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Growing vegetables in shopping carts

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Gro-Carts lined with straw and hay, and then filled with soil, seeds and seedlings. PNG

The cart gardens could serve others with limited garden space, such as low-income seniors who live in a high-rise with a balcony and want a vegetable garden. As well, eight of the carts are being used at a women’s shelter

By Kim Pemberton
Vancouver Sun
April 26, 2016

Excerpt:

She said that while the original idea was for someone who is homeless to use a cart to grow food, she acknowledges it would be difficult if they are already pushing a cart to store their belongings. But the idea could still be used if two homeless people wanted to share the mobile garden and take turns tending it, she said.

Last year, the two women won the top prize in the SFU Surrey-Central City student engagement competition and were awarded $3,000.

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May 2, 2016   No Comments

Houston’s Hope Farms Breaks Ground

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hopeRecipe for Success Foundation celebrated Earth Day 2016 by officially breaking ground on Hope Farms.

Houston’s New Urban Farming Project Will Provide Fresh Produce, Farmer Training, Nutrition Education and Community Gathering Space in Historic Sunnyside

By Jovanna David
Press Release
Apr 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Located on seven acres in the heart of Houston’s historic Sunnyside neighborhood, the new Hope Farms will use organic methods to generate significant food crops in the midst of one of the city’s largest food deserts, while training military veterans to become successful agri-entrepreneurs.

Hope Farms is a critical component in achieving Recipe for Success Foundation’s mission to change the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food and to mobilize the community to provide healthier diets for children.

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April 27, 2016   No Comments

Brooklyn community garden fights for its life in the courts

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marshmKids roasting marshmallows in the garden.

The gardeners are petitioning both the city and state to take the plot by eminent domain and formally turn it into parkland, with the garden protected in perpetuity.

By Bill Weinberg
The Villager
Apr 14, 2016

Excerpt:

But in November, a notice of eviction from the Makhanis was placed inside one of the garden beds. This was the beginning of a complicated legal battle that is still not resolved, and on which the fate of the garden hangs.

The entity demanding eviction of the garden is Housing Urban Development LLC of the Makhani brothers, who have a history of dubious doings — beginning with the company’s name, obviously intended to sow confusion with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They are claiming the property on very murky grounds.

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April 18, 2016   Comments Off on Brooklyn community garden fights for its life in the courts

A farm deep inside a Brooklyn warehouse may lead the way to large-scale urban agriculture

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CLOSED LOOP: Waste from tilapia in Jason Green’s tanks fertilizes herbs, which then filter the water. Both the greens and the fish are sold to restaurants. Photo: Buck Ennis.

Aquaponics once seemed like a hobby could be the future for growing food in New York City

By Cara Eisenpress
Crain’s New York Business
Apr 10, 2016

Excerpt:

At Edenworks, the Whole Foods agreement will let Green expand from a small warehouse in East Williamsburg, where his team has spent 18 months and $1.3 million in venture capital proving the concept of its modular farm, nurturing 50 pounds of tilapia and floating seed trays of chard, arugula and basil.

The farm’s products are chemical-free, even if they are not labeled organic. That has less to do with the fact that organic fish food is not always available than it does with the cost of getting products certified organic, Green said.

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April 15, 2016   Comments Off on A farm deep inside a Brooklyn warehouse may lead the way to large-scale urban agriculture

Tucson, Arizona has a 4,100-year-old continuous history of agriculture inside the city limits.

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UNESCO recognizes Tucson as a City of Gastronomy

By Von Diaz
Splendid Table
April 1, 2016

Excerpt:

In December 2015, Tucson, Arizona, was named a City of Gastronomy in the Creative Cities Network by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is the first city in the U.S. to receive the designation.

Gary Nabhan, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security at The University of Arizona, explains what that means for the city.

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April 7, 2016   Comments Off on Tucson, Arizona has a 4,100-year-old continuous history of agriculture inside the city limits.

A Community Garden Is Sprouting Up In The Middle Of Downtown Los Angeles

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labVolunteers building planters for the Spring Street Community Garden (via Facebook).

“These are low investments with a really high return for the community.”

