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Category — United States

An Ann Arbor Man Is Creating A Diverse, World-Class Urban Farm

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He has his eye on a larger piece of land about a mile from where he is currently located and hopes to continue to keep growing and supplying healthy organic produce to restaurants and markets in Washtenaw County.

By Lisa Barry
WEMU
Aug 1, 2017

On the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, Melvin Parson inherited a small piece of farmland in Ann Arbor from a friend who had recently passed away. That sparked his interest in agriculture. As he looked into it, he noticed a lack of diversity in those selling and buying fresh produce inspiring him to one day create a world-class urban farm.

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August 7, 2017   No Comments

Homegrown in New York, Food From Around the World

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Jose Ramos, 89, is a retired maintenance worker from Puerto Rico who works in a community garden every day in the summer. Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times.

This summer, the Parks Department’s GreenThumb program — the nation’s largest community garden program — has grown to 553 gardens, up from 501 in 2009.

By Winnie Hu
New York Times
July 30, 2017

Excerpt:

Bill LoSasso, the director of GreenThumb, said the program had increased its efforts to create more community gardens across the city, especially in largely immigrant communities where many newcomers have roots in agricultural areas. Its budget has increased to $2.9 million annually from $720,000 three years ago, and its staff has nearly doubled to 35 people, who provide training and support and free materials like plants, shovels and wheelbarrows.

“Sometimes when you arrive in a new place, you don’t have a network you can tap into for support,” Mr. LoSasso said. “By joining a community garden, you’re joining a network of neighbors who are coming from diverse backgrounds who can help new members of their community to get settled.”

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August 5, 2017   Comments Off on Homegrown in New York, Food From Around the World

The unconventional farmer: Getting back to our roots at Roots Micro Farm in Flagstaff, Arizona

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Roots Micro Farm, two unconventional 25-year-olds: Joshua and Madelyn Chance.

This summer, Roots Micro Farm has consistently produced 22 pounds of lettuce per week.

By Taylor Haynes
Arizona Daily Sun
Jul 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Their hardwork has paid off. The Chance’s greens may be found at Root Public House, Pizzicletta, Brix, Criollo or Shift. They hope to begin producing during all four seasons, with the help of humble hoop houses.

“[We love] showing people you can grow a lot of food in such a small space,” Madelyn says. “It’s refreshing to be small and in town—people can just walk right by.”

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August 4, 2017   Comments Off on The unconventional farmer: Getting back to our roots at Roots Micro Farm in Flagstaff, Arizona

Urban Farming In Kansas City

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Mekhi and Mekhia Johnson picking tomatoes at Nile Valley Aquaponics, an urban farm at 29th and Wabash. Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Audio Program Visits Urban Farmers

By Gina Kaufmann & Andrea Tudhope
KCUR
July 17, 2017

Excerpt:

Keisha Johnson, beginner master gardener, Nile Valley Aquaponics

Greg Garbos, owner, City Bitty Farm

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July 24, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Farming In Kansas City

Wisconsin: Couple’s ‘micro-mini farm’ venture began as a hobby

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Carly and Joseph Ledger harvest Rattail Radishes at their 1/6-acre plot land at the UW Extension Firefly Ridge community gardens in Wauwatosa.

Carly describes “the joy of working with the soil and being outside. I can’t put a price on it. I feel like my whole life has been bringing me here.”

By Anne Schamberg
Journal Sentinel
July 16, 2017

Excerpt:

It was a brainstorming session that led to the name Aromatic Acres. And for the quibblers out there, she notes that “we personally aren’t farming on acres of land, but our garden is located on 11 acres of community garden space.”

The aromatics include more than 30 different herbs, for both culinary and medicinal use, that range from pineapple sage and anise hyssop to bronze fennel and epazote. They also grow cut flowers, many of which are edible, and a selection of veggies including heirloom tomatoes and oddballs like Mexican sour gherkins and those radish seed pods, an heirloom variety also known as rat’s tail radish.

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July 23, 2017   Comments Off on Wisconsin: Couple’s ‘micro-mini farm’ venture began as a hobby

Hantz Farms seeing new success with urban farming in Detroit

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See site for news clip video.

To date, Hantz Farms has torn down 62 structures while planting more than 24,000 saplings. It’s the regular mowing that has the remaining neighbors most pleased.

By Matthew Smith
WXYZ)
Jun 30, 2017

Excerpt:

He points out that their idea isn’t rocket science. Years ago the mind trust behind Hantz Farms wanted to build trees that reaped fruit: apple trees, and similar bushes. The neighborhood reaction wasn’t good. The fear was that more pests would be drawn to the area, so the Hantz Farms group pivoted and devoted their work toward planting hardwoods that could one day be harvested as a timber crop.

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July 6, 2017   Comments Off on Hantz Farms seeing new success with urban farming in Detroit

Musician ‘Prince’ Generously Supported Urban Agriculture

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Taja Sevelle is an advocate for urban farming in Detroit but that’s after her musical career was touched by Prince.

Taja Sevelle: “We would be down to $2 and get a call. He’s sending some money. He donated part of his perfume sales. He did a concert in New York. He just had a big heart, you know.”

Fox 2
Apr 21, 2016

Excerpt:

“He helped urban farming, you know. He saw the vision. We talked to Paisley, and he saw the big vision because he’s a big visionary and he really wanted the world to love each other and you know that’s what, that’s what I’m about. That’s what my music’s about. That’s what my work with urban farming is about. I saw all this unused land in the city and I had lived on a farm for three years and I thought why are people struggling to eat when we can plant food on this land

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June 15, 2017   Comments Off on Musician ‘Prince’ Generously Supported Urban Agriculture

Brooklyn ‘Square Roots’ startup aims to feed an urban world

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Peggs estimates that farmers take home between $30,000 and $40,000 total by the end of the year.

