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Category — Policy

Canada: Strathcona County – Urban Agriculture Strategy

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Urban agriculture is easily accessed and seen in Strathcona County; it contributes to creating a healthy, livable community by helping to grow food, relationships, and economy in our community.

Community Food Lab
Intelligent Futures
Autumn 2016

Excerpt:

Urban conditions such as typically smaller available land area and diverse neighboring land uses mean that urban farms lean towards higher per square foot productivity, less mechanization, more focus on produce and less on livestock. Of course, creativity and innovation are the norm in urban farming, and typical scales of operation range from the individual farmer on a very small plot to capital-intensive commercial enterprises that can incorporate technologically- advanced growing methods.

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February 21, 2017   No Comments

Urban Farming Expands in South Dallas

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It has been nine months since the City of Dallas put more than $3 million on the line to lure a grocer to South Dallas. Surprisingly, no one has accepted the offer.

By Courtney Gilmore
NBCDFW
Feb 10, 2017

Excerpt:

City leaders are now looking for alternative solutions to bring fresh produce into food desert communities.

“If we can’t get the big grocery stores to come in, then we grow our on,” said Wilson.

Currently, they are scouting a few places to start an urban farm. There is a lot of land in south Dallas and the area is prime for redevelopment.

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February 17, 2017   No Comments

Forum in Kigali, Rwanda: Growing Food In African Cities

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The State Minister for Agriculture, Fulgence Nsengiyumva, said at the event that there are about 450 hectares of marshlands developed for agriculture in Kigali City.

The Exchange
Feb 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Dr. Athanase Mukuralinda, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Rwanda Country representative, said that cities can for instance have vegetable gardens which can contribute to their food needs.

FAO Rwanda representative Attaher Maiga said that city dwellers can also engage in fish farming, which can be done in small spaces and can help reduce food insecurity.

Rwanda’s population is growing by 2.5 percent per year.

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February 15, 2017   No Comments

First Honeybee Sanctuary Will Be In A Long Beach, California City Park

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Willow Springs Park. Click on image for larger file.

To Barnes’ knowledge, this would be the only municipal honeybee sanctuary in the region, and possibly the state of California.

By Courtney Tompkins
Long Beach Press Telegram
Feb 7, 2017

Excerpt:

A backyard beekeeping club is on the verge of creating the first honeybee sanctuary in a Long Beach city park – thanks in part to a local attorney, who offered his expertise in exchange for honey.

The Long Beach Beekeepers has been working to build an educational center that doubles as a safe haven for unwanted hives at Willow Springs Park for nearly two years now, but a series of holdups and bureaucratic hurdles had repeatedly halted progress.

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February 12, 2017   No Comments

Canadian Mayors Discuss Growing Food In Their Cities

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250 attend Forum. Debate on local food production between Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes, Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin, Sturgeon County Mayor Tom Flynn and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson at Edmonton’s city hall.

Edmonton could become the food capital of Canada if it taps into the power of urban agriculture, suggests a recent mayoral forum.

By Kevin Ma
St. Albert Gazette
Feb 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Morin said that to his community of Enoch, local food was about culture. Alberta’s First Nations were only recently introduced to Western foods such as flour, and today grappled with many health concerns related to diet. He now seeks to lead his community back to its traditional dietary roots.

“Picking berries, hunting moose – those are medicines for us.”

Holmes also cited a need to reconnect with the past when it came to food, saying that there was a “lost generation” of people today that did not grow up tending gardens or preserving food.

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February 9, 2017   No Comments

Slovenia: Urban agriculture for changing cities: governance models for better institutional capacities and social inclusion

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Velenje, Slovenia. Click on image for larger file.

Employ Participatory Urban and Peri-urban agriculture (UPA) as a powerful and emerging method to improve public institutional capacities in order to tackle socio-economic exclusion of vulnerable/marginalized groups and to stimulate sustainable urban development in the Danube region.

14 February 2017 at 9:30
Velenje, Stari trg 3, Vila Bianca
Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Excerpt:

In recent times, the main needs and challenges related to governance systems within the Danube region can be associated with decreasing public institutional capacities to incorporate participatory approach into decision-making processes. The absence of participatory mechanisms is contributing to reduced motivation of people to engage in governance and administration because they feel relegated from political, social and economic agendas and not competent enough to act as an equivalent counterpart and a considerable driver of “change”.

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February 4, 2017   Comments Off on Slovenia: Urban agriculture for changing cities: governance models for better institutional capacities and social inclusion

Philippine lawmakers pushes urban farming bills

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Reps. Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), House of Representative Quezon City, Philippines

The bills define urban farming as “any act of farming in a city using land or the space of a building, including the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation through the use of any growing medium such as pots, plots, and membranes.”

