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Category — Land

Philly’s urban gardeners are under siege from gentrification. Here’s what they’re doing about it.

John Lindsay and James Seward stand with fresh produce from Wiota Street Community Garden, which was saved by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority last year. Margo Reed/Staff File Photo

“There’s a sense of frustration that the Land Bank isn’t really up and running yet,” she said.

By Samantha Melamed
The Inquirer
Apr 16, 2018

Excerpt:

few years ago, Elmira Smith and her Kensington neighbors got tired of looking at the vacant lot on their block, an overgrown tangle of weeds and trash, and decided to take action.

So, they did what good neighbors do. They pitched in, filled dozens of trashbags and held volunteer days to build beds and plant flowers on what it turned out were actually three adjacent, long-abandoned parcels. It took two seasons to get the grass going, but they eventually had a plush emerald lawn.

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April 22, 2018   No Comments

India: Delhi and urban farming: The city needs its farmlands and its farmers need help

A farmer carries sugarcane to load on a tractor to sell it at a nearby sugar mill in Modinagar in Ghaziabad, some 45km east of New Delhi. (AFP file photo )

According to the Economic Survey of Delhi released last week, the city was losing its cropped area at 2.28% annually.

By Shivani Singh
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Mar 26, 2018

Excerpt:

For a city that was for long scorned as an overgrown village, it is surprising how fast Delhi is losing its rural character.

Between 2001 and 2011, Delhi’s rural population has more than halved from 9.45 lakh to 4.20 lakh.

Rapid urbanisation — at 97.5%, the national capital is already the most urbanised city in India — has drastically shrunk the rural living space too. Between 1961 and 2011, the number of Delhi’s rural villages fell from 276 to 112.

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March 31, 2018   Comments Off on India: Delhi and urban farming: The city needs its farmlands and its farmers need help

Norway: This chef built an urban farm in the Arctic


Vidmar’s lonely greenhouse is rich with produce all year-long thanks to seasonal crop swaps that take advantages of conditions. (Photo: NBC News/YouTube)

When tapping into the ebb and flow of that challenging climate — the greenhouse is just 650 miles from the North Pole

By Christian Cotroneo
Mother Nature Network
March 15, 2018
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

It all adds up to an unlikely oasis. Vidmar, a transplant from Florida who came to the area as a chef, provides the town with its only locally grown produce. Until he founded Polar Permaculture Urban Farm, everything from vegetables to eggs, had to be flown into the region. The situation left the Longyearbyen dwellers paying exorbitant prices for basic food, which was often exposed to the vagaries of flight conditions.

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March 20, 2018   Comments Off on Norway: This chef built an urban farm in the Arctic

Canada: A Growing Concern – How to Keep Farmland in the Hands of Canadian Farmers

Some witnesses said there is still a risk that farmland owned by non-agricultural investors will not be used for agriculture and will eventually be sold for other purposes. To this end, strengthening the legislative framework for farmland protection would make a major difference.

Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
The Honourable Diane F. Grifin, Chair
The Honourable Ghislain Maltais, Deputy Chair
March 2018
(Must see. Mike)

FOREWORD

In the course of other work, the Committee heard concerns regarding the rising costs of farmland in Canada, including how families could pass their farms from generation to generation and the ability of new entrants to afford to buy land.

The family farm has been the backbone of rural Canada for generations. The Committee felt it would be remiss if it did not undertake a study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector to address these concerns.

The first part of the report focuses on the use of farmland and changes in farmland values. The second part of the report explains changes in farmland values and their impact on farmland availability. The final part of the report outlines ways to ensure access to farmland for future generations of Canadians.

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March 19, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: A Growing Concern – How to Keep Farmland in the Hands of Canadian Farmers

Why Pittsburgh is encouraging urban agriculture with its new Farm-a-Lot program

Sankofa Village Community Garden in North Point Breeze and Homewood South could benefit from the URA’s urban agriculture pilot program. Photo courtesy Ayanna Jones.

Pittsburgh has 30,000 “distressed” vacant lots among its 145,000 parcels. Roughly 6,000 of those are categorized by the URA as “push to green,” which means greenways, parklets, gardens or urban agriculture might be the best future use, says Nathan Clark, director of the URA’s real estate division.

By Sandra Tolliver
Next Pittsburgh
March 4, 2018

Excerpt:

Americans want urban farms: A 2013 national study on urban agriculture found increasing popularity for urban farms among both residents and policy makers. Urban farmers are generally younger than the overall U.S. farming population, with an average age of 44.

