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‘Farm City’ author’s new book ‘Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild’


Author Novella Carpenter on the success of ‘Farm City,’ being a mother and her newest book (release date June 17, 2014)

By John Liberty
April 12, 2014


The topics of urban farming, eating healthier and, when possible, buying locally, are very popular right now, but the conversation can be tricky, too, Carpenter said. The success of “Farm City” has propelled her into an advocacy role.

Carpenter said she avoids “preaching” to people about the virtues of eating locally, or establishing your own garden. She said in low income communities such as hers, families are struggling to make ends meet. As such, many people are eating foods high in sugar leading to an “epidemic” where one in three children have diabetes. Carpenter said one in every two children in her community have diabetes.

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April 14, 2014   No Comments

‘Roddy’ Victory Garden Cartoon – 1943


Green Hornet Comics #14
September 1943
Pencils: Jourdain

An obscure cartoon within a popular ‘Green Hornet’ issue. See the one page comic on the next page.

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March 18, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Chicken Farming 101

From Bonterra’s chef Lia Huber

Have you ever dreamed about raising your own chickens? Bonterra’s chef Lia Huber did, and jumped into doing it two years ago. Here, she tells all — the why, the how, and the what to really expect.

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March 9, 2014   Comments Off

Panoramic view of Brooklyn Grange – Urban Rooftop Farm

See larger image here.

Favorite crops grown on the Grange roof year after year

Excerpt from their website:

Salad Mixes
Our greens mix is a fresh blend of spicy mustards, sweet lettuces, bitter chicories, and bright colors. Our signature mixes evolve throughout the year, depending on which leaves prefer cool weather, warm weather, and varying sunlight. Kales, chicories, and spinach survive the winter, and pop up sweet and crisp in the early spring.

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January 4, 2014   Comments Off

1952 Netherlands – The city dweller and his allotment

A short video of a Dutch allotment garden (in Dutch)

International Congress of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners 2014 in Utrecht – The Netherlands.

The congress of the Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux will be held from 28 till 30 August 2014. The Dutch federation, AVVN, will organize this congress. Delegates from 15 countries, representing over 3 million families, will visit Utrecht and discuss the developments and trends in allotment and leisure gardening.

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November 18, 2013   Comments Off

Roof-Top Farming in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka roof farmer with his goats. “Dr.M.H.Rahman: I served the Dhaka community through my Veterinary Hospital. The Hospital is still open in my absence. I encouraged people to rear goats, pigeons, ducks and even Japanese quail on their roof-tops since these items have a big market value as there is a consumer preference for micro-livestock. The animal manure is also a source of fertilizer for pot nurseries in Dhaka where this has been the practice for some time.”

Roof-top farming in Dhaka city, where crops include goat, spinach, jute, lemon, guava and many other vegetables that are grown throughout the year.

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
All photos by Dr.Mohemmed Habibur Rahman.

The Case for Building-Integrated Food chain in the inner city

Beyond energy cost, there are additional vulnerabilities in our conventional food-production system. Political crisis like hartal, natural calamities like too much rain, little rain and even flood in the north disrupts communication and in the long-term, reduction of flows water from the upstream will cause water shortages in Bangladesh and its primary vegetable-producing regions. These vulnerabilities are reviving interest in growing food locally (using available resources by the innovative Bangladeshis – once the bottomless basket), and even on the roof tops.

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October 21, 2013   Comments Off

Rent the Chicken – Serving Armstrong, Allegheny, Butler, Indiana, and surrounding counties in Western PA


Raise your own farm fresh eggs with our Chicken and Coop rentals.

By Homestead Phil & Jenn

Excerpt from their website:

Chicken and Coop Rentals:
Thought of Raising Backyard Chickens? Every Spring, thousands of chickens are sold at local farm supply stores. Often these chickens die before they are ready to start laying eggs (16-30 weeks). Children quickly realize that chickens are not as fun as the Xbox and parents find out that chickens can not be house broken! The costs quickly start becoming more and more, then chickens are “sent to the farm”. Other people think about chickens but think they don’t have the space, worry about regulations, or just don’t know what they need. Do you build or buy a coop? Do you buy peeps?

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October 7, 2013   Comments Off

India’s Farm University Holds Seminar on Rooftop Gardening

india sem

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, celebrates its Golden Jubilee year with Urban Horticulture and Organic Roof Top Gardening Seminar – Oct 27, 28, 2013

Excerpt from brochure:

Urban Agriculture (Krishi) necessarily connoting the
pursuit of horticulture is now the new buzz in the life of people
of the metropolises. Gardening has always served as a balm for
these sore souls. The realm of kitchen garden – growing one’s
own food including medicine around homes and in the new
acres’ bought nearer their city homes is leading to revolutions
of sort.

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September 25, 2013   Comments Off

Biogas slurry and urine use in large scale vertical hydroponic greenhouses

Plantagon vertical greenhouse designs. Upper right: will be built in Linköping Sweden in 2014. Source: Plantagon 2013.

Comparative Analysis of Biogas Slurry and Urine as Sustainable Nutrient Sources for Hydroponic Vertical Farming

Thesis by Vlad A. Dumitrescu
Master’s programme Science for Sustainable Development
Water and Environmental Studies Department of Thematic Studies Linköping University

For my thesis I conducted research for Plantagon, the Swedish company aiming to build a large scale vertical hydroponic greenhouse in the city of Linköping. I looked at sustainable nutrient sources for hydroponics, namely biogas slurry and urine.


