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Category — Planning

London, Ontario: Hungry for Urban Agriculture

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(Gabor Sass photo)

Over the course of the day, there were more than 250 people who came to listen to 12 knowledgeable speakers on various aspects of urban agriculture.

By Glen Pearson
Special to Postmedia Network
December 2, 2016

Excerpt:

Gabor Sass, one of the community organizers of the conference, agreed, noting the key takeaway he got from the conference was “the establishment of a unique public-public partnership between city staff and citizen organizations.”

What will all this mean for London? Citizens will spot more community gardens, edible forest gardens, emerging forms of animal husbandry, aquaculture, expanded horticultural opportunities, and perhaps urban beekeeping in coming years.

In short, it will lead to the furtherance of cultivating, processing and distribution of local food in our region.

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December 9, 2016   No Comments

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative will transform a vacant apartment building into a community center and cafe

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A rendering of what the future community resource center and food cafe will look like on Brush Street in Detroit’s North End. Photo by Dave Darovitz/Global Product Development Communications. Click on image for larger file.

“This is part of a larger trend occurring across the country in which people are redefining what life in the urban environment looks like.”

By Chris Ehrmann
Crains Detroit
Nov 31, 2016

Excerpt:

The nonprofit on Wednesday announced the support of BASF SE and Sustainable Brands, a global community of business innovators, which will help renovate the 3,200-square-foot three-story apartment building at 7432 Brush St. and across from MUFI’s 2-acre urban garden. It will house commercial kitchens that will service the planned cafe and allow for future production and packaging of goods for the organization. Other new amenities being developed include a children’s learning sensory garden.

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December 1, 2016   No Comments

‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

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Erin Davidson of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association and Peter Meegan of Mary Ann Meegan Insurance Ltd. with one of 38 planters filled with edible produce and herbs that was installed earlier this year for Coquitlam Munch, a city of Coquitlam Community in Bloom project.

38 self-watering planters, created by a garden designer Rachel Elves, are planted with food by the adopting businesses.

By Diane Strandberg
Tri City News
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“I thought it was a good community thing,” said Meegan, who had to plant the herbs and veggies as part of the planter “adoption” process, and was surprised at how fun it was.

“It’s in the blood,” he joked, noting that members of his Irish family are good gardeners.

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November 30, 2016   No Comments

Digging into the benefits of urban agriculture: How can and do food policy councils support urban ag?

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Webinar Food Policy Networks: Nov 29, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Featured Speakers:
Shaniece Alexander, Director, Oakland Food Policy Council
Beth Low-Smith, Director, Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition

Growing interest in urban agriculture is inspiring widespread attention from gardeners to policymakers alike, across municipalities and states. Food policy councils play an important role in assisting urban agriculture efforts by advocating for legislation, funding, and other resources, as well as through educational support for urban food producers.

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November 22, 2016   Comments Off on Digging into the benefits of urban agriculture: How can and do food policy councils support urban ag?

1981 Agriculture Canada: Gardens for all?

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Replacement of $500 million of this total by homegrown produce would be equivalent in balance-of-payment terms to one fifth of our average grain exports.

By Keith Wilde
Planning Advisor, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Branch
Publication: Food Markets Commentary
Agriculture Canada
December 1981
City Farmer’s research and activities stimulated the interest of Agriculture Canada’s Keith Wilde. Excerpt of his letter dated January 12, 1982 to City Farmer, to which he attached the article from Food Markets Commentary seen in this posting.
“Enclosed with this letter is a copy of Food Markets Commentary, a departmental publication. In it, under “News and Trends” you will find a short report on gardening, which reflects information you provided. I am continuing to accumulate information about the extent of interest in urban agriculture, and we discuss it within the Planning Division. A more formal report may be more widely circulated in the Department by late winter or early spring, possibly as an idea for combatting the effects of widespread unemployment.”

Article: Gardens For All?

More and more people are growing part of their own food, with the encouragement of nutritionists, health therapists, conservationists, urban planners, and horticulturists, not to mention the garden-supply industry and publishers of gardening books.

Gardens For All, an industry association in the United States, is understandably interested in the prospects for this trend, and annually pays a substantial fee to the Gallup Organization for an exhaustive statistical survey of gardening activities and profiles of the people who garden. Consequently, reliable data on the extent and significance of home food production are becoming available for the first time.

