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Category — United States

Rising Pheasant Farms grows urban ag operation on east side of Detroit

Photo: Ali Lapetina, Neidea.

“We just bought four more lots.”

By Jon Zemke
Feb 10, 2015


It’s the dead of winter in Michigan, but Rising Pheasant Farms is not sitting idle. The urban farm on Detroit’s near east side is growing its production capability and space in an effort to expand operations.

“We just bought four more lots,” says Carolyn Leadley, owner & farm manager for Rising Pheasant Farms. “We will be up to a half acre in the next couple of years.”

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February 20, 2015   No Comments

Dervaes Family of Pasadena Back in the News

Last year, the Dervaes family topped $60,000 in sales from their urban farm

CBS Los Angeles
Feb 2015


Former teacher-turned-farmer Jules Dervaes has spent 30 years turning his property into profit by morphing his one-fifth of an acre of land into an urban farm.

“When I ended up here in 1985, I brought the country life into the city,” Dervaes said. “I wanted to break free of the supermarkets which were dependent on industrial agriculture, factory farms, everything that’s not natural, and I wanted to be natural and I wanted my kids to have a natural life.”

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February 13, 2015   No Comments

South Circle Farm, two miles south of downtown Indianapolis

Amy Matthews, an Indianapolis native, returned to the city after 10 years of living out of state to start South Circle Farm. The farm, located two miles south of downtown Indianapolis, features vegetables, chickens and bees.

Amy Matthews is not your average farmer. She didn’t grow up on a farm.

By Amie Sites, Field Editor
Agri News Indianapolis
February 02, 2015


Matthews was inspired by groups implementing community gardens and urban farms. After a few years of traveling to different places, including Montana, Chicago, Cleveland and Alaska, she returned to Indianapolis and started South Circle Farm.

Matthews has found that she enjoys working outside and that the work changes seasonally. The spring and summer pick up, and then in the fall and winter things begin to slow down.

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February 13, 2015   No Comments

North Brooklyn Farms is Laying New Roots this Spring

North Brooklyn Farms via Facebook.

North Brooklyn Farms is on a year-to-year lease for the next three to five years.

By Sara Ventiera
Village Voice
Jan. 15 2015


Situated right on the East River, the new space will feature similar elements to the previous plot — the actual farm, an open lawn, Brooklyn Bike Park, the Sunday supper series — but it will include new and improved components such as more shaded areas, a covered patio, pick-your-own produce, grass craters and recliners, a series of workshops, and new dinner options.

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January 27, 2015   Comments Off

Asheville, N.C. man begins drive to establish urban farmers

Sunil Patel, right, of Patchwork Urban Farms, and Darcel Eddins of Bountiful Cities, check out a chicken at the urban farm in Asheville, N.C., that the two are collaborating. Patel’s vision is to create an environment where the land that produces people’s food is the land on which those same people already live, work and play.

If all this land in this city just sitting there can actually be productive land, I’ll be able to take advantage of it in a farm-to-table way.”

By Mike Cronin
Asheville Citizen-Times
January 16, 2015


Patel’s vision is to create an environment where the land that produces people’s food is the land on which those same people already live, work and play.

Patel and Patchwork have obtained permission to use six plots of land through crop sharing. Those plots range from a tenth of an acre to 1.5 acres. They are located throughout Asheville and in Swannanoa.

Patel plans to form more land partnerships this year, he said.

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January 27, 2015   Comments Off

Living Garden Creations hopes to spur urban gardening in Kokomo, Indiana

Adam Renshaw and Haley Martin stand in front of what will become The Living Garden Juice Bar on N. Phillips Street on January 14, 2015. Photo by Kelly Lafferty Gerber.

Duo plan juice bar, community garden sites in downtown Kokomo

By Martin Slagter
Kokomo Tribune
Jan 16, 2015


Martin and Renshaw will implement the next chapter of The Living Garden with Living Garden Creations, which will include a start-up Living Garden Juice Bar and a Kokomo Urban Agriculture Initiative, with business and residential locations already donating land for 10 different project sites.

The result, Martin said, will be a balance between a business and nonprofit model to help Kokomo make good use of its urban green spaces.

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January 26, 2015   Comments Off

Urban agriculture makes its way to Staten Island’s West Shore Green Zone

The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC), which spearheaded the West Shore Green Zone, is hoping this is the start of an urban farming trend in the borough. (Courtesy of Living Restoration)

Using 200 towers, Living Restoration planted kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy and more on a West Shore vertical farm.

By Tracey Porpora
December 13, 2014


The farm was planted in October on Bloomfield Avenue on underutilized property in the West Shore Green Zone owned by ADCO Electrical Co.

The West Shore, viewed as New York City’s “final frontier” of vacant industrially zoned land, will also soon be home to seven new businesses.

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December 27, 2014   Comments Off

Baltimore City eyes investing in urban flower farming

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


“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   Comments Off

NASA Interested in Robotic Gardening Technology Developed by University Students

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


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   Comments Off

Urban farming coming to Austin


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

By Austintalks
November 3, 2014


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   Comments Off

New Roots Urban Farm – St. Louis


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


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


“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


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


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 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


“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.

Oct 4, 2014


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