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Category — Land

Urban Farming Expands in South Dallas

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It has been nine months since the City of Dallas put more than $3 million on the line to lure a grocer to South Dallas. Surprisingly, no one has accepted the offer.

By Courtney Gilmore
NBCDFW
Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt:

City leaders are now looking for alternative solutions to bring fresh produce into food desert communities.

“If we can’t get the big grocery stores to come in, then we grow our on,” said Wilson.

Currently, they are scouting a few places to start an urban farm. There is a lot of land in south Dallas and the area is prime for redevelopment.

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February 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Surrey, BC launches ‘land-linking’ website focusing on farming

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A map from a new “land-leasing” website, created by the City of Surrey in partnership with a Young Agrarians group.— Image Credit: FarmableNOW.ca

“The cost of buying land in the Lower Mainland is high. Resources like this one are going to help more farmers access land.”

By Amy Reid
Surrey Now
Feb 16, 2017

Excerpt:

A website that’s been almost two years in the making aims to change Surrey’s agricultural future for the better.

The new “land-linking” website, created by the City of Surrey and a Young Agrarians group, aims to connect landowners with farmers.

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February 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Urban agriculture comes to London, Ontario

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The Urban Roots London founders (L-R: Heather Barnes, Graham Bracken, Jeremy Horrell and Richie Bloomfield) in the snow. Courtesy of Curtis Justrabo.

“They realized they were in town for university, they wanted to contribute to the community in the meaningful way. That work fed a community; they’re committed to a system to improve it,” says Barnes.

By Ellis Koifman
The Gazette
Feb 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Last November, Heather Barnes and Graham Bracken, two former Western students in law and economics/philosophy respectively, were inspired by the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI).

“They grow a lot of food organically and they funnel it right back into the community,” says Barnes. “While we were there people walked up [to the urban farm] and they walked away with food.”

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February 16, 2017   No Comments

Louisiana tribes restore traditional diets in the face of climate change

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Photography by Edmund D. Fountain.

Native Americans are losing their ability to live off the land as it has crumbled into the Gulf of Mexico. Some of them are trying to figure out how to survive on what’s left.

By Barry Yeoman
Food and Environmental Network
Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast, The Lens
February 9, 2017

Excerpts:

A few decades ago, the Pointe-au-Chien tribal members of Louisiana fed themselves well—they fished in nearby waters, raised livestock, planted fruits and vegetables, trapped marsh hens, and even hunted turtle and alligator. But as the tides, driven higher by climate change, started to eat up the tribe’s territory leaving fewer places to put a garden or raise livestock and less terrain to hunt and forage for wild plants, the tribe turned to processed foods. And as water levels continued to rise, so did rates of diabetes and cholesterol.

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February 15, 2017   No Comments

Sprawling urban garden coming to San Antonio’s east side

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They call the development exciting because the 190 families who live next door at the Springview Apartments will have fresh food right at their door steps.

By Sue Calberg,
KENS 5
February 09, 2017

Excerpt:

“The best way to trick kids to eat veggies is to get them to grow it. They see the entire process from seed to plate,” said Lucke, who added that a number of community partners have been working for at least two years to make this day a reality. “We knew that the east side was a food desert. We knew that the east side didn’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. And so having an urban micro-farm, we felt, would be a good step in the right direction.”

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February 14, 2017   No Comments

Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

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Some urban farmers who spoke to ZwNews have expressed their fears that the floods being experienced in the country at the moment could lead to serious food insecurity.

By Lovemore Lubinda
ZWNews
Jan 20, 2017

Excerpt:

Kudakwashe Tagara, another Harare resident who last season had to send some of his urban farming produces to his parents in the rural areas (Mutoko) after they failed to harvest more to eat, said the floods have affected their livelihoods to a greater extent.

“The situation is compromising our ability to fend for our families; all my small fields dotted along the Mukuwisi River have been rendered a complete write-off. I won’t get anything this year, my aging parents in Mutoko depend on what I provide them,” he said.

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January 31, 2017   Comments Off on Flooding impacts urban agriculture in Zimbabwe

By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

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Click on image for larger file. Maps show where projected urban expansion until 2030 is expected to result in cropland loss. Competing areas (red) hold croplands but have a high probability (>75%; medium scenario) of becoming urbanized by 2030.

Urban agriculture, the expansion of farming into areas farther from urban centers, and farming intensification practices (such as the heavy use of fertilizers), will offset some of the loss of farmland, say the scientists.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
January 27, 2017
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

The study, “Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands,” published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that by 2030, as much as 86.5 million acres of productive farmland worldwide—between two and four percent of total farmland—will be lost as the world’s so called mega-cities, generally defined as being more than ten million residents, and the adjoining areas, called “mega urban regions,” take over prime agricultural croplands to make room for a growing population and their activities.

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January 29, 2017   Comments Off on By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

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

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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.

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January 19, 2017   Comments Off on Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

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

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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.”

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January 14, 2017   Comments Off on South L.A. “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley Fights to Save His Garden From Eviction

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

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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.

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January 11, 2017   Comments Off on Portland Urban Intentional Community has 46 private garden plots for resident use

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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

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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.

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