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Category — Policy

The Benefits Of Owning Farm Animals In The City

kidoile Click on image for larger file.

Everyone I spoke with told me that the downside of keeping urban animals is that it is a 24/7 job which makes going on vacation difficult.

By Rebecca Mongrain
Seattle Refined
Aug 18, 2015


Seattle’s liberal livestock laws allow for the average city resident to bring a bit of the farm to their urban backyard. Seattle allows up to eight domestic fowl on any lot but roosters are not permitted. The hen house must be at least 10 feet away from any residential structure. The Seattle Homestead site provides information on chicken laws for most of Washington’s major towns. Miniature goats and small potbelly pigs are permitted with limitations while farm animals (full-sized goats, cows, horses, sheep, etc.) are only allowed on lots over 20,0000 square feet within Seattle City Limits. No swine are allowed other than small potbelly pigs either.

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August 26, 2015   No Comments

Facilitating Urban Agriculture with ‘Tactical’ Policy Changes in Hamilton, Ontario

Hill Street Community Garden (RTH file photo)

Citizens and organizations are making Hamilton a model for how rural and urban can work together as part of a sustainable food system.

By Jason Thorne
Raise the Hammer
August 18, 2015


On the doorstep of this rural and agricultural area is an urban area of more than half a million people, soon to be more than 700,000. The city is working to take advantage of this unique opportunity and position itself as a leader in urban agriculture.

To help achieve that goal, the City’s Planning and Economic Development Department, led by Planning Manager Joanne Hickey-Evans, has been systematically identifying, and removing, barriers to urban agriculture.

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August 26, 2015   No Comments

West Virginia Department Of Agriculture’s Urban Farm Promotes Farming; Benefitting Manna Meal

West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick picks corn.

“Food pantries don’t see fresh products, they see canned foods. So this is just unbelievable, it’s exciting.”

By Kennie Bass
Aug 13 2015


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An experimental Urban Farm program is providing valuable data to the Department of Agriculture, and fresh grown food to a population in need.

Right beside Riverside High School there is a three quarter acre plot of land being used to promote farming in places you might not expect. As a side bonus, the crops are feeding the hungry.

West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick picks corn and other vegetables from a plot his agency has been working all summer.

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August 23, 2015   No Comments

Founders of Gaia Gardens in Santa Fe quit urban farming in protest of city inaction

sant fe
Poki Piottin stands next to a farm stand in 2012 that he opened on Gaia Gardens. (Journal file)

“My hope is that our new ordinances will address situations like this one,” he mayor said

By Jackie Jadrnak
Albuquerque Journal
August 11, 2015


Poki Piottin, who founded and runs the gardens with Dominique Pozo, said the next three months of produce will be given away to people in need.

The decision followed a third meeting with city officials Monday asking him to close the property’s farm stand. “I have decided to stop farming in the city — in protest,” Piottin wrote in an email.

But the farm also has faced other problems.

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August 21, 2015   No Comments

Edmonton, Alberta orders sheep farmer to get the flock out of the city

Sheep farmer David Koch shows the city’s order to get rid of his sheep by Sept. 20 or face fines of $500 per animal. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

David Koch faces $25,000 in fines if he doesn’t clear out flock by Sept. 20

CBC News
Aug 06, 2015


The city has long since swallowed up Koch’s 3.5-acre hobby farm between Ellerslie Road and Anthony Henday Drive, west of 99th Street.

Though the acreage looks as rural as many beyond the city outskirts, it is no longer zoned for agricultural use. So more than two decades after Koch started his farm with a pair of animals, his flock of 50 sheep now faces eviction.

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August 16, 2015   No Comments

Liberia: European Union Pledges Support For Urban Agriculture


The urban agriculture project has been undertaken in cities like Monrovia, Tubmanburg and Gbarnga to enhance food production locally.

By Cholo Brook
GNN Liberia


The Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, has pledged the EU’s support in improving urban agriculture to strengthen food security in the country.

She noted that the EU is in Liberia to help improve the livelihood of the Liberian people through several activities, including agriculture, and noted that it was critical for Liberians to produce rice, rather than depend on imports from other countries.