By Danny Jensen
Laist
Mar 21, 2016

Excerpt:

What was once just an unused, weed-covered stretch of dirt next to a parking garage on Spring St. between 2nd and 3rd streets, will become the Spring Street Community Garden next month, according to Downtown News. Volunteers from the neighborhood have been working for months to clear the 2,700-square-foot lot, and are about halfway through building 40 three-by-four and six-by-two feet raised planters that will then be filled with nutrient-rich soil (as not surprisingly, the dirt in the urban lot did not test well for growing veggies).

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March 27, 2016   Comments Off on A Community Garden Is Sprouting Up In The Middle Of Downtown Los Angeles

Forbes: Urban Farming: Fad Or Futureproof?

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Indoor farms might offer a new way to feed our cities (Credit: Bryghtknyght, CC BY 3.0 Wikipedia)

But for me, with ‘hundreds of millions of urban dwellers suffer(ing from) under-nutrition’, anything that helps to bring nutritious food closer to the urban table can only be worth pursuing.

By Laurie Winkless
Forbes
March 9, 2016

Excerpt:

However questionable the profitability of the farms reviewed in this paper may be, urban farming continues to hit headlines. And that is for a simple reason – with more people living in cities than ever before, the race is on to find better ways to feed us. Across the world there are some seriously high-tech projects that are attempting to reinvent crop-farming. After the 2011 earthquake in Tohuko, Japan, a previously unused part of a Fujitsu factory became the country’s first viable indoor vertical farm. Blue and red LEDs illuminate stacked trays of salad leaves, while they are hydrated using a water mist (BRIEF ASIDE: These wavelengths are chosen because they increase the rate of photosynthesis, making the whole ‘turning sunlight into food’ process a lot more efficient).

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March 15, 2016   Comments Off on Forbes: Urban Farming: Fad Or Futureproof?

Enough with the vertical farming fantasies: There are still too many unanswered questions about the trendy practice

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1600Monk Circa 1598. Fiacrius/Sadeler, Raphaël, 1560-1632 (graveur); Vos Martin de, 1532-1603 (d’après) Click on image for larger file.

In addition to not feeding the masses, vertical farming could have grave environmental and economic consequences

By Stan Cox
Alternet/ Salon
Feb 17, 2016

Excerpt:

But even if funding and popular support can be found for all such good-food initiatives, the root causes of rural food insecurity will remain. Poverty, loss of family farms, the boarding up of small-town storefronts and ecological degradation are all attributable to exploitation by agribusiness, and they can’t be fixed by growing salad greens under lights.

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February 25, 2016   Comments Off on Enough with the vertical farming fantasies: There are still too many unanswered questions about the trendy practice

Iowa: Growing Food and Transforming Communities: Farming on Vacant Land

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Volunteers with their harvest at the Waverly Community Sharing Garden.

“The county owns 160 acres in Johnson County within Iowa City city limits, and it’s an incredible resource.”

By Lindsey Moon & Charity Nebbe
Iowa Public Radio
Feb 3, 2016

Excerpt:

Sellz is the first county-level local foods and planning specialist to be hired in the state of Iowa. Iowa State University Extension has been helping to organize urban gardens like the Community Sharing Garden in Waverly, but Sellz’s job is the first position of it’s kind in local government.

During this Talk of Iowa conversation, host Charity Nebbe talk with Sellz about her new post and some of the things she is hoping to do, including an effort called Grow Johnson County, whish aims to turn the old country poor farm into an urban garden.

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February 11, 2016   Comments Off on Iowa: Growing Food and Transforming Communities: Farming on Vacant Land

Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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istb
An aerial view of Yedikule gardens.

Istanbul is struggling to keep its centuries-old farming plots due to the drive for modernisation. Dozens of farmers face being kicked off the land they have cultivated for generations.

By Van Meguerditchian
The Observers
Feb 5, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Yedikule (“Castle of the Seven Towers”) gardens, planted and taken care of by local farmers for generations, are located right outside the old city walls in the southern tip of European Istanbul. The area is a UNESCO-protected site that contains the old walls that guarded what was then Constantinople from outside invaders.

