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Category — United States

Baltimore City eyes investing in urban flower farming

EllenBalt
Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers.

Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers only buys flowers from within a 100-mile radius

By Yvonne Wenger,
The Baltimore Sun
Nov 12, 2014

Excerpt:

“Flowers are a good option for people who are interested in farming but want to try something different or have a niche that sets them apart from food growers,” Frost said. “For us, it’s exciting as a viable entrepreneurial option for farmers, and to eliminate blight.”

With about a dozen urban farms operating in Baltimore, city officials are investigating other ways to use vacant lots, said Jenny Guillaume, the Growing Green Initiative coordinator for the city’s Office of Sustainability. The city started a push for more community gardens in 2011 to uplift blighted neighborhoods, give families access to more healthy food options and help unemployed residents earn money.

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November 20, 2014   No Comments

NASA Interested in Robotic Gardening Technology Developed by University Students

robt
Heather Hava, right, who is working on a doctorate in aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, describes a computerized system she is developing with other graduate students participating in the exploration HABitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.

The ROGR robots can visit a specific plant to deliver water or to locate and grasp a fruit or vegetable. If an astronaut requests tomatoes for a salad, the system decides which specific plants have the ripest tomatoes and assigns parallel harvesting tasks to ROGR.

By Bob Granath
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida
July 7, 2014

Excerpt:

For more than a half-century, NASA has made the stuff of science fiction into reality. Researchers are continuing that tradition by designing robots to work in a deep-space habitat, tending gardens and growing food for astronaut explorers. It sounds like a concept from Star Wars, but a team of graduate students from the University of Colorado Boulder is now developing the innovative technology to make it possible.

As astronauts explore beyond Earth, they will need to make their habitat as self-sustaining as possible. This includes growing fruits and vegetables.

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November 17, 2014   No Comments

Urban farming coming to Austin

austn

The project is funded by a $350,000 grant from Humana Foundation

By Austintalks
November 3, 2014

Excerpt:

Politicians and community groups gathered in Austin last week to break ground on a community farm they hope will provide badly needed fresh produce to the West Side and educate residents on the importance of good nutrition.

The project, which is being funded by a $350,000 grant from Humana Foundation, will be located on an 8,000-square-foot lot across the street from the PCC Community Wellness Center, 5425 W. Lake St.

PCC President and CEO Robert Urso said the farm will be a step in combating the scarcity of fresh produce in Austin, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated as a “food desert” because the area does not have easy access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.

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November 15, 2014   No Comments

New Roots Urban Farm – St. Louis

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The farm is about a third of an acre. It is small, because city lots are small.

By Diane Desenberg
Ground Breaking Roots
June 12, 2014

Excerpt

I asked Mary if she thought New Roots Urban Farm could make a profit, if the collective chose to. She pointed out that the land is held in some kind of trust, so there is no mortgage. They don’t use large farm equipment, so they don’t have onerous capitalization costs. All they would have do would be to increase the size of the CSA and they would immediately see a profit. Mary, herself, is working on a startup called Bee Simple, which sells honey, microgreens, and soap. The New Roots collective is supportive of her efforts.

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November 5, 2014   Comments Off

Turning Louisville Kentucky’s Vacant Lots into Lots of Food

orgcan

“People are taking advantage of idle properties in the public domain in other cities, but we were the first ones to do it here.”

By Dave Soref
Organic Connections
Oct 26, 2014

Excerpt:

Amanda Fuller and Peter Thiong met in 2011 while working for a nonprofit promoting urban agriculture in West Louisville. When that organization shut its doors two years later, Fuller and Thiong decided to take matters into their own hands. Incorporating under the name Lots of Food, they purchased five contiguous vacant lots from the Louisville Land Bank Authority and got to work.

“Lots of Food is located is an area that most people would probably describe as economically depressed,” Fuller tells Organic Connections. “It is the oldest part of Louisville, the area right along the riverfront where the port used to be (the neighborhood is called Portland). So, it is historically significant and interesting in that way; it’s just very poor right now and has been neglected for a long time.

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November 1, 2014   Comments Off

Photo essay: What’s growing in West Virginia’s urban ruins?

wesvirgFarm manager Jocelyn Carlson waters freshly planted lettuce at Farm 18. Photo by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHou.

By the end of the season, it’s expected that $20,000 worth of produce will have been pulled from the vines of Farm 18’s one-acre plot.

By Jason Kane And Ariel Min
PBS News Hour
October 28, 2014

Excerpt:

WHEELING, W.Va. — When Danny Swan first broke ground on his West Virginia farm in June 2008, his rototiller hit a baby doll. Then some porcelain plates. Then a pair of pantyhose.

It didn’t take him long to discover that pieces of an entire urban neighborhood were buried beneath the soil — “bricks and rocks and everything else contained in houses that used to be here,” he said.

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October 29, 2014   Comments Off

Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, California to start urban farm

temple
Temple Beth Israel, Pomona, CA

Temple Beth Israel in Pomona and the Claremont-based non-profit Uncommon Good have partnered to turn close to 10,000 square feet of the house of worship’s land into an urban farm

By Monica Rodriguez
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Oct 10, 2014

Excerpt:

“It’s an exciting proposition and I hope we will be a model for others,” said Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz of Temple Beth Israel.

A ground breaking ceremony for the project will begin at 11:30 a.m. today at the temple, 3033 N. Towne Ave.

For years temple leaders talked about using the land in a way that would benefit those struggling to provide food for their families but parts of the idea – such as who would take on the responsibility of caring for the land and the crops it produced – could never be fully worked out, Kupetz said.

