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Category — Land

Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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An aerial view of Yedikule gardens.

Istanbul is struggling to keep its centuries-old farming plots due to the drive for modernisation. Dozens of farmers face being kicked off the land they have cultivated for generations.

By Van Meguerditchian
The Observers
Feb 5, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Yedikule (“Castle of the Seven Towers”) gardens, planted and taken care of by local farmers for generations, are located right outside the old city walls in the southern tip of European Istanbul. The area is a UNESCO-protected site that contains the old walls that guarded what was then Constantinople from outside invaders.

After losing most of their storage areas and sheds in January, when city authorities dismantled them by force, the farmers and their families now fear they will lose their gardens by this spring – and that Istanbul’s city center will lose its 1,500-year-old agricultural practice.

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February 6, 2016   No Comments

Crew moves forward with construction plans on UC Berkeley-owned farmland amid protest

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Photo by Tracy Lam/File.

“It’s some of the last remaining arable soil in the metropolitan East Bay Area,” said Occupy the Farm member and UC Berkeley alumna Susan Park. “It’s historic farmland and has never formally been developed.”

By Cassandra Vogel
Daily Californian
Jan 21, 2016

Excerpt:

“We believe that farmland is for farming,” said Occupy the Farm member and UC Berkeley alumnus Gustavo Oliveira. “This is also about the priorities of research at the university and the priorities of development for us as a society — urban agriculture and agroecology are necessary now more than ever.”

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January 27, 2016   Comments Off on Crew moves forward with construction plans on UC Berkeley-owned farmland amid protest

Uprooted Encinitas city farmer plotting his next move

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enci
Ryan “Farmer Leo” Goldsmith has grown crops for more than two years at 1920 S. El Camino Real in Encinitas. But he’s moving out of Encinitas due to a planned senior facility at the property. — Courtesy photo.

Goldsmith knew when he signed the year-to-year lease in fall 2013 that the land could be sold, although that happened sooner than anticipated.

By Jared Whitlock
Encinitas Advocate
Jan. 5, 2016

Excerpt:

Goldsmith said he loves Encinitas, but he ruled out launching another farm in the city or surrounding San Diego County, in part because of the lack of rain.

The water situation has been especially tough ever since July, when Goldsmith voluntarily cut back water use 15 percent to help the city meet a state conservation mandate. Plus, water rates went up for farmers.

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January 7, 2016   Comments Off on Uprooted Encinitas city farmer plotting his next move

Food Forestry North of the 49th

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Over twenty years, Walker transformed a degraded three-acre property into the first food forest in Canada.

By Richard Walker
2015

Food forest gardening is a food production and land management system based on replicating woodland ecosystems, but substituting food trees (such as fruit or nut trees), bushes, shrubs, herbs and vegetables, which have yields directly useful to humans as well as pollinator insect species. By using the premise of “companion planting”, these can be intermixed to grow on multiple levels in the same area, as do plants in a forest. Food forestry both traps carbon and stores water, mitigating climate and its effects.

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December 28, 2015   Comments Off on Food Forestry North of the 49th

Urban farming has taken off in Atlanta. But it can be tough to find a place to grow roots.

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K. Rashid Nuri has overseen Truly Living Well’s Old Fourth Ward farm for five years. By Erik Meadows.

Conventional agriculture is already subsidized, he argues. Just look at federal cash farm subsidies, or public universities’ ag research and development. So why shouldn’t an urban farming model include support for the farmer, too, he asks.

By Maggie Lee
Creative Loafing
Dec 9, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s a conundrum: Residents are getting more and more interested in eating local, fresh vegetables. But farmers often lease the land where the crops are grown. And when people with bucks and bulldozers come along, the farms are faced with finding a new place to plant.

Atlanta’s investments in urban farming over the years help make creative solutions possible, says Georgia Organics’ James Carr. “But with several iconic farms in Atlanta being forced to leave their soil despite all of their hard work and sweat equity, the time for solutions is now,” he says.

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December 14, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farming has taken off in Atlanta. But it can be tough to find a place to grow roots.

Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction

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muddy
Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes.

Urban farms and community gardens have been a celebrated trend for years, but as more people look to live and work in central cities, growers says it’s harder to find and remain on land now sought by developers.

