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Category — Policy

Spokane’s Urban farm ordinance will incur costs to city

spoakneSpokane urban farm.

People wanting to keep goats, sheep or small pigs in the city have to be certified through a class by Washington State University’s Spokane County Extension service.

Mike Prager
The Spokesman-Review
July 19, 2014


Spokane’s new urban farming ordinance that allows for the keeping of small farm animals is likely to cost the city extra money for animal control services.

The director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service has outlined a series of charges for the extra work of answering farm animal welfare calls and noise and odor complaints involving goats, sheep, small pigs or fowl.

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July 27, 2014   No Comments

Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm


Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation – Harvard Law School

Food Law & Policy,
July 17, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to announce the publication of its guide, Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm. The guide to establishing ground-level farms smaller than one acre is the first in a series of guides that spell out the processes urban farmers in Boston will need to go through in order to start their operations in the City.

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July 26, 2014   No Comments

Officials Break Ground on New Urban Farm in City of Boston, Roxbury

There are about 1,400 vacant parcels, not all of which are build-able

By Nate Boroyan
City News Writer


The Garrison-Trotter Farm will occupy two formerly-vacant lots in Roxbury, becoming the first urban farm on city-owned land, BNN News reports. “[The Garrison-Trotter Farm] stems from the adoption of Article 89, which is a zoning ordinance which makes urban agriculture legal, as of right in the City of Boston,” William Epperson of the Department of Neighborhood Development told BNN news in a tapped interview (see: below).”And the city would like to use some of its vacant parcels to promote urban agriculture to bring healthy foods back to the communities to make it more accessible, and to also create jobs and give opportunities to folks who would like to get into farming.”

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July 22, 2014   No Comments

1949 commuter train film shows Vancouver corridor land which today is in ‘community gardens versus railway dispute’

1949 film of the Interurban rail service from downtown Vancouver to Marpole and the Fraser River

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor Community Gardens could lose 60-70% of garden land space

City of Richmond Archives
Published on July 21, 2014

This clip shows the B.C.E.R. Lulu Island Line interurban on its run from downtown Vancouver through the Arbutus corridor to Marpole and the Fraser River Trestle. Filmed by tram enthusiast Ted Clark around 1949, the original 16 mm film underwent conservation treatment in 2012 and then was digitized. The complete film on DVD, along with a detailed shot list, can be purchased at the City of Richmond Archives for $20.00.

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July 21, 2014   No Comments

A new vision for urban farming

wargard1919 War Gardens medallion.

A model where agriculture is reintegrated into urban and suburban areas — and locally produced food is sold and consumed locally.

By Jason Reed and Robert Puro
Daily News
July 7, 2014
Jason Reed, a movie producer formerly with Disney, and Robert Puro are co-founders of, a Los Angeles-based social venture dedicated to promoting innovation and investment in sustainable and urban agriculture.


One key to improving the urban farm system is aggregation. It’s easier, and certainly more cost-effective because of its scale, to collect on a daily basis hundreds of boxes of lettuce, truckloads of tomatoes, etc., sort them and then designate their ultimate destination — which is usually another, smaller sorting operation within a city. In the large-scale commercial farming operation, it’s one crop with one fleet of semi trucks from one aggregated source. The aggregation system for urban farming is obviously different — which means it’s riskier for the entrepreneur who wants to create that network.

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July 15, 2014   No Comments

Tucson City may ditch proposed rules on urban agriculture

Infographic: Urban Agriculture Proposals in Tucson.

The chorus of opposition has made some council members wonder if the city is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

By Darren DaRonco
Arizona Daily Star
July 1, 2014


Proposed limits on how many chickens and goats city residents can keep in their backyards may be dumped before they’re ever adopted.

The same goes for new rules governing when you can sell your homegrown fruits and vegetables to your neighbors.

Tucson City Council members are having second thoughts about even bringing the changes to a public vote in the wake of outraged opposition from urban farmers who see their rights being impinged.

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July 13, 2014   Comments Off

Mayor Walsh Proclaims ‘Urban Agriculture Day’ in Boston


To recognize and appreciate those who engage in urban growing of any kind, and acknowledge the role of urban agriculture in supporting our neighborhoods.

Mayor’s Press Office
City of Boston
July 10, 2014

Text of the proclamation:


Urban agriculture improves access to fresh, local food within the city limits of Boston, reducing the distance food travels from farm to table, strengthening community, and developing neighborhood and city-wide resiliency; and


Urban Agriculture entrepreneurs fortify the human, environmental, and community health of their neighborhoods, all while creating local, sustainable jobs; and

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July 12, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver could lose more than 10% of community garden plots due to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decision

CPR train passing the Maple Street Community Gardens in 2001. Photo by Sharon Slack taken at the corner of 6th Avenue and Maple Street. Click on image for larger file.

Approximately 425 of the 4000 community gardens plots in Vancouver will be affected

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor could lose 60-70% of gardening land space.

Below is a letter to the President of CPR from a longtime community gardener in the Maple Community Garden.

