an urban environment that is sometimes full of conflict.”

By Amy Rutledge
WGN TV
Sept 12, 2016

Excerpt:

While the community is labeled a “food desert,” Stephanie and her helpers – many of them special needs students– teach kids and adults in the neighborhood how to grow food to feed their own families or even supplement their income.

Together with resident Godwin Akpan, who manages a neighborhood food bank, Dunn is spreading healthy food across the area. They’re even hosting their first big farmers market this fall, which they hope sales will raise money to expand the urban gardening and farming initiative.

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September 18, 2016   No Comments

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

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Walking and biking on a gravel trail along the new Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver, BC.

These results “strongly suggest that getting out into natural environments” could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers, Mr. Bratman said.

By Gretchen Reynolds
New York Times
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.

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September 12, 2016   Comments Off on How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Huntington Station garden in Long Island brings vets and veggies together

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Veteran Robert Bishop of Huntington tends to his vegetables at the Gateway Park Community Garden in Huntington Station on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. The community garden has set aside garden beds for former servicemen and -women to grow their own fresh produce. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Long Island has the second highest rate of returning veterans in the United States, according to the Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island.

By Valerie Bauman
NewsDay
Aug 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Pillmeier, 56, is taking advantage of new veterans-only planting beds that opened in June at the Gateway Community Garden in Huntington Station. The project was established through a collaboration between The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center and the Long Island Community Agriculture Network, both based in Huntington Station.

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September 2, 2016   Comments Off on Huntington Station garden in Long Island brings vets and veggies together

Welcome to Tha Flower Factory: Vacant East Baltimore lot blossoms into something beautiful

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waltWalker Marsh created “Tha Flower Factory,” by transforming a vacant lot in East Baltimore into a half-acre full production flower farm. He submitted a winning idea in Baltimore City’s Growing Green Design Competition and hopes to inspire other urban farmers while beautifying the neighborhood, reducing pollution levels and providing job training. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office).

Walker’s idea represents a creative way of thinking about supporting urban agriculture, eliminating blight, reducing stormwater runoff, lowering lead levels, adding a community resource, providing job training and beautifying the city.

By Zoe Zellers
WWMT West Michigan
August 18th 2016

Excerpt:

What happens when residents walk by and see the beauty that has bloomed on their block? What’s their reaction like and how does that make you feel?

Everyone loves it! Folks have seen it from the very beginning when the growers and I were just out there moving rocks around to beautiful sunflowers popping up. I have received nothing but support and it makes me feel accomplished because I know people enjoy what I’m doing.

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August 26, 2016   Comments Off on Welcome to Tha Flower Factory: Vacant East Baltimore lot blossoms into something beautiful

Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis

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The book is a starter guide for growing and using local plants as medicine.

By Author, Bonnie Rose Weaver, and editor, Mari Amend
Kickstarter
Aug 2016

Deeply Rooted includes:

Over 40 original drawings and graphics by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Foreword by San Francisco urban farmer Caitlyn Galloway of Little City Gardens

Essay by Lauren Kaneko-Jones, LAc of SWAP and Well in the West about living in harmony with the seasons -Specific herbal cultivation techniques

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis

NRS Healthcare encourages more people to start gardening no matter their age or ability

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Only 62% of people aged over 65 are involved in gardening.

Excerpt:

To find out whether gardening is a pastime that the older generation already enjoy, NRS Healthcare surveyed 503 people over the age of 65 in the UK asking “Do you garden?” 62% answered that they do.

NRS Healthcare felt that the health benefits of gardening, which include the following, are so far reaching that they should encourage more older people to take up this relatively easy activity:

The number of disabled people in the UK is at just over 10 million. Gardening is a simple exercise that can help to build strength and encourage better physical health gently.

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August 13, 2016   Comments Off on NRS Healthcare encourages more people to start gardening no matter their age or ability

Gardens and health: Implications for policy and practice

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We recommend that the key influencers in the health, environmental, and gardening and horticulture sectors need to come together and develop a stronger joint strategy that will allow them to have a greater influence on policy on gardens and health at the strategic as well as local level, and contribute constructively to debates on sustainability

By David Buck
The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England.
This report was commissioned by the National Gardens Scheme
May 2016

Excerpt:

Executive summary: What this report is about

This report looks at the impact of gardens and gardening on health and wellbeing, and explores what the NHS and the wider health and social care system can do to maximise this impact.
Gardens are often thought of as intimate private spaces attached to private households but they can also be large private or formal gardens open to the public, or part of hospitals, care homes or hospices. Gardens serve many purposes: they can be cultivated for flowers or growing food; used as spaces for exercise, relaxation, solace and recovery; used as places to play, meet and volunteer; and can be part of wider environmental, planning or sustainability policies.

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August 3, 2016   Comments Off on Gardens and health: Implications for policy and practice

Boston Urban Farm that once benefited the homeless now run by fast-food chain

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A tractor and greenhouse are pictured on the farm. Photo Timothy Tai For The Boston Globe.

Before it was abandoned, when hundreds of homeless people, addicts, and troubled teens slept there every night, the island in Boston Harbor had a thriving farm that produced thousands of pounds of organically grown vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, and more.