By Scott Mcfetridge
Associated Press
November 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Urban farms like Clark’s are being evicted from center cities across the nation where they’ve become a much-remarked-on driver of urban revival in recent years, having brought healthy food, commerce and eye-pleasing greenery to dreary neighborhoods. During the recession, downtown landowners and leaders offered up plots for free to get new vitality on empty streets.

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December 2, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farmers find that success leads to eviction

Report: Protect Ontario farmland by freezing urban boundaries

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ontf
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne takes part in a plowing competition during the International Plowing Match in Finch, Ont. The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick.

Urban sprawl, and the accompanying lack of agricultural understanding thanks to a growing urban-rural divide, the report said, has led to conflict between farmers and urban dwellers.

By Kelsey Johnson
iPolitics
Nov 24, 2015

Excerpt:

“If we want to support a local food economy, we need to give farmers certainty that their land is protected and valued,” Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Don McCabe said in a release, Tuesday.

“The current provincial land-use planning rules see farmland as development land in waiting. This discourages investment in farm businesses and fails to recognize agriculture as a long-term economic activity,” McCabe said.

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December 1, 2015   Comments Off on Report: Protect Ontario farmland by freezing urban boundaries

Agrihood: Moving next to the farm

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Agrihoods are popping up like peppers coast-to-coast. The Cannery, near Sacramento, has a 7.5-acre farm. Prairie Crossing outside Chicago is anchored by a 100-acre farm.

CBS
Nov 22, 2015
(Must see! Mike)

Excerpt:

He was nervous about urban sprawl, and decided to develop a community his way. Today, Serenbe has 1,000 acres. Its clusters of homes are surrounded by walking trails and horse stables. But at the center of it all: 25 acres set aside for agriculture.

“The first 20 lots that I priced were sold in 48 hours,” said Hygren. “And the next group [was] sold in about six weeks. So I realized that there was actually the market demand for what we were talking about.”

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November 23, 2015   Comments Off on Agrihood: Moving next to the farm

Urban Farms: Emerging Trends in Real Estate in Canada and the United States 2016

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emrge

What is the “trend” here? Are we likely to see barns and silos dotting our cityscapes? No, that is hardly the point. What is important—and trending—is the new vision that has urban land as that most precious and flexible of resources. The idea that the end of one productive use of a real estate asset spells the extinction of value and the sunsetting of opportunity is an idea whose time is over.

Author: Hugh F. Kelly
Senior Advisers:
Christopher J. Potter, PwC, Canada, Miriam Gurza, PwC, Canada, Frank Magliocco, PwC, Canada
Study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Insitute (ULI)
2015
(Must See. Mike!)

Excerpt:

7. Food Is Getting Bigger and Closer

This may be the ultimate in niche property types: adaptive use with a vengeance (or at least with veggies).

The classic theory of urban places relegates agriculture to the hinterlands, as virtually every kind of vertical construction has superior “highest-and-best-use” characteristics, bringing greater investment returns to land value than growing food. This is absolutely true in most cases. But there are places in more cities than we might imagine where neighborhood land is cheap or older buildings sit idle, and where median incomes are low and the need for fresh food is high. Some are the “hollowed out” areas of Detroit as well as Camden and Newark, New Jersey. But there is a surprisingly significant level of activity in places like Brooklyn, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., where “foodies” of all generations abound.

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November 23, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farms: Emerging Trends in Real Estate in Canada and the United States 2016

Spanish shepherds guide 2,000 sheep through Madrid’s streets

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shemadr

Shepherds have held the right since at least 1273 to use droving routes across land that used to be open fields before Madrid became a sprawling metropolis.

Associated Press
Oct 25, 2015

MADRID (AP) — Spanish shepherds have led 2,000 sheep through the streets of Madrid in defense of age-old droving, grazing and migration rights that are increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and fenced-in pastures.

Tourists and children were surprised to see wide avenues blocked off in the Spanish capital to let the woolly parade — bleating loudly and clanking bells — cross the city, accompanied by sheepdogs.

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November 17, 2015   Comments Off on Spanish shepherds guide 2,000 sheep through Madrid’s streets

Midtown Reno’s urban farm closing, seeks new spot

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Lyndsey Langsdale, left, and Toni Ortega, owners of the Lost City Farm, hold seedlings. RGJ File Photo.