By Melissa Fares
Reuters
June 6, 2017

Excerpt:

Nabeela Lakhani, 23, said reading “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” in high school inspired her to change the food system.

Three nights per week, Lakhani assumes the role of resident chef at a market-to-table restaurant in lower Manhattan.

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June 12, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn ‘Square Roots’ startup aims to feed an urban world

Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, Alabama

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Gather from Jones Valley Teaching Farm on Vimeo.

Catch a glimpse into how Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Good School Food program positively impacts students across all grades in Birmingham City Schools.

From their website:

We design and build teaching farms in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, we operate our downtown farm, five Pre-K–8 teaching farms known as “Farm Labs,” and Woodlawn High School Urban Farm.

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June 8, 2017   Comments Off on Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, Alabama

Chicago: Urban Farm At Old Robert Taylor Home

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Legends South Farm. Click on image for larger file.

The largest farm in the Windy City Harvest program, Legends Farm serves as an incubator for six farm businesses run by graduates of its apprenticeship program and a business and entrepreneurship course.

CBS
May 19, 2017

Excerpt:

A South Side neighborhood that once was notorious for poverty and crime has become the home of a new urban farm that helps teach youth how to grow food responsibly.

The Legends Farm site sits on land that was once part of the Robert Taylor Homes public housing complex, at 45th and Federal. Where high-rise Chicago Housing Authority towers once stood, there are now upscale town homes surrounding a two-acre farm.

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May 25, 2017   Comments Off on Chicago: Urban Farm At Old Robert Taylor Home

Her Korean grandmother taught her to love the soil, now she’s starting an urban farm in Columbus, Georgia

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Sharayah Davis, right, travels with her maternal grandmother, Hui Beesley, who inspired her to start an urban farm in Columbus.

“My vision for my city is for nobody to be without food,” Sharayah Davis said

By Alva James-Johnson
Ledger-Enquirer
Apr 28, 2017

Excerpt:

“That woman, she can grow anything; she has had fruit trees, blueberries, vegetables, Nappa cabbages, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and sweet potatoes,” said Davis of her maternal grandmother, Hui Beesley, who lives near Fort Benning. “… To this day, the potatoes are my favorite vegetable to grow and to harvest because she would always have us dig them up for her. We would spend entire days as kids getting our hands dirty, and it was the coolest thing – like a treasure hunt.”

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May 6, 2017   Comments Off on Her Korean grandmother taught her to love the soil, now she’s starting an urban farm in Columbus, Georgia

East Austin urban farm raises awareness about agriculture

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HausBar Farms is a super-sustainable urban farm and guesthouse in the heart of Austin, TX.

By Gerardo Gonzalez
The Daily Texan
Apr 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Though Barger maintains beneficial rapport with the community, she did run into some issues with the city. In 2012, complaints from neighbors prompted a city inspection, which found several code violations on the lot, forcing Hausbar to shut down.

As a result, urban farm supporters began calling for changes to Austin’s urban farm code. Barger said she worked with the city to clear up the violations on her lot and was eventually allowed to open the farm again.

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May 5, 2017   Comments Off on East Austin urban farm raises awareness about agriculture

Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston is an Educational Model

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Fresh Future Farm now employs five staff members to manage the store and the field. Employees are paid through store revenue and donations.

By Tony Bertauski
Post and Courier
Apr 23, 2017

Excerpt:

What’s the hardest part about running an urban farm? Jenkins said growing the food was the easiest. Finding land and donations to get the farm started and keep it running has been the most challenging.

Limehouse Produce donated topsoil to start raised beds for the row crops. Enterprise Rental Car donated a mobile building for the grocery store. The rest of the land is a diverse garden of row crops and fruit trees that is harvested and sold inside the store.

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April 30, 2017   Comments Off on Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston is an Educational Model

A Former Corporate Banker Plants New Roots in Urban Farming in Austin, Texas

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Rodriguez Boughton pours a layer of topsoil to prepare a new area for seedlings. Lynda Gonzalez/Reporting Texas

On a half-acre, she’s managed to grow 195 types of herbs, edible flowers and vegetables, whose seeds originated from across the globe.

By Molly Smith
Photography By Lynda Gonzalez
Reporting Texas
Apr 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Her business background, paired with Texas’ year-round growing season, attracted Carroll, 25, to the position. “Farms fail because farmers have no business experience,” he said. “Farmers need to think like bankers.”

La Flaca sources produce, including chilhuacles, to seven Austin restaurants, including Olamaie, L’Oca D’Oro and Mattie’s at Green Pastures. It also sells produces to its neighbors in the cul-de-sac.

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April 19, 2017   Comments Off on A Former Corporate Banker Plants New Roots in Urban Farming in Austin, Texas

Indianapolis: Urban Patch Is A Family Affair

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Video: Urban Patch honored as one of ioby’s 2012 Heroes in Our Backyards: Reimagining Vacant Space (Must see. Mike)

Moore’s grandfather Albert ran a large urban agriculture project in the 1940s, which served as the inspiration for Urban Patch.

By Kate Franzman
Indianapolis Monthly
April 2017

Excerpt:

Urban Patch aims to improve Indy’s inner city by means other than gentrification. Cofounder Justin Moore, an urban designer for the New York City Department of Planning, grew up in the historically black Mapleton–Fall Creek neighborhood, where he, his parents, and two brothers started Urban Patch by purchasing an abandoned house with a credit card. They fixed up the home—and have done so with dozens of buildings since—and rented it at-cost to black residents.

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April 17, 2017   Comments Off on Indianapolis: Urban Patch Is A Family Affair