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Category — Planning

An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

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The goal of the guide is to encourage city residents to grow and sell produce by providing resources that explain the relevant rules and regulations.

By Grow Pittsburgh, Penn State Extension, and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
April 2016

Excerpt:

Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan can be a long process, but these resources will help you out:

Penn State Extension provides many resources from an agriculture perspective. Visit the Creating a Business Plan page, or Start Farming, which is a comprehensive resource hub that covers the entire scope of production, business and state/federal regulations for those new to growing for profit.

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April 26, 2016   No Comments

Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

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President Park Geun-hye listens to a developer of a mobile farming game during the 2015 A Farm Show in Seoul. (Yonhap file photo)

A unique exposition designed to help urban dwellers relocate to rural areas to start small farms will kick off in Seoul next week under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s key news service, organizers said Thursday.

By Kang Yoon-seung
Yon hap News
Apr 21, 2016

The organizers say the expo will be helpful to urban residents who are dreaming of leading a slow and peaceful life instead of being chased by hectic urban routines.

In 2014, the number of South Korean households escaping urban areas to start an agricultural career came to 44,586, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier. Although the official data is not yet available, experts said the figure is estimated to have hovered above 50,000 in 2015, which is more than a 10-fold growth from 4,067 posted in 2010.

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April 25, 2016   No Comments

Why urban agriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis

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sfrIn the last few years, Cape Town has witnessed the proliferation of hundreds of community gardens and urban farms.

It is clear that urban agriculture can have significant benefits for some participating households. But we are concerned about the absence of wider evidence supporting its potential to address food insecurity beyond those households.

By Gareth Haysom, Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Jane Battersby, Senior Researcher in Urban Food Security and Food Systems, University of Cape Town
Economies
April 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Proponents of urban agriculture offer figures suggesting that as many as 40% of African urban residents are involved in some form of agriculture. Such figures require far greater interrogation. In the case of Cape Town in South Africa, research conducted in low-income areas of the city in 2008 found that less than 5% of poor residents were involved in any form of urban agriculture. In reality, those most active in urban agriculture were found to be wealthier people in low-income areas.

Context is a further determining factor. Research shows that in towns where the municipal boundary extended into areas with more rural characteristics, urban agriculture was higher.

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April 20, 2016   No Comments

Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site

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The City, along with Roots to Harvest, unveiled a new program and site plan lastnight that will transform the former soccer fields adjacent to Volunteer Pool into a productive urban agriculture site.

“This partnership with Roots to Harvest is a great opportunity to explore how urban parks can become more productive environments,” said Werner Schwar, the city’s supervistor of parks and open-space planning.

By Leith Dunick
NewsWatch
April 12, 2016

Excerpt:

The goal of the project, to be paid for with more than $300,000 supplied by several different organizations, is to provide a place for young adults to learn about leadership and employment skills in a variety of ways, including bee keeping, gardening and raising rabbits.

“Nothing instills a strong work ethic in young people better than agricultural work,” said Julie Rosenthal, a former farmer from Murillo and now the lead facilitator with Roots to Harvest, who has partnered with the City of Thunder Bay to launch the ambitious project.

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April 16, 2016   Comments Off on Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site

Urban garden plan takes root in London, Ontario

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The committee approved the motion that now will now go to council. It calls for a staff report on how the city can aid community groups on using private land for urban agriculture.

By Norman DeBono
The London Free Press
April 11, 2016

Excerpt:

The city just may get into the gardening business.

A proposal from Coun. Michael van Holst for the city to aid a community group in urban agriculture received a warm reception Monday at a planning and environment committee meeting.

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April 16, 2016   Comments Off on Urban garden plan takes root in London, Ontario

Toward Sustainability: Novelties, Areas of Learning and Innovation in Urban Agriculture

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jumplGraphic from: If You Plant a Seed by Nadir Nelson.

The described novelties include approaches to enhance the positive impacts of practicing agriculture within urban areas, and some of them have the potential to contribute to societal change and open up opportunities for social learning processes.

