Category — Policy
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
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.
October 25, 2016 No Comments
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
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.
October 24, 2016 No Comments
Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016
Almost 40 years ago, non-profit City Farmer created ‘Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture’
By Micheal Levenston
City Farmer Society
Oct 23, 2016
City Farmer created its unofficial, non-profit ‘Office’ in 1978 and has run it for almost 40 years to promote the concept of producing food in the city. Over the years, some have referred to City Farmer’s executive director as Canada’s ‘Minister’ of Urban Agriculture. However, City Farmer has always been and remains a tiny NGO.
In the 1980’s, one gentleman flew from Germany to see us and arrived at our office door expecting to see a bustling, official government office. He was disappointed to see a spartan room, staffed by one scruffy employee.
In January of 2016, City Farmer sent Canada’s new federal cabinet ministers a short booklet outlining a proposal asking the Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.
In September, 2016, US Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016, a comprehensive urban agriculture bill, was introduced in the US Congress.
It has taken 40 years to move an idea of an Office of Urban Agriculture to centre stage. Without a doubt, Senator Stabenow’s bill will be copied around the world.
October 23, 2016 No Comments
Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, argues that as population grows there is a greater need for green, open space
“Community gardens turn pockets of urban space into productive organic gardens where residents can grow their own food,” Clover Moore said
By Nicole Frost
Oct 11, 2016
A few suburbs across in Newtown, Marrickville Council’s Turtle Lane Community Garden has proved a hit with local residents.
There are 25 plots in the garden and a waiting list for eager residents to take part.
Martin moved around the corner eight years ago and started in the garden shortly afterwards.
October 19, 2016 No Comments
The goal by 2020 is to green Paris on more than 100 hectares with a third devoted to urban agriculture
This article has been roughly translated by Google Translate from La Relève et La Peste
By Christophe Noël et Jean-Pierre Viguié / Mairie de Paris
Oct 6, 2016
Here’s good news! Passed unnoticed this summer, this law passed by the elected council of Paris on July 1, and allows Paris residents to acquire a permit to green/grow on the place that you like best! A very nice alternative to green our cities from the 100% concrete …
Paris is one of the least “green” capitals where one finds relatively little space and almost no real green lung, as there are in London or Central Park. The mayor of Paris has made a strong move this time with her 100% green proposal. We see real, bold proposals for the French capital. The goal by 2020 is to green Paris on more than 100 hectares. All alternatives are in the proposals. Roofs, walls and facades can and will be grown on, a third will be devoted to urban agriculture. This proposals is long overdue. The proposal was passed under a near media blackout.
October 19, 2016 No Comments
Although cities occupy only 2 percent of the planet’s surface, their inhabitants use 75 percent of its natural resources.
By Fabio Salbitano Simone Borelli Michela Conigliaro Yujuan Chen
Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations
The world is urbanizing quickly, too: by 2050, 70 percent of the global population will live in cities and towns. Sustainable urban development is crucial, therefore, for ensuring the quality of life of the world’s people.
Forests and trees in urban and peri-urban environments, if properly managed, can make important contributions to the planning, design and management of sustainable, resilient landscapes. They can help make cities:
• safer – by reducing stormwater runoff and the impacts of wind and sand storms, mitigating the “heat island” effect, and contributing to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change;
• more pleasant – by providing space for recreation and venues for social and religious events, and ameliorating weather extremes;
• healthier – by improving air quality, providing space for physical exercise, and fostering psychological well-being;
October 18, 2016 No Comments
Agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions – Rapid action needed to put smallholders and food systems on sustainable paths
FAO Press Release:
17 October 2016, Rome
The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO said today in a new report.
Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.
“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. “What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted.”
That uncertainty also translates into volatile food prices, he noted. “Everybody is paying for that, not only those suffering from droughts,” Graziano da Silva said.
October 17, 2016 No Comments
Council Member Margaret Chin, alone among the local representatives, opposes the community garden under a misguided sense of what “livability” entails.
By Aziz Dehkan
Oct 7, 2016
The coalition of advocates for Elizabeth Street Garden demand the land be dedicated as parkland. Today Elizabeth Street Garden enlivens Soho with year-round programs and sculpture. The City, in a weak effort to assuage the community, asks developers to reserve barely a quarter of the existing garden site for future open space. Operation of the diminished space will be a challenge to integrate into the community and serve the actual needs of visitors.
October 14, 2016 No Comments
It will be up to Debbie Stabenow and her colleagues in Congress to design smart programs, so a small amount of seed money yields a large crop of urban-ag successes.
By Urban C Lehner
The Progressive Farmer
(Must see. Mike)
Deciding whether urban-agriculture legislation makes sense requires pondering two questions. The first and most fundamental: Does urban agriculture make sense?
It’s tempting to say the jury is still out. Urban agriculture is an infant industry — industries, really, for there are many urban-agricultural models. There are restaurants growing their own fruits and vegetables on their rooftops and community groups growing them on vacant lots. There’s Ed Horton’s vertical farm on an eighth of an acre inside an Irvine, California, office building. There’s A.G. and Matt Kawamura’s 40 parcels, 1,000 acres total, dotting the southern Los Angeles suburbs.
October 11, 2016 Comments Off on An Urban’s Rural View – Making Sense Out of Urban Agriculture
To generate extra income, the excess of what the informal settlers’ families could consume will be linked up with socially-committed stores like Rustan’s to help market the vegetables.
