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Category — United States

Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish

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baltgrCity-Hydro owners Zhanna and Larry Hountz started growing microgreens in a spare room in their Baltimore rowhouse a year and a half ago. Credit Matt Roth for The New York Times

It has revenue of under $500,000, but was profitable enough in 2014 that Mr. Albert quit his day job as a landscape architect to farm full time.

By Eilene Zimmerman
New York Times
June 29, 2016

Excerpt:

They include City-Hydro, a farm built in a spare bedroom on the second floor of Larry and Zhanna Hountz’s three-story rowhouse in Baltimore. Mr. Hountz came to urban farming out of necessity. After a serious car accident, he was unable to leave his house for two years and had trouble concentrating. He couldn’t go back to his previous job as a digital security consultant.

“Zhanna had gone to the grocery store and bought some heirloom tomatoes. They were about $7 a pound,” he said. “I thought, ‘I could grow those.’”

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June 30, 2016   No Comments

Urban farm brings fresh produce from farm to fork in Edmonton, Maryland

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farmfLead Farmer of ECO City Farms, Deborah Wren, discusses weekly selection with farm share member Abby Wilkerson. Photo by Lindsay Myers. Edmonston is a town in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“Eighty to eighty-five percent of our population lives in urban areas, so why don’t we bring the food closer to them?”

By Lindsay Myers
Hyattsville
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Amanda West, operations manager at ECO City Farms, said farm shares are becoming more popular in urban areas. “The farm share as a concept has been around for a while, but it’s a whole new concept for Prince George’s County. What we’re doing is saying, ‘Here’s another way you can get your food. It doesn’t have to come from a grocery store,’” said West.

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June 24, 2016   No Comments

Florida Lawns Are Being Transformed Into Edible Farms

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The popular Fleet Farming program that converts under-used yards could be coming to a garden near you soon.

By Dominique Mosbergen
Senior Writer, The Huffington Post
June 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Row upon neat row of tomatoes, carrots, sweet lettuce and arugula are growing in the front yard of his home in Orlando, Florida.

“I just think that the whole idea of lawns, especially in a place like Florida, is absurd,” Henderson told NPR this month. “Once you get to the point where you realize that you can eat your lawn, I think it makes a whole lot of sense.”

Henderson’s yard wasn’t always so edible.

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June 6, 2016   Comments Off on Florida Lawns Are Being Transformed Into Edible Farms

Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

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mesaThe La Mesa Verde program in San Jose helps low-income families to establish their own vegetable gardens. A pilot study found that gardening in either a community or backyard space made a significant contribution to gardeners’ daily vegetable intake.

“Gardening made a substantial contribution to vegetable intake regardless of socioeconomic background or previous gardening experience,” said co-author Lucy Diekmann, a postdoctoral researcher in the Food and Agribusiness Institute at Santa Clara University.

By Susan Algert, UC ANR Cooperative Extension
Lucy Diekmann, Santa Clara University
Leslie Gray, Santa Clara University
Marian Renvall, UC San Diego Department of Medicine
California Agriculture 70(2):77-82. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v070n02p77.
April-June 2016.
(Must read. Mike.)

Abstract:

As of 2013, 42 million American households were involved in growing their own food either at home or in a community garden plot. The purpose of this pilot study was to document the extent to which gardeners, particularly less affluent ones, increase their vegetable intake when eating from either home or community garden spaces. Eighty-five community gardeners and 50 home gardeners from San Jose, California, completed a survey providing information on demographic background, self-rated health, vegetable intake and the benefits of gardening.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

Urban farming rises in Iowa

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quinJenny Quiner harvests lettuce at the Dogpatch Urban Gardens on May 12 just north of Des Moines.(Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

Iowa’s population has been shifting from rural to urban for more than 100 years. In 1900, only 25 percent of Iowans lived in an urban area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, 64 percent of residents live in a city.

By Linh Ta
Des Moines Register
May 27, 2016

Excerpt:

Jenny Quiner’s last day as a high school science teacher was Friday. Next week, she launches her new career as a full-time urban farmer.

Quiner, 31, is one of a growing number of urban millennials establishing roots in Iowa’s most prominent profession.

