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Category — Policy

U.S. Department of Agriculture Visits Indianapolis Urban Farm – South Circle Farm

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One official says there’s a growing interest at the federal level to improve food access issues with urban farming.

By Drew Daudeli
Indiana Public Media
November 25, 2016

Excerpt:

“This scale is just unusual,” Matthew says. “I feel like we’ve mined a lot of ideas, but there’s nothing like … I can’t go to a farm close by.”

U.S. Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Ann Bartuska says federal officials are taking an interest in urban farms, as evidenced by a speech given at the USDA earlier this year.

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December 4, 2016   No Comments

Councils versus Chicken Owners in West Virginia

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chiwarsEmilee Ryan’s chicken saga made front page news in her home town.

“I don’t want to get rid of my pets,” she said. “Everyone with a pet understands they’re part of the family. I know it sounds absurd to get that attached to a chicken. But what can I say? They’re my babies.”

By Brad McElhinny
Metro News West Virginia
November 25, 2016 at

Excerpt:

Emilee, 18, found herself called before her town council earlier this fall.

“The town is trying to take them away from me. It hurts that the town is trying to take away my pets,” Emilee said as the news hit the local Mineral Daily News Tribune. “I want to love them. They’re my babies.”

But she had broken the law in Ridgeley, a town of about 675 people — specifically, Ordinance No. 530 “Animals and Fowl Generally,” and its subsection “530-1. Keeping Livestock.”

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November 29, 2016   No Comments

Paris: Vegetables, fish and hops to be farmed on Parisian rooftops and car parks

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33 teams have been selected by the City of Paris for the Parisculteurs project, which aims to use rooftops and car parks in the capital for vegetable, fish and hops farming.

FreshPlaza
11/17/2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Amongst those selected are landscapers, farmers, architects, associations and start-ups. 13 of the locations are being made available by the City of Paris and 20 by partners (social housing, RATP- public transport operator, private companies…).

Whilst all of the projects have agroecology in common, they also each show a huge variety in farming techniques including : aquaponics, aeroponics, permaculture, growing in pots, mushroom hydroponic. Assistant to the Mayor and in charge of green spaces, Pénélope Komitès, says that “They are concrete responses to the climate and food double challenge that towns and metropolises are faced with”.

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November 24, 2016   No Comments

London, Ontario: Upcoming urban agriculture policy

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Gabor Sass at Wood Street Food Forest. Photo by Chris Mountanin.

London is embarking on its first urban agriculture strategy and an upcoming conference at the Central Library November 19 is offering residents an opportunity to contribute.

By Chris Montanini
Londoner
November 14, 2016

Excerpt:

City staff responded with draft terms of reference for an urban agriculture strategy in September that so far includes:

• Establishing a vision and goals for the City regarding food growth, food processing and food distribution within the urban area of the city;

• Determining the roles for the community and the City, both regulatory and operational support, in the implementation of the strategy;

• Evaluating the Official Plan, zoning and other municipal bylaws and programs with respect to their role in urban agriculture for the City;

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November 22, 2016   Comments Off on London, Ontario: Upcoming urban agriculture policy

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?

Santa Fe City Councilors Unanimously Pass A New Urban Agricultural Ordinance

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Major Javier Gonzales sponsored the ordinance.

If you live in Santa Fe and you have a backyard garden, you can now sell any fresh produce you grow right out of your own home.

By Kai Porter
KOB4
November 11, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s part of the sharing economy,” said Major Javier Gonzales, who sponsored the ordinance. “It’s about expanding opportunity for income for families who want to be in some of the farming business and do our part to remain true to our cultural identity.”

Gonzales said the ordinance is aimed at giving Santa Feans more access to fresh, healthy and locally grown fruits and vegetables. There has been some concern from residents about how the ordinance will impact their neighborhoods.

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November 18, 2016   Comments Off on Santa Fe City Councilors Unanimously Pass A New Urban Agricultural Ordinance

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

Allotment Gardens Combat Food Costs in Sannich, BC

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Joanne Thomson holds up leaves of chard harvested from her plot at Capital City Allotment Garden off Kent Road. — Image Credit: Wolf Depner/News Staff

Almost a third of respondents spend anywhere between a quarter and a half of their household income on food, according to a survey by the District of Saanich.

By Wolf Depner
Saanich News
Nov 9, 2016

Excerpt:

Mary Wolfe, who gardens at Capital City Allotment, says food security is a big issue for her, noting that she grows anywhere between 70 and 80 per cent of the vegetables that she consumes annually.

This figure, she says, makes up a “significant” share of her total annual food consumption. “If I don’t grow it, mostly, I don’t eat it.”

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November 15, 2016   Comments Off on Allotment Gardens Combat Food Costs in Sannich, BC

Goa, India: School kids to be trained in urban gardening

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1. Short title and commencement.— (i) The scheme shall be called “Development of Kitchen Gardens”.

