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Category — Small Space

Job S. Ebenezer and Technology for the Poor

Urban Agriculture with Job Ebenezer – part 1

Wading Pool Gardens

The president (Dr. Job Ebenezer) of the organization, Technology for the Poor, explains his vision for the spread of urban agriculture.

In 1993, Dr. Job Ebenezer, former Director of Environmental Stewardship and Hunger Education at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) established a container garden on the roof of the parking garage of the ELCA offices in Chicago. The hope was that the roof top garden would serve as a role model for creative use of urban space throughout the country. Dr. Ebenezer proved the feasibility of growing vegetables in plastic wading pools, used tires and feed sacks.

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January 12, 2011   10 Comments

A Farmer in the Parking Garage

One man’s parking garage is the same man’s garden — where he’s proving it’s possible to grow a significant portion of his own food at home, even in a San Francisco apartment building!

By Jon Brooks
August 4, 2010


It started three years ago with a single tomato plant. Today, he and his wife Ellen estimate that they grow 25-30 percent of their total food intake. Current crops include tomatoes, peas, blackberries, raspberries, basil, carrots, mushrooms and several types of lettuce, almost all cultivated in nine half-barrels of soil, tucked away in a corner of their San Francisco apartment’s parking garage. He is also growing sprouts in a couple of jars on his kitchen table.

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August 18, 2010   3 Comments

New Book – Manual of Low/No-Space Agriculture – Family Business Gardens


Manual of Low/No-Space Agriculture

Book by Dr. Thilak T. Ranasinghe
Dr. Thilak T. Ranasinghe, Former Director of Agriculture, Western Province, Sri Lanka
Review in the Sunday Times – Sri Lanka
April 25, 2010

It is predicted that the world population will rise to ten billion by 2050. At present, some 15 million square kilometres or around one-tenth of total land area of the earth is used for farming. In October, 2009, scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany along with their colleagues from Sweden noted that global agricultural production could increase by around one-fifth by adopting better management practices, especially water management.

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April 25, 2010   Comments Off on New Book – Manual of Low/No-Space Agriculture – Family Business Gardens

Agro-Housing – vertical greenhouse space within high-rise apartments


2007 – Winner of the 2nd International Competition for Sustainable Housing by Knafo Klimor Architects and Town Planners, Israel

Excerpts from Living Steels’ competition design website.

Agro-housing, the winning design for construction in China, blends urban and rural living by creating vertical greenhouse space within high-rise apartments. Designed by Knafo Klimor Architects, the Agro-housing concept allows tenants to produce their own food, reducing commuting needs and providing a green neighbourhood.

Knafo Klimor Architects developed this concept with concern for predictions that 50% of China’s one billion people will live in its cities, a trend mirrored in many developing countries in the world. The architects observe that massive urbanisation displaces communities, dissipating existing traditions and heritage, as well as placing a strain on energy resources and infrastructure.

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December 23, 2009   3 Comments

Fire Escape Gardening in Manhattan

Photo of fire escape gardener. “When I was planning my fire escape garden I planted cherry tomatoes thinking the plant would be small and perfect for the small space — not so much.”

by Mike Lieberman (Canarsiebk)

My goal of having this site is to inspire you to start gardening and growing your own food. If I’m doing it, why can’t you?

Don’t have the space? Check out my fire escape garden. Not much room there, but I’m getting it done.

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August 28, 2009   Comments Off on Fire Escape Gardening in Manhattan

Tokyo Green Space reports on downtown Tokyo rice farm

Photo by Jared Braiterman, PhD

Ginza rice farm

By Jared Braiterman, PhD.
Tokyo Green Space examines the potential for micro-green spaces to transform the world’s largest city into an urban forest that supports bio-diversity, the environment and human community.


On a side street in Ginza, I noticed a rice farm and met Ginza Farm’s CEO Iimura Kazuki and his assistant who were tending the rice and two cute ducklings. Shop clerks and construction clerks stopped by to admire the rice in its mid-summer glory.

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August 12, 2009   Comments Off on Tokyo Green Space reports on downtown Tokyo rice farm

Window Farming

Photo: Adrian Vecchio (

Grow your own food in your apartment year round

Window Farms are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials.

In February 2009, through a residency at Eyebeam, Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray began to build and test the first Window Farms prototype. Growing food inside NY apartments is a challenge, but within reach. The foundational knowledge base is emerging through working with agricultural, architectural and other specialists, collecting sensor data, and reinterpreting hydroponics research conducted by NASA scientists and marijuana farmers.

