New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — United States

An oasis in the food desert: Fresh Future Farm aims to revitalize North Charleston, S. Carolina

leland
The planned Fresh Future Farm will include beehives, a chicken coop, composting and areas for tours and demonstrations in addition to more traditional crops, said Germaine Jenkins, a master gardener. Provided/Fresh Future Farm.

“Local foods and community gardens are part of the solution to that, but they’re just part of it,” he said. “They’ve got to make changes in lifestyle – people taking control of their own cooking, really.”

By Katie West
The Post and Courier
Jul 20 2014

Excerpt:

The idea is simple. Jenkins, a certified master gardener, wants to establish a nonprofit urban farm on 0.75 acres of the grounds of the former Chicora Elementary School on Success Street. It would be more than just a place to grow and buy fruits and vegetables: It would be an entire community food operation, with an on-site store to sell produce, toiletries and other groceries. School groups and residents could come to tour the facilities or take classes on farming, cooking and the food industry, and underemployed people in the area could be trained on the skills they’d need to work on the farm or start

[Read more →]

July 28, 2014   No Comments

Community center in Petersburg, Virginia will see new life as an urban farm

new1.5Duron Chavis, a Virginia State University graduate, is the project director of the community garden, which is funded by a $1.5 million federal grant.

$1.5 million federal grant, is a collaboration with Virginia State University faculty

By Leah Small
Progress
July 21, 2014

Excerpt:

Petersburg residents will have access to an array of peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables. Fresh tilapia will also be grown with the help of indoor aquaponic units. Aquaponics involves raising fish and plants together. The fish waste becomes plant fertilizer and the water is filtered by the plants. Vegetables will be grown via hydroponics, in which plants are grown without soil in water, with additional nutrients.

The hydroponic and aquaponic growing units will be placed in the community center’s gymnasium. Other parts of the building will be used for nutrition classes and community outreach efforts.

[Read more →]

July 27, 2014   No Comments

Philadelphia Urban Creators enact their bold plan to educate, energize, empower and unite

grid

“This one thing, food, can literally cure every last one of the intangible crises,” Kayembe says. “Violence, hunger, health—people are violent because they’re hungry.

By Molly O’Neill
Grid Magazine
July 2014

Excerpt:

A chain-link fence surrounds the lot where a warehouse once stood. Inside, a graffiti mural painted over a brick wall proclaims the farm’s name, Life Do Grow. This property, at 11th and Dakota Streets, is the beating heart of the Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC), a nonprofit organization striving to enrich the lives of North Philadelphia residents through urban agriculture.

It’s an unexpected burst of life in the middle of the neighborhood.

[Read more →]

July 26, 2014   No Comments

Selling from home in Denver

denverSee news video here.

The city charges a one-time fee of $20 for the licenses and state law caps sales for home-produced foods at $5,000 per item per year.

By Brandon Rittiman
9News KUSA-TV
July 15, 2014

Excerpt:

The city passed an ordinance Tuesday designed to enable urban farmers to sell their crops from home, taking advantage of Colorado’s 2012 Cottage Food Act.

For Deb Neeley, it started with six cherry tomato plants she planted one summer.

They were a gateway. Soon she couldn’t get enough of growing her own food.

[Read more →]

July 24, 2014   No Comments

Sun Valley Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Phoenix

pheon

University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension offers classes designed to teach job skills and nutrition to homeless men and women in Phoenix.

By Ryan Frieson
Food Tank
July 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Slow Food Phoenix is part of the larger Slow Food Movement (a non-profit, eco-gastronomic, membership organization that educates people about how their food choices affect the rest of the world). Slow Food Phoenix chapter members range from professional chefs to home cooks who enjoy the philosophy of quality slow food.

Truck Farm Phoenix debuted in the Fall of 2011 with the goal of reaching out to youth in at least 25 locations including underserved school districts, farmers’ markets, youth day camps, community centers, festivals, and fairs.

[Read more →]

July 23, 2014   No Comments

Grand Rapids Urban Growers and urban farming take root in Grand Rapids

grand
From left, Ron Wheaton, Jenny Bongiorno, Levi Gardner and Wendal Kane, urban farmers.

“Food justice would demand that people who are marginalized within the current food system have a say in what kind of system they want, but that land use be more egalitarian and serve the needs of people who are most marginalized.”