But the Pittsburgh survey, although not finalized, found that access to land is a significant barrier for new farmers, particularly in urban or suburban areas, says Jon Burgess from the Allegheny County Conservation District, who co-chaired the Food Policy Council’s urban agriculture working group.

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March 12, 2018   Comments Off on Why Pittsburgh is encouraging urban agriculture with its new Farm-a-Lot program

Foraging is Alive and Well in Baltimore. Can it Help Fight Hunger Too?

New research on the availability of nutrient-dense wild edibles addresses food security.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats
02.22.18

Excerpt:

Foraging is a hot trend, with home cooks, chefs, and craft brewers alike harvesting wild, local ingredients ranging from mushrooms and berries to dandelion greens and nettles. Now, a new peer-reviewed study is beginning to explore whether urban foraging can help reduce food insecurity.

The study, from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the U.S. Forest Service, surveyed 105 self-identified foragers in Baltimore to understand the motivations of people who seek out parks, forests, residential neighborhoods, and corporate campuses for wild edibles including berries, mushrooms, rose hips, and dandelions.

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February 28, 2018   Comments Off on Foraging is Alive and Well in Baltimore. Can it Help Fight Hunger Too?

Singapore: Eight companies clinch 10 plots of land for vegetable farming

A map from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) shows the first batch of land parcels offered by the AVA through a fixed-price tender method.

“One of the challenges in urban farming has always been land cost, especially in Singapore… It’s very difficult to grow vegetables when land prices are that high,” he said.

Today
Feb 10, 2018

Excerpt:

One of the awardees, Vertivegies, intends to build nine six-storey modular structures, each measuring about 30m by 30m and resembling apartment buildings. Its founder and managing director Veera Sekaran, 55, said that vegetables would be grown on the top five stories, with the lowest storey housing pumps and control systems.

Mr Veera, who also founded an urban and vertical-greenery firm called Greenology, added that the new project would be his first large-scale commercial farming venture. Last year, he farmed vegetables using containers and discovered that each 40-foot container was able to yield about 5,000 heads of lettuce every three to four weeks.

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February 17, 2018   Comments Off on Singapore: Eight companies clinch 10 plots of land for vegetable farming

California: Returning Stolen Land to Native Tribes, One Lot at a Time

A quarter-acre of land in East Oakland is about to return to the Muwekma Ohlone, bringing a sense of place and healing to people whose connection to indigenous lands were taken from them.

By Emily Wilson
Civil Eats
02.08.18

Excerpt:

It’s the winter solstice, but the sun is shining in East Oakland, California. Within view of the freeway, amidst a gritty stretch of neighborhood with more concrete than trees, Rolling River Nursery and urban farm stands out. The two-acre lot, run by nonprofit Planting Justice, is filled with about 30,000 fruit trees and is staffed by former inmates and other area residents with few employment options.

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February 14, 2018   Comments Off on California: Returning Stolen Land to Native Tribes, One Lot at a Time

Canada: Edmonton pilot project will rent garden plots on city lands

One of the vacant lots offered by the city of Edmonton for garden use in the new pilot project. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

‘We could potentially change the landscape of the city and integrate edibles and flowers more widely’

By Travis McEwan
CBC News
Feb 03, 2018

Excerpt:

A City of Edmonton pilot program will rent out vacant city lands to gardeners for the 2018 growing season.

For a $100 rental fee, gardeners who are approved can grow food or or flowers on municipal land starting April 1. The licence expires after seven months.

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February 10, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Edmonton pilot project will rent garden plots on city lands

The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Students in Westminster High School’s agriculture program harvest acorn squash growing in the fields at the school in Westminster.

“This is a small showcase of what agriculture can be for the new generations,” said third-generation Orange County farmer A.G. Kawamura, who served as California’s agriculture secretary from 2003 to 2010 and started the nonprofit OC Harvest, now known as Solutions for Urban Agriculture.

By Theresa Walker
Orange County Register
November 22, 2017

Excerpt:

The eight acres of farmland at Westminster High, the largest remaining public school farm in Orange County, is at the heart of an initiative to grow fresh produce for the food bank to give to those who rely on the bounty of others in times of need.

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November 29, 2017   Comments Off on The Giving Farm in Orange County – 8 acres, 375 partners and 87,500 pounds of produce

Take A Stroll Through Detroit’s Urban Agrihood

(Must see video. Mike)

MUFI grows over 20,000 pounds of produce a year on average, and much of it goes to local households, food pantries, and churches.