Reno Councilman David Bobzien said he wants to find out if the city owns any available parcels they could lease to Lost City Farm before next planting season

By Mike Higdon
mhigdon@rgj.com
Nov 6, 2016

Excerpt:

“Times are changing and land values are on the rise,” Lyndsey Langsdale and Toni Ortega wrote on Lost City Farm homepage. “Our local economy is on an upswing which is great for many reasons, but unfortunately has forced us to turn a new page for Lost City Farm.”

Lost City Farm grew vegetables, herbs and flowers in the middle of Reno for their on-site stand, local restaurants and Great Basin Community Food Co-op over the last three years. They also created community workshops and lectures at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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November 13, 2015   Comments Off on Midtown Reno’s urban farm closing, seeks new spot

Prince Charles calls on city dwellers to support the ‘invisible’ farming industry

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chucky

The heir to the throne, who is himself a farmer, says it is easy for those who live in urban areas to forget how much the UK depends on those who have farmed the land for generations.

By Rebecca English
Royal Correspondent For The Daily Mail
10 November 2015

Excerpt:

‘Regardless of which member or members of the family are actively involved in running the farm, their husbands, wives, partners and children help to keep alive schools, shops, pubs, transport, local entertainment, charities and all the other services that rural society needs if it is to thrive.

‘Small farms tend to be the repositories of vital genetic diversity through the breeding of pedigree and native breeds of livestock, and heritage varieties of vegetables, cereals and fruit.

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November 11, 2015   Comments Off on Prince Charles calls on city dwellers to support the ‘invisible’ farming industry

‘Cities and the Environment’ publishes: “Urban Vacant Land and Community Access”

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toma

Current Issue: Volume 8, Issue 2 (2015)

Excerpt:

Transformation of Urban Vacant Lots for the Common Good: an Introduction to the Special Issue

Peleg Kremer, Villanova UniversityFollow
Zoé Hamstead, The New School

Vacant land is a common condition in urban areas across the globe. Individuals, organizations, government agencies and scholars across the world are advocating, transforming, and governing urban vacant land in many different ways. This special issue builds on the Vacant Acres Symposium that was hosted by 596 Acres and The Tishman Environment and Design Center in New York, NY in April 2014, to understand the multiple ways in which these activities are taking place and share the lessons they offer by tapping into the knowledge and experiences of practitioners and scholarship focused on the work of transformation.

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October 19, 2015   Comments Off on ‘Cities and the Environment’ publishes: “Urban Vacant Land and Community Access”

The different facets in the relationship between urban agriculture and placemaking.

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palcSpark Park at Kendall. By Elizabeth Rogers Drouillard.

In 1800, more than 75% of the American population made their income directly or indirectly from agriculture. Today, that percentage is approximately 2%, and less than half of those actually make a living wage from their farm.

By Levi Gardner
The Rapidian
Oct 6th, 2015

Excerpt:

Drive through the city to see abandoned lots with a “For Sale” sign, and you are faced with a fascinating conundrum. Inquire from a real estate agency the value of that property and they will de facto respond with its financial value. They may value the property with its worth as a building, a parking lot or green space. But they will likely not respond with its worth with any other metric than one that has a dollar sign attached to it.

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October 14, 2015   Comments Off on The different facets in the relationship between urban agriculture and placemaking.

The Atlantic: A green, neatly trimmed symbol of the American dream has outlived its purpose

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lawnturf

“We’re in a new era,” Governor Jerry Brown explained. “The idea of nicely green grass fed by water every day—that’s going to be a thing of the past.”

By Megan Garber
The Atlantic
Aug 30, 2015

Excerpt:

California, drought notwithstanding, remained home to stretches of imported greenery—around homes, around malls, atop golf courses dotting the desert with their false oases.

A2005 NASA study derived from satellite imaging—the most recent such study available—found that turf grasses took up nearly 2 percent of the entire surface of the continental U.S. And that was including the vast stretches of land that remained undeveloped.

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September 5, 2015   Comments Off on The Atlantic: A green, neatly trimmed symbol of the American dream has outlived its purpose