New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Policy

Zimbabwe: A “new” farmer has emerged in urban areas

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Growing vegetable crops within towns and cities, to supply urban markets, is becoming increasingly popular. Photo by FAO/Erick-Christian Ahounou.

City by-laws support urban farming which is the reason we have agro zones in Harare such as the Hogerty Hills, Waterfalls, Tynwald, parts of Borrowdale, Marlborough and Hatfield.

By Sydney Kawadza
All Africa The Herald
Jan 22, 2015
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

The 62-year-old grandmother who stays in Mufakose said she has had her plot since 2009 and has been feeding her family from that land.

“The plot has helps me feed my family. I have never bought any maize meal for all these years. Even in drier years I have managed to harvest enough to take me to the following year,” Mrs Zirangwa said.

She currently lives with seven relatives at her home. There are several challenges associated with urban agriculture.

[Read more →]

January 31, 2015   No Comments

Food Tank Summit: “Cultivating Better Urban Food Systems”

Features a group of advocates for changing where we grow our foods and how we think about the origin of our food.

Written by Maggie Roth, GWU Student
2015 Food Tank Summit
Jan 28, 2015

Excerpts:

The panel’s last speaker was instantly recognizable to most in the audience: winner of the James Beard Foundation Medal, restauranteur, head judge on television’s Top Chef, and passionate food activist, Chef Tom Colicchio. As a special guest at the Food Tank Summit, Colicchio recalled his own experiences with urban farming in Elizabeth N.J., watching his grandfather grow vegetables in five-gallon containers.

[Read more →]

January 30, 2015   No Comments

Clearwater, Florida to consider permitting microbreweries, encouraging urban farms

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Clearwater gardeners.

He said planning staff also recommends amending the development code to identify areas where food production would be viable and to support urban agricultural activities.

By Mark Schantz
Gazette Correspondent
Published: January 16, 2015

Excerpt:

Proposed changes include adding urban farms as a permissible use in industrial, research and technology districts and community gardens in most residential districts, as well as institutional districts. The amendments also address hydroponics or other food production facilities in existing and new buildings.

[Read more →]

January 25, 2015   No Comments

Securing Water for Urban Farms

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A farm grows kale in view of the Chicago skyline. Globally, farms in and around cities span an area the size of the European Union. Photo credit: Linda N/CC

Linking urban water management more closely to urban farming has the potential to increase food security, water productivity, and community health, while reducing chemical fertilizer use, long-distance food and water imports, and related greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

By Sandra Postel
National Geographic
January 8, 2015
Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project, Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and author of several books and numerous articles on global water issues. She is co-creator of Change the Course, the national freshwater conservation and restoration campaign being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.

Excerpt:

Yet a surprisingly large share of the world’s cropland is found not in rural areas, but within cities and their immediate surroundings. Some 456 million hectares (1.13 billion acres) of land is cultivated directly in cities or within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of an urban perimeter, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

[Read more →]

January 20, 2015   No Comments

Why a Denver Suburb Has Gone All-In for Farming

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Walking their goats.

Want to start an urban farm without permitting hassles? Dreaming of dwarf goats in your yard? Move to Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

By Anna Bergren Miller
City Lab
Jan 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Wheat Ridge, Colorado, is experiencing an agricultural renaissance. Once known informally as Carnation City, the Denver suburb built its economy on a foundation of flower nurseries, apple orchards, and assorted vegetable crops. But by the time Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969, residential and commercial development had eaten up much of the town’s farmland.

Five decades later, when city leaders sat down to rewrite the community’s comprehensive plan, they identified urban agriculture as a focal point.

[Read more →]

January 19, 2015   No Comments

HCM City in Vietnam agricultural restructuring a success story

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Bui Van Da raises crocodiles in HCM City’s Binh Chanh District. The export of crocodiles and crocodile skins has contributed to a significant improvement in the city’s agricultural value last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Do

To encourage farmers switching to urban agriculture, the city has decided to provide soft loans for farmers.

Siagon
Jan 18, 2015

Excerpt:

The city farmers had an average annual profit of VND325 million (US$15,400) per ha last year, up 15.2 per cent against 2013, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

Last year, farmers who grew safe vegetables had an annual profit of VND400 million ($19,000) per ha and those who bred milk cows had an annual profit of VND100 million ($4,700) for raising 20 milk cows.

[Read more →]

January 18, 2015   Comments Off

Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis: Use state resources to boost urban farming

repdem

Lawmaker seeks to increase urban access to food

By Jess Seabolt
Nuvo
Jan 5, 2015

Excerpt:

A Central Indiana lawmaker wants to provide better access to healthy food to inner-city Hoosiers with legislation to promote urban farms, food-co-ops and farmer’s markets.

“One of the biggest complaints I get when I go door-to-door is that there aren’t any grocery stores in urban neighborhoods anymore,” said Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis.

Moed said the continuing closure of grocery stores in urban neighborhoods means that many people only have access to food is at local drug stores or gas stations that don’t offer healthy options.

[Read more →]

January 17, 2015   Comments Off

Campaigning for Urban Agriculture in Sacramento, the Farm to Fork Capital


Paul Trudeau with Southside Aquaponics inside his backyard greenhouse.

A state law enacted in 2013 allows cities to create urban agriculture incentive zones, which would reduce property taxes if landowners allow small scale farming.

By Amy Quinton
Capital Public Radio
January 05, 2015

Excerpt:

Trudeau had a business license to sell the food to restaurants, but he wanted to expand. He found an oddly-shaped commercial lot in a blighted area and found an owner willing to let him put a greenhouse on it. But then he ran into trouble.