Manilla Standard
Jan 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Suansing said her HB 2818, titled “An Act Promoting Integrated Urban Agricultural Development in All Metropolitan Areas Nationwide to Address Food Security Concerns”, aims to promote self-sufficiency in food production and build climate-resilient communities; institutionalize integrated farming in highly urbanized cities and municipalities nationwide; and lessen the incidence of poverty in highly urbanized areas and promote the importance of healthy nutrition among the people.

The country’s population is continuously growing, hence ensuring food security is an urgent concern, according to Suansing, chairperson of the committee on ecology.

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January 30, 2017   Comments Off on Philippine lawmakers pushes urban farming bills

Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

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Chanowk Yisrael checks on his chickens at Yisrael Family Farms, which sits just over the city line in Sacramento County.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urban agriculture ordinance Tuesday, with hopes that the new regulations will alleviate food insecurity and make life easier for local farmers in Sacramento County.

By Robin Opsahl
Sacramento Bee
Jan 24, 2017

Excerpt:

The new county rules, which amend the zoning code and take effect 30 days after approval, are modeled on regulations that Sacramento City Council members passed in 2015.

The county ordinance allows for market gardens on vacant lots and for people to set up farm stands to sell home-grown produce. It also legalizes keeping bees, chickens and ducks on small lots. Larger animals, such as cows, can be kept temporarily on lots under 20,000 square feet for educational programs, such as 4H.

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January 25, 2017   Comments Off on Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

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Urban farming model at Tipas Elementary School /CREDIT: ilovetaguig.com / Manila Bulletin

To encourage residents to create their own “urban farms,” the City Agriculture Office held the first Gulayan Contest for Women on December 19, 2016.

Manila Bulletin
Jan 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Mayor Lani Cayetano said the city government intends to preserve at least 25 hectares of agricultural land. To achieve this goal, the city government is aggressively promoting urban farming and gardening. This goal is not prompted by nostalgia for an agricultural past, but for pragmatic reasons. The city government views urban farming not only as a source of income for its residents but as a way to promote a better environment and a healthier lifestyle.

The city’s urban gardening program favors organic farming where pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not used on crops. Organically grown products are better for the environment and for a person’s health.

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January 21, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

Book: Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions – Connecting Urban-Rural Spheres in Casablanca

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The example of Casablanca, one of the fastest growing cities in North Africa

Edited by Undine Giseke, Maria Gerster-Bentaya, Frank Helten, Matthias Kraume, Dieter Scherer, Guido Spars, Fouad Amraoui, Abdelaziz Adidi, Said Berdouz, Mohemed Chlaida, Majid Mansour, Mohamed Mdafai
Routledge
2015

This book demonstrates how agriculture can play a determining role in sustainable, climate-optimised urban development. Agriculture within urban growth centres today is more than an economic or social left-over or a niche practice. It is instead a complex system that offers multiple potentials for tomorrow’s megacities. Urban open space and agriculture can be connected to productive urban landscapes – this forms new urban-rural linkages in the urban region and helps shape the city. But in order to do this, agriculture has to be seen as an integral part of the urban fabric and it has to be put on the local agenda.

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January 12, 2017   Comments Off on Book: Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions – Connecting Urban-Rural Spheres in Casablanca

When Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Are at Odds

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Antonio Roman-Alcalá and Erin Havens on AB 551

By Ari Eisenstadt
Food Tank
Jan 1, 2017

Excerpt:

FT: If the bill is implemented at the local level, what are the consequences for urban agriculture and local communities?

AE: The implementation of the bill offers varying consequences, depending on the character of implementation and those involved. In Oakland, with implementation having been pushed by the for-profit firm Farmscape, with the help of real estate lobbyists, the effect would likely be unhelpful for local poor communities, and would potentially contribute to the gentrification of their neighborhoods by allowing white-led and white/middle-class-serving urban farming projects to expand and elevate property values. In L.A., where community organizations have pushed for particular conditions on incentive zones permits (such as community consultation about each project, preference for projects led by grassroots people of color organizations, and resources made available for low-income community projects), the consequences could be more amenable to food justice outcomes.

FT: What other policies would you suggest instead of or in addition to AB 551?

AE: Urban farming just like other urban land use decisions is subject to the economic whims of investors and developers (and to a lesser degree, small property owners), and their political power within local governments. As such, no single policy could meaningfully address the challenges of low-income and working class communities seeking land access and stable land tenure (whether for urban agriculture or other uses such as affordable housing).

