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

Category — Policy

Michigan Senator Stabenow Announces the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

desden
Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Most Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Bill to be Introduced in Congress Will Create New Economic Opportunities, Increase Access to Healthy Foods

Website of Debbie Stabenow
US Senator for Michigan
September 26, 2016
(Must Read. Mike)

The Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

reating New Economic Opportunities

Agriculture Cooperatives: Expands USDA authority to support farm cooperatives in urban areas, helping urban farmers who want to form and operate an agriculture cooperative get products to market. Reduces individual financial risk and burdensome paperwork by allowing USDA loans to be managed by agriculture cooperatives.

Rooftops, Vertical Farms & Indoor Production: Makes it easier for urban farms to apply for USDA farm programs and assists producers with information on operating rooftop and vertical farms. Supports access to land and production sites in urban communities through innovative conservation grants.

[Read more →]

September 27, 2016   No Comments

Providence, Rhode Island: Organizations and individuals are working to connect people who want to farm with land

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

diamp
The Sankofa Diamond Street Community Garden in Providence’s West End. (Sophie Kasakove/ecoRI News)

When first-generation farmer Tess Brown-Lavoie tried to buy a vacant lot on the city’s West Side in 2011, to start growing her own produce, she was astounded by the difficulty of the process.

By Sophie Kasakove
ecoRI
Sept 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Shrinking farmland and resulting food insecurity affects people across Rhode Island but particularly those in cities, where land costs are typically the highest. Brown-Lavoie said these challenges are especially acute for people of color and refugee and migrant communities.

For example, in the West End neighborhood of Providence, where nearly 40 percent of the residents were born outside the United States, nearly a third qualify as having low food access, according to the USDA’s Food Environment Atlas.

[Read more →]

September 19, 2016   No Comments

Merced, California council approves a new zoning code that adds community gardens and restricts tobacco sellers.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

mercoun

Community Gardens Do Tend to Increase Property Values and Be a Positive Thing in The Community.

By Thaddeus Miller
Merced Sun-Star
Sept. 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Under the actions taken by the council, the gardens would be treated like a new business, which means landowners within a 300-foot radius would be notified of a potential garden. But the council asked city staff to reduce or waive the $577 fee that would be charged to a comparable business.

“It can be done at no cost, because I don’t think that we’re going to have so many of them that it’s going to create a huge burden on planning staff for processing these,” Kim Espinosa, Merced’s planning manager, said Tuesday.

[Read more →]

September 16, 2016   No Comments

Canada: Québec Parliament Building has a food garden

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

parlq

“This [Québec Parliament Building garden] is a message that it sends to Québec, it is a message that it sends to the world in general as to say yes, urban agriculture is something we recognize and yes, it’s interesting. Let’s put your hands in the earth.”

By Kathryn Chiffer and Les Urbainculteurs
Foodtank
Sept 7, 2016

Excerpt from Les Urbainculteurs:

In June 2013, we opened the gardens of the National Assembly of Quebec: a historic moment for Les Urbainculteurs and very symbolic for urban agriculture in Quebec and elsewhere. Nearly 130 species of plants grow there in the ground and Smart Pots, totaling nearly 2,000 ft2 culture. In addition to the organic vegetables, Le Parlementaire restaurant can enjoy many fruits, herbs and medicinal plants. Two hives have also taken place on the Assembly’s roof.

[Read more →]

September 13, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Québec Parliament Building has a food garden

Spokane: Grant to build network of experts on urban farms

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

gots
Janice Swagerty walks her goats Missy, Jenna and Lily through her north Spokane backyard, Sept. 1, 2016. Swagerty’s home in on a new urban farm tour. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Conservation District has received a $47,000 grant to build a network of skilled farmers to help others who want to raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep or small pigs.

By Mike Prager
Spokesman
Sept 7, 2016

Excerpt:

During a visit to Swagerty’s backyard farm in the 3400 block of West Longfellow Avenue, she talked about how a 10,500-square-foot lot with a small home and garage can be turned to greater food production.

The mainstay of her animal production is a momma goat named Missy who produces milk after giving birth to two kids. The milk is used at the home to make yogurt, cheese and pancakes, as well as help feed the young goats.

[Read more →]

September 12, 2016   Comments Off on Spokane: Grant to build network of experts on urban farms

Africa: Can farmers extend their cultivation areas in urban agriculture? A contribution from agronomic analysis of market gardening systems around Mahajanga (Madagascar)

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

twwater
A farmer on an embankment watering two small plots.

