New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Livestock

New York City Backyards Welcome Chickens and Bees

nyfrms
Photo by Ángel Franco/The New York Times. Link to slideshow.

Heard on the Street: E-I-E-I-O

By Ronda Kaysen
New York Times
July 25, 2014

Excerpt:

There is no data tracking how many New Yorkers are tilling the earth — but it’s clear which way the wind is blowing. Last year, 5,000 New Yorkers attended educational workshops led by the New York City Compost Project, a program created in 1993. More than 250 honeybee hives are registered with the city, but beekeepers like Andrew Coté, the founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association, suspect the real number is higher. His association has 480 members, up from 25 in 2007.

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July 25, 2014   No Comments

Challenges of the City Chicken in New York

Video story

By Sofia Perpetua
New York Times
July 25th, 2014

Robert McMinn, an urban homesteader in New York City, worked to be sure his neighbors and landlords were happy with his chickens.

Link.

July 25, 2014   No Comments

Edmonton Urban farmer facing fine for backyard chickens

animedmon

Kossowan doesn’t plan to fight the city about the complaint as he believes the bylaw will change eventually.

CBC News
Jul 21, 2014

Excerpt:

“I apparently have three days to rectify the situation which I find a bit unusually short … or they will issue me a $500 fine for having hens in my backyard,” Kossowan told the CBC’s Tim Adams Monday.

City council will consider making changes this summer to the bylaw to allow people to keep backyard chickens. However, animal control officer Sabrina Bergin says until the changes are actually made, poultry is still prohibited within the city limits.

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July 22, 2014   No Comments

Flint, Michigan tells city’s biggest urban farmer: Get rid of your chickens

flintch
Roxanne Adair holds one of her chickens, named Guinnevere, in a coop in the backyard of her Flint home. Adair is trying to get the city to change their ordinance against raising fowl within city limits. Photo by Samuel Wilson.

Adair has been one of Flint’s urban farming pioneers, helping to start the Flint River Farm

By Ron Fonger
mlive.com
June 16, 2014

Excerpt:

The city’s largest urban farmer has been warned to send her small flock of chickens packing, but Roxanne Adair is hoping Flint officials change the rules against backyard fowl instead.

“I’m not going to willingly give up my birds,” said Adair, who has been given 30 days to relocate them from her home in city’s College and Cultural area after a blight ordinance enforcer cited her for harboring the chickens this month.

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June 24, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit Denies Last-Minute Reprieve for Goats

goatee
The hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel watched as some goats got to work in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit. Photo by Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times.

“Goats are an effective way to do landscaping.”

By Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
June 10, 2014

Excerpt:

The hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel has been denied a last-minute reprieve for his guerrilla urban farming project.

And now, the 18 baby goats that he brought to the Brightmoor section of Detroit, to help clean up the overgrown area blighted by the city’s financial crisis, will now be sold to the butchers.

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June 19, 2014   Comments Off

Right to Farm questions,’fiction,’ addressed by Michigan agriculture director

michright
Katie Pearson raises chicken on Tabitha Farms in the city of Kalamazoo.

Raising chickens or other food for your own family’s consumption has never been within the scope of the Right to Farm Act and that has not changed.

By Rosemary Parker
Mlive
May 14, 2014

Excerpt:

Recent changes to the voluntary set of guidelines used to support the state’s Right to Farm Act have created a maelstrom of misunderstanding and misinformation about what the law does and does not do, including what protections it may or may not afford Michigan’s farming community. That misunderstanding continues to be amplified by social media reports which vastly misrepresent the facts and the potential impacts, especially as it relates to small and urban farmers.

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May 28, 2014   Comments Off

Food Safety News – Safely integrating urban agriculture

Frequent Watering of the Victory Garden Is Necessary During the Early Stages of Growth. ca. 02:1943
Watering the Victory Garden. 1943.

While growing food within city limits is exciting for urban dwellers, it also raises some unique food safety issues.

By Kelly Damewood
Food Safety News
May 2, 2014

Excerpt:

To be clear, my opinion is that urban farmers and gardeners can absolutely keep livestock safely within the city limits. However, my experience has been that urban livestock keepers are also more likely to be novices. As a result, I have seen some unfortunate situations where people underestimate the amount of attention baby goats need or the dedication it takes to milk a goat every day.

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May 23, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s urban homesteaders go back to the land

duncchick
East Vancouver’s Duncan Martin, of DailyEggs, has been installing two or three bylaw-compliant “Vancooper” chicken coops per month in city dwellers’ back yards. Phot by Trevor Brady.

“And when you make your own stuff, you’re in control of your own stuff.”

By Jessica Werb
Georgia Straight
May 14, 2014

Excerpt:

When it comes to keeping chickens, the first name on Havlak’s list is Duncan Martin, designer and builder of the Vancooper chicken coop. Martin, an East Vancouver transplant from Vermont, builds the coops out of repurposed local cedar and sells them for $700. Since starting the business in 2010, Daily Eggs, Martin says, he’s been installing about two to three of them a month.

