New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Landscape Architecture

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

First-ever motorised lawn-mower restored to its former glory


The mower, made by Ransomes, dates back to 1902 and cost gardener Andrew Hall £7,000 to restore over four years

By Tom Brooks-Pollock
The Telegraph
07 Aug 2014


At the time it was considered a feat of modern engineering, a 20th Century alternative to horse-driven and steam-powered mowers.

It was initially purchased by Cadbury’s and used in the Bourneville village in Warwickshire to maintain a sports field.

Car-makers Peugeot Talbot bought it second-hand in 1923 to mow their sports field in Coventry.

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August 8, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Farming Guidebook


Planning for the Business of Growing Food in BC’s Towns and Cities

By HB Lanarc – Golder
Janine de la Salle, Joanna Clark
2013, 55 pages
Complete Report on-line.

The Urban Farming Guidebook is written to help planners, engineers, and administrators from small and large communities to gain a better understanding of the potential, pitfalls, and best practices for growing, potentially raising, and selling food within town boundaries. Strategies and approaches outlined in the Guidebook provide local governments with tools to proactively plan for urban farming. This resource has been developed in collaboration and consultation with urban farmers, municipal staff, academics, and advocates.

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January 17, 2013   Comments Off

Mapping public and private spaces of urban agriculture in Chicago through the analysis of high-resolution aerial images in Google Earth

Fig. 2. Examples of Google Earth reference images used to identify sites of food production in the city of Chicago: (A) community garden on the city’s far south side and (B) residential garden on the near south side.

The production area of home gardens identified by the study is almost threefold that of community gardens.

By John R. Taylor, Sarah Taylor Lovell
Landscape and Urban Planning
Vol 108, Issue 1
Oct 2012 pages 57-70
Purchase $41.95


Although always a part of city life, urban agriculture has recently attracted increased attention from diverse groups in the United States, which promote it as a strategy for stimulating economic development, increasing food security and access, and combatting obesity and diabetes, among other goals. Developing effective policies and programs at the city or neighborhood level demands as a first step the accurate mapping of existing urban agriculture sites. Mapping efforts in major U.S. cities have been limited in their focus and methodology. Focusing on public sites of food production, such as community gardens, they have overlooked the actual and potential contribution of private spaces, including home food gardens, to local food systems. This paper describes a case study of urban agriculture in Chicago which used the manual analysis of high-resolution aerial images in Google Earth in conjunction with ArcGIS to identify and map public and private spaces of food production.

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October 11, 2012   Comments Off

Nation’s largest public Food Forest takes root on Seattle’s Beacon Hill

The completed plans for the Beacon Food Forest.

After nearly three years of planning, Beacon Hill residents are breaking ground on what will be the nation’s largest public food forest.

By Robert Mellinger
February 16, 2012


Sandwiched between 15th Ave. S. and the play fields at the SW edge of Jefferson Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle are seven acres of lonely, sloping lawn that have sat idly in the hands of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for the better part of a century. At least until this spring, when the land that has only ever known the whirring steel of city mowers will begin a complete transformation into seven acres of edible landscape and community park space known as the Beacon Food Forest.

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February 17, 2012   Comments Off

Mobile Ethnic Garden at Harvard

A garden on wheels designed by Christina Cho

By Rachel Johnson
From Green Harvard
“A Moveable Feast”
June 24, 2010


A garden on wheels may soon be rolling up to your department or dorm, thanks to GSD student Christina Cho. The project, undertaken this spring with the support of an OFS Sustainability Grant, combines food, public art, and community gardening into a unique setting: the Mobile Ethnic Garden.

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August 17, 2010   2 Comments

Let Them Eat Kale – Boston Society of Architects


The growing interest in urban agriculture means we need to think about the city in a whole new way.

By Dorothée Imbert
Architecture Boston
Published by the Boston Society of Architects
Vol 13 No 3
August 4, 2010

Dorothée Imbert is the chair of the Master in Landscape Architecture program at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University. She is the author of Between Garden and City: Jean Canneel-Claes and Landscape Modernism (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)


The contemporary enthusiasm for urban agriculture presents a paradox: zoning regulation, olfactory and sound control, and moral opprobrium have erased almost all traces of food production within most Western cities. This contradiction reveals the difficulty of integrating agriculture into urban systems and the need for landscape architects, planners, and community activists to tackle policy. The perception of urban agriculture as a temporary land use for disenfranchised inner-city populations is also likely to hinder its potential to form a new type of open space.