Our study provides urban planners with insights on the respective parts played by farming systems, territorial resources and organization of marketing systems in the supply of the cities by urban agriculture.

By M. Mawoisa, C. Aubryb, M. Le Bail
Land Use Policy
17 September 2010

Abstract:

The rapid urbanization in developing countries implies an increasing pressure on urban agriculture for production. As most perishable food products come from this agriculture in close proximity to population concentrations, we analysed from an agronomic point of view how market-garden farmers can meet this increasing urban demand. This work took place in the case of Mahajanga, a secondary city with high increasing demographic rate on the Northwest coast of Madagascar. Based on preliminary surveys to characterize the farming systems (on a sample of 91 farms), 11 market-garden farmers chosen in the three main agricultural zones of the urban area were surveyed during two years.

[Read more →]

September 11, 2016   Comments Off on Africa: Can farmers extend their cultivation areas in urban agriculture? A contribution from agronomic analysis of market gardening systems around Mahajanga (Madagascar)

Chicago awarded $1M USDA urban farming grant

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

chiroo
Kevin Jezewski, assistant director of food and beverage for Savor, which manages food service at McCormick Place, stands over the rooftop garden at McCormick Place on April, 26, 2016. The 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden grows food served in the convention center. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago’s new “Growing for Chicago” initiative is one of 45 projects to be awarded a total of $26.6 million this year through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Conservation Innovation Grants.

By Greg Trotter
Chicago Tribune
Sept 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Urban farming has gained momentum in Chicago in recent years with the increased popularity of locally sourced food. Chicago’s project will provide “microgrants” and technical assistance to farmers, while also recruiting and training new farmers from neighborhoods, such as Englewood, where there’s a dearth of jobs and few healthy food options, said Chris Wheat, chief sustainability officer of Chicago.

[Read more →]

September 9, 2016   Comments Off on Chicago awarded $1M USDA urban farming grant

Thiruvananthapuram, India: City residents can now grow and reap vegetables from their terrace through a monthly paid service system.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

growbgs

The civic body plans to cover 10,000 households under the scheme. 2.5 lakh agri-grow bags will be distributed across households in the city. The project has set aside Rs 6,000 per house for the first year.

By Aswin J Kumar
Time of India
Sep 1, 2016

Excerpt:

The project will be first launched in ten city wards. As per the scheme, the service can be availed at a rate of Rs 500 per month. “The residents can choose from 30 varieties of vegetables and we would plant 12 items on terrace. The civic body had earlier launched terrace farming programme but the initiative did not see success. Our aim is to convert this into a sustainable model,” said Sugathan S, one of the members associated with the initiative.

[Read more →]

September 8, 2016   Comments Off on Thiruvananthapuram, India: City residents can now grow and reap vegetables from their terrace through a monthly paid service system.

Northern Canada: Yellowknife Farmers’ Market seeks land within city zoned for agriculture

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

ncan
‘We have been listening very closely to the community,’ says Tracey Williams (left), Food Security Coordinator for the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market. (submitted by Tracey Williams)

They made a really good case for why it is important to produce more food locally,’ said Mayor Mark Heyck. (CBC)

By Mitch Wiles
CBC News
Sep 02, 2016

Excerpt:

“One of the recurring themes that was constantly being brought up was an interest in some kind of land being identified in Yellowknife… for urban farming or agricultural production,” said Tracey Williams, Food Security Coordinator for the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market.

“There is no zoning, there is no policy, there are no bylaws that talk about agricultural production within the city boundaries.”

[Read more →]

September 7, 2016   Comments Off on Northern Canada: Yellowknife Farmers’ Market seeks land within city zoned for agriculture

Victoria, BC’s Urban Agriculture Proposals go to Council Public Hearings

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

maso
Mason Street City Farm.

The mayor says she expects the changes to pass — except for the part about changing the city’s Official Community Plan to make agriculture “subservient” to development.

By Katherine Dedyna
Times Colonist
Sept. 3, 2016

Excerpt:

The bylaw changes would allow raw, unprocessed food such as fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and honey to be grown, harvested and sold by farmers within the city.

Growers would require a $100 annual business licence to sell goods off-site. On-site sales — through a farmstand, for example — would require either an annual licence or a three-month licence, available for $25.

Farmstand hours would be limited to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on Sundays, when the hours would be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Loading of delivery trucks would be limited to once a day during the same hours.