Sustainable alternatives to using mined nutrients in agriculture must be found in order to limit environmental impacts such as eutrophication, habitat destruction and greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas slurry and urine recycled to hydroponic food production (a type of soilless agriculture) have the potential of providing inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus, the main essential nutrients required for plant growth. A Life Cycle Inventory Assessment (LCI) methodology has been used to compare the systems of producing artificial fertilizer, biogas slurry and urine based nutrient solutions for the growth of Brassica rapa L. (Chinese cabbage) in the context of a large scale hydroponic vertical farm.

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September 21, 2013   Comments Off

66 Square Feet: A Delicious Life


One woman, one terrace, 92 recipes

By Marie Viljoen
Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc
Sept 2013

South African-born Marie Viljoen started her blog 66 Square Feet (the size of her Brooklyn terrace) to document her life of gardening and cooking in New York City. Despite designing luxurious rooftop gardens for wealthy clients, her own tiny terrace remained her source of daily inspiration. The blog has subsequently been lauded by Apartment Therapy and the Discovery Channel’s Green Planet blog as one of the top 10 gardening blogs to read. Martha Stewart Living and The New York Times have featured Marie’s terrace in their pages. Her book, 66 Square Feet – A Delicious Life, is Marie’s tribute to the city that has nurtured her.

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September 18, 2013   Comments Off

Australian Greens party announce $46.5 million plan for kitchen gardens in 800 schools around the country over four years

Tasmanian Greens senators Peter Whish-Wilson and Christine Milne want healthy eating to become part of the national school curriculum. Photo by Kim Eiszele Source: Mercury.

“It is time to expand the number of schools that can have a kitchen garden because the current demand is not being met.”

By Alex Blucher
ABC Rural
Aug 30, 2013


From July next year, the plan would fund 200 schools a year with $50,000 each.

The plan also includes putting food and fibre into the national curriculum and grants for adult nutrition education programs.

Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne says it’s critical to good health for children.

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September 2, 2013   Comments Off

Could city farming be a solution for Bangkok’s urban poor?

Organic rooftop vegetable and herb garden atop a high-rise building in the Lak Si district in Thailand.

A group of nutritional experts say the trend could be harnessed to improve access to food for Thailand’s growing numbers of urban poor.

By Flora Bagenal
Christian Science Monitor
August 10, 2013


Dr. Holmer was one of several authors of a new study carried out by Bangkok’s Kasetsart University and the University of Freiburg in Germany, which set out to assess Bangkok’s suitability for producing more fresh produce inside the city limits. In the year 2000, Bangkok’s population was 6.3 million, roughly 10 percent of the total population of Thailand. Today it’s ballooned to more than 9 million in the capital, 15 million with the surrounding suburbs.

Thailand’s capital has just 3 sq. meters of green space per resident – one of the lowest ratios in Asia. Despite the lack of open space, researchers found a surprising number of low-income families growing vegetables, herbs, and spices unofficially in parks, in building lots, and on windowsills around the city.

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August 12, 2013   Comments Off

‘Swearing backyard rhubarb thief’ goes viral on YouTube

Beware: Extreme foul language!

After an elderly woman wearing a wig gets caught stealing rhubarb from a neighbour in Iowa, she fights for her right to steal the rhubarb. The foul-mouthed thief claims she’s picking the rhubarb from ‘alley property’ and tells her neighbour to ‘mind your own business and go back inside’.

Excerpt: transcript from video:

New York Magazine:

Rhubarb Lady: You Pinocchio fuckin’ nose — go mind your own business!
Fence Lady: Why don’t you?
Rhubarb Lady: Why don’t you?
Fence Lady: Why don’t you grow your own?
Rhubarb Lady: This is not your fucking property, go somewhere else!
Fence Lady: [Something something] my property …
Rhubarb Lady: Fuck you! Go mind your own business!
Fence Lady: NoooOOOO. You just don’t know what’s right and wrong, do you?

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August 5, 2013   Comments Off

India: Assam government to promote roof-top vegetable gardening in urban areas


Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said that it is the first time that the state government has taken such a scheme.
18 Jul 2013

Guwahati: In a bid to increase production of fresh vegetables, the Assam government has taken an initiative to promote roof-top vegetable gardening for urban residents. Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said that it is the first time that the state government has taken such a scheme.

The government will offer some packages to the selected urban citizens of Guwahati and Jorhat initially and later extend it to other urban areas of the state, he said. The state Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing has been entrusted to implement this programme.

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July 24, 2013   Comments Off

Artist helps revive the once nearly extinct Marshall strawberry

Marshall Strawberry No. 5 by Leah Gauthier. Mixed media.

James Beard referred to the Marshall as the “tastiest strawberry in America”.

By Leah Gauthier

“Last fall I finally had sufficient numbers to share, and released an edition of 600 plants. The goal is if lots of people grow Marshall in lots of places, the plant will get stronger adapting to varied climates, and we learn as a community how to heal something that is in distress, and hopefully raise awareness along the way through personal experience about the important role heirloom foods play in a diverse and healthy food supply and champion local eating.”

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July 19, 2013   Comments Off