Marla R. Miller
Rapid Growth
July 10, 2014

Excerpt:

Grand Rapids Urban Growers is still evolving and attendees come with various perspectives, backgrounds and agendas – some grow as a business, others are fighting for food justice – but the overall goal is to facilitate communication, collaboration and accountability so the city can have a thriving local food economy that is accessible to all, says a founding member, Lance Kraai of New City Urban Farm.

Kraai works as farm director of New City Urban Farm, one of the city’s larger community supported agriculture (CSA) farms started in 2012 to employ teens during the summer in the Creston neighborhood. He and Levi Gardner, of the for-profit Urban Roots Farm, helped organize the group to provide a forum for growers to share ideas, problems and tips.

[Read more →]

July 21, 2014   No Comments

A View from Providence: Urban farmers plant their roots in the West End

provd
Laura Brown-Lavoie, of the Sidewalk Ends Farm on Harrison Street in Providence, brings fresh soil to the large garden, which grows Bachelor’s buttons, red Russian kale, fuschia-stemmed Swiss chard. A tin-roofed, yellow and blue chicken coop, is home to five Rhode Island Reds. Photo by Bob Thayer/The Providence Journal.

The transformation of a vacant lot “has opened my eyes to see what can happen” with such spaces.

By Karen Lee Ziner
Providence Journal
July 5, 2014

Excerpt:

Though the women recently started an adjunct farm in Seekonk, urban farming remains a critical mission that includes educating the public. They also sell at the Armory Farmers Market and to local restaurants.

“As someone who grew up in a city and never gardened as a kid, I just wish I’d been exposed to growing food from an earlier age,” says Laura Brown-Lavoie.

[Read more →]

July 18, 2014   No Comments

Columbia, South Carolina’s City Roots schools interns in urban farming

colu
Clemson undergraduate student, Misty Shealy, helps out in the greenhouse harvesting, watering, planting and cleaning microgreens. Shealy is participating in a 10 week program for the summer. City Roots interns are getting a summer-long lesson in organic farming as they work in the fields, greenhouse and office at Columbia’s 5-year-old urban farm. Photo by Kim Foster.

Founded five years ago on the outskirts of downtown, the City Roots farm grows more than 100 crop varieties year-round using certified organic farming methods.

By Sarah Ellis
The State
July 4, 2014

Excerpt:

In the greenhouses, there are seeds to be planted, plant beds to be watered, microgreens – young, leafy plants including broccoli, kale, mustard, radishes, sunflowers and snowpeas – to be harvested, soil and roots to be composted and then some. There’s always work to be done for the intern at Columbia’s 5-year-old urban, organic farm.

Her roots first began to grow in her family’s gardens in rural Irmo, where Shealy’s parents and grandparents cultivated her love for plants and working outdoors.

[Read more →]

July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farm takes root in patchwork of South Denver lawns

patch
WWOOF worker Rachel Haveman cuts chard last season at the home of organizer Craig Broek for Denver Table. WWOOF is World Wide Opportunities on Organic
WWOOF worker. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post.

“Managing 23 sites is challenging.”

By Claire Martin
The Denver Post
June 20

Excerpt:

they cultivate nearly two dozen plots in the University Park and Platt Park neighborhoods. With a couple of exceptions, all of that land used to be lawns. Under the Broeks’ hands, Swiss chard and heirloom tomatoes now thrive where Kentucky bluegrass and blue grama once grew.

“Managing 23 sites is challenging,” Craig Broek said, more or less cheerfully.

“Like with crop rotation,” he explained. “Last year we tried late cabbage but without success. When you move stuff, and the plant doesn’t do well, you don’t know why at first. But the broccoli we grew in one yard was the most beautiful broccoli I’ve ever seen.”

[Read more →]

June 29, 2014   Comments Off

Hantz Farms Detroit, Hantz Woodlands: The business of urban agriculture on the cutting edge

hantztrees
More than 1,000 volunteers converged on 20 acres in Detroit’s lower east side to plant oak trees as part of Hantz Woodlands’ community tree planting in Detroit’s lower east side, Saturday, May 17, 2014. The volunteers, many part of business teams, planted 15,000 hardwood saplings. Photo by Katie Bailey, MLive.com. Click on image for larger file.

It is being called one of the largest urban reforestation projects in America.