The Times of India
Oct 31, 2016

Panaji: Students in Goa will be soon taught to grow food in the comforts of their homes. Schools in Goa do not incorporate food education into their curricula, but, as a welcome change, the department of agriculture will be introducing this subject at select institutions in the state, after the Diwali vacations.

“We are going to have students grow vegetables within the school campus. This is to inculcate the interest of cultivation among them,” said director, agriculture, Ulhas Pai Kakode.

He added that schools with inadequate space can attempt teaching children on the terrace area as well. As part of this programme, agriculture officers will distribute free farming kits among students and teachers, and train them in the art of urban gardening. The kit will contain 16 items useful in the process of cultivation, including vegetable seeds, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, vermi-compost, spray pump, etc.

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November 8, 2016   Comments Off on Goa, India: School kids to be trained in urban gardening

Oklahoma Looks At Urban Gardens To Fight Food Deserts

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Earth Rebirth President Andrew Sartain and Chad Sartain fill a newly-made pallet planter with dirt and compost. Photo by sidney Lee.

Senator Kevin Matthews requested an interim study to find ways to help his district and others around the state through the use of urban gardens.

The Norman Transcript
Oct 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Nearly half of Oklahoma counties, 32 of the 77, are considered food urban/rural deserts where citizens have limited or no access to fresh food and produce. One of those areas is north Tulsa, and Sen. Kevin Matthews requested an interim study to find ways to help his district and others around the state through the use of urban gardens.

“Urban gardens are changing the face of agriculture worldwide. Some have already been established around the state but we want to take these ideas and spread them statewide so that all Oklahomans have access to fresh produce, meats and other foods,” said Matthews, D-Tulsa. “Urban gardens not only provide better access to fresh food, they also help create jobs, provide agriculture and business education for local youth, support local farmers and business owners, and improve the health of local citizens.”

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November 7, 2016   Comments Off on Oklahoma Looks At Urban Gardens To Fight Food Deserts

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’

Venezuela’s Controversial Urban Agriculture Plan

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Tweet mocking urban agriculture plan.

When the project was presented in February, the newly created Ministry of Urban Agriculture announced that 12,000 square kilometers — about 4,600 square miles — would be planted in the first 100 days. Eight months into the project, only 21 square kilometers (about 8 square miles) of land have been cultivated, according to the ministry.

By Sofia Barbarani
Washington Post
Nov 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Some Venezuelans try to look on the bright side of the experiment: Producing their own food can reduce the time spent on the streets of Caracas, where crime is skyrocketing. For De Leandro, who was once kidnapped for ransom, this is a comforting thought. She grows a stunning array of vegetables on one of her terraces.

But not all Caraquenians have enough land to cultivate produce, and water is also in short supply due to a drought.

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November 1, 2016   Comments Off on Venezuela’s Controversial Urban Agriculture Plan

Legislation hopes to bolster urban farming, but challenges remain

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Lance Kraai (pictured above) operates the 3-acre New City Farm on Grand Rapids’ northeast side and believes urban farms are best suited to drive social change rather than profits. Photo by Katy Batdorff.

“You can read books on urban agriculture, and it’s like, ‘You can make $100,000 on an acre.’ I’m a little skeptical of that in West Michigan,” he said.

By John Wiegand
MiBiz
Oct 16

Excerpt:

Increasing property values, notoriously thin margins — a common thread most conventional, organic and urban farmers share — and a lack of high-end buyers stifled what many thought to be a hot market.

That’s not to say urban farmers haven’t found a niche in West Michigan over the past five years. Instead of driving dollars to the bottom line, urban farmers have switched their models to focus on community revitalization, public health and youth welfare.

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October 25, 2016   Comments Off on Legislation hopes to bolster urban farming, but challenges remain

Detroit Urban farms flourish, but neighbors feel growing pains

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The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative received funding from Mercedes Benz Financial Services, which volunteer Mary Hughes is from, to help plant 200 fruit— apple, pear, plum and cherry — trees on vacant land.
(Photo: Jose Juarez / Special to The Detroit News)

“It’s not something we want to deal with in the neighborhood,” he said. “We’re looking for activity in this community that can maybe employ some people. An apple orchard really does not employ anyone.”

By Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News
Oct 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative got its start under an adopt-a-lot program five years ago. Since then, it’s transformed a tiny community garden to an operation that’s supplied more than 50,000 pounds of food to more than 2,000 households within two square miles, said co-founder and president Tyson Gersh.

The group has about a dozen projects going on a 1.5-acre site off Brush between Horton and Custer in Detroit’s District 5, one of the city’s seven district locations. Earlier this month, Mercedes Benz Financial Services funded the planting of 200 cherry, plum, pear and apple trees on a previously vacant parcel of its agricultural campus.

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October 24, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit Urban farms flourish, but neighbors feel growing pains