After losing most of their storage areas and sheds in January, when city authorities dismantled them by force, the farmers and their families now fear they will lose their gardens by this spring – and that Istanbul’s city center will lose its 1,500-year-old agricultural practice.

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February 6, 2016   Comments Off on Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India Promote Urban Agriculture

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View of Dal Lake, Srinagar city and Kashmir valley.

Keeping the scope of urban agriculture in view Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST-Jammu) is creating awareness on urban agriculture among the urban and peri-urban people of the province.

Dr.Banarsi Lal
Daily Excelsior
Jan 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Agriculture is the mainstay of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy. About 80 per cent of J&K population depends on agriculture. The total geographical area of this state is 2, 22, 236 sq. km and the population is 1, 25, 48,926 (Census 2011). Over the years, the farmers of the state have adopted new agricultural technologies but still the state is having low productivity of almost all the crops. Like other states of the country, people from rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir are migrating towards the urban areas.

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January 26, 2016   Comments Off on Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India Promote Urban Agriculture

Arizona State University project to create physics-based model to study the effects of establishing neighborhood gardens

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Alex Mahalov (left) and Stephen Shaffer discuss “what if” scenarios related to converting vacant lands around Phoenix into urban farms.

“On a larger scale, if we were to convert all the current vacant integrated lands in Phoenix into crops, would we be able to irrigate them for the next 80 years, or would they just last for two or three years and we’d run out of water? We can start looking at these kinds of scenarios,”

By Rhonda Olson
Arizona State University
Jan 22, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The interdisciplinary team from ASU, consisting of computational and climate scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, geoscientists and social scientists, will help predict the yields of crops and to study “what if” scenarios and optimize outcomes of future crops.

For example, the team will study what would happen if vacant lands around the Phoenix metropolitan area were converted to farms. The model will be able to take a future map of the city expansion and samplings based on current densities, and use that data to predict a future city scenario. Bringing food closer to consumers with less shipping means fresher, more nutritious food available at lower cost.

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January 25, 2016   Comments Off on Arizona State University project to create physics-based model to study the effects of establishing neighborhood gardens

‘The Farm on the Roof’ about Brooklyn Grange

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Coming April 5, 2016 – The founders of Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest green rooftop farm, share their inspirational story of changing the world through entrepreneurship.

The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business
By Anastasia Cole Plakias
Avery (April 5, 2016)
288 pages

In their effort to build the world’s first and largest commercial green rooftop farm, the founders of Brooklyn Grange learned a lot about building and sustaining a business while never losing sight of their mission—to serve their community by providing delicious organic food and changing the way people think about what they eat. But their story is about more than just farming. It serves as an inspirational and instructional guide for anyone looking to start a business that is successful while making a positive impact.

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January 20, 2016   Comments Off on ‘The Farm on the Roof’ about Brooklyn Grange

County of San Diego to explore urban agriculture incentive zones

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cartoonFrom the New Yorker.

The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act defines “urban” as an area within the boundaries of an urbanized area including at least 250,000 people, so land in a small town within an urban metropolitan area is eligible.

By Joe Naiman
Village News
December 13, 2015

Excerpt:

No dwellings may be built on the property while it is under a contract, although structures which support agriculture such as tool sheds, greenhouses, produce stands, and instructional space are allowed. Both commercial and non-commercial agriculture are permitted on land with Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone contracts. A contract can include a prohibition on the use of pesticides or fertilizers although pesticides or fertilizers allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program would be permitted.

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December 19, 2015   Comments Off on County of San Diego to explore urban agriculture incentive zones

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners

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gursec

First major critical evaluation of guerrilla gardening in the UK

By Michael Hardman and Peter Larkham
Springer
Fall 2015

The book explores how unused and under-used urban spaces – from grass verges, roundabouts, green spaces – have been made more visually interesting and more productive, by informal (and usually illegal) groups known as “guerrilla gardeners”. The book focuses on groups in the English Midlands but the work is set in a broad international context and reveals how and why they undertake this illegal activity.

Guerrilla gardening is usually viewed uncritically and promoted as a worthwhile activity: this study provides a more balanced evaluation and focuses on its contribution in terms of local food production.

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December 8, 2015   Comments Off on Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners