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Category — Land

Oakland Spring Rising

40 Farms in 40 Days to grow 100 pounds for 400,000 residents of Oakland.

By Kris Stewart
The Pioneer
May 13, 2015


Leader of the Oakland Spring Rising revolution and farmer, David Grefrath, got his start as a farmer in New Orleans. Grefrath says the goal is to grow 100 pounds of food for 400,000 people per year using vacant lots throughout the city. “It’s really just to get a farm started or give a community garden a good lift,” said Grefrath.

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May 21, 2015   No Comments

New Taipei City farmers offer plots to city-dwellers


Urban farmers could “kill two birds with one stone,” by producing healthy, homegrown vegetables while obtaining some full-body exercise at the same time, he said.

By Lin Hsin-han and Chen Wei-han
Taipei Times
May 11, 2015


For city-dwellers who want to try organic agriculture, farms and groves in New Taipei City’s Shuangsi District are available for rent — with farm help also obtainable for a small charge — including routine farmwork and a daily photographic update of growing produce via messaging app Line.

Against the backdrop of the recurring food scares the nation has seen, Shuangsi District Director Chen Chi-cheng said that homegrown food is the safest, but city residents are hard-pressed to find even a small plot of arable land in urban areas.

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May 19, 2015   No Comments

The Race is on to Find Britain’s Best Lawn 2015

best lawn
Second place: The 2014 runner up, Stuart Grindle, pictured with wife Anne, mows his lawn twice a day, three times a week.

First prize is: £5,000 cash prize and a new Atco Clipper lawnmower, powered by a Briggs & Stratton petrol engine

The Daily Mail
May 9, 2015


The Mail on Sunday is delighted to join with Briggs & Stratton in sponsoring the competition in this its tenth year – to bring green-fingered readers this fabulous opportunity to win prizes and praise for their hours of dedicated hard work.

Of course a garden isn’t only a thing of beauty. Those devoted to their little slice of nature also enjoy better health.

Cutting a quarter acre of lawn with a walk-behind lawnmower can burn up to 340 calories an hour and it’s also a recognized source of stress relief – unless you’re the family of 2014 runner up Stuart Grindle who put Keep Off the Grass signs on his lawn to prevent his family unwittingly destroying it.

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May 18, 2015   No Comments

Infographic: Comparison of Rural Land Prices Around the World

landprClick on image TWICE for larger file.

Produced by The Irish Farmers Journal

Link here.

May 7, 2015   Comments Off on Infographic: Comparison of Rural Land Prices Around the World

Hong Kong to acquire 80 hectares of land to create the city’s first agricultural park.


It would likely boost the annual amount of local produce by 25 per cent to about 20,400 tonnes, equivalent to a value of about HK$200 million.

SCMP Editorial
Jan 5, 2015


With more than 90 per cent of fresh produce coming from the mainland, there would seem little to be gained from the idea. Farming is a fickle business, being governed by the weather and seasons and requiring costly equipment and fertiliser. Land for housing and recreation is in short supply. Setting aside space to grow what can already be obtained for reasonable prices elsewhere would appear to make little sense. With the government’s compensation rate for farmland presently at HK$808 per square foot, acquiring the 80 hectares would cost, by the Post’s estimates, at least HK$7 billion.

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January 14, 2015   Comments Off on Hong Kong to acquire 80 hectares of land to create the city’s first agricultural park.

Asheville City’s Patchwork Urban Farms Fundraiser – North Carolina

The goal of this project is to raise $40,000


Itemized Budget:

Soil Bank – animals
Integrate small animals as soil building systems

Soil Bank – microbes
Fix our backpack sprayer, and fund our microscope and soil microbiology montoring so we can bring soil biology to super-vibrancy

Soil Bank – biochar
Research and Development of an urban biochar facility

Soil Bank –
OM Organic Matter additions to soil

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January 11, 2015   Comments Off on Asheville City’s Patchwork Urban Farms Fundraiser – North Carolina

Are your urban veggies really toxic?


The New York State Department of Health, along with those same soil-researchers at Cornell, put together a list of 10 best practices for healthy gardening in and around contaminated urban soils.

By Liz Core
21 Nov 2014


Vigil told me that the farms have soil tested every year for lead levels, and the results have always come out safe. So when the press started railing against the toxic dangers of his veggies, Vigil was put off (OK, he was royally ticked). He wrote an open letter about what’s really going on and how urban farmers are handling soil toxins. Here’s a taste:

In the past two years we have partnered with the Department of Sanitation to distribute over 5,000 bags of NYC Compost to East New York gardens, and applied over 10 cubic yards of new compost to our farm.

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December 11, 2014   Comments Off on Are your urban veggies really toxic?

First Generation Farmers’ Farm Incubator Program

Our nonprofit community farm wants to launch one of the largest incubator programs in the country to train younger farmers.

By Alli Cecchini
Dec 2, 2014

Excerpt from Kickstarter:

Have a small demonstration garden plus 50 acres of fertile, irrigated land in California’s East Bay Area. Right now we’re farming winter crops on five acres but we want to take full advantage of our land.

Provide weekly hands-on organic farming activities at our demonstration garden with special needs adults and high schoolers and host field trips.

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December 7, 2014   Comments Off on First Generation Farmers’ Farm Incubator Program

Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

Painting bycCarrie Marill.

Only five per cent of Ontario’s land base is suitable for farming and we are losing agriculturally productive land at an alarming rate. According to Statistics Canada, we lost 260,000 hectares of farmland between 2006 and 2011. Our food security depends on us protecting farmlands for future generations.

