New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Land

Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Pictures of urban horticulture projects in Bologna.

Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated

By Daniela Gasperi, Giuseppina Pennisi, Niccolò Rizzati, Francesca Magrefi, Giovanni Bazzocchi, Umberto Mezzacapo, Monique Centrone Stefani, Esther Sanyé-Mengual, Francesco Orsini, and Giorgio Gianquinto
Sustainability Journal
December 2016

Abstract:

In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability.

[Read more →]

January 19, 2017   No Comments

South L.A. “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley Fights to Save His Garden From Eviction

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


Ron Finley in his gangsta garden.By Ryan Orange for LA Weekly.

The Ron Finley Project, the non-profit that drew international recognition for its community garden in South Los Angeles, is facing eviction from the land where founder Ron Finley first planted seeds in 2010.

By Jennifer Swann
La Weekly
January 6, 2017

Excerpt:

After years of financial problems, the property on Exposition Boulevard was purchased at a foreclosure auction by the real estate investment company Strategic Acquisitions for $379,003 last November, according to L.A. County records. But Finley, the longtime activist and self-described “gangsta gardener” who had been leasing the property, is not leaving his garden — and the community it serves — without a fight.

“They’re used to people caving in and we’re not planning on caving in,” he told the Weekly. “What I try to do is the right thing, and I’m confident in that. You can take all you want, but you can’t take my soul.”

[Read more →]

January 14, 2017   No Comments

Portland Urban Intentional Community has 46 private garden plots for resident use

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


Kailash Ecovillage is a sustainably focused community located on a two-acre site in inner SE Portland, Oregon. Click on image for larger file.

They even filled in the swimming pool from the old apartment complex (that again, due to Portland’s temperate climate, was very underused) to make room for more garden space.

By Scott Cooney
Green Living Ideas
Jan 2, 2017

Excerpt:

In addition, as food is so central to a sustainable community, probably the most impressive part of Kailash is the garden. Or should we say gardens – there are 46 private garden plots for resident use, and an extensive community garden. They also have a bamboo micro-forestry project, berry bushes, grapevines, fruit orchards, and a greenhouse. They have also created areas dedicated for wildlife habitat, including bird houses, bat houses, bee boxes and reptile gardens.

[Read more →]

January 11, 2017   No Comments

Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


New Delhi, India. Between 1991 and 2016 the population of India’s capital and its suburbs ballooned from 9.4 million to 25 million. The United Nations Report on World Urbanisation projects that Delhi will have 37 million residents by 2030. Photograph: OLI/Landsat 8/USGS/NASA

Our results show that urban expansion will result in a 1.8–2.4% loss of global croplands by 2030, with substantial regional disparities. About 80% of global cropland loss from urban expansion will take place in Asia and Africa.

Globally, the croplands that are likely to be lost were responsible for 3–4% of worldwide crop production in 2000. Urban expansion is expected to take place on cropland that is 1.77 times more productive than the global average.

Governance of urban area expansion thus emerges as a key area for securing livelihoods in the agrarian economies of the Global South.

By Emma Bryce
The Guardian
Dec 27, 2016
(Must see. Mike)
Excrpt:

Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns. By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.

[Read more →]

December 28, 2016   Comments Off on Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Tear Down That Fence: A Tale Of Urban Farms & The Barriers In Their Way

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


East Capitol Urban Farm is now embraced, supported, and operated by its community. Removing barriers has afforded Ward 7 residents the opportunity to: plant over 3,600 produce plants; operate 70 garden spaces; engage over 300 D.C. Public School Students

By Dr. Dwane Jones
Special to the AFRO
December 19, 2016
Dwane Jones, PH.D. is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience, a division of the University of the District of Columbia College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences.

Excerpt:

Given the large amount of vacant properties and unused space in many underserved urban areas (cities like Baltimore and Detroit come to mind), it may sound easy. But it’s not. Case in point: In 2015, CAUSES leased three acres of vacant property directly across the street from a Metro stop in D.C.’s struggling Ward 7 to construct the East Capitol Urban Farm. A partnership between several agencies and organizations, East Capitol Urban Farm is the District’s largest-scale urban agriculture and aquaponics facility. It’s an ambitious effort to bring healthy produce to an underserved area of the District.

[Read more →]

December 28, 2016   Comments Off on Tear Down That Fence: A Tale Of Urban Farms & The Barriers In Their Way

Brazil: In the village of Primeiro do Maio 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


This vegetable garden changed my life,” said Rita da Silva (right, in yellow). A group of women organised to collectively grow vegetables and fruit to sell in the market in Caraúbas, a nearby city in Northeast Brazil. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

The income from the garden empowers the women, particularly in times of drought when the local crops are failing.

