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Category — Land

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

Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

Painting bycCarrie Marill.

Only five per cent of Ontario’s land base is suitable for farming and we are losing agriculturally productive land at an alarming rate. According to Statistics Canada, we lost 260,000 hectares of farmland between 2006 and 2011. Our food security depends on us protecting farmlands for future generations.

Greenbelt Program Manager
Environmental Defence
Nov 18, 2014


Consider the case of Vaughan resident and farm owner Gilllian Evans. Located in the Greenbelt, Gill’s family farm has been in the family for generations. The farm is right next door, to a proposed housing development. The development includes land within the Greenbelt but as the development application pre-dated the Greenbelt legislation it can go ahead. Gill has been trying to gain support from Vaughan Council to provide buffers between the new housing development and her existing farm.

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November 26, 2014   Comments Off on Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Which Neighborhoods in Chicago Have the Most Gardens

University of Illinois researchers analyzed high-resolution satellite images found and found more than 4,000 gardens in the city, and plotted them on a map.

“We decided to scan the entire land area of Chicago looking for gardens that hadn’t been reported on any list: backyard gardens, utility right of ways and other things that I could see in Google Earth.”

By Casey Cora
DNA Info
October 28, 2014


In addition to the residential gardens, researchers identified community gardens, urban farms and gardens outside schools. Factor those in and the number of Chicago’s food-producing gardens swells to 4,648 — and that’s not counting the small gardens invisible to Google Earth.

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October 28, 2014   Comments Off on First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Which Neighborhoods in Chicago Have the Most Gardens

Urban Farms Disappearing in the Goleta Valley


Environmental benefits provided by urban agriculture include decreased resource consumption and consequently, less waste.

Environmental Defense Center
Sept 24, 2014


This report focuses on the importance of protecting the few remaining parcels of agriculture within the urban boundaries of the Eastern Goleta Valley. “There are benefits to urban agriculture being located adjacent to homes, schools, transportation centers, etc. (e.g. local job creation, reducing the heat island effect, reductions in storm water runoff, and the health benefits of having fresh locally grown food available).

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October 2, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Farms Disappearing in the Goleta Valley

Santa Fe Urban farm creates Land Trust to preserve land and affordable housing for future generations

This 3.5-acre rental property is now threatened with foreclosure

Excerpt from Indiegogo site:

Since 2012 we have been operating Gaia Gardens, a nonprofit certified organic farm, on a leased parcel of land in Santa Fe. With the support of a large group of friends and neighbors, we have turned a parched and neglected landscape into a colorful urban oasis, cultivating an acre of land in the middle of town and galvanizing a powerful community around it. This 3.5-acre rental property is now threatened with foreclosure. To preserve this unique piece of land, continue our educational mission and provide affordable housing for future generations, we intend to buy the farm property and hold it clear of real estate speculation. To do so, we have created the Mil Abrazos (One Thousand Hugs) Community Land Trust, a nonprofit, to purchase the property.

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September 20, 2014   Comments Off on Santa Fe Urban farm creates Land Trust to preserve land and affordable housing for future generations

The Hidden Dangers of Lead in Urban Gardens

Click on image for larger file. Fig. 1. A vacant lot urban farm highlighting abiotic challenges of urban agriculture, including: elevated atmospheric concentrations of industrial pollutants (A), elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from traffic emissions (B), contaminated storm water runoff (C), Pb-contaminated soils adjacent to aging housing stock (e.g., paint chips) (D), soils contaminated by heavy metals and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (E), unpredictable access to municipal water sources (F), potentially contaminated recycled water sources (e.g., rainwater harvesting) (G), reduced light and wind speed due to the built environment (H), increased mechanical heat (e.g., air conditioners) (I), and increased surface temperatures from pavement and rooftops (J). Credits: This illustration from Sam Worman’s study shows the myriad challenges of urban gardeners, including lead sources.

When Ryan Kuck’s young twins both tested positive for elevated lead levels in their blood he was worried — but not surprised.

By Karen Pinchin
Modern Farmer
July 28, 2014


When it comes to remediation, there are a few ways to deal with the problem. One is cap-and-fill (covering over an existing lot with cement, then trucking in soil and building a garden overtop), which is preferred by many municipal governments, simply because it buries the problem, says Wortman. There is also phytoremediation, in which plants slightly better at absorbing lead, like mustards and sunflowers, are planted on vacant land, then harvested and disposed of over a long period of time. While this technique is trendy right now, probably because it feels like “using nature to heal nature,” Wortman says it isn’t practical or effective.

