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Singapore: Avid gardeners find innovative ways to cultivate plots

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Volunteer gardeners (above) from Cosy Garden in Bukit Batok use wilted goods to produce enzyme solutions for their plants, which include the Carissa Carandas, whose fruit is used for pickling. St Photos: Jonathan Choo

The garden uses five types of enzyme solutions made of ingredients such as banana shoots, over-ripe papayas and bananas, egg shells, milk and lemongrass.

By Ankita Varma
Straits Times
Oct 14, 2017

Excerpt:

For the past two years, they have been making these special solutions and using them on the plants.

Do they work?

The garden certainly looks great. Called Cosy Garden, it is a delightful space for the neighbourhood. The garden comprises three separate plots of land with sculptures, landscaping, flowers, herbs and a butterfly enclosure.

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October 20, 2017   No Comments

Canada: 1984 film – ‘My Urban Garden’ – Filmed in Halifax

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“As relevant today as it was when it was made.” Mike

By Polly Bennell, Director
National Film Board
1984 | 26 min

(Must See. Mike – City Farmer was consulted on this film in the early 1980’s)

Excerpt:

In this short film, Halifax gardener Carol Bowlby harvests a mouth-watering crop from her small backyard plot. In considering soil quality, lack of space and a short growing season challenges rather than obstacles, she offers a wealth of practical growing tips for urban gardeners. By heeding Bowlby’s advice, bountiful organic gardens work equally well on apartment balconies, in small or large city lots or in a rural setting.

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October 11, 2017   No Comments

Dissertation: ‘Neighbourhood to Agrihood: Exploring the extent to which urban agriculture can support inclusive redevelopment in Detroit’

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Recent graduate Hannah Gillie (Geography 2014) awarded first place in RGS-IBG Food Geographies Undergraduate Dissertation Prize.

By Hannah Gillie
Fitzwilliam College
Sept 28, 2017

Excerpt:

Abstract of Hannah’s study:

Detroit may be America’s hub of urban agriculture (UA), but what does this mean for redevelopment in the city? Amid spiralling urban crises, bankruptcy and decay, farms and gardens have spread across Detroit and continue to be key features of the cityscape, whilst investment and development return to select areas of the city. Despite much research on the socio-cultural, environmental, health and food security elements of UA, less is known about the economic development potentials and limitations of urban food cultivation. Even less studied are urban agrihoods. These are new mixed-use developments centred on farming, and Detroit is home to the supposed first ‘sustainable urban agrihood’ in America. As the story in Detroit follows a recent narrative of urban recovery, gentrification is beginning to surface as an issue. Given this context, this study examines the extent to which gentrification is interacting with UA and the implications this has for UA centred redevelopment.

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October 7, 2017   Comments Off on Dissertation: ‘Neighbourhood to Agrihood: Exploring the extent to which urban agriculture can support inclusive redevelopment in Detroit’

Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

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Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City

By Graciela Arosemena
Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.L.; 1 edition
2012. 128 pages.

Excerpt from review by François Mancebo, PhD:

In her short book Urban Agriculture, Graciela Arosemena, gives an overview of urban agriculture’s history until the great rupture and asks a question: Now that agriculture has moved outside the city, is it time to bring it back again? Her answer is “yes”, for many reasons which she associates with the idea of making cities more sustainable. In her vision, urban agriculture can stop the vicious circle of real estate speculation, provide a healthy leisure, foster social cohesion, support a new management of organic waste to reduce city’s ecological footprint and provide food security—if not complete self-sufficiency—by allowing citizens to consume locally grown vegetables and ripe fruits.

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September 13, 2017   Comments Off on Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

Call for papers: Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies

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Deadline Dec 15, 2017

The MDPI journal Sustainability is now calling for papers that contribute to the assessment of the sustainability of urban agriculture, both by advancing methodological approaches and by providing results from case studies.