“I went to the city though to check it out, like ‘what would I have to do’ and they were like, ‘Well raising food, that’s not a permitted use in the commercial zone or residential zone,'” says Trudeau. “So I kind of got stopped in my tracks there.”

[Read more →]

January 16, 2015   Comments Off

City of Vancouver Food Strategy: What Feeds Us

Published on Jan 15, 2015
City of Vancouver: Thien Phan, Wendy Mendes, James O’Neill
Film Maker: Farzine MacRae, MacRae Multimedia (macraemultimedia.ca)

Launched in January 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Food Strategy represents the culmination of over ten years of policy, planning and community organizing towards the creation of a healthy, just and sustainable food system. None of this would be possible without the creativity and dedication of countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. This video highlights some key areas that have made a big impact in Vancouver.

Vancouver Food Policy information.

January 15, 2015   Comments Off

Hong Kong to acquire 80 hectares of land to create the city’s first agricultural park.

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It would likely boost the annual amount of local produce by 25 per cent to about 20,400 tonnes, equivalent to a value of about HK$200 million.

SCMP Editorial
Jan 5, 2015

Excerpt:

With more than 90 per cent of fresh produce coming from the mainland, there would seem little to be gained from the idea. Farming is a fickle business, being governed by the weather and seasons and requiring costly equipment and fertiliser. Land for housing and recreation is in short supply. Setting aside space to grow what can already be obtained for reasonable prices elsewhere would appear to make little sense. With the government’s compensation rate for farmland presently at HK$808 per square foot, acquiring the 80 hectares would cost, by the Post’s estimates, at least HK$7 billion.

[Read more →]

January 14, 2015   Comments Off

Renovated historic fire station would anchor city’s revised ‘urban farm’ program

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The century-old former fire station No. 9 at 2518 Winter St. will be renovated into the centerpiece of an “urban farm” — a concept city officials hope will spread and bring better nutrition to so-called “food deserts.” Photo by Kevin Leninger.

Initial site’s demise may have been blessing in disguise, officials say

By Kevin Leininger
The News-Sentinel
December 29, 2014

Excerpt:

When the city rejected its first applicant to develop a pilot “urban farm” earlier this year, it could have represented a setback in efforts to bring better nutrition to underserved areas sometimes called “food deserts.”

Instead, officials insist, it spurred changes that in many ways make the revised project more attractive than its predecessor.

[Read more →]

January 12, 2015   Comments Off

Dallas restrictions stunt growth of community gardens

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Bhutanese women (from left) Sushila Adhikari, Sunuwar Bishnu, Basi Adhikari and Dhan Silwal stand amongst plots of vegetables and flowers in the Seeds of Hope community garden in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood. Photo by Jim Tuttle.

The women, both in their 60s, grew food for their families and sold the surplus during the 20 years they lived in refugee camps in Nepal

By Elizabeth Findell
Dallas News
25 December 2014

Excerpt:

Organizations that work with refugees have succeeded in opening a couple of community gardens, including one for Bhutanese refugees in Vickery Meadow. (It’s close to where Rai and Sunuwar live, but not close enough to be easy for them to get to.)

But overall, efforts to expand community gardens and raise more urban produce have struggled to take root in Dallas. In part, that’s because of restrictions that prevent gardens from selling what they grow and limits on the construction of structures for growing crops.

That could change.

[Read more →]

January 9, 2015   Comments Off

Tax break sowing the seeds of urban agriculture growth in San Francisco

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Dr. Aaron Roland, left, greets neighborhood resident John Tobeler in the physician’s permaculture garden on Rhode Island Street. It was the first time the two neighbors have met, although both have enjoyed the garden. Photo by Mike Koozmin.

For the next five years, his property-tax bill will total $80 not $35,688 under the new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone program

By Joshua Sabatini
The SF Examiner
Jan 4, 2015

Excerpt:

Roland, 57, a family doctor who lives in the Mission, is San Francisco’s first property owner to obtain a tax break under the new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone program. For the next five years, his property-tax bill will total $80 not $35,688.

“I bought it thinking I would build a home,” Roland said.

He never did but after growing attached to the open-space gem, the thought of selling it off for housing makes him depressed. The tax break removes all doubt as to whether he’s making the right decision.

[Read more →]

January 4, 2015   Comments Off

Harriet Nakabaale’s Camp Green in Kampala

camp
Harriet Nakabaale’s is changing the landscape of urban agriculture in Kampala and her mission is to share the vast knowledge she has accumulated with her community.

Harriet Nakabaale has managed to turn a 50-feet-by-32-feet chunk of hard urban ground in Kampala into an oasis of greens

By Coco McCabe
Oxfam America
Oct 23, 2013

Excerpt:

Nakabaale’s Camp Green is like a beacon. It bursts with living things, all of them edible–an important survival tactic in an urban area where the high cost of buying food can saddle a family with relentless poverty.

Here are pomegranates and strawberries, eggplants and cauliflowers. There are the herbs–rosemary, lavender, thyme. Leafy greens mix with root vegetables. And here? Broilers, turkeys, guinea fowl, and geese.

What makes all of this possible?

[Read more →]

December 24, 2014   Comments Off

New policy for urban agriculture proposed by the Vancouver Park Board

kitscommngarden
Kitsilano Community Garden. Photo by MicaDogg.

What’s new in the proposed policy

The proposed Urban Agriculture Policy includes:

1. An expanded definition of the policy for agriculture project that covers:

Collaborative and shared gardening

Educational-, arts-, and culturally-focused gardening

Fruit and nut trees

Hobby beekeeping

Pollinator gardens

[Read more →]

December 16, 2014   Comments Off