By Ina Opitz, Kathrin Specht, Regine Berges, Rosemarie Siebert and Annette Piorr
Sustainability
Vol 8 Iss 4
Apr 1, 2016

Abstract:

Given the search for new solutions to better prepare cities for the future, in recent years, urban agriculture (UA) has gained in relevance. Within the context of UA, innovative organizational and technical approaches are generated and tested. They can be understood as novelties that begin a potential innovation process. This empirical study is based on 17 qualitative interviews in the U.S. (NYC; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago, IL, USA). The aim was to identify: (i) the most relevant areas of learning and innovation; (ii) the drivers of innovation; (iii) the applied novelties and their specific approach to overcoming the perceived obstacles;

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April 15, 2016   Comments Off on Toward Sustainability: Novelties, Areas of Learning and Innovation in Urban Agriculture

Confronting the Dark Side of Urban Agriculture

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francFrancois Manchebo.

All urban agricultures are not sustainable, and some may even produce deleterious effects on the city inhabitants as well as on the city itself.

By François Mancebo, PhD,
Director of the IRCS and IATEUR, is professor of urban planning and sustainability at Rheims university. He lives in Paris.
The Nature of Cities
April 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Get back to the ground level: conventional farming within cities is potentially a much graver concern, be it located in a skyscraper or just in the ground. The big issue here is the dissemination of pesticides and fertilizers as well as of the wastes and the by-products of industrial urban agriculture, especially in vine-growing or grain-growing regions—two agricultural productions with high added-value—where vines and fields are frequently incorporated in the city. The inhabitants of such cities are exposed to critical levels of pesticides on a daily basis without them even knowing. Well, they are beginning to know, and it appears that they are not happy at all.

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April 9, 2016   Comments Off on Confronting the Dark Side of Urban Agriculture

Greater Cape Town, South Africa to develop 280ha of fertile urban farmland with more than 6 000 houses

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grphoilFarm workers in the Philippi Horticultrural Area pick vegetables to be sold at local supermarkets and informal trade vegetable stalls. It is feared at least 4 000 could lose their jobs if development plans for the area go ahead. Pictures: Michael Walker.

The area had been producing vegetables for the city since 1885 and he warned that the short-term profit for a few developers would have a negative effect on the long-term benefit of food, water and climate security offered by the aquifer.

By Asanda Sokanyile
Weekend Argus
Apr 2, 2016

Excerpt:

The consequence, campaign convener Nazeer Sonday warned, would be loss of production of more than

150 000 tons of vegetables and flowers annually, along with as many as 4 000 jobs.

“The land was bought from private farmers by developers who are now waiting for the city to rezone it to allow them to build their estate, which will not only take away the jobs of more than 4 000 farmworkers, but will also ruin the aquifer which could supply the city with almost a third of its potable water needs,” he said.

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April 9, 2016   Comments Off on Greater Cape Town, South Africa to develop 280ha of fertile urban farmland with more than 6 000 houses

Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.

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A mural on Vernor Hwy. in Detroit, Michigan. The city’s poorest neighborhoods have ready access to fast food, but lack fresh produce and healthy eating options. Credit: Cybelle Codish.

“If we want to increase the quality of life for black people, we need land to do that,” Yakini says. “We have gone backwards — black-owned land has decreased significantly since its peak in 1910.”

By Martina Guzmán
PRI’s The World
March 30, 2016

Excerpt:

Lorenzo Herron is a 26-year-old Detroit native and urban farmer. His degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University brought him back to Detroit in 2012, where he began growing cherries, raspberries, strawberries and mulberries on the city’s east side.

“Growing fruit is the least amount of work,” he says. “You don’t have to baby fruit; most crops need a lot of pampering and are super-needy.”

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April 5, 2016   Comments Off on Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.

Documentary on sale of Detroit land to create tree farm to be featured in annual film festival

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LAND GRAB – Official Trailer 2016 from Atlas Industries on Vimeo.

