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Category — United States

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

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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   No Comments

5 Acre Urban Farm Leaving Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta

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We want you to know that our Wheat Street Garden farm site is leaving the Old Fourth Ward in 2016. We are uprooting 5 acres of produce, fruit trees, green houses, chickens and fish

By Josh Breen
Curbed Atlanta
Jan 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Truly Living Well, as business association leaders explained, “was brought in as a temporary use for the vacant land, to keep it in active use for the benefit of the community and to discourage squatters, illegal dumping, etc.,” the post reads. Truly Living Well “is relocating, per the agreement they entered into when as they agreed to create the garden. The unfortunate part is that TLW wasn’t able to find other vacant land nearby, but land is now so valuable in the O4W (finally) that a low-intensity use such as an urban garden is no longer viable.”

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February 1, 2016   No Comments

Spiritual farming with Steven Wynbrandt

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Steven Wynbrandt, standing in front of a long, raised row of his boutique, nutrient-rich compost. Such rows, typically used to produce large quantities of compost, are called windrows. All photos courtesy of Steven Wynbrandt.

“The simple act of growing my own food [created] a ‘compostball’-snowball of asking deeper questions about how I see the future of this world and the future that I want to create.”

By Esther D. Kustanowitz
Jewish Journal
Jan. 20, 2016

Excerpts:

In 2009, Wynbrandt transformed the backyard of his family home — located not far from Overland Avenue in West L.A. — into a thriving urban garden. Now he is producing a special compost (fertilizer) that he will sell to farms and individuals to help them grow plentiful, vibrant, delicious and nutrient-filled crops in a garden of any size. Wynbrandt says his compost business will produce between 200,000 and 400,000 pounds of organic and nutrient-rich fertilizer this spring.

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January 24, 2016   No Comments

Urban Farmers given room to grow in Phoenix

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Nonprofit, Garden Pool from Downtown Devil on Vimeo.

Although PHX Renews already provides the water and supplies for 150 garden beds, they continuously have a waiting list, Waldeck said.

By Melanie Whyte
Downtown Devil
January 19, 2016

Excerpt:

The MANA House is a transitional living program in downtown Phoenix for Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Force veterans. Its kitchen uses urban farming to grow produce for meals, according to Ken Leonard, project manager for the program’s community garden.

“I grow it, I cook it, and I’m the chef,” he said.

According to Leonard, the garden has several purposes; first, it supplements the kitchen.

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January 23, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Farmers given room to grow in Phoenix

CommonWealth Urban Farms in Oklahoma City

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oklElia Woods, left, explains how the Common Wealth Urban Farms works to visitors recently. Photo by Kyle Phillips/The Norman Transcript.

“There are a whole bunch of neighbors who are involved in this. This is just a great way for people in a diverse community to get to know each other and learn how to live healthier.”

By Michael Kinney
Eagle Tribune
Jan 18, 2016

Excerpt:

The farm was the brainchild of Elia Woods, who grew up in Chicago before moving to Oklahoma. She has always been into gardening, but a few years ago she decided she wanted to do do more.

“I’ve always loved gardening and they tend to get bigger and bigger,” Woods said. “The point came where I knew I just wanted to get deeper into it. A little seed was formed about having the idea of having an urban farm and a teaching farm. I got together with some other people who had (a) similar interest and we just spent the first year talking about what we might want to do. Out of that, the more specific vision of CommonWealth emerged.”

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January 22, 2016   Comments Off on CommonWealth Urban Farms in Oklahoma City

Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, Virginia

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Todd Niemeier squats among rows of vegetables for a portrait at the gardens behind Friendship Court. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly.

For every half-hour of work in a garden, a person gets a wooden “farm token.” The token can be redeemed for vegetables by the person who earned it, or put in a community jar for others to redeem on Market Day.

By David A. Maurer
Daily Progress
Dec 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Niemeier’s farm of choice wasn’t a big spread in the Midwest. It’s three community gardens in Charlottesville where an abundance of organic produce is grown, as well as friendships among people who otherwise might never meet.

