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Category — Policy

Indoor farms give vacant Detroit buildings new life

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Green Collar Foods Operations Director Darren Riley explains the process called aeroponics that mists the bare roots of plants like this kale that grow under fluorescent lights on shelves at the indoor farm. Neighboring Supino Pizzeria buys the company’s kale. Brandy Baker, The Detroit News.

The city is considering regulations that could expand indoor agriculture even more.

By Breana Noble
The Detroit News
August 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The urban agriculture ordinance, however, assumes indoor farming would be large-scale, said city planner Kathryn Underwood. To increase the zoning district, the City Planning Commission sent an amendment to the City Council for consideration that would take into account smaller operations. It is expected to vote on the proposal in the fall.

“(The amendment) recognizes (indoor farming) can happen at very large scales and very small scales,” Underwood said. “It will allow more of it to happen.”

[Read more →]

August 21, 2016   No Comments

City Rezones ‘Suburban Residential’ to ‘Agricultural’ for Urban Farm in Atlanta

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A farm in the middle of one of Atlanta’s most elegant suburban cities. Mr. Coleman had not come to Roswell with his farm. The city had come to him. But that bothered him not a whit. Almost until the day he died, Jan. 29, 2012, at age 89, he and his farm were almost unchanged over the 60-odd years he lived there.

Couple will donate 30 percent of their organically grown produce to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

By David Ibata
For the AJC
Aug 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The Roswell City Council has approved a couple’s unusual request for the city to rezone their land from suburban residential back to agricultural so they can set up a small “urban farm.”

The city also granted a conditional use to let Tony and Shari Martin sell produce from the 6.7-acre farm at 410 Coleman Road, with the conditions that visitors not park vehicles on the road, and that a studio planned for the site not be for commercial use.

[Read more →]

August 20, 2016   No Comments

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture says ‘Not Urban, Not Rural, Just Agriculture’

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Increasing our agricultural output — No matter its form, agriculture is agriculture. Whether it’s rural or urban, as growers of food we seek the same goal — feeding our communities and world.

By Russell Redding
Lancaster Farming
Aug 13, 2016
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

In vacant lots in cities across Pennsylvania, citizens are getting back to their roots by tending to gardens and reaping the rewards.

These pockets of urban gardening number into the hundreds in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and are tended by thousands of urban gardeners.

It’s a great start, but there is more potential in these systems that we can unlock, bringing more people into the agriculture industry, improving the health and nutrition of Pennsylvanians, and enhancing our urban areas and waterways.

[Read more →]

August 19, 2016   No Comments

Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services

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New Book: From White House to Tacoma, WA, urban agriculture is growing

By Sally Brown (Editor), Kristen McIvor (Editor), Elizabeth Hodges Snyder (Editor)
Hardcover: 407 pages
Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2016 edition (April 26, 2016)
(Must see. Mike)

Summary:

Urban agriculture has the potential to change our food systems, enhance habitat in our cities, and to morph urban areas into regions that maximize rather than disrupt ecosystem services. The potential impacts of urban agriculture on a range of ecosystem services including soil and water conservation, waste recycling, climate change mitigation, habitat, and food production is only beginning to be recognized.

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August 19, 2016   No Comments

Editorial: Bring the farm into the city – Victoria, BC

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1800 Click on image for larger file. Garden of a Florist by Henri de Braekeleer (1840-1888)

Under city bylaws, a portion of a property can be used to produce retail fruits and vegetables, but they can’t be sold on the site. The proposal is to remove that restriction, so backyard farmers could have front-yard produce stands.

Times Colonist
Aug 11, 2016

Excerpt:

“What this would do is allow people to sell the food they’re growing on their property. So for example, at the house I grew up in, we had an apple tree that had so many apples that we could probably only use a tenth of them,” Coun. Jeremy Loveday said. “With these changes, you’d be able to set up a stand and sell them at the front of your property.”

As Loveday suggests, it’s not simply a question of supplementing the family income. It’s a chance to use produce that might otherwise go to waste.

[Read more →]

August 16, 2016   No Comments

Farm stands on your street? Victoria, BC, rethinks retail rules

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Mason Street City Farm co-owner Jesse Brown says a Victoria bylaw permitting urban farm stands would allow him to open his farm more directly to the community. Currently, he can legally sell produce only to restaurants and at farmers markets. Photograph By Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

The proposed bylaw would limit stands to 20 square feet, which she said isn’t appropriate for commercial growers. “It’s a great way for people to share their extra tomatoes with each other, but it’s not a good way to run a business,” she said.

By Amy Smart
Times Colonist
Aug 7, 2016

Excerpt:

The city’s bylaws were changed in 2008 to allow production of fruit and vegetables for retail purposes on a portion of a property. However, no retail sales are allowed from the site.

Under the changes, growers would require a $25 seasonal business licence. They would not need to apply for a development permit to build a stand.

The proposal will go to public hearing on Aug. 25.

[Read more →]

August 8, 2016   Comments Off on Farm stands on your street? Victoria, BC, rethinks retail rules

Amid economic hard times, Venezuelans turn to city farming

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carcr Click on image for larger file.
A woman works in an urban garden in the rooftop of a building in Caracas, Venezuela July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso. See 13 photos and video after link.

Those on the ground in Venezuela doubt they will resolve all their country’s food problems, but at least want to contribute to a more nutritious diet.

By Diego Ore
Caracas
Reuters
Aug 4, 2016

Excerpt:

In the first data on the new push, Maduro’s government boasts that in the last three months, some 135,000 Venezuelans have produced 273 tonnes of vegetables, fruits and herbs in urban settings.

The production seems well short of this year’s goal of 3,500 tonnes, but some participants are enthusiastic.