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September 12, 2017   Comments Off on Call for papers: Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies

Canada: Community farming project in Toronto’s Brockton Village grows food in front yards

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Brockton Village farming project started with 250 letters left in mailboxes offering to farm neighbourhood yards. Three months later, five yards have harvested a wide variety of crops, including romaine lettuce, arugula, radishes, turnips, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and kale.

By Ellen Brait
The Star
Aug. 31, 2017

Excerpt:

Rosenthal said his children, Stella, 7, and Cy, 3, have especially loved their front yard farm. The towering corn stalks stop people on the street, and he said both his kids love giving tours of their plot.

“They love talking about it,” Rosenthal said. “My daughter went to camp and I was with her when she met her bunk mates and she was joking she lived on a farm. It is funny but I had to say, ‘You don’t. Some people might actually live on a farm. You live in the city and there happens to be stuff in your front yard.’ ”

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September 8, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Community farming project in Toronto’s Brockton Village grows food in front yards

Alaska: The Fairbanks Community Garden Saw Its First Frost Sept 3

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Fairbanks Community Garden started in 1979.

Temperatures are expected to stay above freezing at night for the remainder of the week according to the National Weather Service forecast

By Erin Granger
Daily News-Miner
Sept 4, 2017

Excerpt:

“We have brassicas here,” Fiera said as she toured her small gardening plot. “We have kale and cabbages still in the ground over here. I’m also growing celery, flowers, squash, beets, potatoes.”

Among her other vegetables, Fiera also grew a giant Alaskan cabbage this summer that weighed 16 pounds. Her 3-year-old son watered the garden every day with her and won a blue ribbon at the Tanana Valley State Fair for the cabbage, Fiera said.

Signs of frost damage could be seen on Fiera’s potato, squash and bean plants, which were beginning to turn brown along the leaves and stem.

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September 4, 2017   Comments Off on Alaska: The Fairbanks Community Garden Saw Its First Frost Sept 3

New Zealand: Once derelict garden in Bishop Auckland is transformed

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“When we first came 17 years ago the allotments were really dilapidated – with people bringing old doors for fences and lots of old rackety sheds.

By Catherine Priestley
The Advertiser
Aug 28, 2017

Excerpt:

In 2001 the site was under-occupied, overgrown and rundown, with just about half of the plots in use and derelict buildings and rubbish on other parts of the site.

Gardeners, also worried the land was ripe for development, set up South Church Allotment Society to turn around its fortunes.

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September 4, 2017   Comments Off on New Zealand: Once derelict garden in Bishop Auckland is transformed

Gotham Greens: Four High-Tech Vegetable Farms in New York City, Chicago

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Video Story

Bloomberg
Aug 22, 2017

The challenge of providing fresh produce to consumers and restaurants in big cities has been an opportunity for Gotham Greens. Co-founder and CEO Viraj Puri explains how his commercial-scale urban farming company has expanded from its startup roots.

August 31, 2017   Comments Off on Gotham Greens: Four High-Tech Vegetable Farms in New York City, Chicago

Growing in Glasgow: Innovative practices and emerging policy pathways for urban agriculture

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3 Hills Community Garden.

In this paper, we present an exploratory case study of UA practice on the Southside of Glasgow, UK that traced the emergence and development of four UA projects.

By James T. White and Christopher Bunn,
Land Use Policy
Vol 68, Nov 2017

Highlights

Paper explores four projects in Glasgow, Scotland that reveal a diversity of UA practices.

Negotiating access to land and securing long-term funding are common challenges for local UA practitioners.

UA practitioners in Glasgow seek to re-purpose vacant and derelict land, build social cohesion and contribute to environmental and food sustainability.

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August 27, 2017   Comments Off on Growing in Glasgow: Innovative practices and emerging policy pathways for urban agriculture

Canada: Urban agriculture takes root in Winnipeg

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Kal Barteski’s artwork based on this week’s conversation.