“It is a reconnection to the soil,” said Craig McEnneny, chairman of Des Moines Area Community College’s agribusiness program.

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June 3, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming rises in Iowa

Urban farms in Cleveland: small but mighty

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rgdchTanya Holmes grandkids helping out at Ka-La Healing Garden. Photo by Bob Perkoski.

So many of Cleveland’s neighborhoods are defined as food deserts, with just 25 percent of residents living within a five-minute walk to a full service grocery.

By Karin Connelly Rice
Freshwater Cleveland
May 12, 2016

Excerpt:

When you think about small urban farms, you’re creating healthy human habitats that lead to sustainable environments,” says Destinee Henton, community outreach coordinator for Ohio City Inc., which oversees Ohio City Farm. “Being in an urban environment like Cleveland, there is so much food imported from other areas. [Urban farms] are reclaiming areas where we’re able to eat food from the land.”

Three Cleveland farmers in particular are offering up the food they grow on their compact urban plots. Not only are they solving the problem of food access, they are teaching the next generation how to grow their own food and the importance of nutritious food and a healthy lifestyle.

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May 17, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farms in Cleveland: small but mighty

Help Save Little City Gardens, San Francisco’s Last Commercial Farm

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sff

It is a 3/4 acre urban farm in San Francisco, and it is an experiment in the economic viability of small-scale urban market-gardening.

At 214 Cotter Street in the Excelsior is Little City Gardens, a six-year-old plot of land that claims to be the last commercial farm in the city and county of San Francisco — and it’s facing eviction. Next Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m., a coalition of organizations will rally to thwart its demolition (at the hands of a private school that wants to erect buildings on the parcel).

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May 14, 2016   Comments Off on Help Save Little City Gardens, San Francisco’s Last Commercial Farm

How Urban Farms Are Changing the Way We Eat

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veggi

“It’s the best basil we’ve ever had, and they’re able to produce it for us year-round,” says John Karangis, the executive chef at Union Square Events

By Lisa Elaine Held
Eater
Apr 12, 2016

Excerpt:

In each of its markets, BrightFarms has partnered with major chains, like Giant and Acme, and the produce often hits shelves within 24 hours of being picked, a fact that means it’s almost guaranteed to be longer-lasting than other greens. “I want to help people eat healthier food, and making it flavorful and delicious is a big part of that,” Lightfoot says.

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April 17, 2016   Comments Off on How Urban Farms Are Changing the Way We Eat

Real Estate Brokerage Firm Names the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Urban Farming

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10topEugene, OR, Burlington, VT, Santa Rosa, CA, Greenville, SC, Orlando, FL, San Francisco, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Columbia, SC, Tampa, FL, Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Ranking Based on Number of Homes Listed for Sale in 2015 with Gardens, Greenhouses or Chicken Coops

By Christin Camacho
Business Wire
Apr 13, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Eugene topped the list, with 20.5 percent of all home listings containing at least one keyword.

“It’s not uncommon for homeowners in Oregon to have chickens or honey bees,” said Matthew Brennan, a Redfin real estate agent in Portland. “The city of Portland allows homeowners to keep up to three animals, including chickens, ducks, doves, pigeons, pygmy goats and rabbits, without permits. Oregonians have a hankering for that sustainable lifestyle and Eugene is more affordable and has more space than Portland.”

The City of Eugene, like Portland, has played a big role in facilitating urban agriculture by allowing residents to keep more animals, like chickens and goats, on their property.

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April 14, 2016   Comments Off on Real Estate Brokerage Firm Names the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Urban Farming

Women urban farmers in Portland are part of a national trend

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leah
Rockwood Urban Farm, owned by Leah Rodgers, is located in East Portland among apartments, home, a hot-rod garage, an air conditioning shop and the rush of urban traffic.

Young women today, especially in Portland, are increasingly channeling their activism into farming as a way to advance the food movement.

By Jennifer Anderson
Portland Tribune
Mar 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Leah Rodgers isn’t a typical farmer, and her farm isn’t a typical farm. For one, Rodgers is a 37-year-old woman; most U.S. farmers are men, and their average age is 57.