By Robin Runyan, Sam Reichman, And Logan Siegel
Curbed
Nov 15, 2017
(Must see video. Mike)

Excerpt:

While Detroit has many urban farms, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) has recently amped up the discussion about development around these farms. Last winter, the non-profit announced their proposed urban agrihood around their two-acre farm in the North End. Curbed’s video team recently visited the farm to see the impact on real estate in the area.

An agrihood is an alternative neighborhood growth model, positioning agriculture as the centerpiece of a mixed-use development. There are some agrihoods around the country, but this is the first within a city.

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November 22, 2017   Comments Off on Take A Stroll Through Detroit’s Urban Agrihood

Slowly-vanishing fruit farms in urban Utah County are still pumping out produce

One of Carlos Chavez’s produce farms in Orem.

Owner Carlos Chavez doesn’t own any of his roughly 10 plots of 2- to 8-acre farmland in Orem and surrounding cities, but rather he leases it from year-to-year.

By Isaac Hale
Daily Herald
Oct 16, 2017

Excerpt:

What was once a dirt road and open hills surrounding the farm about 45 years ago is now very much a part of Pleasant Grove city, with paved roads and residential houses. Almost everything directly surrounding his farm has been developed, but it hasn’t been a bother to the Guernseys. Though, it’s apparent that the value of land in the area has skyrocketed.

“We’ve had several people offer to buy since my parents first bought it 45 years ago,” said Guernsey. “For me, it’s never been a decision. I’m not going to sell; I’m not going to turn my property into houses. I’m certain that it’s inevitable one of these days, but as long as I’m alive we’re going to keep it like it is. If we had accepted any one of those offers we could have retired early and lived very nicely.”

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October 24, 2017   Comments Off on Slowly-vanishing fruit farms in urban Utah County are still pumping out produce

Indonesia: City of Jakarta has 600 hectares of farmland

An urban farming area along the riverside in Jl. Raden Saleh II in Cikini, Central Jakarta. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

“In a city like Jakarta, urban farming is ideal for residents who want to farm in a limited space.”

The Jakarta Post
Sept 27, 2017

Excerpt:

“Not everyone knows that the total area of rice fields in Jakarta is 600 hectares, which is owned by the private sector. The land is spread across East, West and North Jakarta,” the head of food security division of the Jakarta Fisheries, Agriculture and Food Security Agency, Mujiati, said on Tuesday.

To encourage farming among residents in the capital, Mujiati said her agency launched an urban farming program in 2016. The program aims to encourage residents to utilize open spaces at home for farming.

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October 4, 2017   Comments Off on Indonesia: City of Jakarta has 600 hectares of farmland

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: The Benefit of Nature in High Density Urban Areas


We must keep every scrap of nature in and around our cities. Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
– E.O. Wilson in The Biophilia Hypothesis (1984)

By Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Project Director
and Deanne Manzer, Project Researcher MLA
and Kaitlyn Gillis, Project Advisor
June 26, 2017
(Must see.) Mike

Excerpt:

Greening Strategies

– Every home within a 5 min walk to a greenspace
– Restore or enhance 25ha of natural areas
– 30ha of additional public park – 20,000 trees planted
– 200 public greening projects
– 100 ha of green roofs and
walls, including 33 ha dedicated to urban agriculture
– 200 ha of skyrise greenway (1/2 the size of Stanley park)
– 400km of park connectors – 0.8ha of parkland / 1,000
residents

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September 15, 2017   Comments Off on Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: The Benefit of Nature in High Density Urban Areas

Japan to keep urban farmland green with new incentives

New tax and leasing incentives will help keep “productive greenspace” under cultivation.

Flexible leasing system will help connect businesses, nonprofits with available land

Nikkei Asian Review
Sept 6, 2017

Excerpt:

TOKYO — Japan is planning tax incentives and changes to the way land is leased to keep urban farmland from being turned into housing as a current program nears expiration and more farmers retire without apparent successors.

Starting in 1992, Japan designated roughly 13,000 hectares of urban land nationwide, and around 3,200 hectares in Tokyo, as “productive green space,” offering 30 years of tax incentives to those who would use the land for agricultural purposes. In 2022, those incentives will expire for roughly 80% of the land in the program.

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September 13, 2017   Comments Off on Japan to keep urban farmland green with new incentives