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November 19, 2016   Comments Off on 1981 Agriculture Canada: Gardens for all?

Gardens Grow, People Thrive: The Importance of Urban Farming

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As the Urban Agriculture Coordinator at University of Maryland Extension, Prince George’s County, I learned the importance of food every day.

By Michelle Nelson
Maryland Humanities
Nov 9, 2016

Excerpt:

Every day, I watched as Bhutanese and Cameroonian refugees report to the garden at 8 AM or sometimes earlier to tend to their gardens, anticipating a yield to feed their families and beyond. My favorite stories of the garden are about a Bhutanese elder in his seventies named Jamuna. When I met Jamuna, she could not speak English very well. She would affectionately speak to me in Nepali like an aunt speaks to her niece, but I often struggled to understand or respond.

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November 18, 2016   Comments Off on Gardens Grow, People Thrive: The Importance of Urban Farming

Urban agriculture plan taking root in Brockton, Massachusetts

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Ron May, Brockton’s director of planning and development, gave a presentation about an urban agriculture plan that he is developing with stakeholders from the community. Marc Laroque/The Enterprise.

Yard-to-market food sales and backyard chicken coops will be among the issues considered in the urban agricultural plan for Brockton

By Marc Larocque
Enterprise Staff Writer
Nov 9, 2016

Excerpt:

A progressive vision of homegrown vegetables sprouting from flower beds on local rooftops, and the responsible raising of chickens on residential lots in the community, was introduced by the Brockton city planner during a recent public meeting.

Rob May, Brockton’s director of planning and economic development, spoke during this month’s Board of Health meeting about how he is creating an urban agriculture plan that will provide guidelines for farmers in the city, using public input to shape the proposal. May said the city would also be working with Conway School of Landscape Design to develop the Brockton Urban Agriculture Plan.

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November 16, 2016   Comments Off on Urban agriculture plan taking root in Brockton, Massachusetts

Alberta’s Strathcona County releases ‘Urban Agriculture Strategy’

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County administration provided the preliminary Urban Agriculture Strategy (UAS) to council at the Oct. 18 Priorities Committee meeting.

Draft: Presented to Strathcona County Transportation & Agriculture Services
September 7, 2016

Table of Contents:

1.0 URBAN AGRICULTURE IN STRATHCONA COUNTY 1
2.0 DEFINING URBAN AGRICULTURE IN STRATHCONA COUNTY 1
2.1 WHERE DOES THIS APPLY? 1
3.0 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 1
3.1 ENGAGEMENT PROCESS 1
3.2 ENGAGEMENT OUTCOMES 2
4.0 TAKING ACTION ON URBAN AGRICULTURE 5
4.1 VISION 5
4.2 GOALS 5
4.3 STRATEGY AREAS AND ACTIONS 5
4.3.1 Strategy Area A: Community Gardens 5

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November 4, 2016   Comments Off on Alberta’s Strathcona County releases ‘Urban Agriculture Strategy’

1978 Article: Be a Farmer in the Centre of the City

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The first issue of City Farmer newspaper was published in August 1978.

City Farmer, the brainchild of the Vancouver Community Conservation Centre, is aimed at promoting urban agriculture as a means of saving energy and money for city dwellers.

By Bill Tieleman
Vancouver Sun
August 2, 1978

The high price of food has city residents trading in their riding lawnmowers for rototillers and turning to backyard farming, according to a new monthly Vancouver newspaper.
City Farmer, the brainchild of the Vancouver Community Conservation Centre, is aimed at promoting urban agriculture as a means of saving energy and money for city dwellers.

It offers advice on how to “get back to the land” found in your own backyard.

Michael Levenston, a centre staff member, say the newspaper will attempt to change concepts of how land can be used by encouraging the development of productive gardens in place of lawns.

“City people think of food as something in supermarkets and restaurants,” he says.

They don’t think of themselves as farmers.

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November 3, 2016   Comments Off on 1978 Article: Be a Farmer in the Centre of the City

Urban farms won’t feed our cities, but they’re still a great idea – here’s why

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CCTV at Woodbank Valley Urban Farm, Birmingham.

The capacity of urban farms to tackle major issues such as poverty and reducing food miles should not be underestimated, and with more ambitious projects starting up every day, it might not be long until you see one appearing in your neighbourhood.

