New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Nutrition

Edible Schoolyards teach students at five First Line Schools

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A student shows the sweet potato he unearthed at Arthur Ashe’s fall Sweet Potato Fest, a school community event that included harvesting of more than 350 pounds of sweet potatoes. Photo of Edible Schoolyard New Orleans.

“Kids get the idea they can make a living doing gardening and farming, but there is also work in food justice and food access.”

By Judy Walker
NOLA.com
April 04, 2014

Excerpt:

After Hurricane Katrina, Alice Waters wanted to do a service project for New Orleans. Now, the first Edible Schoolyard at Samuel J. Green Charter School, just off Freret Street, is a lush and lovely space that just hosted the fifth annual Edible Evening fundraiser. And Green is no longer the only Edible Schoolyard in New Orleans.

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April 16, 2014   No Comments

The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing

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This study reviews current literature and highlights compelling case for commissioning of food growing by health service, with foreward by Professor Tim Lang.

By Garden Organic and Sustain
Gareth Davies, Maria Devereaux, Margi Lennartsson, Ulrich Schmutz, Sarah Williams
April 2014

Excerpt from Forward:

We can all benefit from gardening and community food-growing projects. It is widely recognised that regular contact with plants, animals and the natural environment can improve our physical health and mental well-being. When we grow food and flowers, we are engaging with the natural world at a pace that provides a welcome antidote to the stresses of modern life.

For the large number of people in our society – children and adults – who live with challenging physical or mental health problems, gardening and community food growing can be especially beneficial.

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April 1, 2014   Comments Off

Atlanta’s ‘food swamps’ and Food and Farm

atlfertFertile Crescent Garden.

The Fertile Crescent has been training teens and young adults at a west side shelter called City of Refuge to grow and harvest kale.

By Rebecca Burns in Atlanta
The Guardian
17 March 2014

Excerpt:

“Instead of talking about a food desert, the better term is really ‘food swamp’. There is an abundance of food, but it’s not healthy or varied,” Kwabena Nkromo told me. Nkromo runs a programme called Atlanta Food & Farm, which aims to connect local growers, store owners and poor neighborhoods.

“It’s not a lack of food; it’s a lack of good food,” he said. Nkromo studied agriculture and economic development at Tuskegee and Clemson; he presumed that he’d work on famine relief in Africa or some other developing region of the world. He did not imagine that he’d be working on urban farm policies in the American south.

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March 23, 2014   Comments Off

Grow a Sustainable Diet

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Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth

By Cindy Conner
New Society Publishers
March 2014

Everyone loves to prepare a meal with ingredients fresh from their own garden. But for most of us, no matter how plentiful our harvest, homegrown produce comprises only a fraction of what we eat. And while many gardening guides will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about individual crops, few tackle the more involved task of helping you maximize the percentage of your diet you grow yourself.

Grow a Sustainable Diet will help you develop a comprehensive, customized garden plan to produce the maximum number of calories and nutrients from any available space. Avoid arriving in August buried under a mountain of kale or zucchini (and not much else) by making thoughtful choices at the planning stage, focusing on dietary staples and key nutrients. Learn how to calculate:

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February 18, 2014   Comments Off

Author credits food gardening as one of his key tenets to losing 220lbs

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The 7 Things I Did To Lose 220 Pounds Without Dieting

By Jon Gabriel
Mind Body Green
December 31, 2013

Excerpt:

Point 5. I created a much more sustainable life.

I also lowered my expenses, moved to a more affordable house and started growing some of my own foods. My life felt much more sustainable and I felt calmer and more supported. I loved knowing that anytime I was hungry I could go into the back yard and eat something fresh and full of vitality. The stress hormones where no longer coursing through my system, wreaking havoc and turning my body into a fat storage machine.

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January 8, 2014   Comments Off

Urban agriculture is a gateway to healthy foods

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Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) represents urban neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, Downtown Los Angeles and Westlake.

Urban agriculture has multiple benefits because when communities eat healthier, children can focus better in school, workers can be more productive and the people living in the area can lower their rates of obesity-related ailments, which in turn, decreases medical bills and helps families save money

By John A. Pérez
Univ of California – California Agriculture
California Agriculture 67(4):192-192. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v067n04p192.
October-December 2013

Excerpt:

As we often boast, California is home to 81,000 farms and ranches that produce more than 400 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other products, making “California grown” synonymous with the best-grown commodities in the nation. Farming occurs in some form in each of the state’s 58 counties, but each day too many Californians go without access to fresh and healthy food. Many of these people, living in both rural and urban communities scattered around the state, suffer from poor health and diet-related illnesses and experience an overall lower quality of life because they do not have access to affordable healthy foods.

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December 12, 2013   Comments Off

The Urban Gardens Program for HIV-Affected Women and Children: A Review and Look to the Future

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The Program established a total of 374 gardens — 188 school gardens, 136 community group gardens, and 50 institutional gardens — in 23 urban centres across Ethiopia.