Land Grab delves into the political maneuvering required to put roots in the ground, highlighting a divided citizenry

By Matt Helms
Detroit Free Press
April 1, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

It said one of the city’s wealthiest residents was planning to sink millions into what he billed as the world’s largest urban agriculture project. Working for a TV production company, O’Grady spent a year and a half researching the issue and realized that John Hantz, the founder of a financial services conglomerate, was the underdog facing stiff opposition to his plan to buy some 2,000 vacant or blighted lots and turn them into what eventually became a large tree farm.

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April 2, 2016   Comments Off on Documentary on sale of Detroit land to create tree farm to be featured in annual film festival

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Unveils Food Computers

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TED Talk: What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology.

Build a PFC, Climate Recipes, User Interface, Open Source, School Programs, The Future of Food

The Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAG) is on a mission to create more farmers for the future of food production. We are developing the open source hardware and software platforms for sensor-controlled hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture systems.

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March 16, 2016   Comments Off on Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Unveils Food Computers

Forbes: Urban Farming: Fad Or Futureproof?

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greenind
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?

Urban Farms Fuel Idealism. Profits? Not So Much

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bigcBig Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb., is seen among residential homes last October. Urban farms have become a celebrated trend, yet earning a living at it is tough, a new survey finds. Nati Harnik/AP

“Getting land is a difficult thing,” which limits profitability, Willerer says. “If [the city] made it a little easier, people would give it more of their time and energy.”

By Tracie Mcmillan
NPR
Mar 7, 2016

Excerpt:

Many urban farmers, however, see themselves less as profit-driven businesses and more as social enterprises addressing concerns like food insecurity, education and community-building. Two-thirds of the farms surveyed identified those three concerns as their primary focus, while about a quarter said they were driven by market concerns. (The remaining 10 percent of farmers indicated missions that could not be neatly classified in those four categories; Dimitri said these farms were generally occupied with a social mission other than those listed.)

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March 13, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Farms Fuel Idealism. Profits? Not So Much

Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

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fedlocally

A project by UC Merced Professor Elliott Campbell mapped the potential of every American city to obtain food locally. Research shows unexpectedly large current potential for productive farmland.

By Lorena Anderson
UC Merced News
June 1, 2015

Excerpt:

Campbell and his students looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city, then estimated how many calories those farms could produce. By comparing the potential calorie production to the population of each city, the researchers found the percentage of the population that could be supported entirely by food grown locally.

The researchers found surprising potential in major coastal cities. For example, New York City could feed only 5 percent of its population within 50 miles but as much as 30 percent within 100 miles. The greater Los Angeles area could feed as much as 50 percent within 100 miles.

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March 10, 2016   Comments Off on Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

Canada: A National Strategy For Urban Agriculture

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natstatgy Click on image for larger file.

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture comments on City Farmer’s plan “I will certainly consider the recommendations you have outlined in the enclosed publication as I pursue my mandate.” Laurence MacAulay

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer Executive Director
March 3, 2016
15 page booklet (10MB file)

Thirty-six years ago in 1980, City Farmer sent copies of its newspaper to Canada’s Members of Parliament to introduce them to the subject of urban agriculture. In January, 2016, we sent Federal Cabinet Ministers a 15 page booklet outlining a proposal which asks the new Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.

“It’s a new year and time to put in place a program that will benefit all Canadians. We hope you will consider Canada: A National Strategy for Urban Agriculture as a worthy project for your new government. I’m certain it will be well received by Canadians who want to eat better, care for our environment, and improve our general well being.”

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture, Laurence MacAulay, wrote back expressing his appreciation for our work and commented positively about our plan “I will certainly consider the recommendations you have outlined in the enclosed publication as I pursue my mandate.”

Excerpt from the City Farmer booklet:

Over 26 million Canadians live in 147 metropolitan areas and agglomerations across the country with populations that range from 5,600,000 people in Toronto to 10,500 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.

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March 3, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: A National Strategy For Urban Agriculture