By Mario Osava
Inter Press Service
Dec 20, 2016

Excerpt:

She is part of the Group of Women that organised in 2001 and adopted the slogan “United to overcome”, with the goal of having their own productive activities, reaffirming their rights and combating sexism.

“I used to only stay at home or in the fields, I wasn’t allowed to go out, to go to town. With the garden I started to go to the city to sell our products in the market, over the objections of my husband and my oldest son,” Da Silva told IPS.

[Read more →]

December 27, 2016   Comments Off on Brazil: In the village of Primeiro do Maio 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999

Ottawa’s National Capital Commission (NCC) renting out plots to urban farmers

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

ncc

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has started renting out properties in Ottawa’s Greenbelt to prospective farmers and is hosting a panel on the emerging importance of sustainable urban agriculture.

By Cassandra Wood
iPolitcs
Nov 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The NCC rents out 30 per cent of Ottawa’s Greenbelt to local farmers, said Talbot. The agency controls about 5,000 acres of farmland, equivalent to 40 per cent of the rural lands in the City of Ottawa, which stretches from just outside the town of Arnprior in the west and close to the town of Rockland in the east.

“Since worldwide population is increasing, more people are moving to cities. Around two-thirds of the population will live in cities by 2050,” said Talbot. “We need to farm in a different and better way to feed people in urban and rural areas.”

[Read more →]

November 20, 2016   Comments Off on Ottawa’s National Capital Commission (NCC) renting out plots to urban farmers

Providence, Rhode Island: Organizations and individuals are working to connect people who want to farm with land

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

diamp
The Sankofa Diamond Street Community Garden in Providence’s West End. (Sophie Kasakove/ecoRI News)

When first-generation farmer Tess Brown-Lavoie tried to buy a vacant lot on the city’s West Side in 2011, to start growing her own produce, she was astounded by the difficulty of the process.

By Sophie Kasakove
ecoRI
Sept 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Shrinking farmland and resulting food insecurity affects people across Rhode Island but particularly those in cities, where land costs are typically the highest. Brown-Lavoie said these challenges are especially acute for people of color and refugee and migrant communities.

For example, in the West End neighborhood of Providence, where nearly 40 percent of the residents were born outside the United States, nearly a third qualify as having low food access, according to the USDA’s Food Environment Atlas.

[Read more →]

September 19, 2016   Comments Off on Providence, Rhode Island: Organizations and individuals are working to connect people who want to farm with land

Professional urban agriculture and its characteristic business models in Metropolis Ruhr, Germany

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

caput1 Click on image for larger file. Institution: Institut für RealienkundeProvider: KulturpoolProviding Country: austriaCreation Date: 1716 Gemüsegarten, Vegetable garden.

Agriculture plays a significant role in Metropolis Ruhr cultivating about one-third of the metropolitan area, but on-going loss of farmland and short-term lease of land affect farms considerably by complicating access to land.

By Bernd Pölling, , Marcus Mergenthaler , Wolf Lorleberg
Land Use Policy
Volume 58, 15 December 2016, Pages 366–379

Abstract:

‘Low-cost specialization’, ‘differentiation’, and ‘diversification’ are three overarching business models of professional urban agriculture in developed countries. Manifold city-adjusted farm activities belong to these business models resulting in the characteristic farm heterogeneity of urban areas. This paper makes use of the business models as tool for a geo-statistical analysis to spatially investigate farming patterns in reference region Metropolis Ruhr, Germany. Additional farm interviews substantiate findings of the geo-statistical analysis by focusing on horticulture as a common farm activity towards ‘low-cost specialization’, direct marketing and participatory farming belonging to ‘differentiation’, and equestrian services as a representative of the ‘diversification’ business model.

[Read more →]

August 19, 2016   Comments Off on Professional urban agriculture and its characteristic business models in Metropolis Ruhr, Germany

Vancouver Gardeners’ Protest – The Arbutus Greenway: Paving Paradise

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Video by Mark Battersby. The Arbutus Greenway: Paving Paradise.

By Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
Aug. 02, 2016

Excerpt:

But Adrian Levy, chairman of the Cypress Community Garden, is suspicious about the pavement, suggesting it is likely permanent.

“Temporary? I just can’t see that,” he said, adding he would prefer crushed gravel as is used elsewhere on pathways at some city beaches.

“Even though they say it’s temporary, once that’s there it has started a process.”