By Peter Jensen
USAID – Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance
32 pages
April 2013

Excerpt:

Overview of the Urban Gardens Program for HIV-Affected Women and Children

The Urban Gardens Program for HIV-Affected Women and Children (UGP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was implemented in? six regions across Ethiopia. Phase I of UGP (2005–2008) established urban gardens in schools and on public land in many cities throughout Ethiopia. Phase II of the program (2009–2012) targeted the regions’ most vulnerable women and children, providing structured urban agricultural activities to strengthen food and livelihood insecurity and promoting linkages between HIV-affected communities and health services and facilities.

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November 9, 2013   Comments Off

Good Samaritan adds farm for community health in Atlanta

A one-acre farm serving thousands of patients with fresh vegetables and herbs every week

11Alive
Oct 25, 2013

Excerpt:

A thriving one-acre farm to make sure that patients eat right.

“The concept of an urban farm is new. The concept of linking it to a health center is also new. We are the first. It is truly cutting edge when you look at the whole health of the person. We are relay bringing the circle to completion by doing this,” Warren said.

Adding to it, the Center runs nutrition classes for patients, and they say their eating habits are changing.

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November 2, 2013   Comments Off

McGill Students Win $1Million to Farm Insects


The Desautels team includes Mohammed Ashour, Zev Thompson, Shobhita Soor, Gabriel Mott and Jesse Pearlstein.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that insects are eaten seasonally by 2.5 billion people worldwide.

CTV Montreal
September 23, 2013

Excerpt:

A group of McGill students has been awarded $1 million to help create a company that will farm insects.

The Hult Prize was awarded to McGill University’s Aspire team by former president Bill Clinton Monday evening at an event in New York City.

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September 27, 2013   Comments Off

North Carolina Urban Farmer, Robin Emmons, Named CNN Hero

Sow Much Good – Creating an oasis in a Southern food desert

By Kathleen Toner
CNN
September 12, 2013

Excerpt:

“I really thought it was an injustice. … Healthy food is a basic human right,” she said. “I decided to rip up my whole backyard and make it all a garden, and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

Today, Emmons has 200 volunteers helping her tend 9 acres of crops on three sites. Since 2008, she says, her nonprofit, Sow Much Good, has grown more than 26,000 pounds of fresh produce for underserved communities in Charlotte.

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September 15, 2013   Comments Off

Cargill Canada donates $50,000 to the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre Garden Patch


Blaine Duncan, Cargill’s Regional Manager for North Saskatchwan, shares his motivation for getting involved.

Saskatoon Food Bank’s urban agriculture initiative

Sept 3, 2013

The Garden Patch is a community-driven urban agriculture initiative of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre and is located in the 900 block of 3rd Ave. N in the heart of Saskatoon. Each year this vacant city-owned lot is transformed into a thriving green garden! In the last three years over 55,000 lbs of produce have been produced.

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September 12, 2013   Comments Off

Toronto Italian restaurant keeps secret urban garden for freshest herbs and vegetables

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“I think it’s a natural extension of what we do as chefs, and as much as it provides produce for our restaurant, I think its really cool for our employees to see what an artichoke looks like growing in the garden.” Chef of Paese Ristorante.

By Krista Hessey
Swallow
Aug 28, 2013

Excerpt:

With the restaurant’s owner Tony Loschiavo behind the wheel, some Earth Wind and Fire on the stereo and basil lemonades in hand we drove to Paese’s original location in North York where we met Executive Chef Chris Palik at a small organic garden that provides the freshest herbs and vegetables for Paese’s two locations.

Tony gave me a personal tour of what the backyard garden has to offer: strawberries, tomatoes, artichokes, zucchini, cucumber, herbs and a wide selection of peppers.

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September 5, 2013   Comments Off

The Guardian – Home gardens: eat what you sow and sell the surplus

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Sow, reap, eat, sell – home gardens as tools of empowerment. Photograph by Hat Margolis.

How a cheap and simple idea is empowering millions and improving food security in developing countries

By Caspar van Vark
The Guardian
19 August 2013

Excerpt:

“It demonstrated the use of trellises to grow vegetables, growing vegetables in plastic bags on the ground, and how to use the roofs of homes to grow vegetables. The women received training in summer and winter vegetable cultivation, and were given vegetable seed packets to begin their own gardens.”

The crops grown as part of the project include cucumber, gourds, red amaranth, spinach, papaya, carrots, tomatoes, and beans, and they’re grown both around homesteads and in shared community gardens. The harvests may not be huge, but they provide a year-round supply of nutrients to communities who would otherwise rely heavily on rice alone.

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September 5, 2013   Comments Off

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

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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

Excerpt:

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

Bangkok, Thailand: Edible algae—coming to a rooftop near you?

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A worker checks a spirulina farm on the top of a hotel in Bangkok on June 24, 2013.

The empty space on top of Bangkok’s many skyscrapers provide suitable growing conditions for spirulina as the constant high temperatures and sunlight are ideal breeding conditions.

By William Davies
Phys Org
Aug 27, 2013

Excerpt:

On a hotel rooftop in Bangkok, dozens of barrels of green liquid bubble under the sun—the latest innovation in urban farming.

Proponents of the edible algae known as spirulina say it could help provide a sustainable source of protein as an alternative to meat.

Three times a week, Patsakorn Thaveeuchukorn harvests the green algae in the barrels.

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August 31, 2013   Comments Off