New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Horticulture Therapy

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

Excerpt:

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   No Comments

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

Excerpt:

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
11.17.17

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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
Patch
Oct 26, 2017

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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
KUOW
Oct 20, 2017

Excerpt:

“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

Marc Gasol, The Great Memphis Grizzlies Center, Grows His Own Fruits And Veggies

From Illustration by Kofong Hsia. WSJ

“The process of growing my own food. It helps mind and body. This is my delicious little heaven.” Marc Gasol.

By Corbin Smith
Sports Vice
Jun 27 2017

Excerpt:

As you can see, here, Marc is gardening in that finest but most thoroughly neglected of excellent gardening clothes: The basketball short and the athletic sandal. The cultural norms of the garden would have most people wearing a pastel cargo, a croc. Marc approaches the soil like an outsider, here. Basketball shorts, nice and breezy, a pair of athletics sandals, and a handsome tank top, allow the Spaniard to really suck the whole of the sunshine into his arms, surprisingly well toned for the offseason.

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October 21, 2017   Comments Off on Marc Gasol, The Great Memphis Grizzlies Center, Grows His Own Fruits And Veggies

Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

Win Men says gardening in the community garden lets him forget his past trauma for a while. (ABC News: Pablo Vinales)

The simple act of gardening at a small Sydney community garden for refugees is one of the things 66-year-old Win Men loves most about his Australian life.

By Pablo Vinales
ABC
Oct 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“I enjoy dong this gardening things here and I am happy to be able to do it in freedom… in my homeland I could not do this freely without fear,” he said.

Mr Men is part of the Karen community, an ethic minority from Myanmar, who was forced to flee his country because of persecution.

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October 13, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

The Food Bank That Doesn’t Just Give Away Food—It Teaches You to Grow It

Former farm staff, Zotero Citlacoatl, and Las Milpitas volunteers in the greenhouse, learning about heritage fruit tree propagation. The fig and pomegranate tree cuttings pictured grew out over the spring and were given to program participants and community partners. Photo © Groundwork Promotions.

This Tucson, Arizona, urban farm brings residents better nutrition and builds community. It’s a win-win.

By Sammi-Jo Lee
Yes Magazine
Sept 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Las Milpitas—a name chosen by the community which means “little fields” or “little gardens” in Spanish—is a few miles from the food bank’s primary distribution and services center. The farm is in a primarily Latino neighborhood on Tucson’s west side, and closely connected to two nearby mobile home communities. It’s also a four-mile drive from the nearest grocery store.

On one part of the six-acre farm, three full-time paid staff members grow produce that later gets included in hot prepared meals for food bank clients or is sold to sustain the farm at the food bank’s SNAP- and WIC-eligible local farm stands.

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October 3, 2017   Comments Off on The Food Bank That Doesn’t Just Give Away Food—It Teaches You to Grow It

For These Urban Farmers, the Harvest Is About More Than Healthy Eating

(Photo by Piper Carter)

Summer is usually the most exciting season for a gardener, but for many of Detroit’s black farmers, the harvest is also about survival.

By Damon Mitchell
Next City
September 12, 2017

Excerpt:

“Farming is a lost art, a skill in black culture that disappeared after the Great Migration,” says Sun. “Now it’s time for us to get those farming skills back. Pass them down to our sons.”

Sun has spent time in both the juvenile and adult prison system, which ultimately ended up connecting him back to the gardening roots he formed as a child.

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September 22, 2017   Comments Off on For These Urban Farmers, the Harvest Is About More Than Healthy Eating

Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

Between September 2008 and September 2011, the USAID Urban Gardens Program reached 34,200 households and over 118,000 direct and indirect orphan and vulnerable children beneficiaries through micro, household, school and community gardens in Ethiopia

By Nicholas Parkinson
Good Food World
October 19th, 2012

Excerpt:

One year later, the group of 55 members—all living with HIV—partnered with USAID Urban Gardens Program for Women and Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (USAID UGP) and began breaking land on a garden near the banks of the Nile River. Meaza had never before been a farmer or a gardener but she vividly remembered watching her father plow a small tract of land in the Ethiopian countryside.

By mid-2010, Maeza took up her new vocation as an urban farmer, and her outlook changed dramatically. In May, the group—known as Kalehiwot—planted corn. The rains came, the crop grew, and bushels of corn were sold on the market.

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September 21, 2017   Comments Off on Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

Mr Harrison believes getting your hands dirty and working closely with nature brings out the best in blokes. (Supplied: Taree Community Garden )

He said he believes his programs have inspired men to open up and engage, not only with their children but other like-minded men.

By Gabrielle Lyons
ABC Mid North Coast
Sept 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Mr Harrison maintains the Taree Community Garden on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

He runs a program in the garden called ‘Dads and Dirt’ aimed at getting men to better connect with their kids in a hands-on environment.

Some of the men in Mr Harrison’s programs are single dads, widowers or suffering with mental health issues.

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September 6, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: ‘Dads and Dirt’ program digging into stronger father-child relationships

UK: The Manchester allotment where refugees and asylum seekers are growing vegetables together

“I think the main things people get from Growing Together Levenshulme are a supportive community and a space to take time away from their difficult and often chaotic lives as asylum seekers.

By Lucy Lovell
Manchester Evening News
Aug 13, 2017

Excerpt:

” In future we’d love to be able to grow the project by opening the garden to participants on more days of the week, which is something they’re really keen for us to do, but in order to do that we’d need more funding and more volunteers.

“At the moment we’re just looking for funding to secure the long term future of the garden so it can continue to benefit asylum seekers and refugees for years to come.”

And what about the future for Emilie?

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August 19, 2017   Comments Off on UK: The Manchester allotment where refugees and asylum seekers are growing vegetables together

Salt Lake City: Two blocks from the Rio Grande homeless shelter, these women found peace and purpose on an urban farm

Eve top dresses a row of tomatoes with fresh compost at the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team farm. (Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune)

That once-blighted 1.5-acre parcel has become a thriving urban farm, and Nikki is back for the first full, 10-month season of Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team.

By Matthew Piper
Salt Lake City Tribune
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Team members earn $9 an hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week and attend Friday classes on job skills. The land is leased by Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency at a cost of $1 per year, and the produce is sold at a cut rate to the Head Start program for disadvantaged children.

Nikki was able to leave the nearby shelter after teammate Ira obtained housing and invited her to become her roommate. For those who are still homeless, The Road Home makes an exception to its 30-day turnout policy and allows them to stay for the full season, uninterrupted.

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August 15, 2017   Comments Off on Salt Lake City: Two blocks from the Rio Grande homeless shelter, these women found peace and purpose on an urban farm