New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Policy

Why are women doing most of the work on so many urban farms?

womnyMaggie Cheney, center, the director of farms and education for the food-access group EcoStation:NY, at the Bushwick Campus Farm in Brooklyn with Kristina Erskine, left, and Iyeshima Harris, garden managers. Photo by Erin Patrice O’Brien for The New York Times.

Mother Nature’s Daughters

By Michael Tortorello
New York Times
Aug. 27, 2014


This is where the speculation begins — and, inevitably, the stereotypes. Are women more willing to nurture their communities (and also their beet greens)? Are men preoccupied with techie farm toys like aquaponics? Is gender the reason the radio at the Queens Farm washing station is always stuck on Beyoncé and Alicia Keys?

More significant, if urban ag work comes to be seen as women’s work, what will that mean for the movement’s farming model, mission and pay?

[

September 1, 2014   No Comments

District of North Vancouver won’t allow people to sell backyard produce

nvanYou can’t sell these in North Vancouver District.

“The district of North Vancouver isn’t zoned for agriculture so selling produce grown here isn’t allowed.”

By Karen van Blankenstein
Weed’em and Reap
Aug 23, 2014


What would you call Weed ‘em & Reap? Is it a farm? Does a quarter acre (if the house was gone and you could use the entire property) qualify? There are no tractors or combines or cows or chickens here. No employees. I really don’t think it resembles a farm at all. Now that my two eldest kids are out of the house, I don’t even think it could qualify as a zoo anymore.

So is it a garden? Raised planter beds, very small greenhouse, lots of food plants in containers interspersed with the ornamentals… looks like a garden to me. Except maybe for the fact that I hold sales every Sunday and have gone through the process to have all my seedlings and produce certified organic. That’s a little “farmish”.

[

August 25, 2014   No Comments

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he supports a trial for backyard chickens in a limited number of Calgary households to see how urban chickens might fare legally in the city.

Hughes, leader of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub plans to take more councillors on his tour of Calgary’s illegal but responsible coops.

By Jason Markusoff
Calgary Herald
August 24, 2014


Fortunes have improved for Calgarians who want to be legal hen-raisers, four years after council voted 11-3 against permitting backyard coops.

Only four of those 2010 skeptics remain on council, and one of them — Coun. Ray Jones — wants to help lead the way on resurrecting plans for an urban chickens pilot project.

[

August 25, 2014   No Comments

“Urban farms key to hunger” says keynote speaker at 29th International Horticultural Congress

Julian Cribb, the former CSIRO scientist and author of the books, Poisoned Planet and The Coming Famine, shared his thoughts at the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Brisbane.

4000 delegates from more than 100 countries, the largest horticulture gathering in Australia this year, heard the message

By Ashley Walmsley
The Land
19 Aug, 2014


“The city itself is poised to change. Green cities alive with vegetation, fresh food, birds and insects will replace the polluted, soulless, concrete and glass urbanscapes of today,” he said.

Giant floating greenhouses and translucent vertical urban farms were just two ideas touted by Mr Cribb. He said by 2050, urban horticulture and farming could provide half the world’s food.

“They will ensure a highly diverse, local food supply that never fails,” Mr Cribb said.

[

August 19, 2014   No Comments

Mustang, Oklahoma Family Fighting City Hall Over Vegetable Garden

The Jamesons said the garden has literally saved their lives. It has helped Lyle lose 137 pounds and Jessica lose 120 pounds in less than a year.

By Lacie Lowry
News 9
Aug 15, 2014


The city sent the Jameson family a notice, explaining it has received several complaints that the vines of cucumber, tomato and gourdes along the fence are obstructing the view of drivers pulling up to the intersection.

“If it slows drivers down, then that’s not the worst thing, because this is a daycare,” said Lyle Jameson. “Children play here all day.”

The city said the Jamesons must remove the vegetation by August 18.

[

August 17, 2014   Comments Off

Create a world class urban agriculture hub on Bristol’s Blue Finger – Britain

Petition to Mayor of Bristol to Protect Bristol’s highly fertile food growing land from road building and other damaging development.

Petition by
The Blue Finger Alliance
August 2014


Any city that wishes to thrive in an unpredictable future must act now to upscale sustainable food production in ways that directly benefit the health and wellbeing, and the local economy of that city. We should not be endorsing a public transport system that undermines our ability to do this.

The area under threat is part of an area known as the Blue Finger (Grade 1 is coded blue on agricultural classification maps). Soil of this quality covers less than 3% of the UK and this is set to diminish as sea levels rise and extremes of climate increase.

[

August 13, 2014   Comments Off

Letter: Friendlier permitting needed for urban agriculture in Encinitas, California

Coral Tree Farm & Nursery. Family owned and operated urban farm in Encinitas since 1958 offering CSA and open to the public to purchase organic eggs, fruits, and veggies.

I left the City of Encinitas’ first urban agriculture subcommittee meeting feeling frustrated by the city’s position on small farms.

By Anna Young, a Leucadia resident.
Excinitas Advocate
Aug 1, 2014


There seems to be a giant disconnect between the city’s vision (preserving its agricultural heritage and the environment) and current planning department’s approach. The City Council is in the process of rewriting the framework for urban agriculture. I hope that in the interim the city will allow historic Coral Tree Farm to continue to exist.