By James, Donald
Proquest LLC
June 20, 2014

Excerpt:

Exceeding his expectations, on Saturday morning, May 17, close to 1,200 people convened at Belvidere and Goethe for Hantz Farms Planting Day to help plant 15,000 trees in the immediate area. On land once owned by the City of Detroit but now under the ownership of the for-profit Hantz Farms Detroit, volunteers fanned out to plant such trees as sugar maple, white birch, bur oaks, and flowering dogwoods.

“These trees are going to grow big and strong and straight,” said Hollier, who once served as a legislative liaison for Mayor Dave Bing’s administration. “There’s no doubt that the trees will have a positive environmental impact while giving the area a beautiful and clean look. Next year, we will plant another 15,000 trees.”

[Read more →]

June 21, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farms sprouting in western Pennsylvania

westpitt
Mindy Schwartz operates her urban farm, Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery, on land in Wilkinsburg, just outside Pittsburgh, that once held two dilapidated houses. Photo by Robin Rombach.

Gardens are being planted on vacant land where houses once stood.

By Ann Belser
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 26, 2014

Excerpt:

After buying and moving into a three-unit apartment house in 1994, Schwartz, 49, built raised garden beds and began growing produce — more than she could eat. So she sold some of her vegetables to local restaurants.

In the spring, she set up a rack in her basement near the warm steam boiler, and hooked grow lights to shelving.
“Next thing you know, I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of seedlings,” she said.

[Read more →]

June 8, 2014   Comments Off

Vallejo urban farms will open gates to public in city-wide tour

vaje
Tom Ferguson and Rachel Hoff stand in their backyard, which is also a Vallejo urban farm, Dog Island Farm. The couple is co-organizing an Urban Farm Tour this year to feature five other urban farms in Vallejo. Irma Widjojo — Times-Herald.

San Francisco Bay Area – Organizers hope tour will educate, inspire

By Irma Widjojo
Times Herald
Sept 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Hoff and Ferguson moved to their current Vallejo home about six years ago and use about a quarter acre of their land for farming, including growing fruit and vegetables and raising chickens, turkeys, rabbits and goats.

A few years ago, they even experimented not going to the grocery stores for a year to save money. Today, although the rules are a little looser, they are still mostly living off their land.

[Read more →]

June 3, 2014   Comments Off

Metro Denver Building Urban Farmers

denclass
Urban farmer Greg Hammerly plants tomatoes at Sweet Ridge Farms in Wheat Ridge. Photos by AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post.

Last year was her best to date: Granata estimates she cleared $15,000 in net income and earned between $7-$8 an hour.

The Metro Denver Building Urban Farmers Program focuses on developing the capacity of existing and start-up producers on urban farms. For this program, an urban farm is defined as a farm of less than 2 acres that grows or donates more than $1000 of vegetables/fruit/eggs/meat/dairy/flowers/herbs and/or value added products per year. While urban farm business models include indoor aquaponics and non-profit community farms, we will focus primarily on business planning principles for for-profit urban farms including multi-plot CSAs/NSAs.

[Read more →]

May 31, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farm blooms in Raleigh, North Carolina

“Right now … farmers aren’t really recognized as entrepreneurs in the urban environment.”

By Justin Quesinberry
WNCN News
May 12, 2014

Excerpt:

Spitzer said one of the benefits of urban farming is the visibility that comes with being downtown. Adjacent the Raleigh City Farm is the newly revitalized Person Street Market, which is part of the North Person Street Business District that USA Today named one of the top up-and-coming neighborhoods in the United States.

[Read more →]

May 24, 2014   Comments Off

This Decrepit Lot in Washington D.C. is the Future Site of the World’s Largest Urban Greenhouse

lot

The 100,000-square-foot greenhouse (close to 2.3 acres) will produce 1 million pounds of produce—including tomatoes on the vine, leafy-green mixes

Matt Vasilogambros
The Atlantic Cities
MAY 05, 2014

Excerpt:

Two 20-foot-tall piles of razed rubble, twisted metal, and warped wood are the backdrops. A gnarled bicycle and dozens of unmatched shoes nearly hidden by overgrown prairie grass and weeds litter the ground between three large, white shipping containers that belong more on a freighter than in a city lot on the edge of Washington’s southeastern border.

But in a few months, this abandoned lot in the Anacostia neighborhood of the capital city will become home to the world’s largest urban greenhouse, eventually producing tons of produce, creating dozens of new jobs, and providing fresh food to areas in need.

[Read more →]

May 21, 2014   Comments Off