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August 16, 2015   No Comments

Hundreds of vacant lots in city may benefit from urban agriculture ordinance in Sacramento

The Yisrael family is at the forefront of the urban farming and sustainable agriculture movement in Sacramento, and has supported new rules to support urban farmers. The family farm is a 1,200-square-foot lot of non-biotech, all organic food production. Andrew Seng Sacramento Bee file.

The City of Sacramento is proposing new tax incentives to encourage the conversion of such vacant lots into miniature farms.

By Edward Ortiz
Sacramento Bee
July 31, 2015


For Malik, a member of the Del Paso Heights Growers Alliance, the ordinance will be the starting point for contacting owners of vacant lots along Silver Eagle Road. “There are a whole bunch of vacant lots on this street that could have urban farming on them,” Malik said.

She said that the cost of converting the Bianca Dexter’sweed-choked property to a fruit tree farm would be $300,000.

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August 8, 2015   Comments Off on Hundreds of vacant lots in city may benefit from urban agriculture ordinance in Sacramento

Paris, France – YES to R-Urban in Colombes! NO to the temporary car park that is planned to replace it!


Save R-URBAN, an internationally acclaimed professional and citizen initiative of resilient regeneration in Colombes, near Paris, and persuade the municipality and other authorities of the general interest of preserving this project whose main site in Colombes is currently threaten to become a temporary parking.

Excerpt from Petition:

In 2013, the first R-URBAN building Units were finalised in Colombes : Agrocité (Urban Agriculture and Environmental Pedagogy) and Recyclab (Recycling, Social Economy and Eco-construction). Currently several hundred local users regularly develop and run resilience-oriented activities (urban farming, bee keeping, poultry, recycling, eco-design, organic waste processing, etc). Amongst them, dozens of people have been working on the project or have initiated their own jobs. The ecological balance promoted by these initiatives is exceptionally impressive: 6 time reduction of CO2 emission/year for the Agrocité users, 24t/year organic waste recycling, 50t/year water reduction, 3t/year organic vegetable production.

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August 6, 2015   Comments Off on Paris, France – YES to R-Urban in Colombes! NO to the temporary car park that is planned to replace it!

Urban Food Systems and Global Sustainable Land Use

Examples for Urban Agriculture-related Activities of Cities. Click on image for larger file.

Urban Agriculture ranges from subsistence production and processing at household level to fully commercialized agriculture, and typically complements rural agriculture.

By Uwe R. Fritsche, Sabine Laaks, Ulrike Eppler
International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy
April 2015


Executive Summary:

Global land use is dominated by agricultural production, especially permanent grasslands for animal grazing, and for cultivating feed and food crops. The global food system (value chain of production and consumption of food as well as transport, processing etc.) changed radically over the last centuries, from subsistence agriculture and food production within and close to villages and cities to more rural production and urban consumption patterns nowadays, with a growing role of international trade.

The future of the global food system is rather uncertainty due to climate change impacts, diet dynamics, and yield developments. With cities and urban areas being “hotspots” of sustainability challenges and opportunities, urban food systems (as subsets of the global food system) are of interest.

Cities occupy a share of 0.5% of the global land area, and approx. 4% of the global arable land. Thus, urban food production cannot have a major direct impact on global land use, even if many cities will grow substantially in the future. Yet, there are specific agricultural land uses which can possibly be replaced by so-called Urban Agriculture (UA), and activities favoring urban food systems may have important indirect effects.

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August 6, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Food Systems and Global Sustainable Land Use

45 Cities Will Sign Urban Food Policy Pact on World Food Day in Milan


The pact will address the potential of cities to contribute to food security through urban agriculture

By Danielle Nierenberg
About Health
July 10, 2015


Urban agriculture is a central goal of the Urban Food Policy Pact (UFPP). “In many urban areas of developing countries the possibility to grow food within the city is a way to improve food security and income of the population, especially women,” says Baruffi. “The metropolitan area of Milan includes a large agricultural area cultivated mostly with cereals for livestock feed. A few years ago, encouraged by purchasing groups and vegetable sharing schemes, some farmers began growing produce once again.