[Read more →]

August 5, 2016   Comments Off on Amid economic hard times, Venezuelans turn to city farming

Tucson gardeners growing edibles in city rights of way

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Luis Perales harvests the remainder of his grapes in his front yard. Photo by Sidney Richardson.

Because of the urban agriculture ordinance approved this year, Tucsonans are allowed to grow edible plants in the city right of way in front of homes, says Rebecca Ruopp, principal planner with the city’s Office of Integrated Planning.

By Elena Acoba
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
July 31, 2016

Excerpt:

“Bring your skill on the street,” he encourages gardeners. “Gardeners’ skills are hidden away.”

When people see you gardening, he continues, you start sharing tips or bartering food for services. “You’re just being good neighbors,” he says. “It starts a really nice process with this interaction.”

[Read more →]

August 3, 2016   Comments Off on Tucson gardeners growing edibles in city rights of way

USDA meets with urban farmers in the Bronx

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The government agency says it will also offer loans to help urban farmers obtain more land and storage so that they may continue to grow fresh produce for the Bronx.

News 12 The Bronx
July 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Members of the USDA met with urban farmers in the South Bronx Tuesday to discuss improving agriculture methods.

The USDA, along with the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture, met with urban farmers at the La Familia Verde Farmers Market and the Tremont Community Garden on Prospect Avenue.

[Read more →]

August 1, 2016   Comments Off on USDA meets with urban farmers in the Bronx

City of Powell River, British Columbia, considers regulation of urban farms

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powrCity of Powell River council is looking at introducing bylaw amendments that would regulate commercial sales of fruit and vegetables grown on residential lots. Chris Bolster photo.

Bylaw changes would allow licences for agricultural micro-businesses

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
July 22, 2016

Excerpt:

City of Powell River council is looking at amending bylaws to regulate urban farms, micro-businesses that have operated in a legal grey zone for years.

Zoning and home-based business bylaw amendments would allow for commercial agricultural production of fruits and vegetables on all one-acre or less parcels of land zoned residential, except in mobile home parks.

“It might shock people to learn that they require a business licence to grow food on their property and sell it,” said city senior planner Jason Gow.

[Read more →]

July 27, 2016   Comments Off on City of Powell River, British Columbia, considers regulation of urban farms

Resident fights for naturalized lawn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

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latlwnFlowers and plants grow in Peter Graham’s naturalized garden outside his Pointe-Claire home, July 3, 2016. Allen Mcinnis / Montreal Gazette

According to the powers that be, in this case the city of Pointe-Claire, his wild and untamed front yard is an unsightly chaos of “long grass, wild shrubs and weeds in a messy fashion” that defies a nuisance bylaw. He’s been issued a $650 fine and unless he destroys it, he’ll be subject to additional fines.

By Marla Newhook,
Special To The Montreal Gazette
July 19, 2016

Excerpt:

He’s launched an online petition to change the bylaw and at last check, it’s been viewed more than 7,000 times and has garnered almost 800 signatures.

As far as I’m concerned, narrow-minded bylaws such as this one is just another excuse to force homeowners to adhere to cookie-cutter community development where citizens are penalized for creating unique and individualized outdoor space.

[Read more →]

July 24, 2016   Comments Off on Resident fights for naturalized lawn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

[Read more →]

July 19, 2016   Comments Off on Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

Why Copenhagen Residents Want to Live on Urban Gardens

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dvasweDavid Skat Nielsen on his colony garden. (Lynsey Grosfield)

High rents are driving some Danes to not-quite-legal cabins and cottages.

By Lynsey Grosfield
City Lab
Jul 12, 2016

Excerpt:

For several years now, David Skat Nielsen has been cultivating a 7,400-square-foot patch of land on the island of Amager, in the greater Copenhagen area. Here, he pays 900 DKK ($133 USD) per month to get away from the stresses of apartment living, plant some fruit trees, build a greenhouse, and generally bask in the stillness of a hedged-in green space. Due to zoning restrictions, he can only live on the property for six months of the year, but he’s part of a growing group of Danes that would like to make these minimalistic garden lots into full-time homes.

[Read more →]

July 17, 2016   Comments Off on Why Copenhagen Residents Want to Live on Urban Gardens

A hungry Nairobi city explores urban farming

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Speaking during the opening one of the projects at Baba Dogo Primary School, the county Executive for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Natural Resources Bernard Mugenyo, said the city spent Sh300,000 in developing of the green house at the school, which will act as a model learning centre and also boost both food and financial security for the school.

Nairobi county government is rolling out multi-sectoral urban farming projects in all the 17 sub counties aimed at giving impetus to enhance food security and address youth unemployment.

By Charles Mathai
MediaMax
July 11, 201

Excerpt:

The project follows the repeal of the previous by-laws and passing of Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulations 2015 by the county assembly in line with the current Constitution.

It is being implemented through the city’s Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources department, under the banner, Enhance Food security through Agribusiness and urban and Peri-urban farming Technologies.’

[Read more →]

July 15, 2016   Comments Off on A hungry Nairobi city explores urban farming

Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security

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ungarden UN staff and New York City Parks’ Green Thumb open the United Nations Food Garden on Nelson Mandela International Day, July 24, 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

“Food security is one of the big issues that is going to be dealt with in Habitat III in relation to urbanization” said Juan Close, director of UN Habitat said here last week.

By Anne Dutt
InterPressService
July 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities this coming October will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security, but here in New York City, it has shown potential for much more.

Record-high levels of inequality are being felt most prominently in the world’s cities. Even In New York City, the heart of the developed world, many urban communities have food security issues.

Since the year 2000, New York City food costs have increased by 59 percent, while the average income of working adults has only increased by 17 percent.

[Read more →]

July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security