[Read more →]

August 3, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Gardeners’ Protest – The Arbutus Greenway: Paving Paradise

Food waste: harvesting Spain’s unwanted crops to feed the hungry

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

gleanAdvocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded. Photograph: Natalia Lázaro Prevost

Spain’s gleaning movement has grown rapidly in response to austerity, harvesting imperfect fruit and veg – that would otherwise be wasted – for food banks. Now its own line of jams, soups and sauces is taking off too

By Arthur Nelson
The Guardian
July 2016

Excerpt:

A 39-year-old Moroccan emigré with two small children, Abdelouahid began “gleaning” – harvesting farmers’ unwanted crops – with the Espigoladors (gleaners) after losing his job in the construction industry four years ago. It is Ramadan and he is fasting but still smiling as he cuts at the green jewels.

“I don’t like to spend my days at home, sending CVs to employers, waiting for their rejection letters, or going around the restaurants trying to find food,” he says. “I prefer to do something positive. A lot of people need this food. It is better to collect it than to leave it.”

[Read more →]

July 20, 2016   Comments Off on Food waste: harvesting Spain’s unwanted crops to feed the hungry

Urban Dwellers Drive Massive Deforestation Locally and Abroad

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

citwold

“Ironically, even as urban expansion drives forest clearance for agriculture, it simultaneously consumes existing farmland,” writes Prugh. “By one estimate, urbanization may cause the loss of up to 3.3 million hectares of prime agricultural land each year.”

Can a City Be Sustainable?
Senior Researcher Tom Prugh
Annual State of the World series from the Worldwatch Institute
May 2016

Excerpt:

A second, and likely lesser, factor linking urban growth to deforestation is that cities are often expanding into areas of farmland and natural habitat, including forests. Cities worldwide are growing by 1.4 million new inhabitants every week. Urban land area is expanding, on average, twice as fast as urban populations. The area covered by urban zones is projected to expand by more than 1.2 million square kilometers between 2000 and 2030.

“Ironically, even as urban expansion drives forest clearance for agriculture, it simultaneously consumes existing farmland,” writes Prugh. “By one estimate, urbanization may cause the loss of up to 3.3 million hectares of prime agricultural land each year.”

[Read more →]

July 16, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Dwellers Drive Massive Deforestation Locally and Abroad

Interview with Karl Linn: Community Gardens: Reclaiming a Commons

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

karll

One of his accomplishments was to convince the Berkeley planners to turn over a piece of land next to a BART tunnel for the establishment of a communal garden, where it still exists—The Carl Linn Peralta Community Garden.

By Richard Whittaker
Works and Conversations
Apr 29, 2001

Excerpt:

RW: In establishing a commons, would you say, that ideally part of what it would consist of would be a garden?

Karl Linn: Well in the past I saw an interesting development. I worked in about ten cities and established two non-profit corporations and inspired about eight others that were the first pioneering community design centers where volunteer professionals worked with economically disenfranchised neighborhoods helping them to build these common areas—architects, landscape architects, anthropologists, sociologists, lawyers, just name it. There was always some vegetation, but primarily we used recycled building materials, voluntary labor and tax delinquent land. From urban renewal demolition we used marble steps, bricks and flagstones.

[Read more →]

June 26, 2016   Comments Off on Interview with Karl Linn: Community Gardens: Reclaiming a Commons

Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

britfarmRosanna and Ian Horsley on their farm in Devon. Credit: Christopher Jones.

A growing number of people from outside the farming fraternity are buying up agricultural land in Britain and the properties that come with them. The amount of traditional farming families acquiring land and holdings has been depleting.

By Ben Pike
The Telegraph
21 June 2016

Excerpts:

There are three types of buyer entering the market. The investor (both private and corporate), who sees farmland as a commodity; those who escape to the countryside at the weekend and won’t tend the land themselves; and the new breed of ‘good lifer’, who has ditched the city day job and are ploughing all their funds and business acumen into running the farm themselves.

Residential buyers are also piling in, lured by the large farmhouses that often come with the land. “Some buy at £1?million and some at £20?million. They want to combine a lifestyle move with involvement in active farming,” says Lawson.

[Read more →]

June 26, 2016   Comments Off on Britain: Meet the city slickers who gave up everything to start a farm

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to offer tax break to grow food on vacant lots

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

gorde“The more food we can grow in Saskatoon, the more healthy we’ll all be,” says Gord Enns, executive director of the Saskatoon Food Council. Liam Richards / Saskatoon Starphoenix

Equal to 50 per cent of the annual property taxes on a vacant lot, but no more than $500 a year for residential sites and $1,200 a year for non-residential properties.

By Phil Tank
Saskatoon Starphoenix
June 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Grant to grow

Here’s how the City of Saskatoon proposes to encourage vacant lot owners to convert them to gardens for up to five years:

The goal: To increase food security in Saskatoon.

The grant: Equal to 50 per cent of the annual property taxes on a vacant lot, but no more than $500 a year for residential sites and $1,200 a year for non-residential properties.

[Read more →]

June 6, 2016   Comments Off on Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to offer tax break to grow food on vacant lots