Category — Horticulture Therapy
Walker 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
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.
August 26, 2016 Comments Off on Welcome to Tha Flower Factory: Vacant East Baltimore lot blossoms into something beautiful
The book is a starter guide for growing and using local plants as medicine.
By Author, Bonnie Rose Weaver, and editor, Mari Amend
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
August 23, 2016 Comments Off on Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis
Only 62% of people aged over 65 are involved in gardening.
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.
August 13, 2016 Comments Off on NRS Healthcare encourages more people to start gardening no matter their age or ability
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
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.
August 3, 2016 Comments Off on Gardens and health: Implications for policy and practice
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
JULY 25, 2016
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.
July 30, 2016 Comments Off on Boston Urban Farm that once benefited the homeless now run by fast-food chain
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
July 21, 2016
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.”
July 22, 2016 Comments Off on Meet the refugee farmers of Cleveland who are actually making America great again
The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.
By John Sharify
July 14, 2016
“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.
July 18, 2016 Comments Off on Seattle’s International Rescue Committee is helping local refugees rebuild their lives
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
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.
July 14, 2016 Comments Off on Canada: Prison Farms Shut Down By Harper Government May Be Reopened By Liberals
“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
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.
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
Ottawa’s Interval House helped more than 270 women and children escape abuse last year.
By Emma Jackson
Jun 26 2016
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.”
June 30, 2016 Comments Off on Ottawa: Angelina Singson says her community garden plot is better than therapy after escaping domestic violence
New 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
June 7, 2016
“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.
June 13, 2016 Comments Off on Immigrant students dig into learning English at Halifax urban farm
Kerry Gold, head of dining services and chef for New Milford Hospital, stands next to an aeroponic tower, one of several in a rooftop garden at the hospital on Tuesday.
Photo: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media.
New Milford Hospital in Connecticut champions food as preventive medicine through homegrown meals.
By Genevieve Diesing
Hospitals and Health Networks
June 6, 2016
With a focus on seasonal, unprocessed food and a classically trained chef at the kitchen’s helm, New Milford’s menu resembles that of a chic, farm-to-table restaurant rather than a typical hospital cafeteria: The vegetable dish will depend on what was picked from its rooftop garden that day, or what it received from the nine local farms from which it regularly sources ingredients. The finished product is a healthful menu (a typical dessert is a chickpea chocolate cake, for instance) that New Milford’s patients, staff and community have come to love.
“Often, patients will be discharged, and will ask if they can stay for lunch,” says Chef Kerry Gold.
June 12, 2016 Comments Off on How a Rooftop Garden, Local Farming Helped One Hospital Boost Patient Satisfaction
A licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles unwinds in her garden
By Tara Fass
May 31, 2016
Ultimately, urban farming is a good hobby and break from my profession. What better way to unplug, to ritualize growing with companion and pooch in tow. Berries ripen in bursts and when they do picking can be done at least twice a day. The subtle pop as the ripened fruit gently falls into one’s palm is exciting beyond imagination. Searching the leaves for fruit, I better understand a hunter’s delight.
June 4, 2016 Comments Off on Mulberry Diaries: Tales of Urban Farming
The environmental benefits of urban farming get even more complicated when we consider indoor “vertical farms,” which are often touted as a sustainable option that use less soil and water. Although designs differ, some of these set-ups can use an enormous amount of energy, especially if they require artificial lighting.
By Brad Plumer
May 16, 2016
“It’s hard to make sweeping generalizations here,” Santo told me. When designed right, urban farms can make some modest but valuable improvements to the sustainability of our food system. But when designed poorly, they can end up being even worse for the environment — say, if they’re using fertilizer inefficiently and polluting nearby waters with nitrogen run-off.
In our conversation, Santo mentioned one feature of urban farms that often gets shortchanged in dry policy discussions: “They can reconnect people with how to grow food.”
May 22, 2016 Comments Off on The real value of urban farming. (Hint: It’s not always the food.)
Vacant Lots To Vibrant Plot
By Raychel Santo Anne Palmer Brent Kim
John Hopkins Centre for Liveable Future
(Must see. Mike)
Recommendations for framing the merits of urban agriculture.
Urban agriculture should be evaluated for the multifaceted nature of its outcomes – social, health, environmental, and economic – and not merely for its potential outputs in terms of food production or economic development measures.
The list below offers a number of evidence-based talking points for advocates seeking to advance urban agriculture policy and programs:
1) Urban agriculture’s most significant benefits center around its ability to increase social capital, community well-being, and civic engagement with the food system.
May 9, 2016 Comments Off on A Review Of The Benefits And Limitations Of Urban Agriculture