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Category — Land

Urban Farming in Syria Saves Lives During Sieges

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syrirr
Irrigation systems in place and planting begins in Yarmouk.

The 15th garden, it’s an urban gardening project that provides food for people living in Syrian cities that are under siege. Currently there are 30 of the gardens in 17 different besieged cities throughout Syria.

By Bezdomny
Shareable
Apr 29, 2016
(Must see! Mike)

Excerpt:

The project started with a group of Zabadani women who needed seeds to grow food, yet nothing was allowed to enter or exit the city. At that time, Zabadani was still under siege by both Assad forces and Hezbollah. Siege warfare is brutal and turns a city into a prison. To give an example of how severe the blockade was, Abdallah says, not even the UN was able to retrieve dying patients from the city in order to give them proper care. And there is no shortage of patients in Syria, just this week the Assad regime attacked the rebel held side of Aleppo which destroyed a vital hospital and resulted in at least 50 deaths.

In response to the Zabadani Women’s call for support, a network of German farmers collected heritage seeds and money in a show of solidarity with Syrian farmers, and sent the seeds to Lebanon (which is just across the border from Zabadani). From Lebanon the supplies made their way to Zabadani through an underground network of activists who risked their lives to get the seeds through the blockade.

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May 1, 2016   No Comments

Indonesia: Peri-urban agriculture in Jabodetabek Metropolitan Area and its relationship with the urban socioeconomic system

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insCitizen watering vegetables that planted on vacant land in the residential area in East Jakarta. Agriculture is crucial to Indonesian economic development so that discussing farmers is highly relevant as 39.96 million people. 35 percent of the total workforce — work in the agricultural sector.

Peri-urban agriculture (PUA) in the surroundings of Jakarta as well as in the East and Northeast of JMA has contributed to increasing food affordability as well as strengthening food security policy.

By Didit Okta Pribadi, Stephan Pauleit
Land Use Policy
Volume 55, September 2016, Pages 265–274

Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture (PUA) has been proposed as an important urban element to deal with the challenges of increasing poverty, food insecurity, and environmental degradation as particularly found in rapidly expanding cities of the developing world. However, farming in the peri-urban is under strong pressure from urbanization. The economic and social roles of farming need to be better understood in order to integrate peri-urban agriculture into urban planning. This study used multivariate techniques and Geographically Weighted Regression to analyze statistical data at a village and sub-district, to explore the varying relationships between agricultural activities and urban economic activities, urban poverty and informality, as well as food security. This method was applied in the Jabodetabek Metropolitan Area (JMA) with Indonesia’s capital Jakarta at its core, and it resulted in some important findings.

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April 28, 2016   No Comments

Houston’s Hope Farms Breaks Ground

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hopeRecipe for Success Foundation celebrated Earth Day 2016 by officially breaking ground on Hope Farms.

Houston’s New Urban Farming Project Will Provide Fresh Produce, Farmer Training, Nutrition Education and Community Gathering Space in Historic Sunnyside

By Jovanna David
Press Release
Apr 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Located on seven acres in the heart of Houston’s historic Sunnyside neighborhood, the new Hope Farms will use organic methods to generate significant food crops in the midst of one of the city’s largest food deserts, while training military veterans to become successful agri-entrepreneurs.

Hope Farms is a critical component in achieving Recipe for Success Foundation’s mission to change the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food and to mobilize the community to provide healthier diets for children.

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April 27, 2016   No Comments

Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

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kentm

KPU studies agriculture real estate speculation as it threatens the future of an economically viable bioregion in Richmond and Southwest B.C.

By Graeme Wood
Richmond News
April 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Presently, about one-third of farmed land in Metro Vancouver is leased.

Furthermore, Mullinix estimates some 44,000 acres of farmable land is not in production in Metro Vancouver.

Adding to the pressures is the increase in estate homes being built on ALR land. Such mansions are numerous in Richmond and set a new price benchmark based on its value as a luxury residential property instead of a working farm, according to the report.

