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Category — Horticulture Therapy

Darius Jones: A Hard-knock Teen Turned Urban Farmer in Chicago

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Darius Jones with easter egg radishes.

Jones knows from experience that urban farming is a tranquil space that is welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds. It was also calming to a kid who needed a way out.

By Christopher Nelson
NBC News
Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt:

As a teen growing up on Chicago’s West Side, Darius Jones got in trouble with the law.

He pleaded guilty to a felony and spent two years locked up. But the time spent at Cook County Jail led him to a garden boot camp. And that garden program led him to his life’s work: urban agriculture.

“The only reason I wanted to work for the garden was because, over the two years of sitting in max, I only went outside twice,” said Jones, who grew up in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. “It helped me reflect on life. It helped me to reevaluate my situation.”

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February 13, 2017   No Comments

Chicago Hospital Rooftop Farm toured 70 people – leadership and CEOs from hospitals across the country

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They loved giving back and connecting with the community. A few of the attendees had never planted in a garden before, so they welcomed getting their hands dirty after sitting in meetings.

Weiss Memorial Hospital
Jan. 2017

Excerpt:

The farm and Uptown Farmers Market at Weiss began in 2009. Nearly 30,000 visitors, including 700 children from local schools and Chicago Park District camps, have stopped by for tours. Soup kitchens and food pantries receive food donations regularly, and chefs from five restaurants in Uptown shop the market. The initiative also won Weiss the 2011 Governor’s Hometown Award.

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February 6, 2017   Comments Off on Chicago Hospital Rooftop Farm toured 70 people – leadership and CEOs from hospitals across the country

Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California

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Damien Cipio (left) and Pac Rucker tend the crops at East Bay enterprise Dig Deep Farms, which is partly funded by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

There are almost too many food-justice programs to name. They include urban farming nonprofits such as Acta Non Verba, Phat Beets and City Slicker Farms, as well as social enterprises like Youth UpRising’s Corners Cafe and a startup called Town Kitchen, which trains young people from low-income communities and delivers box lunches to offices and conferences.

By Jonathan Kauffman
San Francisco Chronicle
December 27, 2016

Excerpt:

News of a Bay Area chef with a farm barely raises an eyebrow these days. But when Sarah Kirnon became the social-enterprise director of Dig Deep Farms four months ago, she wasn’t out to cultivate premium ingredients for her Oakland restaurant, Miss Ollie’s. She had a bigger mission in mind.

The 6-year-old farm, which has 8 acres in the hills above San Leandro, isn’t just a source for organic radishes, greens and carrots. It is funded in part by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and many of the farmers who tend its citrus trees and lush fields were once incarcerated.

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January 4, 2017   Comments Off on Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California

A Garden Helps Heal a Family in New York

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Sheila Young in the Padre Plaza/Success Garden on St. Ann’s Avenue in the Bronx. Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times.

“It’s not just about teaching people about fresh fruits and vegetables, but about working together to get things done,” Mr. Young said. “It might sound crazy, but this place minimizes negative, outside forces and builds our community.”

By Emily Palmer
New York Times
Dec. 23, 2016

Excerpt:

The family has seen the healing power of the garden. Weak after his heart surgery, Mr. Young, now 55, rebuilt his strength tilling vegetables and finding a way to use his carpentry skills outside of a full-time job. When his health permits, he still volunteers daily in the garden. Jada took pride in every plant, memorizing all the varieties and building her confidence and self-worth, which has manifested itself in better grades this school year.

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December 23, 2016   Comments Off on A Garden Helps Heal a Family in New York

Toronto: FoodShare’s horticultural therapy program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health gets to the root of things

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Jamie works in the garden behind CAMH’s Queen West location. Photo by Michelle Da Silva.

Food and mental health grow together at CAMH’s Sunshine Garden

By Michelle Da Silva
Now
Sept 20, 2016

Excerpt:

In Canada, horticultural therapy has been popular for decades. The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association was formed in the 1980s and now has nearly 200 members. According to the CHTA, gardening therapy is used in a variety of settings beyond facilities like CAMH, including nursing homes, rehabilitation centres and correctional facilities.

Phyllis Wong, an occupational therapist who runs an in-patient anxiety unit at CAMH, has recommended clients to the Sunshine Garden program. She says horticultural therapy is effective, depending on a client’s readiness, because it engages the whole person – seeing, being and doing.

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December 11, 2016   Comments Off on Toronto: FoodShare’s horticultural therapy program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health gets to the root of things

Tasmania: Students living with disability hone skills through volunteering in community garden

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The students visit supportive accommodation units once a week to maintain the garden. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)

“For people with a disability I guess to actually master something that you can do — and you can do well — is really exciting,” Ms Jacobs said.

By Fred Hooper
ABC Northern Tasmania
Nov 30, 2016

Excerpt:

“It was actually quite natural to bring them out into the community so they can use the skills they’ve learnt at school in the community garden for the benefit of other people.”

One of the students working on the vegetable patch was Nathan, who said he enjoyed planting, weeding and watering the garden.

“I work in the garden school, I’m very clever,” Nathan said.

