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Category — Policy

L.A.’s New Urban Farm Initiative Struggles to Sow its Seeds

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A parcel listed as a potential location for an urban garden sits on a residential street in Manhattan Beach. By Marie Targonski-O’Brien

Los Angeles is offering landowners financial incentives to turn their urban property into green spaces. Unfortunately, nobody has applied yet.

By Marie Targonski-O’Brien
KCET
July 18, 2017

Excerpt:

“We haven’t had a single contract come through,” says Bruce Durbin, Supervising Planner at Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

Durbin says finding landowners and farmers who are interested in participating is a big part of the battle.

[Read more →]

July 27, 2017   No Comments

New City Council bill would create a comprehensive urban agriculture plan for New York

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The Farm Yard Publication date April 29, 1786. Click image to see larger file.

If all goes as planned, it will integrate urban agriculture into the City’s conservation and resiliency plans and spur the creation of the City’s Office of Urban Agriculture.

By Kings County Politics
July 21, 2017

Excerpt:

The two lawmakers got the plan rolling yesterday as they introduced legislation in the City Council for the City’s Department of City Planning (DCP) to create a comprehensive urban agriculture plan for the city. The multi-pronged plan includes a variety of methods to harness the global urban farming industry estimated at a value of $5.8 billion in the next five years.

“We have the power to transform Brooklyn’s urban spaces from concrete jungles to green oases,” said Adams. “My commitment to urban agriculture has certainly grown with my personal appreciation of nutrition’s transformative power over an individual — and a community’s — quality of life.

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July 23, 2017   No Comments

Detroit Mercy Law’s Urban Agriculture course gives students a new perspective on the city’s legal landscape

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Hundreds of lots formerly plagued by abandoned houses and crab grass are now home to chicken coops, flower and vegetable gardens, and large-scale drip irrigation fields blooming with crops of all kinds.

By Amanda Vanover
University of Detroit Mercy
July 10, 2017

Excerpt:

To better understand these challenges, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law recently offered an immersion course in urban agriculture. Through a series of guest speakers and site visits, students learned about the legal issues that face urban agricultural entities. Land acquisition, zoning for livestock and produce, insurance and liability for small farmer-retailers, water management, and green development were among the topics covered in the course.

“It is very important that we, as future lawyers and advocates, be able to understand the communities we are helping and what areas of law are important to these community members,” said Emina Alic, a 2L student in Detroit Mercy Law’s evening program. Alic completed the course, which was limited to just six students.

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July 17, 2017   No Comments

Dr. Wayne Roberts Speaks on Urban Farming

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Canada’s leading thinker and practitioner in the field of local and urban food systems will shake up what you think you know.

Idea City – Moses Znaimer’s Conference
June 14, 2017, Food & Nutrition, Environment

Dr. Wayne Roberts has managed the internationally respected Toronto Food Policy Council for a decade on behalf of Toronto Public Health. He has served on the boards of several major food system non-profits across North America, including the Community Food Security Coalition, Food Secure Canada, Unitarian Service Committee: Seeds of Survival, and FoodShare.

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July 17, 2017   No Comments

Liberia: $438,000 FAO urban/peri agriculture project to benefit women and youth

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1,500 urban and peri-urban women and youth farmers in rural Montserrado and Margibi Counties will benefit

By Judoemue Kollie
All Africa
July 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“The Ministry of Agriculture identified support to urban and peri-urban farmers in vegetable and poultry as areas of priority and our institution accepted to provide support. This project is important as it will improve nutrition, create jobs and reduce malnutrition in the lives of the beneficiaries. But to make the project a success, beneficiaries must take ownership”, he said.

He asked the beneficiaries to work harder for the sustainability of the project, adding that his institution remain committed to supporting the country’s strides to achieve food security.

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July 13, 2017   Comments Off on Liberia: $438,000 FAO urban/peri agriculture project to benefit women and youth

Canada: Backyard chickens are still illegal in London, Ontario

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Brooke Hutton in her backyard with her hens. She would like to see bylaws against backyard chickens relaxed. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Sometimes you have to break the rules if you believe in a cause, says backyard chicken keeper

By Kate Dubinski
CBC News
Jun 29, 2017

Excerpt:

Backyard chickens became a touchy subject in London, when looking into the possibility of allowing them was dismissed as a silly idea by former Mayor Joe Fontana.

