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Category — United States

Ohio: Urban farms help in Youngstown’s recovery

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As the city of Youngstown has shrunk from 170,000 residents to fewer than 65,000 from the 1950s until present day, according to Atlantic Magazine and numerous other sources, the housing stock has noticeably deteriorated. But now, occasional bright green spots are defiantly rearing up out of the urban decay.

By Richard Weiner
Akron Legal News Reporter
October 12, 2017

Excerpt:

“We have definitely seen growth in locally-produced food,” said Melissa Miller, who runs the Lake to Rive Food Cooperative. The co-op serves and draws from farmers in an eight-county area that includes Mahoning County.

“We have seen a rise in niche products,” coming from these small, lot-sized farms, Miller said. These include Avant Garden, a mushroom farm in downtown Youngstown, and Unabandoned, a two-lot herb farm that, among other products, makes essential oils out of their herbs and Avant’s mushrooms.

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October 18, 2017   No Comments

Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

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The first quantitative look at seed libraries

By Daniela Soleri, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Geography Department
UC Santa Barbara
Agric Hum Values
August 2017

Abstract:

Seed libraries (SLs) are institutions that support the creation of semi-formal seed systems, but are often intended to address larger issues that are part of the “food movement” in the global north. Over 100 SLs are reported present in California. I describe a functional framework for studying and comparing seed systems, and use that to investigate the social and biological characteristics of California SLs in 2016 and how they are contributing to alternative seed systems based on interviews with 45 SL managers.

At a minimum, SLs function as new seed distribution institutions founded and overseen by dedicated, values-driven individuals and groups with goals including education, seed access, local adaptation, biodiversity conservation, community- building, and human health.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

Chicago: When farm to table is just a few blocks away

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Jen Rosenthal. Photo by John R. Boehm.

Farmers at Legends have to work 50 hours of community service per season for each eighth of an acre they farm, including helping Legends residents with the community garden or holding workshops on cooking or growing crops.

By Ben Feldheim
Crain’s Chicago Business
Sept 22, 2017

Excerpt:

Jen Rosenthal walks beside a row of green pea tendrils bearing small, cloverlike leaves and thin stems. She kneels down to cut the top halves. Sugar snap peas would grow from their flowers if left to mature, but Rosenthal has found leaves from this particular type pack a lot of bright flavor. Place them in water after harvesting and they don’t deteriorate quickly like their siblings. It’s one of many lessons Rosenthal has learned in the two years she’s been growing produce at Legends Farm, a training site for urban farmers through the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest program.

“Some restaurants try growing these on-site, but without the rich soil they get too leggy and spindly,” Rosenthal said of the pea plants while standing in one of the lower drainage rows that run parallel between the more elevated crop rows at Legends. “We’ll let some blossom and harvest peas before they all come out to make more room for peppers and eggplants.”

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September 27, 2017   Comments Off on Chicago: When farm to table is just a few blocks away

New Orleans golf course transformed into city’s biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

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The City Park birding corridor runs along the side of farm and provides a more wild contrast to the farmed environment.

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
Sept 18, 2017

Excerpt:

A former golf course in New Orleans’ City Park has been transformed into the city’s biggest urban farm—Grow Dat Youth Farm. The seven-acre sustainable farming nonprofit features a low-energy Eco-Campus built with seven recycled shipping containers and designed by Tulane University architecture students. The urban farming and leadership program teaches local youth how to sustainably grow fruits and veggies that are then sold to CSAs, local restaurants, and markets, as well as donated to neighborhoods lacking access to healthy, fresh food.

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September 24, 2017   Comments Off on New Orleans golf course transformed into city’s biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

Dayton, Ohio Urban Farm founder angered by city’s Garden Station eviction

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Lisa Helm, the founder of Dayton Urban Grown Farm, stands among the plantings at the co-op and training farm. Helm also founded Garden Station, which was evicted from a city-owned property last year. Cornelius Frolik / Staff

“We should write an obituary for the garden, because it’s dead and it did not die of natural causes,” Helm said.

By Cornelius Frolik
Dayton Daily News
Sept. 17, 2017

Excerpt:

The land at Wayne Avenue and Fourth Street, which belonged to the city, was transferred to Kentucky developer Weyland Ventures, which has converted an industrial building across the street into hip, new urban lofts.

The developer has proposed creating an urban entertainment and housing district called Oregon East, featuring a blend of uses.

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September 23, 2017   Comments Off on Dayton, Ohio Urban Farm founder angered by city’s Garden Station eviction

Urban farms, beacons of self-reliance, change the Buffalo landscape

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Mayda Pozantides takes a cover off of some vegetables at the Groundwork Market Garden on Genesee Street. This marks the first year the farm has yielded crops. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Eleven urban farms help lead the way in Buffalo. Several will be stops on the ninth annual GObike Buffalo Tour de Farms bicycling event next Saturday, Sept. 16.

By Scott Scanlon
Buffalo News
September 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Mayda Pozantides slings burgers two nights a week in an Allentown restaurant but her career aspirations involve something much more grounded.

She wants to be a full-time farmer in the City of Buffalo.

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September 10, 2017   Comments Off on Urban farms, beacons of self-reliance, change the Buffalo landscape

Queen City Acres Makes a Go of Urban Farming in Vermont

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Farmer Ethan Thompson.

Thompson’s main plot produces mostly baby greens such as mizuna, mesclun from High Mowing Organic Seeds and red Russian kale

By Suzanne Podhaizer
Seven Day
Aug 29, 2017

Excerpt:

Thompson was on the verge of quitting when he found a YouTube series on profitable urban farming. “I was sitting at the computer, and what popped up is this fellow who’s making a living growing food in other people’s backyards,” he explained. “Seeing how other people had done it, I was finally able to envision how I might do it.”

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September 3, 2017   Comments Off on Queen City Acres Makes a Go of Urban Farming in Vermont

After Two Decades, a Philadelphia Urban Farm Grapples with Growing Pains

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Greensgrow Farms copes with the recent loss of its founding farmer, a gentrifying neighborhood, and a changing landscape for good food.

By Robert Digiacaomo
Local Eats
08.22.17

Excerpt:

Two decades in, Greensgrow’s leaders have much to celebrate. But they also have a lot to consider. The presence of the farm has helped gentrify its surrounding working-class neighborhood, a problem common to cities around the country. As Philadelphia’s good-food landscape has expanded, Greensgrow faces competitors ranging from supermarkets stocking more local and organic foods to other urban farms in Philly to meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron or Purple Carrot.

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August 29, 2017   Comments Off on After Two Decades, a Philadelphia Urban Farm Grapples with Growing Pains

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

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