“I’m digging a hole and then I pull the plant out of the container and then put it in the hole and then put the soil back in and then put some hay or something around it and then it’s done.”

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December 5, 2016   Comments Off on Tasmania: Students living with disability hone skills through volunteering in community garden

1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver

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backyardfarmer1987621 Click on image for larger file. (L-R) Barbara Raynor, Greg Birdsall, Paula Ford and Michael Levenston stand amid the beginnings of a “demonstration garden” for handicapped people, which will be situated within a garden located at Sixth and Maple. The new garden will feature raised beds and easy access for the handicapped. Jim Harrison Photo.

City Farmer brought together Raynor and Kuchta, acting as consultants, with landscape architect Mary-Jane McKay and carpenter Greg Birdsall to put together a demonstration garden specially designed for the handicapped to work in and learn from.

By Lucill Dahm
Vancouver Courier
Aug 16, 1987

You just can’t hold a determined green thumb down._

Although Barbara Raynor, 52, developed rheumatoid arthritis 15 years ago, eventually leaving her with two artificial knees and a “narrowing lifestyle,” she has been able to create and maintain a backyard “urban garden.”

Aside from the very noteworthy feat of actually accomplishing the carpentry hobby off the ground, Raynor has used the unique perspective of a disabled person to open the door to an activity previously denied to a person without the full use of his or her body.

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November 6, 2016   Comments Off on 1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver

‘Like finding a treasure’: Community garden grows work opportunities in St. John’s, Newfoundland

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The Transition Employment team at the Elaine Dobbin Centre shows off its potato harvest. (Krissy Holmes/CBC)

“I find it a bit hard, but it’s good work for me,” says Transitions Employment Program client

By Marilyn Boone
CBC News
Oct 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“Everything you can see — the fencing, the beds, the garden plots — have all been made by my transitions kids who are here to learn about work.”

The community garden has grown to 40 beds, producing berries and vegetables, as well as spuds. Some of the produce is used at the Pantry cafe inside the Elaine Dobbin Centre, and four beds of potatoes go to a food bank at Bridges to Hope.

“Horticultural therapy” is how Marshall described it.

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October 29, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Like finding a treasure’: Community garden grows work opportunities in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Two friends, one garden plot: families from Russia and Ukraine grow together in Orem, Utah

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Katya Ivie, left, from Russia and Maryna Akhtyrska from Ukraine are friends who shared a garden plot this summer at a community garden in Orem.

This is the third in a four-part series of articles about a local community garden and how people from around the globe met and learned each other’s stories while working the soil.

By Laura Giles
Day Herald
Oct 7, 2016

Excerpt:

At the garden this summer, Katya enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with Russian and Ukrainian friends while they all worked in their plots. They also helped each other if one was away on vacation or could not make it to the garden that day.

“Growing plants is the same as growing kids – lots of hard work,” Katya said. “It was interesting to see the people from different countries and what they grew,” she said about the community garden. “The whole season here is very dry. We have to water almost every day. In Russia, we only have to water maybe twice a week at most,” she said.

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October 13, 2016   Comments Off on Two friends, one garden plot: families from Russia and Ukraine grow together in Orem, Utah

Philippines: Retired Police Officer Wants to Use Square Foot Gardening to Rehabilitate Drug Offenders

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orst
CAGAYAN DE ORO. Retired police officer Honorio Cervantes in his organic farm at Zone 5, Barangay Pagatpat, this city. An advocate of square foot gardening, he dreams that his gardening method will be a model project to the youth and even former drug personalities.

“As a farmer, I have this movement I call FAITH which means ‘Food Always in the Home’.

By Abigail Viguella
Sun Star
Oct 1, 2016

Excerpt:

A retired city police director and a barangay kagawad, Cervantes is aware of the inevitable dilemma of drug dependents who have already surrendered. The square foot urban gardening may be a venue for recovery and reconciliation with one’s self, he noted.

“It is amazing how far this project has come. Agriculture specialists, agriculture majors, and even common farming enthusiasts are now coming to my farm just to have me discuss this method to them,” said Cervantes.

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October 6, 2016   Comments Off on Philippines: Retired Police Officer Wants to Use Square Foot Gardening to Rehabilitate Drug Offenders

UK: Recovering addicts grow confidence at Newcastle allotment plot

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Andrew Gibson, left, and Dan Norman in the polytunnel they have built as part of the garden project. Picture: Malcolm Hart.

The aim of the garden is to get people involve healthy activities and build their confidence.

By Jack Furness
The Sentinel
September 26, 2016

Excerpt:

One of the volunteers, Andrew Gibson, has been taken on by the centre full-time to maintain the plot.

The 38-year old, from Newcastle, said: “I wanted to give something back. I was a hopeless drug addict and an alcoholic and my life wasn’t really worth living until I came into rehab.

“I started taking drugs when I was 13 and took them all of the way through my adult life. And when I was 30, alcohol started to become a major problem.

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October 3, 2016   Comments Off on UK: Recovering addicts grow confidence at Newcastle allotment plot

San Quentin State Prison – Insight Garden Program (IGP)

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medits
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   Comments Off on San Quentin State Prison – Insight Garden Program (IGP)

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

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

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grenw
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