By Ace June Rell S. Perez
Sun Star Davao
Oct 2, 2016
“My attention was caught when I saw a squatter’s shanty standing on a vacant space in the sidewalk in Mandaluyong where beside it was a small garden planted with pechay, ampalaya and luyang dilaw, among other things,” he said, adding that this prompted him to meet with the officials of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), formerly the Bureau of Agricultural Extension (BAEx) and instructed them to conduct a survey of “how much vacant spaces are there in the different parts of the big cities.”
Piñol told the ATI and BPI that their technicians can teach these informal settlers, through a simple training on how to plant vegetables “in every available space, with the permission of the city governments.”
October 9, 2016 Comments Off on “Garden in the Sidewalk” Program begins in the Philippines
First Lady Michelle Obama embraces President Barack Obama as he surprises her during the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest. President chats with kids in the garden. Click on image for larger file.
The White House Kitchen Garden will be maintained and preserved into the future thanks to The Burpee Foundation And The W. Atlee Burpee Company Partnering With The National Park Foundation
Remarks by the First Lady at the White House Kitchen Garden Dedication
Oct 5, 2016
(Must read. Mike)
Excerpt from transcript:
MRS. OBAMA: Hello everyone, I am so — I’m beyond thrilled. I’m probably as emotional as everybody sitting in this garden to be here with you today as we officially dedicate our White House Kitchen Garden.
People look at my daughters, and they see how time has flown by. And then I look at Tammy. And I remember Tammy to the day because she — her face is the same, but you did absolutely grow. (Laughter.) And you’ve matured is what you’ve done. You have grown into such a poised, gracious young lady. And I know your mother is proud. It’s just been a complete honor to have you by my side on this project. So, Tammy, thank you. (Applause.)
Oh, my goodness. I also want to say a few huge thank yous to a few more people — to the folks from the Burpee Foundation and the W. Atlee Burpee Company for their generous support of the National Park Foundation to preserve this garden for the future. And I want to recognize the Whole Kids Foundation for making this day possible. And what a beautiful day it is. This has been the garden’s luck, right? It rained all week and we were on pins and needles that we’d have to do this inside. And this is a perfect day — a perfect day.
October 8, 2016 Comments Off on $2.5 Million Donation Preserves White House Kitchen Garden
The B.C. government is providing funding of up to $25,000 each for 10 communities so they can work directly with their local residents in helping grow their own food.
Investment Agriculture Foundation Of BC
The goal of Grow Local BC is to provide a deeper connection between B.C. food, B.C. communities and the people that live in them. By encouraging British Columbians to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables, they will help strengthen local food supply security.
October 6, 2016 Comments Off on ‘Grow Local’ British Columbia Funding
FAO is implementing a micro-garden project in the city of Dakar in Senegal with a sub-regional outreach programme in The Gambia, Burkina Faso and Niger
The initiative is also mobilising support that could lead to the success of micro-gardens in all urban cities in The Gambia.
By Bekai Njie
Sept 29, 2016
She explained that the project has successfully introduced the concept of micro-gardens and provides training on establishing micro-gardens. Famers and school children were equally introduced to this new concept of gardening.
Sariyang M.K Joberteh, the Deputy Director General at the Department of Agriculture, said that a great potential is attached to horticultural crop production in The Gambia and that it has become a priority area for the government towards diversification, food security, poverty reduction, rural development and economic growth.
October 4, 2016 Comments Off on FAO is implementing a micro-garden project in the city of Dakar in Senegal with a sub-regional outreach programme in The Gambia, Burkina Faso and Niger
Ben Gould criticizes Councilman Jesse Arreguín’s Urban Agriculture Proposal
Items from The Daily Californian
(Must see. Mike.)
Excerpt from Gould:
The Urban Agriculture package, meanwhile, does propose specific incentives to encourage farming. It proposes bypassing public review and approval entirely, to automatically allow farms on up to nearly an acre of commercial-zoned land, or of unlimited size on unoccupied residential land. The Urban Agriculture package expands this by-right approval to construction of greenhouses, sheds, and fences; community gatherings and group class instruction; and sales of both raw and processed foods. It imposes no limitations on use of GMOs, pesticides, fertilizer, or industrial farming equipment.
October 1, 2016 Comments Off on Berkeley’s Mayoralty Candidates Spar Over Urban Agriculture Package
Philadelphia: More than 100 farmers, gardeners, and fresh food advocates testify about the importance of urban agriculture
Decades-old community gardens facing eviction. Residents fined by law enforcement for raising chickens in their backyard. Neighborhoods where the only food for sale is junk at a corner poppy shop.
By Sam Newhouse
Sept 22, 2016
City Councilman Al Taubenberger called the hearing under a resolution to explore supporting urban agriculture around Philadelphia, and said it remains to be seen if any new legislation will arise from the hearing. More hearings will be scheduled to explore the possibilities of vertical or controlled-environment farming.
“This was to help the hobbyist, the nonprofits, those who are bringing neighborhoods together,” he said. “It is also to continue the heritage of Philadelphia as being an epicenter of agriculture, which has long been forgotten.”
September 30, 2016 Comments Off on Philadelphia: More than 100 farmers, gardeners, and fresh food advocates testify about the importance of urban agriculture