Niemeier is operations director for the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville. His job includes overseeing the community gardens at Friendship Court, Sixth Street and West Street.

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December 29, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, Virginia

Urban Roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serves as a platform for education and empowerment through urban agriculture

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Levi Gardner has big plans for Urban Roots, including a mobile classroom, a new facility in the Madison Square neighborhood and more permaculture projects. Photo by Johnny Quirin.

Gardner expects to fulfill his overarching $1 million vision for the space over the long term, with five years as the current goal for a fundraising campaign.

By Charlsie Dewey
GRBJ
December 11, 2015

Excerpt:

First, Urban Roots plans to launch a mobile classroom so it can partner with other organizations on how to plant a community garden and educate them on the techniques needed to sustain their new food source.

“Everybody thinks a community garden is really cool, but they don’t exactly know how to do it,” Gardner said.

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December 18, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serves as a platform for education and empowerment through urban agriculture

Refrigeration system would help urban farms in West Sacramento, promote local economy

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“It’s easier to get junk food at a corner store than it is to access fresh food,” says Fredric Blum, who is farming on a former vacant lot in West Sacramento. The West Sacramento Urban Farm Program is asking Book of Dreams readers to help it buy a cooler for storing produce. Photo by Lezlie Sterling

The program has since acquired four urban farm sites that yield up to 30,000 pounds of produce per month.

By Brenna Lyles
Sac bee
Dec 4, 2015

Excerpt:

West Sacramento Urban Farm is asking Book of Dreams readers to help fund a refrigerated aggregation facility that would reduce food spoilage, thus expanding the organization’s reach throughout surrounding food desert communities, such as Knights Landing.

The aggregation facility “will have a tremendous impact in opening up access to fresh food for new people that we haven’t been able reach before,” Bernal said. “It will change not only the farmers’ access to new markets, but the number of consumers who have access to healthier local food.”

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December 12, 2015   Comments Off on Refrigeration system would help urban farms in West Sacramento, promote local economy

City of Minneapolis Cultivates Urban Farming

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In the city of Minneapolis, there are 275 community gardens and more than 15 urban farms.

Todd Wilson
ABC
Dec 2, 2015

Excerpt:

In the city of Minneapolis, there are 275 community gardens and more than 15 urban farms. Business opportunities for urban farmers are growing. For the first time, the city is making it possible for future farmers to lease city land.

“We have had 60 lots that were leasable, of which 50 have been leased this year and through this new change that was made, 43 were added,” Tamara Downsschewei, of Homegrown Minneapolis, said. “Now, we have over 100 city lots that are leasable.”

Leases will be one to five years with lowered fees to get started.

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December 11, 2015   Comments Off on City of Minneapolis Cultivates Urban Farming

Local gardener transforms vacant lot into thriving urban farm in Richmond, California

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Copeland Cormier is learning the basics of planting seedlings during November’s volunteer day on the farm. (Photo by Brittany Murphy)

“I’m gonna put food on the corner instead of drugs,” Brooks said.

By Brittany Murphy
Richmond Confidential
November 26, 2015

Excerpt:

Brooks’ farm transformed a space previously used for loitering and illegal dumping into a source of healthy food for the neighborhood. Brooks gives away most of the produce to community volunteers, random passersby—and even the occasional driver who leaves a car door unlocked.

Community members help during monthly volunteer days. People have dug holes, planted seedlings, mucked out the chicken coop and built a pergola for the grapevines.

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December 4, 2015   Comments Off on Local gardener transforms vacant lot into thriving urban farm in Richmond, California

A small but growing number are finding success growing crops within City of Columbus

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Rachel Tayse, co-owner of Swainway Farms, feeds the chickens in the backyard of a home in Clintonville.

The City of Columbus has only 15 or so commercial farms — which, unlike the roughly 250 community gardens, operate as full-fledged businesses.

