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The Guardian – Urban farmers around the world – in pictures

Green Souls founder Julius Rego with a beneficiary from a cancer patients’ centre showcasing the day’s produce after a day at the farm. Photograph: Priti Bhosale

We asked our community to share stories of farming projects in cities across the globe. From using old sacks in Nairobi to the garden of a Syrian mosque, here are a few ways our readers have been innovating

The Guardian
Sept 2015


By Priti Bhosale, Green Souls project. We are a not-for-profit organisation addressing environmental, health and community concerns by practising and promoting sustainable urban farming. Largely active in and around Mumbai since 2012, our four community farms are volunteer-supported social projects at a children’s remand home, a boys’ shelter, a women’s shelter and a childcare centre for pediatric cancer patients. We strive to provide nutritious organic produce, nature therapy and life skills to those who need it the most in society, along with binding members of local communities irrespective of their age, status and backgrounds.

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September 25, 2015   No Comments

Civic Works’ Real Food Perlman Place farm in Northeast Baltimore

Alexander Harrell, production assistant, framed by popcorn plants. Civic Works’ Real Food Farm grows produce at their Perlman Place farm, located between North Avenue and Sinclair Lane. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

17 photos of Baltimore’s inner city farming

By Kim Hairston
Baltimore Sun
Aug 14, 2015


This is the first year in production for the Civic Works’ Real Food Perlman Place farm in Northeast Baltimore. Just over 20 varieties of vegetables, 5 types of fruit, and several herbs and ornamental plants have transformed vacant lots into productive land. According to their website, Civic Works’ Real Food Farms provide pesticide-free fresh food to people in nearby communities, train people for jobs help the watershed and educate local youth.

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August 24, 2015   Comments Off on Civic Works’ Real Food Perlman Place farm in Northeast Baltimore

China: Villages changed into cities liberating women from farm drudgery


She spent her childhood working in the fields, feeding the family’s pigs. The destruction of rural China became for Xiao Zhang a liberation – and an opportunity. This is the story of how her life changed as much as her country.

By Carrie Gracie
BBC News
June 22, 2015
(Must See. Mike)


She’d started helping with the farm work almost as soon as she could walk and when she was 11, she dropped out of school.

“Every family was poor but we were poorer,” she says.

“My mother was often ill. As the eldest I always had to help out, feeding the pigs, working in the fields, looking after the little ones.

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July 1, 2015   Comments Off on China: Villages changed into cities liberating women from farm drudgery

A garden grows in Motor City

City developers estimate that people in Detroit are growing fruit and vegetables on more than 900 inner-city lots. Many people use the front and back yards of abandoned houses, like this one. This particular lot grows tomatoes. Photo by Florian Büettner.

In recent years, Detroit has seen a rise in urban farming organizations that hope to thrive in the city’s improving economy and local communities.

By Nicole Crowder
Washington Post
January 7, 2015


Recently, photojournalist Florian Buettner explored the group Earthworks Urban Farming and its impact on the community of local growers in Detroit neighborhoods. The organization, which was founded in 1997, works to give people living in urban environmentsa chance at improving their lives by growing crops.

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January 18, 2015   Comments Off on A garden grows in Motor City

Nancy Coleman’s tomato plant went berserk with fruit – Victory Gardener


Movie Stars 1943

By Jessie Henderson
Fun on The Farm
Photoplay Magazine 1943

On the day Nancy Coleman found she was to be a star, she bought a house and an acre of land in the Valley. It’s near the homes of Marsha Hunt and Richard Carlson. To greet their fellow actor, they each sent her a gift, with a card that said, “Welcome, Neighbour!”

From the Carlson home came a tomato plant; from Marsha Hunt lettuce seeds. The tomato plant went berserk with fruit (or is it vegetables?), till one day it broke in two from the weight of its yield – Nancy knowing naught about propping it up with sticks. The lettuce seeds, to the surprise of Nancy and Marsha both, turned into virulent weeds with yellow flowers.

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November 24, 2014   Comments Off on Nancy Coleman’s tomato plant went berserk with fruit – Victory Gardener

Photo essay: What’s growing in West Virginia’s urban ruins?

wesvirgFarm manager Jocelyn Carlson waters freshly planted lettuce at Farm 18. Photo by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHou.

By the end of the season, it’s expected that $20,000 worth of produce will have been pulled from the vines of Farm 18’s one-acre plot.

By Jason Kane And Ariel Min
PBS News Hour
October 28, 2014


WHEELING, W.Va. — When Danny Swan first broke ground on his West Virginia farm in June 2008, his rototiller hit a baby doll. Then some porcelain plates. Then a pair of pantyhose.

It didn’t take him long to discover that pieces of an entire urban neighborhood were buried beneath the soil — “bricks and rocks and everything else contained in houses that used to be here,” he said.

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October 29, 2014   Comments Off on Photo essay: What’s growing in West Virginia’s urban ruins?

Nairobi, Kenya – Transforming Local Government For Agriculture in a Megacity

nairobiSlide from the presentation.

Colour presentation

By Diana Lee-Smith
Associate, Mazingira Institute
P O Box 14186 Nairobi 00800, Kenya
May 28, 2014


•How urban agriculture helps food security
•Nairobi’s food system inequalities
•Small food businesses
•Drivers of transformation: the policy process
•Realizing the Right to Food through spatial planning and small agribusiness promotion

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July 4, 2014   Comments Off on Nairobi, Kenya – Transforming Local Government For Agriculture in a Megacity

Urban Agriculture: Food Equity and Food Ecology

Bradner Gardens Park and Community Garden. Photo by Ken Kailing. Click on image for larger file.