Read the complete article here.

January 9, 2017   Comments Off on When Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Are at Odds

City of Battle Creek, Michigan holds off talks on urban farm animals

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20 people work on the Patch of Heaven Community Garden behind Mt. Zion AME Church. (2011)

The city has since held several public meetings to gauge community support, and issued a survey to gather feedback. That survey, which received about 400 responses, showed support for community gardens and some farm animals.

By Jennifer Bowman
Battle Creek Enquirer
December 30, 2016

Excerpt:

Battle Creek city commissioners may change rules for urban agriculture within the city’s residential areas, but they’ll hold off until later this year to address whether to allow farm animals.

A proposal to regulate community gardens and urban farms in Battle Creek is on the agenda for the commission’s meeting Tuesday, which would allow gardening on vacant properties and set standards for property maintenance. It previously was approved by the Planning Commission at its December meeting.

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January 9, 2017   Comments Off on City of Battle Creek, Michigan holds off talks on urban farm animals

Venezuela: Urban Agriculture and the Production of Plenty for the Man

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Minister Lorena Freitez (fourth from the right) among dozens of others holding up pots with growing seedlings (Lorena Freitez). Click on image for larger file.

We have won the world’s first Ministry of Urban Agriculture, which not only holds a new possibility for a healthier, humane and economic agriculture, but also a niche from which to build the foundations for new forms of production that guarantee greater sovereignty.

By Lorena Freitez
Minister Of Popular Power For Urban Agriculture
Venezuela Analysis
January 6th 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The first major mission of the Ministry of Popular Power for Urban Agriculture (MINPPAU) was precisely this: 29,426 productive units were registered throughout the country, bringing together 100,000 people motivated to produce, through activating the Urban Agriculture National Registry. We prioritized 10 of the largest and most populated cities from across the country in order not to distract us from urban areas and we proposed 13 short cycle vegetables with the clear intention of having the first harvest sown in these cities between 90 and 100 days and with a minimum output (50 kg of seeds and 104,000 tomato seedlings), the production of 377 tonnes of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, paprika, peppers, radishes, lettuce, among others) and that the produce could all be eaten at the close of the 100 day agro-urban production campaign.

This first campaign “100 Days for Urban Agriculture” was nothing more than a strategy to visualize and accompany a new political-productive “agro-urban” Venezuelan subject who, synthesizing the best of the countryside and the city, entered into economic democratization disputes. In 100 days: 1) we knew the potential of urban agriculture in Venezuela, mapping those committed to agriculture and militant in those cities; 2) we visualized the people’s capacity to solve problems; 3) we awakened restlessness and enthusiasm in those indifferent or skeptical about these new forms, subjects and productive spaces; 4) we identified the main challenges of sustainable and humane agriculture in cities.

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January 7, 2017   Comments Off on Venezuela: Urban Agriculture and the Production of Plenty for the Man

Ventura County Editorial: Improving our community one lot at a time

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George Laubender (left) and Don Helm inspect stalks of corn at the Dr. Manuel M. Lopez Community Garden in Oxnard.
(Photo: Jeremy Foster/Special To The Star)

New York University researchers studied 636 community gardens in New York City and found they boosted sale prices of homes within a 1,000-foot radius

Ventura County Star
Dec 28, 2016

Excerpt:

The Oxnard lot had been vacant for more than 30 years before former mayor Manuel Lopez donated the site. Lopez had bought the lot to build an office for his optometry practice, but that never came about. “I want to give people pride in the neighborhood, pride in the city,” he said at the garden’s January 2012 groundbreaking. But as often happens with volunteer efforts, people move away, get busy with other things or just lose interest, and a project moves slowly or stalls.

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January 6, 2017   Comments Off on Ventura County Editorial: Improving our community one lot at a time

The US government is loaning millions of dollars to jumpstart urban farming

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Electra Jarvis, a 27-year-old urban farming entrepreneur who is part of the Square Roots program in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Mary Weatherill.

In 2017, he expects the USDA to funnel even more money toward farms on rooftops, in greenhouses, and in warehouses.

By Leanna Garfield
Business Insider
Dec 26, 2016

Excerpts:

USDA Microloans, a program that offers funding up to $50,000, is specifically geared toward urban farmers. Established in 2013, the program has awarded 23,000 loans worth $518 million to farms in California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Though it is open to all farmers, urban farmers often apply for it because it offers the money on a smaller scale than other programs. Seventy percent (or about 16,100 of those loans) have gone to new farmers, many of them in cities.

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January 3, 2017   Comments Off on The US government is loaning millions of dollars to jumpstart urban farming