The city already has a community garden coordinator. It would be great to hire an urban agriculture coordinator to explore how to use all types of city spaces for small-scale agriculture and market gardening or even urban U-picks.

By Jason Syvixay
Winnipeg Free Press
08/19/2017

Excerpt:

How can the City of Winnipeg help urban agriculture flourish?

Giesbrecht: I think the city can implement rather simple things. They could provide free or low-rent on underutilized public spaces to agricultural entrepreneurs instead of paying city staff to maintain these areas. They can put calls out for seasonal market gardens on their vacant or derelict lots much as they do with food trucks or hot dog vendors. In lieu of rent or a user fee, the city could also ask these operators to donate a portion of their products or profits to a local shelter or food bank.

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August 26, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Urban agriculture takes root in Winnipeg

UK: Carrots and communism: the allotments plotting a food revolution

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OrganicLea, where all vegetable planting uses organic and permaculture principles, working with nature not against it. Photograph: OrganicLea

It is legally permissible for allotment gardens to market the surplus, up to 49% of what allotmenteers produce, and councils are also entitled to put unwanted allotments to commercial use on a year-by-year basis.

By Ru Litherland
The Guardian
Aug 18, 2017

Excerpt:

Allotment gardens have always been more than mere domestic food growing units. From their very beginning in the Victorian period, when land was given to the labouring poor for growing food, they’ve provided a space for recreation and an alternative to industrial capitalism.

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August 23, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Carrots and communism: the allotments plotting a food revolution

An Ann Arbor Man Is Creating A Diverse, World-Class Urban Farm

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He has his eye on a larger piece of land about a mile from where he is currently located and hopes to continue to keep growing and supplying healthy organic produce to restaurants and markets in Washtenaw County.

By Lisa Barry
WEMU
Aug 1, 2017

On the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, Melvin Parson inherited a small piece of farmland in Ann Arbor from a friend who had recently passed away. That sparked his interest in agriculture. As he looked into it, he noticed a lack of diversity in those selling and buying fresh produce inspiring him to one day create a world-class urban farm.

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August 7, 2017   Comments Off on An Ann Arbor Man Is Creating A Diverse, World-Class Urban Farm

Canada: Maple Ridge teens take on city hall over backyard chickens

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Blythe Parry (left) and Janelle Pomeroy have taken their fight to raise backyard chickens to city hall in Maple Ridge. Now they are teaching people how to raise chickens as a way to enlist others to join their battle. Nick Procaylo / Png

Backyard chicken farming has flourished in Vancouver in recent years with more than 220 urban farmers registered with the city as of last year. West Vancouver and Surrey are among other jurisdictions that allow the practice.

By Matt Robinson
Vancouver Sun
July 30, 2017

Excerpt:

Janelle Pomeroy had been raising chickens in her backyard for about two years by the time she got the knock on the door.

It was a bylaw enforcement officer who gave the Maple Ridge teen one week to get rid of her hens or face consequences. Backyard chickens are not welcome in the city, the teen was told.

That was last year, and it was one of the catalysts for a campaign by Pomeroy, her sister, and her friend Blythe Parry for a rule change on Maple Ridge chickens.

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August 4, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Maple Ridge teens take on city hall over backyard chickens

Chicago Synagogue’s Urban Farm Thrives

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Some of the fruits and vegetables harvested from the KAMII farm.

The KAMII farm now comprises two 50-foot-long plots of cultivated crops and two mostly self-sustaining “food forests”

By Aimee Levitt
Forward
July 11, 2017

Excerpt:

The farm at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago is very much an urban farm, with a bus line running past the side entrance, and tourists passing by to see Barack Obama’s former home across the street; so, the volunteer farmers do not feel obligated to wake up at the crack of dawn. Still, they prefer to work in the cool of a summer morning, so by 9:30 a.m. on a recent Sunday — farm day — the weekly harvest was well underway.

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July 18, 2017   Comments Off on Chicago Synagogue’s Urban Farm Thrives