By Deirdre Phillips
Maple Street Community Gardener
July 9th, 2014
(Must read. Mike)

E. Hunter Harrison, CEO CP Rail (care of Ed Greenberg)
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Canadian Pacific
Wellington, Florida

“We have historic ties with communities along our tracks and our programs make contributions to the quality of life in these towns and cities.” CP Rail

Dear E. Hunter Harrison,

The above quote from your “Community Investment” section on your website is in complete contradiction to the power play that you and your executives are posing with the City of Vancouver – whom you refer to as ‘other parties’. You are threatening to destroy all the community gardens by July 31st, 2014 along the Arbutus Corridor simply because you can’t get what you are looking for in your negotiations with the City of Vancouver for the 66 foot wide ribbon of land along the Arbutus Corridor.

Your threat to remove what you call ‘excess vegetation’ along the tracks in the Arbutus Corridor by July 31st, 2014 is pure manipulation and quite a transparent attempt to get all of the community gardeners along the corridor to do your dirty work for you by putting pressure on the City of Vancouver. Yes, all of us gardeners love organic dirt but not dirty politics and your goal to maximize profits for your shareholders.

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July 10, 2014   Comments Off

San Francisco Poised to Create State’s First Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone

GardenrsDanish1786Danish Gardeners. 1786.

The agricultural commissioner would be responsible for both reviewing the plans in the application and conducting annual site inspections after a contract is signed to ensure that the site is used solely for agricultural purposes.

By Eli Zigas
Food Systems And Urban Agriculture Program Manager
July 7, 2014


San Francisco is once again poised to be a pioneer in urban agriculture policy. In June, Supervisor David Chiu introduced an ordinance that would allow property owners who contract their land into urban agricultural use for at least five years to receive a property tax reduction. If passed, San Francisco would become the first jurisdiction in California to create an urban agriculture incentive zone as permitted by state Assembly Bill 551.

The legislation has a number of key features:

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July 9, 2014   Comments Off

India: Policy Paper – Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture


National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, December 2013

Policy Paper Number 67
12 pages, Dec. 2013



Global population will reach around nine billion by the end of 2050, of which, about 70 per cent shall be urbanized. In India, by 2050, nearly 900 million people will beliving in urban areas. With the expanding urban fringes, more and more rural areas are becoming peri-urban. Given the high population pressure, rising food prices and the socio-economic and environmental stresses, especially in the peri-urban areas, meeting the food, nutrition, health and environmental security in the urban andperi-urban areas will be a serious challenge.

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July 8, 2014   Comments Off

What Tucsonans are saying about urban agriculture proposals


“So have you had complaints from individuals saying, ‘Hey, there’s a group of thugs selling vegetables?’ Just wondering.”

Arizona Daily Star
June 28, 2014


We’ll give Principal Planner Adam Smith the first word here, as he was no doubt feeling a bit henpecked by the end of the meeting.

On the city’s role:

“We’re making every attempt to (make clarification) where there is none in our current code. And where we’ve fallen short, as I’ve been hearing quite a bit tonight, just let us know.

“I don’t want you to see this as a staff-versus-you kind of relationship. Staff is very open to making amendments to the proposal.”

— Adam Smith,
Tucson’s principal planner and code expert

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July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farming needs support, not more talk

Elza Sunderland1940s
Painting by Elza Sunderland, 1940s.

If Santa Fe wants to be a leader in the green economy, we have to dig deeper.

Sante Fe, New Mexico
June 28, 2014


Regardless of how the Gaia saga plays out, the city needs to let residents know where it stands. The absence of a concrete, citywide policy sends a message of indifference to would-be urban farmers and their would-be customers. The Santa Fe Food Policy Council has prepared a food plan that covers a range of issues, including urban agriculture. After taking comments from the public, the council will make a recommendation to city and county officials for what is most appropriate for our city, given its unique water needs. Irrigation water rights should be available on some vacant lots, making growing food possible and affordable. Their recommendations are expected to come in early fall.

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July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Knoxville shows growing interest in urban gardens

Watch video news clip here.

The city is ready to propose changes to a zoning ordinance that would encourage more community gardens on privately owned land.

By Heidi Wigdahl
June 27, 2014


Changes to the ordinance could also allow gardeners with a “Seasonal Sales of Produce” permit to sell produce on-site in personal and community gardens.

“We’ve been working together to provide the resourcing, the training, for people to start growing food on their own properties, in their own neighborhoods. What’s been missing is the permission basically to say, ‘You’ve got private property, now you’re allowed to grow food on it and sell food to your neighbors on that property,’” said Robert Hodges, director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

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July 6, 2014   Comments Off

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

Confusion Reigns Over Oakland Urban Gardens

Diane Williams works in the urban garden that she and her neighbors created in their Fruitvale neighborhood. Photo by Lori Eanes.

Oakland city staffers have been telling residents that they need to pay a $3,000 fee to grow vegetables on blighted lots — but that turns out to be untrue.

By Madeleine Key
East Bay Express
June 25, 2014


Diane Williams and a few of her neighbors in her Fruitvale neighborhood decided they had to do something about at an empty lot that had become a popular site for illegal dumping. In the spring of 2010, they hacked down the weeds that had grown to be five feet tall and cleared the trash that had accumulated on the blighted lot. They then planted twelve fruit trees and some crops. Today, Williams describes the former eyesore as a place in which community members can gather and enjoy the numerous benefits from a thriving urban garden in their neighborhood.

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July 2, 2014   Comments Off