The city has since began developing an urban agriculture strategy, with input from residents, and the issue has come back onto the public agenda.

Urban agriculture means growing, processing, sharing and distributing food – whether berries or beans or chickens – within the city.

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July 5, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Backyard chickens are still illegal in London, Ontario

UK: Jeremy Corbyn’s devotion to his allotment is just what you want in a leader

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Tending the soil, producing, transforming – not to mention getting away from the stresses, strains and smartphones of everyday life – is a delightful thing to do.’ Photograph: Felicity Nook

As an allotment holder, I think the Labour leader is bang on: however important a job, you do it better with balance in your life – which blooms if you tend a plot

By Fay Schopen
The Guardian
June 2, 2017

Excerpt:

Corbyn’s allotment has been quite the media star during his tenure as Labour leader – it’s certainly not the first time he’s said he will hang on to it no matter what transpires politically – but both public and media interest in his north London plot have been mounting as the election campaign ramps up.

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July 1, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Jeremy Corbyn’s devotion to his allotment is just what you want in a leader

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural has awarded $1.5 million in urban farming grants over five years

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Boston Medical Centre Rooftop Farm.

The “eat local” movement, which has generated new interest in where food comes from, has helped fuel the small, but growing, number of urban farms in the state, Arruda said.

By Gerry Tuoti
The Herald News
Jun 23, 2017

Excerpt:

“It’s great that the at the city and state level they are being supportive of trying to figure out how to make urban agriculture work and thrive,” Stoddard said.

Since it launched its urban agriculture grant program in 2012, the state has awarded funding to projects in cities across the state, including Somerville, Salem, Boston and Worcester. The Department of Agricultural Resources will begin reviewing applications for the next round of grant funding in July.

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June 29, 2017   Comments Off on Massachusetts Department of Agricultural has awarded $1.5 million in urban farming grants over five years

Philippines’ Agriculture Department Now Encouraging Residents Of Urban Areas To Plant Their Own Organic Produce

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We are encouraging our residents in the urban areas to plant because when we produce our own vegetables we do not only harvest healthy vegetables, but we could also earn additional income,” Agriculture Undersecretary for Special Concerns Ranibai Dalingalen said.

The DA’s urban-agriculture program of the current administration has three components: urban gardening training skills; mushroom culture; and feeding program.

By Jasper Y. Arcalas
Business Mirror
June 24, 2017

Excerpt:

Former Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said urban agriculture may not be able to produce all what city dwellers need, but it was a way to increase awareness on agriculture and food security.

For Gerald Sioco, CEO of Quezon City-based Cedarhills Garden Center, urban gardening in the country needs more awareness campaign to entice people to venture into such activity, particularly the youth.

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June 29, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines’ Agriculture Department Now Encouraging Residents Of Urban Areas To Plant Their Own Organic Produce

Alaska: Officials in Anchorage are taking steps to convert a blighted downtown property into an urban farm

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The 15-acre property in question is the former site of the Alaska Native Hospital.

Under the proposal from downtown Assembly member Christopher Constant, the area would first be tested for contamination, then potentially turned into an “urban agriculture center.”

By Zachariah Hughes
Alaska Public Media
June 21, 2017

Excerpt:

“The land’s been sitting fallow,” Constant said. “At this point my personal hope is that we’ll do something positive with that land. Let’s put in a farm. And I’m not talking about a garden, I mean a farm.”

Constant would like to see the area grow produce like herbs or greens that can easily be brought to markets and restaurants in Anchorage. One of the eventual goals of the farm idea is creating training and employment opportunities for people living in nearby shelters or on the streets.