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October 22, 2014   Comments Off

Michigan Churches Were Planning Huge Urban Farm For The Poor, But Neighbors Complained

The neighbors were concerned about increased traffic, preserving the historic property, and worries that their property values could fall.

Inquisitr
Oct 4, 2014

Excerpt:

Several churches were planning to team up to offer the community a huge urban farm in Battle Creek that would help families put healthy, fresh food on the table. The pastors of eight Methodist churches in “Cereal City” noticed that a lot of people were going hungry every day. Beside Washington Heights United Methodist Church, acres of land sat vacant.

“I mentioned we had this land that we could start a garden,” said Marshall Murphy Jr., Pastor of Washington Heights United Methodist Church in an interview with News Channel 3. The pastors of the eight churches in Battle Creek, Michigan came up with a plan. Two of the pastors excitedly talked with News Channel 3 about their plans for the urban garden on Tuesday.

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October 14, 2014   Comments Off

3 Acre Plot in Missoula Fairgrounds

freedomLate Summer, 2012 View of the Missoula County Fairgrounds. Freedom Farms is located within the dark polygon at the bottom. Click on image for larger file.

“If we can have all these beer breweries in town, we can certainly have just as many food growers.”

By Taylor Wylie
Montana Kaimin
Sept 30, 2014

Excerpt:

This idea — creating gardens and miniature farms in metropolitan areas — is part of a national urban agriculture movement. This involves anything from planting simple, individual gardens, to the large-scale growing of fruits, vegetables, herbs and animals within city limits.

In Missoula alone, there are four main organizations that focus on urban agriculture: 1000 New Gardens, Missoula HIVE, the P.E.A.S Farm/Garden City Harvest and Freedom Gardens.

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October 10, 2014   Comments Off

Ripe City Urban Farm in Tallahassee, Florida

taleh

“So many people were like me, where they had no idea where food was growing.”

WTXL TV
Sept 30, 2014

Excerpt:

The farm is located near midtown at the old location of the popular Ten-Speed Greens.

Produce from the farm goes to local restaurants like Cypress, Bread and Roses Kitchen, and Sweet Pea cafe. You can also find Ripe City selling their veggies at the Frenchtown Heritage Marketplace.

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October 8, 2014   Comments Off

New Orleans Vietnamese Urban Farmers

vietnew
Photograph by Rush Jagoe.

The Vietnamese community in New Orleans was into urban farming long before it became trendy — they were doing it as early as 1975.

By Jake Swearingen
Modern Farmer
September 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Daniel Nguyen moved from California to New Orleans to become a firefighter — but he ended up becoming a lifeline for farmers. Nguyen, 25, and business partner Khai Nguyen (no relation), began their work as community organizers in reaction to two natural disasters.

Hurricane Katrina not only devastated New Orleans, it also showed how vulnerable the city was to interruptions in the food supply chain. “It took two years after Katrina for Winn-Dixie supermarket to come back,” says Nguyen.

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October 5, 2014   Comments Off

Inside Lost Boys Acre, New Brighton’s ‘Experimental Urban Farm’ – Minnesota

morton
Courtney Morton gets some cherrie tomatoes from Kristie Kellis.

The farm is reinventing an old barter-based model – and ruffling a few feathers along the way.

By Kim Palmer
Vita-Mn
9/17/2014

Excerpt:

The Lost Boys farmers hope to do more than fill fridges and stock pantries: They’re on a mission to sow change, by teaching and encouraging others to forge a closer connection to the food they eat.

They visit schools, host interns and march in parades, wearing their Lost Boys T-shirts. Many urban dwellers don’t have a clue how to produce their own food, Kristie Kellis said. “It’s not that they aren’t interested or are lazy. They don’t know how. We went from growing our own food to wanting to inspire.”

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September 25, 2014   Comments Off

Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm

In the 2014 season, (14) farmers are participating in the Urban Discovery Farm

The Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm (MUDF) researches the economic viability and social capital of urban agriculture while empowering small-scale farmers in the region. We do so by facilitating land access and providing technical and educational resources for selling local food. Participants – or “micro-farmers” – learn sustainable methods to increase their food production while cultivating buyer relationships with partnered Milwaukee restaurants, markets, and food co-ops.

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September 25, 2014   Comments Off

10 Great Urban Agriculture Projects in San Antonio

ocalsp
Local Sprout is an urban farm on the Eastside of San Antonio.

The San Antonio Housing Authority Gardens are located at 11 housing complexes around the city

By Nora Kako
Foodtank
Aug 30, 2014

Excerpt:

1. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is currently planting an urban farm around First Children’s Hospital as part of a new program designed to educate children and residents about nutrition. The gardens will be adjacent to the Hospital Teaching Kitchen, which will offer nutrition cooking courses taught by the Culinary Institute of America. The vegetables and herbs grown in the gardens will be used in the teaching kitchen and dining area of the hospital.

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September 9, 2014   Comments Off

Jack Dog Farms: Urban farming in South Minneapolis

philsouth

Jack Dog Farms uses the community-supported-agriculture (CSA) model for generating income

By Judy Peacock
Twin Cities Daily Planet
August 01, 2014

Excerpt:

Urban farmers Corrine Bruning and Justin Wells started Jack Dog Farms in 2013 and named it after their 9-year-old German shepherd, Jack. Next-door neighbor Zhen-Qi Acupuncture (2213 E. 38th St.) leases the property to them.

In just one year, Corrine and Justin have transformed a vacant, unproductive lot on a busy street into a welcoming green space for fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers. A visitor to their urban farm will see neat plots of dirt separated by grass. Each plot contains a different crop—familiar ones like tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and onions, and some not so familiar like arugula, kale, chard, and bok choi. A nearby fire hydrant provides water.

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August 11, 2014   Comments Off