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Category — Land

Here’s how to keep homegrown food safe


Our organic veggies could be growing in contaminated soil.

By Katharine Gammon
Take Part
July 21, 2015


They found that in the majority of examples, eating vegetables grown in the contaminated soils studied was safe. Levels of contaminants in root vegetables, such as carrots, were higher than in tomatoes and collard greens. But the researchers said there was no reason to avoid gardening in city soils, as long as precautions are taken.

“Washing hands thoroughly after gardening, covering pathways with woodchips or gravel, and keeping soil moist during dry and windy conditions to prevent dust generation are all effective preventative measures to ensure safe gardening,” said Ganga Hettiarachchi, a soil chemist at Kansas State University and lead author of the study.

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July 28, 2015   No Comments

Ottawa Greenbelt properties up for rent to urban farmers

Farmland to rent from Ottawa’s National Capital Commission.

Minutes from the City centre, eight farms on the market, including 1870s heritage farm.

CBC News
Jul 13, 2015


The NCC is looking for “all types” of owners, from beginners to experienced farmers, and are willing to consider a wide variety of potential uses for the land, Leonard told CBC’s Ottawa Morning on Monday.

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July 24, 2015   No Comments

South Columbia subdivision to feature edible landscaping

Apples and berries grow in small gardens May 27 at The Gates, a new subdivision in South Columbia. The gardens, called The Orchard at The Gates, also will provide a space for community education for the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. Photo by Beatriz Costa-Lima.

An edible landscape that not only will beautify the neighborhood but also supply its residents with locally grown food.

By Kylee May
June 4, 2015


COLUMBIA — Adam Saunders spent much of Wednesday crawling on his hands and knees and pulling weeds from around the bushes and trees he and others have planted at The Gates, a residential subdivision being developed near Old Plank Road in south Columbia. Every once in a while, he’d pause to pick a blueberry or a raspberry from one of the bushes and munch on it.

The Gates in many ways will be like the other subdivisions that have been popping up in this fast-growing area. Combined with the nearby Barcus Ridge, the 273-acre property will feature about 270 upscale homes along curvy streets and cul-de-sacs in a neighborhood largely surrounded by woods.

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June 11, 2015   Comments Off on South Columbia subdivision to feature edible landscaping

Californians Paint Their Lawns Green

Video Story

The Wall Street Journal
June 3, 2015

June 10, 2015   Comments Off on Californians Paint Their Lawns Green

Winnipeg City report digs into zoning to preserve agricultural land inside Perimeter

winipClick on image for larger file.

At the same time, interest in local food — both commercially produced and in community gardens — skyrocketed. The number of community gardens within the city jumped to 208 in 2014 from 161 in 2012, the report noted.

By Bartley Kives
Winnipeg Free Press
June 2, 2015


Winnipeg is considering ways to ensure agricultural production persists within city limits as the number of farms declines and demand for local food increases.

A report to be considered by council’s property and development committee today calls for the city to look at preserving some agricultural land on a permanent basis, devising new zoning categories for specialized farms and creating a new food policy council that could direct city facilities to purchase more local food.

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June 9, 2015   Comments Off on Winnipeg City report digs into zoning to preserve agricultural land inside Perimeter

What’s next for Detroit’s vacant lots and who decides?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Mayor Duggan announced this month that he’ll launch a program soon to lease vacant lots to residents for $25 a year per lot.

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press
May 30, 2015


Detroit is known worldwide as a leader in the community-gardening movement. Detroiters have created more than 1,000 community farm plots in the past decade or so. Nonprofits such as Earthworks Urban Farm on the east side and D-Town Farm on the west side are among the best-run examples of urban agriculture in the nation.

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June 7, 2015   Comments Off on What’s next for Detroit’s vacant lots and who decides?

Rebate funds to replace grass are being drained in California

Arcadia Councilman Tom Beck watches a landscaping crew tear out the carefully tended landscaping surrounding his suburban house. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)

The MWD estimates that removing one square foot of grass in Southern California saves 42 gallons of water a year.

By Taylor Goldenstein
LA Times
May 25, 2015


Demand for rebates to replace grass with drought-tolerant landscaping has overwhelmed water officials and prompted questions about the future of the highly popular program.

The Metropolitan Water District’s program, which pays homeowners and businesses $2 per square foot to replace grass, ran short of funds this month due to a surge in demand.

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May 25, 2015   Comments Off on Rebate funds to replace grass are being drained in California

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   Comments Off on Oakland Spring Rising

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   Comments Off on New Taipei City farmers offer plots to city-dwellers

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

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