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June 26, 2017   Comments Off on Alaska: Officials in Anchorage are taking steps to convert a blighted downtown property into an urban farm

A Plan Takes Root: Brockton Urban Agriculture (Massachusetts)

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The Brockton Planning Department recently released a report that it commissioned to examine the conditions for urban agriculture in Brockton, concluding that the city is fertile grounds for small-time farming

By Marc Larocque
Enterprise
June 16, 2017

Report By Andrew Kilduff and Tim Tensen
Conway School of Landscape Design
Winter 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Cholakis, a faculty member at the Conway School. “But there’s a huge opportunity to use urban agriculture to bring people together, revitalize neighorhoods, make strong community connections and engage the schools. The most potential benefit is in that social and educational aspect.”

Brockton City Hall officials signed a contract worth up to $7,000 for the Conway School to conduct the study.

[Read more →]

June 23, 2017   Comments Off on A Plan Takes Root: Brockton Urban Agriculture (Massachusetts)

Cincinnati City Council hopes to turn vacant, blighted properties into urban farms

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Cincinnati City Council is considering a new pilot program that could flip as many as 10 vacant parcels of land into gardens ready for planting anything from herbs to cucumbers.

By Amanda Seitz
WCPO
Jun 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Supporters believe the humble start to this project could ultimately alleviate some of the city’s most stubborn problems: food deserts, unemployment and blight.

“It will assist in taking that blight, that was a negative, and not only improving the look, but providing sustenance to the area as well,” said Cincinnati City Councilman Kevin Flynn, who proposed the program.

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June 20, 2017   Comments Off on Cincinnati City Council hopes to turn vacant, blighted properties into urban farms

Why it’s important for black farmers to take the lead on Detroit’s urban farms

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Oakland Avenue Urban Farm. Photo by Tom Perkins.

What black organizations like Neighborhood B.U.G. and their allies are trying to do is, in part, restore ownership for a heritage of farming and gardening that never went away, but was overlooked, perhaps even within the community itself.

By Brian Allnutt
Detroit Metro Times
June 14, 2017

Excerpt:

Thorpe from Neighborhood B.U.G. says that the perception of his organization really changed when people realized it was being run by African-Americans. “In the beginning we had a couple of problems because people didn’t know who we were,” he says. “They thought we were probably a white organization. … Now we don’t have anything locked up, we don’t have any fences. … The community is just receptive because they see nothing but blacks, young black people out there gardening and it makes people stop, from old to young.”

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June 19, 2017   Comments Off on Why it’s important for black farmers to take the lead on Detroit’s urban farms

What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from five case studies

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Nairobi (Kenya): Enabling Urban Agriculture Thanks To Constitutional Change And Civil Society Activism.
and
Detroit (USA): Obtaining new powers to regulate and promote urban agriculture.

Lead authors: Corinna Hawkes and Jess Halliday
By the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food).
2017

Excerpts:

2. Nairobi (Kenya): Enabling Urban Agriculture Thanks To Constitutional Change And Civil Society Activism.

As in many East African cities, urban agriculture has been a fixture of life for many poor resi-dents of Nairobi since the late 1970s and 1980s. Yet for many years the city government was vigorously opposed to it, and farmers’ efforts to feed their families were regularly disrupted by law enforcers on public health and land ownership grounds.

[Read more →]

June 18, 2017   Comments Off on What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from five case studies

Singapore: Turf wars in community gardens

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The locked community garden at 552, Serangoon North Ave 3, has forced some residents to grow their own plants outside their flats and on other plots of land in the estate:ST Photo: Rachel Au-Yong.

The RC had asked Mr Tan Thean Teng, 73, to stop dispensing medical advice along with his herbs, as well as to involve more immediate neighbours in gardening.

By Rachel Au-Yong and Camillia Deborah Dass
The Straits Times
June 10, 2017

Excerpt:

Illegal for unregistered person to practise TCM

The Ministry of Health has made clear that only registered practitioners can carry out traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practices, such as the prescription of herbal medicine for treatment.

It sent this statement in response to queries from The Straits Times, following a recent case of a veteran community gardener whom residents approached for herbs with medicinal properties. He would give them the herbs from the community garden in Jurong West, along with medical advice.

[Read more →]

June 15, 2017   Comments Off on Singapore: Turf wars in community gardens