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August 5, 2015   Comments Off on 45 Cities Will Sign Urban Food Policy Pact on World Food Day in Milan

Food Garden opens at United Nations Headquarters

We feel passionate about connecting policy makers and international representatives through the simple act of growing food. Opened July 24 2015.

New York Press Release
New York, 24 July 2015

The first ever food garden on international territory has opened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today.

Officially opened by Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Susana Malcorra, the New York City Commissioner for International Affairs, Ms. Penny Abeywardena and New York City Commissioner for Parks and Recreation, Mr. Mitchell Silver, the event also included the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, H.E. Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of South Africa, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

The UN Food Garden is an initiative of a small group of UN staff who partnered with local volunteers, NYC Parks’ Green Thumb Program and Brooklyn Grange farms to transform unused land at the United Nations Headquarters complex into food gardens.

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August 5, 2015   Comments Off on Food Garden opens at United Nations Headquarters

The West Sacramento mayor taught city leaders from around the world about incubator farms

New Urban Farm Opens in West Sacramento: Funding to support the project made possible by Wells Fargo, Community Business Bank, and the City of West Sacramento. 2014 Photo. Click on image for larger file.

At the Global Expo in Milan, Cabaldon showed other cities how to look for an opportunity to start urban farms.

CBS Sacramento
July 26, 2015


“We wanted to shed the light on great properties like this that could be developed someday. But while we are waiting, couldn’t we do something with them?” Cabaldon said.

The cycle of people inheriting farms is no longer happening, so farms like West Sacramento’s program are needed to sustain agriculture.
“It provides so much more food security then what we had before,” Bernal said.

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August 2, 2015   Comments Off on The West Sacramento mayor taught city leaders from around the world about incubator farms

USDA undersecretary tours University of Georgia’s community garden


Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, visited the farm and demonstration garden.

By Staff Reports
July 26, 2015


UGArden was founded in 2010 by UGA students who wanted to start a community garden on Athens Campus. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences gave them space for the garden on a parcel of land formerly used for livestock research. Today, it’s grown into a 4-acre, sustainably managed farm that provides agricultural experience to students and fresh produce to food-insecure seniors through UGA’s Campus Kitchen program and to local food banks.

Concannon was pleased with the way UGArden serves as a venue for public service and for research into sustainable agriculture practices — including small-scale cover crop plots, a solar-powered farm building and organic production practices.

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August 2, 2015   Comments Off on USDA undersecretary tours University of Georgia’s community garden

More city dwellers are embracing ‘hobby farms’

Dominique Salamone and daughter Glory feed chickens in their backyard. The former sheet-metal factory forewoman started keeping livestock in 2010 and says her hobby farm accords peace, purpose and a more healthful alternative to red-meat dishes. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

‘It’s like we live in the country’

By Michelle Hofmann
LA Times
July 24, 2015


In addition to chickens, today’s urban barnyards include goats, turkeys, potbellied pigs, cows and bees. And what distinguishes a so-called hobby farm from other animal-related enterprises? For IRS purposes, a hobby farm is a homestead run primarily for pleasure, not profit.

“The dividing line is when you start selling the products,” said Rachel A. Surls, sustainable food systems advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County. “Once you start selling the produce, you are a farm and bound by a lot of rules and regulations.”

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August 1, 2015   Comments Off on More city dwellers are embracing ‘hobby farms’

Find out how the law affects Detroit’s urban farms


Stephen Henderson talks with Nick Leonard, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, about the laws that govern urban farming and the upcoming Detroit Food Entrepreneur Legal Workshop on July 30th.

July 23, 2015


Basic legal background: Leonard says that many people just do not know what rules apply to urban farming, but ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the law. He says people need proper approvals to know how to organize as nonprofits or low liability companies and to be familiar with zoning ordinances.

Neighborhood outreach: Leonard says that neighborhood outreach is very important. He says people are often wary of outsiders in Detroit and many people have negative associations with agriculture, so farms should be open about what they are doing and why.

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July 31, 2015   Comments Off on Find out how the law affects Detroit’s urban farms