By Michael Hardman
Lecturer in Geography, University of Salford
The Conversation
Oct 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Despite these barriers, our 2016 study into the state of urban farming showed that huge positives can come out of these spaces. For example, urban farms often act as a social incubator, bringing together communities and connecting cultures. Many also impact significantly on health and well-being, allowing city-dwellers to access fresh food and sometimes even supplement diets.

We found that those connected to The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens were strongest. They gained value from the networking with other such sites across the UK.

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October 26, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farms won’t feed our cities, but they’re still a great idea – here’s why

The urban farms that grow half of the vegetables eaten in Cape Town, South Africa

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The Philippi Horticultural Area is a 20-minute drive from the city centre and supplies half of Cape Town’s vegetables

A densely populated area in Cape Town, the Cape Flats is home to townships, informal settlements and century-old neighourhoods.

By Helen Sullivan
How We Made It In Africa
12 October 2016

Excerpt:

These days the PHA farmers face more formidable opponents than horses. Consol Glass has applied for a mining licence, looking to dig up valuable silica sand, and a property developer has proposed a scheme made up of commercial housing, a shopping centre and private prison on land currently used for farming. Sonday says that this development would destroy a third of the PHA’s most productive land.

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October 23, 2016   Comments Off on The urban farms that grow half of the vegetables eaten in Cape Town, South Africa

2016 FAO’s Annual Report highlights climate change, agriculture and food security

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Agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions – Rapid action needed to put smallholders and food systems on sustainable paths

FAO Press Release:
17 October 2016, Rome

The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO said today in a new report.

Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.

“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. “What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted.”

That uncertainty also translates into volatile food prices, he noted. “Everybody is paying for that, not only those suffering from droughts,” Graziano da Silva said.

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October 17, 2016   Comments Off on 2016 FAO’s Annual Report highlights climate change, agriculture and food security

Silicon Valley’s Urban Farm Movement ‘Ready to Grow’

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Jamie Chen of La Mesa Verde says families don’t need to be “taught” what is healthy. Photo by Peter Schurmann.

“We’re in Silicon Valley, and don’t get me wrong – I love technology,” she says. “But I can’t eat computers.

By Honora Montano
New American Media
Oct 6, 2016

Excerpt:

While Silicon Valley is known for cutting-edge technology and the wealth that comes with it, poor neighborhoods like East San Jose have some of the highest inequities in the Bay Area. Low-income kids in Santa Clara County are 60 percent more likely to be overweight compared their peers. Heart disease and diabetes are also growing problems, with large disparities among the county’s low-income and non-white residents.

Jamie Chen, organizing director with La Mesa Verde, says many families seek out their garden programs precisely because they have health issues, including diabetes, obesity and cancer.

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October 13, 2016   Comments Off on Silicon Valley’s Urban Farm Movement ‘Ready to Grow’

Many praise urban agriculture throughout West Virginia as building a healthier, stronger community

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Eleanor Derrick, 74, a retired nutritional service worker plants some of her crops including beans, peppers, cherry tomatos,and lettuce for her and her husband at Carroll Terrace. Click on image for larger file.

“We’re not saving the world,” he said. “But we’re chipping away at it, working towards a healthy society. I believe very strongly the work we’re doing is worthwhile.”

By Linda Harris
The State Journal
Sep 22, 2016

Excerpt:

If Danny Swann had his way, empty lots across West Virginia would be turned into urban gardens. And instead of sitting indoors playing video games, kids would spend their spare time in the sun, wind and rain learning how to grow foods and flowers.

“Seven or eight years ago I was a college kid in my early 20s and living in East Wheeling, kind of on the wrong side of the tracks,” Swann said. “I was working at a youth center and I wanted to figure a way to get kids outdoors, a way I could connect to them — gardening was a medium to do that.”

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October 3, 2016   Comments Off on Many praise urban agriculture throughout West Virginia as building a healthier, stronger community

Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard could become reality

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Conceptual rendering of plans for Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard on the city’s east side.
(Photo: Wolverine Human Services)

Core Orchards Detroit, created by nonprofit Wolverine Human Services, has raised more than $400,000 for the project.

By Elissa Robinson
Detroit Free Press
September 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Michigan is home to hundreds of apple orchards, filled with acres of tart and tangy, crisp and crunchy, sweet and juicy apples.

But you won’t find a single orchard in the city of Detroit.

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October 2, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit’s first U-pick apple orchard could become reality