Greenbelt Program Manager
Environmental Defence
Nov 18, 2014


Consider the case of Vaughan resident and farm owner Gilllian Evans. Located in the Greenbelt, Gill’s family farm has been in the family for generations. The farm is right next door, to a proposed housing development. The development includes land within the Greenbelt but as the development application pre-dated the Greenbelt legislation it can go ahead. Gill has been trying to gain support from Vaughan Council to provide buffers between the new housing development and her existing farm.

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November 26, 2014   Comments Off on Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Which Neighborhoods in Chicago Have the Most Gardens

University of Illinois researchers analyzed high-resolution satellite images found and found more than 4,000 gardens in the city, and plotted them on a map.

“We decided to scan the entire land area of Chicago looking for gardens that hadn’t been reported on any list: backyard gardens, utility right of ways and other things that I could see in Google Earth.”

By Casey Cora
DNA Info
October 28, 2014


In addition to the residential gardens, researchers identified community gardens, urban farms and gardens outside schools. Factor those in and the number of Chicago’s food-producing gardens swells to 4,648 — and that’s not counting the small gardens invisible to Google Earth.

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October 28, 2014   Comments Off on First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Which Neighborhoods in Chicago Have the Most Gardens

Urban Farms Disappearing in the Goleta Valley


Environmental benefits provided by urban agriculture include decreased resource consumption and consequently, less waste.

Environmental Defense Center
Sept 24, 2014


This report focuses on the importance of protecting the few remaining parcels of agriculture within the urban boundaries of the Eastern Goleta Valley. “There are benefits to urban agriculture being located adjacent to homes, schools, transportation centers, etc. (e.g. local job creation, reducing the heat island effect, reductions in storm water runoff, and the health benefits of having fresh locally grown food available).

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October 2, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Farms Disappearing in the Goleta Valley

Santa Fe Urban farm creates Land Trust to preserve land and affordable housing for future generations

This 3.5-acre rental property is now threatened with foreclosure

Excerpt from Indiegogo site:

Since 2012 we have been operating Gaia Gardens, a nonprofit certified organic farm, on a leased parcel of land in Santa Fe. With the support of a large group of friends and neighbors, we have turned a parched and neglected landscape into a colorful urban oasis, cultivating an acre of land in the middle of town and galvanizing a powerful community around it. This 3.5-acre rental property is now threatened with foreclosure. To preserve this unique piece of land, continue our educational mission and provide affordable housing for future generations, we intend to buy the farm property and hold it clear of real estate speculation. To do so, we have created the Mil Abrazos (One Thousand Hugs) Community Land Trust, a nonprofit, to purchase the property.

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September 20, 2014   Comments Off on Santa Fe Urban farm creates Land Trust to preserve land and affordable housing for future generations

The Hidden Dangers of Lead in Urban Gardens

Click on image for larger file. Fig. 1. A vacant lot urban farm highlighting abiotic challenges of urban agriculture, including: elevated atmospheric concentrations of industrial pollutants (A), elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from traffic emissions (B), contaminated storm water runoff (C), Pb-contaminated soils adjacent to aging housing stock (e.g., paint chips) (D), soils contaminated by heavy metals and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (E), unpredictable access to municipal water sources (F), potentially contaminated recycled water sources (e.g., rainwater harvesting) (G), reduced light and wind speed due to the built environment (H), increased mechanical heat (e.g., air conditioners) (I), and increased surface temperatures from pavement and rooftops (J). Credits: This illustration from Sam Worman’s study shows the myriad challenges of urban gardeners, including lead sources.

When Ryan Kuck’s young twins both tested positive for elevated lead levels in their blood he was worried — but not surprised.

By Karen Pinchin
Modern Farmer
July 28, 2014


When it comes to remediation, there are a few ways to deal with the problem. One is cap-and-fill (covering over an existing lot with cement, then trucking in soil and building a garden overtop), which is preferred by many municipal governments, simply because it buries the problem, says Wortman. There is also phytoremediation, in which plants slightly better at absorbing lead, like mustards and sunflowers, are planted on vacant land, then harvested and disposed of over a long period of time. While this technique is trendy right now, probably because it feels like “using nature to heal nature,” Wortman says it isn’t practical or effective.

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August 5, 2014   Comments Off on The Hidden Dangers of Lead in Urban Gardens

Urban farmers now opting to rent, not buy, land


The movement is creating a new generation of landless farmers

By Emily Schneider-Green
Atlanic Magazine


One of the city’s most well-known landless farmers is Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm. A lack of capital to buy his own farm plus a need to relocate closer to the city pushed Reynolds to apply for the plot of farmland in the Decatur East Lake Commons co-housing community its residents had set aside for organic farming. He’s now the resident tenant farmer at Gaia Gardens in East Lake.

“Not having to buy land allows farmers to really hit the ground running with very little investment,” explains Reynolds. “Without taking out large loans, you can get your crops growing and learn whether or not farming is something you want to do.”

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July 22, 2014   Comments Off on Urban farmers now opting to rent, not buy, land

Urban Agriculture – Innovative water recirculation systems

Fresh City workers trim sprouts. Credit: Fresh City.

How urban agriculture set-ups cultivate local produce with the help of innovative water recirculation systems.

By Saul Chernos
Water Canada
May 12, 2014


“We’re trying to reduce our footprint on the environment as much as we possibly can,” explains Lauren Rathmell, a founding member who oversees Lufa’s greenhouse operations. She says Lufa’s hydroponic greenhouses use up to 90 per cent less water than comparable ones that don’t recirculate. “It’s all automated. We irrigate most of our plants using drip lines set up where we water the plants from above. Water that’s not taken up by the plants and doesn’t evaporate is captured, sent down to our collection tank, filtered, and reused.” Some plants, mostly the lettuces, grow with their roots submerged entirely in gently flowing water, continuously irrigated. Others sit in soilless coconut husk grow sacs.

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May 26, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture – Innovative water recirculation systems