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August 5, 2014   Comments Off on The Hidden Dangers of Lead in Urban Gardens

Urban farmers now opting to rent, not buy, land


The movement is creating a new generation of landless farmers

By Emily Schneider-Green
Atlanic Magazine


One of the city’s most well-known landless farmers is Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm. A lack of capital to buy his own farm plus a need to relocate closer to the city pushed Reynolds to apply for the plot of farmland in the Decatur East Lake Commons co-housing community its residents had set aside for organic farming. He’s now the resident tenant farmer at Gaia Gardens in East Lake.

“Not having to buy land allows farmers to really hit the ground running with very little investment,” explains Reynolds. “Without taking out large loans, you can get your crops growing and learn whether or not farming is something you want to do.”

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July 22, 2014   Comments Off on Urban farmers now opting to rent, not buy, land

Urban Agriculture – Innovative water recirculation systems

Fresh City workers trim sprouts. Credit: Fresh City.

How urban agriculture set-ups cultivate local produce with the help of innovative water recirculation systems.

By Saul Chernos
Water Canada
May 12, 2014


“We’re trying to reduce our footprint on the environment as much as we possibly can,” explains Lauren Rathmell, a founding member who oversees Lufa’s greenhouse operations. She says Lufa’s hydroponic greenhouses use up to 90 per cent less water than comparable ones that don’t recirculate. “It’s all automated. We irrigate most of our plants using drip lines set up where we water the plants from above. Water that’s not taken up by the plants and doesn’t evaporate is captured, sent down to our collection tank, filtered, and reused.” Some plants, mostly the lettuces, grow with their roots submerged entirely in gently flowing water, continuously irrigated. Others sit in soilless coconut husk grow sacs.

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May 26, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture – Innovative water recirculation systems

Here’s How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers renting land to grow local food to sell. They’ve been at the Maple Avenue Market Farm on rented land in Great Falls, Va., for five years.

“Acquiring land is honestly probably the easiest part of doing all this. It’s the commitment, the stamina, learning how to do it and doing it every single day: That’s the hard part.”

By Dan Charles
December 31, 2013


Across the country, there’s a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn’t grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that’s where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that’s where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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January 8, 2014   Comments Off on Here’s How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Modern Farmer Magazine – Farm to Table

Latest Issue 02 – Fall 2013

Modern Farmer Magazine Capitalizes on a Trend

By Christine Haughney
New York Times
September 17, 2013


When a fledgling magazine gets former President Bill Clinton to contribute an article, you would think he would be featured on the cover. But the cover model for the current issue of the quarterly Modern Farmer is a sleepy-looking goat. Mr. Clinton is mentioned between articles on outer space farming and soil cuisine.

The magazine, which offers advice on building a corn maze and articles on the effect of climate change on lettuce and oysters, is trying to carve out a new niche on the newsstand.

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September 21, 2013   Comments Off on Modern Farmer Magazine – Farm to Table

The Lawn Goodbye

Michael and Jennifer Foti’s once unproductive front yard gets a makeover. Photo by Fritz Haeg.

Americans spend more than 30 billion dollars on lawn care each year

By Arnie Cooper


“Flip through any Greek cookbook with a decent number of pictures and you’re instantly aware that tomatoes and eggplants are 50 percent of the ingredients,” she says. And when they tired of moussaka, Jennifer whipped up Indian recipes like masala green beans with fenugreek and bhagan bharta, an eggplant dish. It was, however, her grandmother’s “Chicago Hots,” a relish made with cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and onion that turned out to be the most popular.

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September 7, 2013   Comments Off on The Lawn Goodbye

Since 2009, the Los Angeles has paid $1.4 million to homeowners willing to rip out their front lawns

Jessica Seglar and her fiancé, Dominic Nguyen, of Long Beach, Calif., decided to replace their lawn with Ceanothus, a lilac native to California, and other drought-tolerant plants. Photo by Monica Almeida/The New York Times.

Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn

By Ian Lovett
New York Times
August 11, 2013


In Mesa, Ariz., the city has paid to turn nearly 250,000 square feet of residential lawn into desertscape.

More than one million square feet of grass has been moved from Los Angeles residences since the rebate program began here in 2009. New parks provide only token patches of grass, surrounded by native plants. Outside City Hall, what was once a grassy park has been transformed into a garden of succulents.

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August 15, 2013   Comments Off on Since 2009, the Los Angeles has paid $1.4 million to homeowners willing to rip out their front lawns