[

August 12, 2014   Comments Off

U.S. Representative: ‘Farmers Markets and Urban Agriculture – Sharing the Bounty


Rep. Marcia L. Fudge – U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 11th District

By Rep. Marcia L. Fudge
U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 11th District
Huffington Post
Aug 6, 2014


As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight and Nutrition, I have been consistently engaged in efforts to promote healthier eating habits and better nutrition for Americans. Since this is National Farmers Market Week, it is a good time to highlight the growth in urban agriculture that is occurring in communities across the country. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a 76 percent increase in the number of farmers markets in the United States, up from 4,685 in 2008 to 8,286 in 2014. Ohio is a leader, ranking fourth in the number of farmers markets with 311, behind California (764), New York (638) and Michigan (339).

[

August 7, 2014   Comments Off

Support urban farming in Tallahassee, Florida

Claire Mitchell, urban farmer.

Tell them you support Ten-Speed Greens and that you want urban farm zoning in the city, and that you think unused city and county land should be put into urban agriculture conservation trusts and leased to young and beginning farmers.

By Claire Mitchell
Tallahassee Democrat
July 28, 2014


If I were to tell you that three quarters of an acre could support the livelihoods of two young women, foster the education of seven farm interns, grow one ton of tomatoes in a summer, and gross $60,000 in 18 months, would you believe me? I hope so, because it’s the truth.

Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm was a force to be reckoned with, partly because of the novelty of a fully-functioning farm in Levy Park, and partly because of the work and dedication of its owners, myself and Danielle Krasniqi. Then on July 10, our farm closed because of lack of secure land access.

[

August 3, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit’s secret weapon against food insecurity


If other cities experience an economic collapse similar to Detroit’s, the nationwide urban farming infrastructure may grow yet further.

By Ned Resnikoff

There’s still quite a bit of hunger in Detroit, and urban agriculture alone probably won’t relieve it. So far, the produce coming from the city’s urban gardens has done more to supplement other food sources than replace them.

Gleaners Community Food Bank has even started its own community garden, producing between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds of fresh produce per year, but Brisson says he doesn’t expect those efforts to measurably bring down hunger in Detroit.

[

August 1, 2014   Comments Off

Indianapolis should favor gardeners in clash over urban farms

Sue Spicer (above) helps to tend a Near Eastside urban garden. Photo: Kelly Wilkinson / The Star.

Zoning is a tricky thing, but we must strive for a balance. And if we can’t quite achieve that, we should err on the side of the code being too loose rather than too restrictive.

By Erika D. Smith
Indy Star
July 19, 2014


To Kay and Sue and other gardeners, Fruit Loop Acres is a beautiful labor of love that should be allowed to grow. To others, it’s an ugly mess, a tangle of untamed greenery interspersed with smelly animals, that should be shut down.

Who is right? It’s hard to say, and the city’s laws are largely silent.

[

July 30, 2014   Comments Off

Spokane’s Urban farm ordinance will incur costs to city

spoakneSpokane urban farm.

People wanting to keep goats, sheep or small pigs in the city have to be certified through a class by Washington State University’s Spokane County Extension service.

Mike Prager
The Spokesman-Review
July 19, 2014


Spokane’s new urban farming ordinance that allows for the keeping of small farm animals is likely to cost the city extra money for animal control services.

The director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service has outlined a series of charges for the extra work of answering farm animal welfare calls and noise and odor complaints involving goats, sheep, small pigs or fowl.

[

July 27, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm


Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation – Harvard Law School

Food Law & Policy,
July 17, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to announce the publication of its guide, Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm. The guide to establishing ground-level farms smaller than one acre is the first in a series of guides that spell out the processes urban farmers in Boston will need to go through in order to start their operations in the City.

[

July 26, 2014   Comments Off

Officials Break Ground on New Urban Farm in City of Boston, Roxbury

There are about 1,400 vacant parcels, not all of which are build-able

By Nate Boroyan
City News Writer


The Garrison-Trotter Farm will occupy two formerly-vacant lots in Roxbury, becoming the first urban farm on city-owned land, BNN News reports. “[The Garrison-Trotter Farm] stems from the adoption of Article 89, which is a zoning ordinance which makes urban agriculture legal, as of right in the City of Boston,” William Epperson of the Department of Neighborhood Development told BNN news in a tapped interview (see: below).”And the city would like to use some of its vacant parcels to promote urban agriculture to bring healthy foods back to the communities to make it more accessible, and to also create jobs and give opportunities to folks who would like to get into farming.”

[

July 22, 2014   Comments Off

1949 commuter train film shows Vancouver corridor land which today is in ‘community gardens versus railway dispute’

1949 film of the Interurban rail service from downtown Vancouver to Marpole and the Fraser River

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor Community Gardens could lose 60-70% of garden land space

City of Richmond Archives
Published on July 21, 2014

This clip shows the B.C.E.R. Lulu Island Line interurban on its run from downtown Vancouver through the Arbutus corridor to Marpole and the Fraser River Trestle. Filmed by tram enthusiast Ted Clark around 1949, the original 16 mm film underwent conservation treatment in 2012 and then was digitized. The complete film on DVD, along with a detailed shot list, can be purchased at the City of Richmond Archives for $20.00.

[

July 21, 2014   Comments Off