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May 22, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture as a Strategy for Animal Welfare

animcare
Around seven-tenths (69%) of EU citizens claim to have some knowledge of the conditions under which animals are farmed in their country. However, few are fully confident in the extent of this knowledge with only 12% saying they know ‘a lot’ on this matter. Rather, the majority (57%) say that they possess ‘a little’ knowledge with 28% claiming to know ‘nothing at all’.

Urban farms connect citizens to agriculture on a personal level, which may be a more effective means of generating interest in farm animal welfare.

By Lindsay Nakonechny
ClassyAwards
January 2014
Fellow, Animal & Wildlife Welfare

Excerpt:

Now why is animal welfare important? Besides many ethical concerns, animal welfare confers many benefits including animal health, food safety and quality, reduced profit loss, and sustainable farming. Despite this significance, many consumers cannot afford time to research animal welfare standards, nor have access to farms where they can witness livestock care firsthand.

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May 21, 2014   Comments Off

Grasscutter rearing in Accra, Ghana: a novel way to ensure food security in the inner city

grasscut
A Grasscutter.

Grasscutter farming has become a thriving business from merely a hobby for many in Accra, capital city of Ghana

By Dr.Mohemmed Habibur Rahman, Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
At present: School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Consumer Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. P.O.Box: LG 586, Legon

Excerpt:

The grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) is one of the very few wild animal species who has not only been domesticated but used for the benefit of the mankind. West Africa is regarded as the home of Grasscutter and for the last couple of decades has been the source of employment, income and bush meat in Ghana. Grasscutter is variously known as the marsh cane-rat , ground hog and in francophone West Africa, the aulacode or incorrectly, the agouti is a rodent but not a rat proper, since it belongs to the Hystricomorpha (porcupine family). In “Ga” language they are called Kpin (pin) and also locally known as Akrante.

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May 20, 2014   Comments Off

Eglu Go UP Chicken House

eglu

Available in purple and green

By Diane Mckaye
May 2014

Omlet take a step up in chicken housing with their latest coop – the Eglu Go UP.

With all the benefits of the Eglu Go on legs, the Eglu Go Up is easy to clean, easy to move and no more bending down to collect eggs.

Perfect for the first time henkeeper, it’s straightforward to use and comes complete with everything you need to start your new hobby including feeder, drinker and egg boxes.

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May 16, 2014   Comments Off

A Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers in Michigan

farmscen Click on image for larger file.

Michigan Loses ‘Right To Farm’ This Week

Inquisitr
May 2, 2014

Michigan residents lost their “right to farm” this week thanks to a new ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live, the new changes “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals.” Backyard and urban farming were previously protected by Michigan’s Right to Farm Act. The Commission ruled that the Right to Farm Act protections no longer apply to many homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock.

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May 13, 2014   Comments Off

In Uganda, Dr. Jolly Kabirizi has converted a small piece of land into a gold mine

nutrblocks
Nutrition blocks help cows produce more milk. “I always make sure I offer the animals the best feeds in terms of quality and quantity,” Kabirizi says.

“Many people do not believe they can effectively rear five cows under zero grazing, feeding them on specially prepared grass.”

By Joshua Kato
New Vision
Mar 26, 2014

Excerpt:

It is difficult to believe there is a profi table agricultural enterprise inside this enclosed homestead in Seguku. The farm is located in an urban setting on less than 20 decimals of land. The same space is also occupied by nine houses, most of them for rent. Many people in urban areas have this kind of space, but regard it as useless. Not so for Dr. Jolly Kabirizi who has converted a small piece of land into a gold mine.

There are currently five cows at the backyard farm, all Friesians for milk production. Initially, Kabirizi was rearing over 20 goats. “I would have taken my cows to the village where I have bigger land. However, I wanted to live with and monitor their development,” she says.

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April 2, 2014   Comments Off

Spokane Council OKs Urban Farming

townhens
Town Hens, 1995, by Lisa Graa Jensen. Click on image for larger file.

Restrictions on small livestock lifted

By David Wasson
The Spokesman-Review
Mar 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Growing, raising and selling your own food just got easier in Spokane.

City Council members agreed Monday to lift zoning restrictions on small livestock and allow unlicensed produce stands in residential neighborhoods, a move backers hope will encourage more urban farming and sustainable lifestyles.

“If you grow it on site, you can sell it on site,” said Council President Ben Stuckart, who led the push to draft the urban farming plan.

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March 26, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farming gets a boost as Aurora, Colorado council approves backyard chickens

chickaurora
A backyard chicken coop in Highlands Ranch, Colorado in 2013. John Leyba, Denver Post.

Almost 100 residents packed council chambers, and everyone who spoke was in support of the ordinance to allow urban chickens.

By Megan Mitchell
Denver Post
Feb 25, 2014

Excerpt:

“A few years ago, I had four hens in my backyard,” Aurora resident John Dougherty said. “The eggs were vastly more delicious than store bought, we had almost zero backyard lawn pests, and mostly, my grandkids loved them.”

Other residents cited increased property value, a right to control where they get their own food, educational purposes, agricultural benefits and familial attachments as reasons why the ban should be lifted.

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March 7, 2014   Comments Off