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August 9, 2010   Comments Off

Public Farm 1, New York


Public Farm 1 (PF1) was the winning entry for the 2008 MoMA/PS1 Young Architect Program. Built in the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s courtyards, the temporary installation introduced a 1000m2 fully functioning urban farm in the form of a folded plane made of structural cardboard tubes. PF1 combines infrastructure with public space, engaging the visitor to re-imagine the city’s infinite possibilities.

Built entirely of biodegradable and recyclable materials, PF1 was powered by solar energy and irrigated by a rooftop rainwater collection system that kept the project off the city’s grid. Throughout the summer, the farm produced over 50 varieties of organic fruit, vegetables and herbs that were used by the museum’s café, at special events, and harvested by visitors.

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December 16, 2009   Comments Off

Landscape architecture professor travels 18,000 kilometres across the North America to study urban agriculture

PHOTO BY KAREN LANDMAN. In Milwaukee, the Growing Power organization offers tours of its urban farm to give people, especially children, a chance to see where their food comes from.

Yes in My Backyard

Landscape architecture professor Karen Landman hits the road to see how people in Canada and the United States are bringing farming to the city

University of Guelph

Prof. Karen Landman, Environmental Design and Rural Development, grew up on a dairy farm, but she says her father wouldn’t recognize as farmers the people she met this summer when she travelled more than 18,000 kilometres across the western United States and Canada to study urban agriculture. They were growing food commercially in the city.

“I met with academics, social advocates, people who train others in the techniques of urban farming and, of course, urban farmers themselves,” she says.

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November 14, 2009   Comments Off

Leadenhall City Farm Proposal – London, England

Fungi and Rhubarb Garden – The north facing end of the site will be in shade most of the day and most of the year. Large logs would be impregnated with fungi spores, the rhubarb and mint would be grown beneath them providing interesting food and creating am exotic and educational lunch time destination.

Leadenhall City Farm
By Mitchell Taylor Workshop

“Parks, allotments and markets are set to spring up across Britain on the sites of building projects that have been mothballed in the recession.

“Piers Taylor, of Mitchell Taylor Workshop, one of the practices shortlisted for the Leadenhall site has proposed a city farm, populated with colour-coded chickens. He wants to create grassy banks to picnic on and plant blackberry bushes amid the surrounding steel, granite and glass.”
– from The Times Oct 30, 2009

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November 11, 2009   Comments Off

Kitchen Garden at Trengwainton Garden, Britain

Trengwainton House, near Penzance, Cornwall. Gardens are open to the public. All photos. NTPL/Andrew Butler

Kitchen garden crops are gradually being reintroduced into the productive area. Visitors can climb on to a raised platform to take in the scale of the walled gardens and their unique raised beds, built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark, as described in The Bible.

See photos of the Kitchen Garden. Follow – “Read More”.

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October 28, 2009   Comments Off

Campus to serve as national model for community gardening and environmental education

More than 45,000 individual plants, shrubs and trees have been planted by Franklin Park Conservatory staff members and volunteers on The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus. Forty individual plots are available for community rental on the campus. Photo credit: Franklin Park Conservatory.

Franklin Park Conservatory Unveils The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus in September

(August 25, 2009 – Columbus, Ohio) – Franklin Park Conservatory announces the opening and dedication of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus on September 9, 2009. Located on the grounds of Franklin Park Conservatory, the campus will serve as a national model for community gardening development, education and outreach.

“In communities across the country, Americans are experiencing the pride associated with the renewal of community gardening,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO, ScottsMiracle-Gro. “At ScottsMiracle-Gro, we are equally proud to support this growing movement through the establishment of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus, a national resource for community gardening.”
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September 8, 2009   Comments Off

Food and flower production in cities – Urban Horticulture Conference in Bologna, Italy 2009

2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture Bologna, Italy, June 9-13, 2009

Session 1 – Food and flower production in/for the cities: urban horticulture in developing and developed countries, for food and flower production.


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June 16, 2009   Comments Off

Los Angeles Times – Homegrown – urban agriculture business


How does your backyard garden grow?

By David Colker, Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2008

Marta Teegen, who owns Homegrown, a Los Angeles-based garden consulting company, will come to your house and install a vegetable garden with your choice of plants. She generally puts in about four 4-by-6-foot raised beds.

The average cost — $2,000.

At that rate, and because this is Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that several of her clients are celebrities (whom she declined to name) with private chefs.

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September 14, 2008   Comments Off

Breakfast TV Learns about Natural Lawn Care

Tasha talks to Mike about natural lawn care at City Farmer. A push mower makes no noise, uses no gasoline and does not pollute the atmosphere. See what else you can do to become a green ‘Lawnranger’.

Visitors learn about alternatives to lawns at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. How about a waterwise native plant garden or replacing your lawn with a variety of classy ground covers?

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August 29, 2008   Comments Off