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April 23, 2016   No Comments

Harvard Doctoral student Aleksandar Sopov helped save Istanbul urban gardens

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spovAleksandar Sopov has worked to preserve urban gardens in Istanbul. “I had to save them,” he says. “When those public places are erased, it moves people into arenas where demagoguery can take place.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer.

They had been tilled by Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, and, more recently, Syrian and Afghan refugees. “Their destruction would be the destruction of that connection between the Middle East and Europe.”

By Leslie Macmillan,
Harvard Gazette
Apr 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Sopov said such ancient gardens are the forerunners of modern urban farming, which relates to modern concepts like food justice and sustainable cities. “When food is produced locally, consumers know more about farming practices,” he said, “so laborers aren’t unpaid and mistreated, and pesticides” aren’t used.

City farming is important because it engages a wide swath of urban dwellers, he said, creating a sense of community and shared purpose. The prevalent image of the eastern Mediterranean as divided along ethnic and religious lines and wracked by strife “is a recent political construct,” he said. In fact, despite the devastation wrought by the wars of the 20th century, “Skopje [in Macedonia] preserved many of its Ottoman caravansaries, hamams [baths], churches, mosques, madrasas,” proof of a vibrant, multicultural city.

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April 19, 2016   Comments Off on Harvard Doctoral student Aleksandar Sopov helped save Istanbul urban gardens

Real Estate Brokerage Firm Names the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Urban Farming

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10topEugene, OR, Burlington, VT, Santa Rosa, CA, Greenville, SC, Orlando, FL, San Francisco, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Columbia, SC, Tampa, FL, Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Ranking Based on Number of Homes Listed for Sale in 2015 with Gardens, Greenhouses or Chicken Coops

By Christin Camacho
Business Wire
Apr 13, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Eugene topped the list, with 20.5 percent of all home listings containing at least one keyword.

“It’s not uncommon for homeowners in Oregon to have chickens or honey bees,” said Matthew Brennan, a Redfin real estate agent in Portland. “The city of Portland allows homeowners to keep up to three animals, including chickens, ducks, doves, pigeons, pygmy goats and rabbits, without permits. Oregonians have a hankering for that sustainable lifestyle and Eugene is more affordable and has more space than Portland.”

The City of Eugene, like Portland, has played a big role in facilitating urban agriculture by allowing residents to keep more animals, like chickens and goats, on their property.

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April 14, 2016   Comments Off on Real Estate Brokerage Firm Names the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Urban Farming

London industrial property eyed for urban garden

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lonfreeWard 1 councillor Michael Van Holst stands in a 25 acre field, owned by Accuride, which he hopes will become an urban agricultural project space. The land, which had previously been farmed, now sits unused and could be an incubator for agriculture-related social enterprises, Van Holst says. Craig Glover/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network.

An urban garden may be in store for an east London industrial property where steel wheels are made, if a city councillor has his way.

By Norman DeBono
The London Free Press
April 8, 2016

Excerpt:

“There are a lot of ideas we have been working on. . . We don’t have a grocery store in this neighbourhood and we have a high level of poverty. Fresh food is limited,” Wills said.

The resource centre can mobilize the community and get volunteers, she said.

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April 14, 2016   Comments Off on London industrial property eyed for urban garden

Greater Cape Town, South Africa to develop 280ha of fertile urban farmland with more than 6 000 houses

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grphoilFarm workers in the Philippi Horticultrural Area pick vegetables to be sold at local supermarkets and informal trade vegetable stalls. It is feared at least 4 000 could lose their jobs if development plans for the area go ahead. Pictures: Michael Walker.

The area had been producing vegetables for the city since 1885 and he warned that the short-term profit for a few developers would have a negative effect on the long-term benefit of food, water and climate security offered by the aquifer.

By Asanda Sokanyile
Weekend Argus
Apr 2, 2016

Excerpt:

The consequence, campaign convener Nazeer Sonday warned, would be loss of production of more than

150 000 tons of vegetables and flowers annually, along with as many as 4 000 jobs.

“The land was bought from private farmers by developers who are now waiting for the city to rezone it to allow them to build their estate, which will not only take away the jobs of more than 4 000 farmworkers, but will also ruin the aquifer which could supply the city with almost a third of its potable water needs,” he said.