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August 7, 2009   Comments Off on Window Farming

Japanese Government to boost indoor cultivation – Housed vegetable growing will ‘create jobs, aid food security’

Tokyo, Japan. A man tends a tomato plant in Pasona O2, an artificially lit and computer controlled greenhouse built in the basement of a high rise building in the business district of Tokyo on February 15, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. Pasona Inc, a human resources service company, built the greenhouse in order to introduce the pleasure of agriculture also to train aspiring farmers in the city. The basement space was once used as a vault by Resona Bank Limited. Photo by Junko Kimura

Japanese Government to boost indoor cultivation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Apr. 10, 2009

The government is set to launch full-scale efforts to promote indoor agricultural facilities to ensure stable cultivation of fruits and vegetables, government officials said.

As part of a three-year plan to boost the number of indoor growing facilities about fourfold, to 150, and raise production about fivefold, the government will offer incentives including low-interest financing and a capital investment tax credit, the officials said.

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April 10, 2009   3 Comments

City Farmer’s Keyhole Garden

City Farmer’ s Keyhole Garden from Michael Levenston on Vimeo. See HD High Definition version by clicking through on the video to Vimeo.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

James Scale of Celtic Stonescaping is building our keyhole garden for us out of local basalt rock. The video shows progress by day two after volunteers hauled six tons of rock and gravel into our back Youth Garden yesterday. What a contrast, sun and mild one day, snow and cold the next; well it is December and the rest of the country is minus 30 degrees.

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December 12, 2008   1 Comment

Urban growers go high-tech to feed city dwellers

Terry Fujimoto, plant sciences professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, checks his students’ hydroponics agriculture projects inside a greenhouse on the campus in Pomona, Calif. on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008. Fujimoto’s program is at the forefront of an effort to use hydroponics _ a method of growing plants in water instead of soil _ to bring farming into the urban areas where consumers are concentrated. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Associated Press Writer
Nov 21, 2008

Terry Fujimoto sees the future of agriculture in the exposed roots of the leafy greens he and his students grow in thin streams of water at a campus greenhouse.

The program run by the California State Polytechnic University agriculture professor is part of a growing effort to use hydroponics _ a method of cultivating plants in water instead of soil _ to bring farming into cities, where consumers are concentrated.

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November 27, 2008   2 Comments

Sri Lanka – National Policy for Urban Agriculture after ‘Family Business Garden’ Initiatives


PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Thilak T. Ranasinghe (See next page.)

Sri Lanka National Agriculture Policy Documents

Statement – 29 (2003)
Implement a special urban agriculture promotion
program designed to ensure supply of home
consumption needs and environmental protection.

Statement – 17 (2007)
17.1 Promote home-gardening and urban agriculture
to enhance household nutrition and income
17.2 Promote women’s participation in home-gardening.

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November 15, 2008   4 Comments

The Urban Potato: It’s Time Has Come


1st prize: Eitan Abramovich, Peru
“Harvest of native potatoes”
International Year of the Potato World Photography Contest

The Urban Potato: It’s Time Has Come
By Jac Smit
October 29, 2008
From the Desk of Jac Smit

A few years ago I stood on the roof of a hospital in Port au Prince, Haiti. The surface was half straw and other half organic thrash and half potato foliage. A week later I visited a friend in Washington DC. He took me out to his porch and there was a bale of hay [wire bound] with potato foliage on three sides.

I soon learned that these two cases were examples of “Lazy Man Farming”. Lazy Man was invented in Germany in the 19th Century. Its most cited practice is roadside cultivation in Newfoundland Canada. There the farmers collect seaweed, off load it on the side of the road, and insert seedlings.

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October 30, 2008   1 Comment

Los Angeles Times – Homegrown – urban agriculture business


How does your backyard garden grow?

By David Colker, Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2008

Marta Teegen, who owns Homegrown, a Los Angeles-based garden consulting company, will come to your house and install a vegetable garden with your choice of plants. She generally puts in about four 4-by-6-foot raised beds.

The average cost — $2,000.

At that rate, and because this is Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that several of her clients are celebrities (whom she declined to name) with private chefs.

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September 14, 2008   Comments Off on Los Angeles Times – Homegrown – urban agriculture business

Watch British Guerilla Gardeners in Action

See a short-documentary on guerrilla gardening starring Richard Reynolds, the author of “On Guerrilla Gardening.” The piece basically shows the process, preparation and troops needed to go out on a gardening mission.
From Current TV.

Link with comments on Current TV here.

August 19, 2008   Comments Off on Watch British Guerilla Gardeners in Action

Rooftop Food Garden – YWCA Vancouver, BC, Canada


Photo by Michael Levenston. Link to larger photo here.

Up five floors at the YWCA in downtown Vancouver, amongst skyscrapers, is a spectacular rooftop food garden. Our two videos feature an interview with Ted Cathcart, Operations Manager and Rooftop Food Gardener at the YWCA.

Email Contact:

Link to YWCA Vancouver Rooftop Food Garden website.

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August 8, 2008   1 Comment