“I don’t think there is anything easy about finding the right urban agro-ecology, but I do know it needs to happen.”

Ken Kailing,
Good Food World
May 2nd, 2014


Urban agriculture, whether grown in community gardens or in large commercial warehouses, is here to stay – and increasing. And along with it, new accommodations need to take place between neighbours.

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May 22, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture: Food Equity and Food Ecology

Urban Farmers in Chongqing, China

Wang Chengyun, a Chongqing resident, pauses for a photograph while helping his uncle clear an open plot on a construction site to use it for farming. Photo by Tim Franco. See all photos here.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Tim Franco
China File
May 1, 2014
(Must See! Mike)

Tim Franco is a French-Polish photographer based in Shanghai. Since 2005, he has been fascinated by the transformation of Chinese cities. He documents change through urban photography and keeps tuned in with the underground art world and the social implications of urbanization. For the past two years, Franco has been working on a long-term project looking at the fast urbanization in Chongqing.


As its leaders often remind the world, China has twenty-two percent of the world’s population, but less than ten percent of its arable land (as much as one fifth of which, it was recently reported, is severely polluted). People find ways to make up for the shortfall. For centuries officials have complained of peasants cultivating marginal lands, and for just as long Chinese farmers have been geniuses of agricultural improvisation, making use of whatever land they could find when they needed it.

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May 5, 2014   Comments Off on Urban Farmers in Chongqing, China

April 1944 – Actress Laraine Day poses in Victory Garden cover shot

Actress Laraine Day (1920 – 2007) poses in a gardener’s costume while surrounded by various vegetables for the April 1944 issue of PIC magazine, New York. Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images.

Excerpt from her obituary in the New York Sun (Nov 11, 2007): Laraine Day, 87, Film Actress and ‘First Lady of Baseball’

After a quickie Mexican divorce of her first husband in 1947, the Mormon movie starlet married Durocher, the foul-mouthed New York Dodger’s skipper who up to that point was despised by all but the team’s fans. The pair settled down for a decade or so of married bliss that saw Day, who kept her movie-star name, dubbed by the press “the First Lady of Baseball.”

Durocher, in the meantime, incurred further obloquy by bolting the Dodgers mid-season in 1948 for the crosstown rival Giants. Yet the marriage seemed to soften his image as well, especially after Day began broadcasting a pre-game show on WPIX, the Giants’ station at that time, in which she focused on players’ human side rather than game action. By her own account, the first time Day encountered Durocher, her first question had been, “What is a Dodger?”

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March 31, 2014   Comments Off on April 1944 – Actress Laraine Day poses in Victory Garden cover shot

Kardashians plant a vegetable garden

Kourtney, Kendall, Kim, Khloe, Kylie, Kris

Photo by Kristian Dowling/KK/Getty Images for GI
06 Aug 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA (L-R) Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kris Jenner plant a vegetable garden at their family home on August 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

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March 11, 2014   Comments Off on Kardashians plant a vegetable garden

1925 – Silent Screen Star ‘Buster Keaton’ Had a Food Garden

Actor gardens with his sons Bob and Joe

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Circa 1925: American star of the silent screen Buster Keaton (1895 – 1966) at work in the front garden of his bungalow at MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer) studios, with his two sons Bob and Joe. The bungalow, named ‘Keaton’s Kennel’ was built for him as a dressing room.

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March 6, 2014   Comments Off on 1925 – Silent Screen Star ‘Buster Keaton’ Had a Food Garden

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 on Panoramic view of Brooklyn Grange – Urban Rooftop Farm

New York Photographer, George Hirose, sheds light on East Village’s community gardens

Dias Y Flores #1, (13th St. betwn Ave A & B), 2011. Click on image to enlarge.

Magic Gardens: Night-time Photographs from the East Village Community Gardens

By Sabina Mollot
Town & Village Blog
December 26, 2013
(Must See. Mike)


As for his own interest in the gardens, for Hirose, they were always a way to meet likeminded people, artists, musicians and other characters, along with the nightclubs in the Lower East Side in the 70s and 80s. They were also a way to enjoy a bit of nature close to home, allowing a brief escape from the crime-ridden streets and graffiti-covered buildings.

However, even as the neighborhood gentrified over the years since then, the volunteer-run gardens still remained a special place to Hirose. A couple of them even had play areas for kids, and he would take his daughter to the gardens when she was younger.

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January 2, 2014   Comments Off on New York Photographer, George Hirose, sheds light on East Village’s community gardens

Photographs from Detroit: Survival, renewal and urban farming

Photo by Erica Yoon.

“I like to believe that we [are] holding this place together,” says Kadiri Sennefer, Detroit resident and a farm manager at D-Town Farm.

Denver Post
Oct 24, 2013


Erica Yoon visited Detroit in October 2012 to investigate urban gardening initiatives for a project as a graduate student in photojournalism at Ohio University. The idea of urban farms popping up amid the chaos in Detroit seemed to be a great way to visualize how people were attempting to weather the economic storm there. She spent ten days meeting people, photographing and trying to parse what she’d read about Detroit from what she was hearing from people on the ground.

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October 29, 2013   Comments Off on Photographs from Detroit: Survival, renewal and urban farming