[Read more →]

September 4, 2016   Comments Off on Victoria, BC’s Urban Agriculture Proposals go to Council Public Hearings

The Fight to Feed Detroit

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

heb
Herbs on sale at Eastern Market in Detroit. (Danielle Walquist Lynch/Flickr)

(3rd in a series) To mend the city’s food system, urban farmers and entrepreneurs are working to funnel fresh produce and artisanal goods to local tables.

By Jessica Leigh Hester
The Atlantic: City Lab
Aug 31, 2016

Excerpt:

These organizations are working to ford considerable chasms in terms of access. Across the transit-strapped city, where nearly one-third of Detroiters don’t own a vehicle, many residents have a hard time reliably procuring nutritious produce. County-wide, nearly 23 percent of residents are estimated to be food insecure. Research from the National Poverty Center found that in Metro Detroit, food insecurity was exacerbated by the recession and disproportionately affected black families; the effects are particularly pronounced among families with delinquent bills or other debts, found a survey conducted by the University of Michigan.

[Read more →]

September 1, 2016   Comments Off on The Fight to Feed Detroit

Erie, Pennsylvania planners seek more research on urban farming

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

erie

“I want to start my own business,” Sachse said. “So much of the vacant property is in residential neighborhoods and half of the lots in this neighborhood are vacant.”

By David Bruce
Go Erie
Aug 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Erie Planning Commission members agreed with Erie City Council that converting vacant lots in the city into small crop farms could be a good idea, but more research is needed.

Commission members voted 3-0 on Tuesday to recommend the city’s zoning office examine how zoning ordinances be amended to permit urban agriculture on residential properties in the city.

[Read more →]

August 29, 2016   Comments Off on Erie, Pennsylvania planners seek more research on urban farming

Indoor farms give vacant Detroit buildings new life

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

indr
Green Collar Foods Operations Director Darren Riley explains the process called aeroponics that mists the bare roots of plants like this kale that grow under fluorescent lights on shelves at the indoor farm. Neighboring Supino Pizzeria buys the company’s kale. Brandy Baker, The Detroit News.

The city is considering regulations that could expand indoor agriculture even more.

By Breana Noble
The Detroit News
August 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The urban agriculture ordinance, however, assumes indoor farming would be large-scale, said city planner Kathryn Underwood. To increase the zoning district, the City Planning Commission sent an amendment to the City Council for consideration that would take into account smaller operations. It is expected to vote on the proposal in the fall.

“(The amendment) recognizes (indoor farming) can happen at very large scales and very small scales,” Underwood said. “It will allow more of it to happen.”

[Read more →]

August 21, 2016   Comments Off on Indoor farms give vacant Detroit buildings new life

City Rezones ‘Suburban Residential’ to ‘Agricultural’ for Urban Farm in Atlanta

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

oro
A farm in the middle of one of Atlanta’s most elegant suburban cities. Mr. Coleman had not come to Roswell with his farm. The city had come to him. But that bothered him not a whit. Almost until the day he died, Jan. 29, 2012, at age 89, he and his farm were almost unchanged over the 60-odd years he lived there.

Couple will donate 30 percent of their organically grown produce to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

By David Ibata
For the AJC
Aug 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The Roswell City Council has approved a couple’s unusual request for the city to rezone their land from suburban residential back to agricultural so they can set up a small “urban farm.”

The city also granted a conditional use to let Tony and Shari Martin sell produce from the 6.7-acre farm at 410 Coleman Road, with the conditions that visitors not park vehicles on the road, and that a studio planned for the site not be for commercial use.

[Read more →]

August 20, 2016   Comments Off on City Rezones ‘Suburban Residential’ to ‘Agricultural’ for Urban Farm in Atlanta

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture says ‘Not Urban, Not Rural, Just Agriculture’

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

pa

Increasing our agricultural output — No matter its form, agriculture is agriculture. Whether it’s rural or urban, as growers of food we seek the same goal — feeding our communities and world.

By Russell Redding
Lancaster Farming
Aug 13, 2016
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

In vacant lots in cities across Pennsylvania, citizens are getting back to their roots by tending to gardens and reaping the rewards.

These pockets of urban gardening number into the hundreds in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and are tended by thousands of urban gardeners.

It’s a great start, but there is more potential in these systems that we can unlock, bringing more people into the agriculture industry, improving the health and nutrition of Pennsylvanians, and enhancing our urban areas and waterways.

[Read more →]

August 19, 2016   Comments Off on Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture says ‘Not Urban, Not Rural, Just Agriculture’