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April 9, 2016   Comments Off on Greater Cape Town, South Africa to develop 280ha of fertile urban farmland with more than 6 000 houses

Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.

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blpo
A mural on Vernor Hwy. in Detroit, Michigan. The city’s poorest neighborhoods have ready access to fast food, but lack fresh produce and healthy eating options. Credit: Cybelle Codish.

“If we want to increase the quality of life for black people, we need land to do that,” Yakini says. “We have gone backwards — black-owned land has decreased significantly since its peak in 1910.”

By Martina Guzmán
PRI’s The World
March 30, 2016

Excerpt:

Lorenzo Herron is a 26-year-old Detroit native and urban farmer. His degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University brought him back to Detroit in 2012, where he began growing cherries, raspberries, strawberries and mulberries on the city’s east side.

“Growing fruit is the least amount of work,” he says. “You don’t have to baby fruit; most crops need a lot of pampering and are super-needy.”

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April 5, 2016   Comments Off on Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.

Documentary on sale of Detroit land to create tree farm to be featured in annual film festival

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LAND GRAB – Official Trailer 2016 from Atlas Industries on Vimeo.

Land Grab delves into the political maneuvering required to put roots in the ground, highlighting a divided citizenry

By Matt Helms
Detroit Free Press
April 1, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

It said one of the city’s wealthiest residents was planning to sink millions into what he billed as the world’s largest urban agriculture project. Working for a TV production company, O’Grady spent a year and a half researching the issue and realized that John Hantz, the founder of a financial services conglomerate, was the underdog facing stiff opposition to his plan to buy some 2,000 vacant or blighted lots and turn them into what eventually became a large tree farm.

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April 2, 2016   Comments Off on Documentary on sale of Detroit land to create tree farm to be featured in annual film festival

Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

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cart
Image from: If You Plant a Seed Hardcover by Nadir Nelson.

81 per cent admit they know only “a little” or “nothing at all” about these topics.

Press Release: Rabobank
Conducted by research consultancy Key Research, the Rabobank Farm Experience Urban Youth Research
Scoop
15 March 2016

Excerpt:

Key findings:

81 per cent of surveyed teens say they know only a little or nothing about farming and food production.

Eight per cent have never been on a farm, while a further 35 per cent have visited a farm three or less times in their life.

72 per cent don’t know anything, or know just a little, about how food gets from farm to plate.

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March 18, 2016   Comments Off on Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

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fedlocally

A project by UC Merced Professor Elliott Campbell mapped the potential of every American city to obtain food locally. Research shows unexpectedly large current potential for productive farmland.

By Lorena Anderson
UC Merced News
June 1, 2015

Excerpt:

Campbell and his students looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city, then estimated how many calories those farms could produce. By comparing the potential calorie production to the population of each city, the researchers found the percentage of the population that could be supported entirely by food grown locally.

The researchers found surprising potential in major coastal cities. For example, New York City could feed only 5 percent of its population within 50 miles but as much as 30 percent within 100 miles. The greater Los Angeles area could feed as much as 50 percent within 100 miles.

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March 10, 2016   Comments Off on Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

Iowa: Growing Food and Transforming Communities: Farming on Vacant Land

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iiwo
Volunteers with their harvest at the Waverly Community Sharing Garden.

“The county owns 160 acres in Johnson County within Iowa City city limits, and it’s an incredible resource.”

By Lindsey Moon & Charity Nebbe
Iowa Public Radio
Feb 3, 2016

Excerpt:

Sellz is the first county-level local foods and planning specialist to be hired in the state of Iowa. Iowa State University Extension has been helping to organize urban gardens like the Community Sharing Garden in Waverly, but Sellz’s job is the first position of it’s kind in local government.

During this Talk of Iowa conversation, host Charity Nebbe talk with Sellz about her new post and some of the things she is hoping to do, including an effort called Grow Johnson County, whish aims to turn the old country poor farm into an urban garden.

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February 11, 2016   Comments Off on Iowa: Growing Food and Transforming Communities: Farming on Vacant Land

Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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istb
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   Comments Off on Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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

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berk
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