For another, her 1-acre lot is smack-dab in the middle of East Portland, near David Douglas High School — next to homes, a hot-rod garage, an air-conditioning shop, and the rush of traffic on Southeast Stark Street. Her operation, Rockwood Urban Farm, is a hyperlocal CSA farm, which stands for community-supported agriculture, selling its produce largely to neighbors and restaurants.

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March 19, 2016   Comments Off on Women urban farmers in Portland are part of a national trend

Urban Farmer Brooke Salvaggio Reflects On Kansas City’s Organic Scene

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serpg
Farmer Brooke Salvaggio holds one of her chickens at Urbavore Urban Farm. Photo by Julie Denesha/Kcur.

According to Salvaggio, the “buy/eat local” sentiment is a trend — one that’s on the decline.

By Jen Chen
KCUR 89.3
Feb 12, 2016

Excerpt:

Salvaggio runs the Badseed Farmers Market, which she is closing Feb. 26. She also produces fruits, vegetables and eggs at Urbavore Urban Farm, her 13.5 acre farm on the east side of Kansas City.

Her journey from surburbia to living off the land started during her teenage years.

She was a self-described jaded teen, a party girl who did everything under the sun. She was unhappy, but she didn’t know why.

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February 20, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Farmer Brooke Salvaggio Reflects On Kansas City’s Organic Scene

Bridgeport, Connecticut’s ‘Green Village Initiative’

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grenvil

Green Village Initiative is a nonprofit in Bridgeport, Connecticut whose mission is to create social, economic and environmental change with its urban farm, 13 community gardens, 24 school gardens and youth leadership program.

From their website:

Reservoir Community Farm, GVI’s urban farm, is a 1.7-acre farm located in Bridgeport’s North End neighborhood. The farm’s primary focus is to educate the community on growing pesticide-free, nutritious vegetables in an urban setting, and produce is sold to our neighbors at affordable prices at our on-site farm stand.

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February 19, 2016   Comments Off on Bridgeport, Connecticut’s ‘Green Village Initiative’

“Can You Dig This” – John Legend’s documentary about four “gangster gardeners”

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CAN YOU DIG THIS – Trailer from Delirio Films on Vimeo.

“When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer.”
— Ron Finley, the “Gangster Gardener”

Delila Vallot – Director
Rafael Marmor – Producer
Christopher Leggett – Producer
John Legend – Executive Producer
2015
(Must see. Mike)

South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America.

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February 10, 2016   Comments Off on “Can You Dig This” – John Legend’s documentary about four “gangster gardeners”

Richmond, Virginia: ‘So much is happening in urban agriculture in the city and region’

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bap
Produce from the 31st Street Baptist Church urban farm helps provide fresh vegetables to the homeless and hungry to whom it serves daily hot lunches. Photo courtesy of Linda Marshall.

Talk about urban farming in Richmond and the 31st Street Baptist church is a good place to start.

By Tina Griego
Richmond Magazine
Jan 31, 2016

Excerpt:

Pastor Henderson put two-and-two together and said to his congregation: “It’d be a shame to obtain this land and do nothing with it for a couple years. Let’s create a garden.”

He turned to Mrs. Pearcie, a congregant possessed of a green thumb so mighty, the pastor could only marvel.

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February 7, 2016   Comments Off on Richmond, Virginia: ‘So much is happening in urban agriculture in the city and region’

Stephenville, Texas – Half-acre: The urban farm next door

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hrbn
Milton Horner hangin’ out with his goat buddies on the family’s urban farm behind their house in Stephenville.

“We had 21 squash plants, got about 200 cantaloupe, and we had watermelon, 40 tomato plants, and three rows of 60 okra plants,” Woodrow says.

By J. Michael Ross
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Jan 29, 2016

Excerpt:

Asked to tell us about the family’s urban farming and beekeeping, Woodrow replies, “I think people would be amazed by what we get out of a one-half-acre urban farm. We have bees, goats, chickens, ducks, a vegetable garden, several kinds of fruit trees – peaches and pears ? and six pecan trees.”

Everything on the Horner Urban Farm is eco-friendly and efficient. Witness the 2,500-gallon rain-water collection system and drip lines running to various parts of the growing spaces.

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February 4, 2016   Comments Off on Stephenville, Texas – Half-acre: The urban farm next door