By JD Malone
The Columbus Dispatch
November 25, 2015

Excerpt:

Step into Joseph Swain’s backyard and it is clear that this is no residential garden. A pair of long raised beds and a small hoop house take up much of the narrow lot. Chickens peck and scratch in a pen tucked into a corner. Bright green garlic shoots poke from the dark soil that hasn’t been covered with straw for the winter.

This is urban agriculture — small plots, novice farmers and a belief that people want locally grown food.

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December 2, 2015   Comments Off on A small but growing number are finding success growing crops within City of Columbus

Rise of Urban Farms in West Sacramento

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In addition to donating labor for the day, Bayer Crop Science also donated $10,000 to the Center for Land Based Learning.

By Bia Riaz
News_ledger
Nov 11, 2015

Excerpt:

The Center for Land Based Learning’s West Sacramento Urban Farm Program addresses that exact question by bringing agricultural education, support for new farmers and resources to areas of West Sacramento described as food deserts. Urban farms replace vacant lots, remove urban blight and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. “The idea of an urban farm is to be surrounded by the people, in the action; feeding neighbors in need,” said Mary Kimball, Executive Director, Center for Land Based Learning.

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November 20, 2015   Comments Off on Rise of Urban Farms in West Sacramento

Can Chicago’s City Farm outlast the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green?

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City Farm moved to the corner of Clybourn and Division in 2003. Photo by Terry Evans.

Chicago’s oldest farm is moving—again. “It was very hard to pay a living wage and pay the mortgage on the property,” City Farm founder Ken Dunn says.

By Robin Amer
Chicago Reader
Nov 4, 2015

Excerpt:

City Farm’s lot is just under an acre, but the compact parcel overflows with row upon row of crimson rainbow chard, tiny sweet yellow tomatoes, broad squash leaves, and brilliant green arugula. On a recent Wednesday a few volunteers knelt in the dirt while birds twittered through the dense underbrush. Chicago’s oldest urban farm has occupied this Near North Side spot for just over 12 years, but its days here are numbered.

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November 12, 2015   Comments Off on Can Chicago’s City Farm outlast the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green?

Fleet Farming part of urban farming scene in Orlando, Florida

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“We want to see this not so much as an opportunity to simply grow food, but to leave a lasting impact on the Orlando foodscape for generations to come.”

By Natalie Costa
Forward Orlando
November 4, 2015

Excerpt:

However, some nonprofits such as IDEAS For Us have developed an initiative known as fleet farming, a pedal-powered urban farming movement. Like Growing Orlando, fleet farming seeks to utilize the untapped resource of residential home lawns to create micro-farms. A fleet of farmers ride their bikes weekly to the farmlettes (home gardens) and till the land and harvest the crops to bring to market and sell directly to the consumer. Currently, this initiative is specific to Audubon Park and Winter Park, but is growing rapidly as the demand for farm-fresh produce rises.

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November 11, 2015   Comments Off on Fleet Farming part of urban farming scene in Orlando, Florida

Washington D.C.’s Urban Farms Make the Most of Limited Real Estate

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East Capitol Urban Farm. (Courtesy of the D.C. Building Association.)

“It might just be part of a broader trend, but better awareness of how to use space,” is becoming more evident in the types and locations of D.C. urban farming projects.”

By Bridget Dicosmo
DCist Contributor
NOV 2, 2015

Excerpt:

D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced the D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act in 2014 with the intent of spurring similar projects. The bill requires the mayor to identify 25 eligible vacant lots that could potentially serve as urban farms and develop an application process and offers tax abatement for those looking to farm locally and donate produce and grains to D.C. food banks or shelters.

Ackley calls the bill a “great start,” but says zoning and other obstacles remain. For example, greens grown indoors are subject to more regulatory barriers because of food processing restrictions.

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November 10, 2015   Comments Off on Washington D.C.’s Urban Farms Make the Most of Limited Real Estate