By David Abel
Boston GLOBE
JULY 25, 2016

Excerpt:

Company officials also said they intend to grow the produce most used at their restaurants — some 40,000 pounds of kale, beets, cabbage, and other vegetables — rather than basing their choice of crops on the community’s needs.

“It’s heartbreaking what’s happening,” said Elissa Nabozny, a former volunteer on the farm.

Nabozny said she doesn’t understand why the city didn’t allow its employees, or a nonprofit group devoted to the homeless, to use the 2.5 acres of farmland. The farm used to be run by Serving Ourselves, a city job-training program for the homeless that focused on agriculture.

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July 30, 2016   Comments Off on Boston Urban Farm that once benefited the homeless now run by fast-food chain

Meet the refugee farmers of Cleveland who are actually making America great again

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The politicians at the Republican National Convention like to depict refugees as terrorists and a danger to American society. But if they took a short trip to the farm, they could get a very different perspective.

By Casey Tolan
Fusion
July 21, 2016

Excerpt:

On the Republican National Convention stage, refugees have been a popular punching bag. Rudy Giuliani said Syrian refugees could be “operatives who are terrorists, who are going to come to Western Europe and here and kill us.” Ted Cruz claimed that the Obama administration was “admitting ISIS terrorists as refugees.”

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July 22, 2016   Comments Off on Meet the refugee farmers of Cleveland who are actually making America great again

Seattle’s International Rescue Committee is helping local refugees rebuild their lives

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The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

By John Sharify
King K5
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s something they grew in Bhutan. It’s not just a green. It’s a piece of home,” says Tyler George-Minette, New Roots Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee for Seattle and Sea Tac.

The Namaste Community Garden he oversees serves the refugee community in the area. The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

“Each family gets one plot,” says Dal Diyali, who moved to the area from Bhutan.

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July 18, 2016   Comments Off on Seattle’s International Rescue Committee is helping local refugees rebuild their lives

Canada: Prison Farms Shut Down By Harper Government May Be Reopened By Liberals

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Pat Kincaid poses for a portrait in Kingston, Ont., on Friday July 8, 2016. Kincaid served 4 1/2 years at the Frontenac Institution where he cared for 120 animals as part of the prison farm. (Photo: Lars Hagberg/CP)

In addition to helping the inmates develop a good work ethic, the farms produced food that was used to feed the prison population as well as supply local food banks, and also helped the local economy as it generated the need for fertilizer, equipment and other supplies, said Peters.

By Diana Mehta
The Canadian Press
07/11/2016

Excerpt:

Pat Kincaid credits the dairy cows on a now-shuttered prison farm in Ontario with teaching him the skills he needed to break a life-long cycle of crime and incarceration.

The 65-year-old Kingston, Ont., resident, who has spent a total of 35 years behind bars for assaults, thefts and other property crimes, hopes other inmates get the chance to benefit from a program the federal Liberal government is now considering reopening.

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July 14, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Prison Farms Shut Down By Harper Government May Be Reopened By Liberals

Community Garden helps Young Mums grow in Victoria, Australia

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youmumL-R: Stacey Horsfall-Rodda, Leyvi, Jet, Regae Gordan and Ash Lanko hope to harvest herbs and vegetables by spring.

“Staff from the horticulture department came along to teach us about soil preparation, watering, fertiliser and the risks and hazards of working in a garden such as wearing hard shoes and keeping our kids buckled in their prams,” Ash says.

By Doseda Hetherington
Swinburne University of Technology
June 27, 2016

Excerpt:

Members of Swinburne’s award-winning Young Mums Program are ready to turn the first sod on their own community garden and plan to harvest beans, chives, parsley and thyme this spring.

Designed and built by the students as part of the program offering a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) to mothers aged 15-20 years at Swinburne’s Croydon campus, the garden is an extension of a study program helping young women take control of their lives.

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July 1, 2016   Comments Off on Community Garden helps Young Mums grow in Victoria, Australia

Ottawa: Angelina Singson says her community garden plot is better than therapy after escaping domestic violence

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Ottawa’s Interval House helped more than 270 women and children escape abuse last year.

By Emma Jackson
Metro
Jun 26 2016

Excerpt:

Angelina Singson kneels in her community garden plot, planting summer squash in a crooked row beside an overgrown fence.

Like her vegetables, this is where Singson thrives: in the garden, making things grow.

“Why should I go to therapy, when I get free tomatoes from the garden?” she said. “You work it, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. There’s no better therapy than that.”

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June 30, 2016   Comments Off on Ottawa: Angelina Singson says her community garden plot is better than therapy after escaping domestic violence

Immigrant students dig into learning English at Halifax urban farm

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redhalifNew Canadian students at Citadel High School are learning English while working on an urban farm. Many of the students arrived from Syria this winter and are connecting with their new community by volunteering at Common Roots Urban Farm. See video on the site.

“They love Canada, they understand that they are here to have another chance and they are really thankful,” said Majaess.

By Alexa MacLean
CBC
June 7, 2016

Excerpt:

“The kids are coming once a week to help out and be involved. It’s great because so many of them have a farming background,” Melrose said.

The urban farm opened up in 2012 on the former site of Queen Elizabeth High School.

Part of the produce grown by the students is donated to the food bank.

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June 13, 2016   Comments Off on Immigrant students dig into learning English at Halifax urban farm