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Category — United States

Growing the Benefits of Urban Agriculture in New York City


Five Borough Farm II

Lee Altman, Urban Planning Fellow
Liz Barry, Outreach Fellow
Martin Barry, Green Infrastructure Fellow
Christopher Englese, Video Fellow
Kaja Kühl, Urban Planning Fellow
Philip Silva, Outreach Fellow
Barbara Wilks, Green Infrastructure Fellow

Design Trust for Public Space
March 2014

Part how-to guide and part reference, Five Borough Farm II: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City builds on the findings from the first Five Borough Farm publication to equip farmers and gardeners, support organizations, policymakers, and funders with the tools and information to measure, maximize and expand the benefits of urban agriculture.

New York City’s community gardens and urban farms come in all shapes and sizes. Some gardens squeeze into narrow vacant lots once occupied by stately brownstones. Some farms sprawl across industrial rooftops the size of city blocks. Some grow dense with fruits and vegetables while others focus on giving neighbors a quiet open space where they can relax and get to know each other.

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April 21, 2014   No Comments

Big city farming in Chicago

Green goodies: Farm supervisor Maureen Maitland works with micro greens at Urban Till in Chicago. David Pierini/staff photographer.

Neighborhood-based urban farm aims to revolutionize food supply chain

By Timothy Inklebarger
Austin Weekly News
April 8th, 2014


The owners of Urban Till, which operates the 30,000-square-foot urban farm, opened their doors to a select group of about 100 restaurateurs, chefs, sustainable food advocates and industry insiders for the first time on March 21. The facility gives them a glimpse into what the budding entrepreneurs say is the future of farming

Participants met at a bar in Chicago’s West Loop and were bused out to the location, which Urban Till’s owners want to remain secret for now. They were treated with gourmet delicacies and high-end cocktails using the farm’s myriad variety of greens and herbs.

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April 19, 2014   No Comments

New Haven Farms triples capacity in Connecticut

Photo by Blair Seideman.

“Our eight farms total about half an acre, and this new farm is an acre.”

By Tasnim Elboute
Yale Daily News
April 4, 2014


New Haven Farms, an urban agriculture non-profit that provides free produce to disadvantaged residents, is in the process of acquiring a new farm that will triple its food output.

NHF works to combat both food insecurity and health conditions including diabetes and obesity by providing families with fresh produce and nutrition lessons for one season. The organization currently operates eight small garden sites throughout the city, growing 5,500 pounds of produce feeding 20 families over the winter and 40 over the summer. The new farm on Burr Street, which totals one acre, will dramatically increase the amount of food NHF can produce.

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April 12, 2014   No Comments

The backyard farming movement continues to grow in Colorado Springs

Adam Atencio in his backyard, where his garden beds are ready for another season of production.

When novice urban farmers understand what they’re up against, they’re less likely to burn out.

By Michelle Mercer
Mar 26, 2014


On a Saturday afternoon, Buckley’s Homestead Supply Store is as busy as a barnyard at feeding time. The store is packed with people taking classes on fruit tree care & chicken disease prevention. A steady stream of customers arrives to stock up on homesteading essentials.

Rachel Gutierrez was one of them. Gutierrez joined the urban homesteading movement five years ago. Her first step was to rip out her lawn and plant all varieties of vegetables. But she says her water bill grew a lot faster than her plants.

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April 4, 2014   Comments Off

Sprout City Farms breaks ground with a new garden in Denver

Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy, fourth from left, helps community members and representatives from Sprout City Farms break ground March 18, 2014, on a community garden in Mountair Park. Photo by Alison Hatch.

The Mountair Park garden will probably produce 5,000 pounds of produce the first year

By Austin Briggs
Denver Post


A food desert on the east side of Lakewood is on its way to having a small oasis of fresh produce that will feed the neighborhood as well as provide educational opportunities.

Sprout City Farms has partnered with the city of Lakewood and leaders from the Two Creeks neighborhood to grow a variety of crops on a 1¼ acre plot in Mountair Park in an area the U.S. Department of Agriculture has labeled a food desert.

That means residents in low-income areas don’t have access to fresh food within a half mile, said Lakewood associate planner Alexis Moore.

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March 31, 2014   Comments Off

Ford Motors Commercial Features Detroit Urban Farmer Pasho Murray

Upside: Anything is Possible. Why do we work so hard? There are a lot of opinions. Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt ( explains that for some of us, it’s about trying to make the world a better place.

Ford Just Destroyed Cadillac’s Ad Praising Rich Guys Who Work All The Time

By Aaron Taube
Business Insider
Mar. 27, 2014


In order to draw a contrast, Ford mimicked the structure of Cadillac’s commercial. Only it decided to use Pasho Murray, a real woman who founded Detroit Dirt, a company that turns waste into compost and sells it to people who want to create urban gardens.

Murray looks out at a landfill and wonders why Americans aren’t more like other countries who buy locally-grown food.

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March 30, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit urban farming project uncovers grisly past

Michael Score, president of Hantz Farms, stands on the site of a planned farm in inner-city Detroit with a burned and abandoned house in front of him and a garage behind him that was just discovered last week while clearing out wild brush. Photo by Alex Panetta.

Build a farm near crackhouses, and all bets are off about what stories the soil might tell.

By Alexander Panetta
Mar 23, 2013
The Canadian Press


DETROIT – Stunning things are being discovered in an effort to clear land for a new farm in inner-city Detroit.

Last week, workers found a building. The crumbling brick-sided structure was either a garage or a shed, and had been hidden by the wild brush that has sprouted in the east end of the economically suffering city.

Ask about the building, and they point to a dog. There it is, dead, with a bullet hole through its ribs. It appears to be a brown mastiff, sprawled out on the grass where it was found last Friday. It looks neatly groomed and is still wearing a collar.

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March 29, 2014   Comments Off

Lee County, Florida Urban Farm Tour Part 1: Estero’s Better Food Farm

Chad Jonas, owner of Better Food Farm, describes urban farming techniques. Photo by Mckenzie Cassidy.

Lee County is on the forefront of urban farming with new operations opening every year.

By Mckenzie Cassidy
Sanibel-Captiva Islander
March 7, 201


Lee County is on the forefront of urban farming with new operations opening every year. It has become so trendy that the county teamed up with University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) to host a tour where current and retired farmers can learn about cutting edge methods.

Four farms — each open less than a year — were visited by a bus full of “agrotourists” on Feb. 27 as part of the Lee County Urban Farm Tour.

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March 16, 2014   Comments Off

27-acre Urban Farm Planned For Shuttered Detroit School

Kettering’s campus is outlined in orange.

Officials padlocked 35 schools about seven years ago, followed by 29 more in 2009. Of 172 schools that were open in 2010, about 100 remain open.

By Corey Williams
Associated Press
March 12, 2014


DETROIT (AP) – A nearly 27-acre urban farm that will provide produce for Detroit public school students’ meals is planned at a former high school as part of the district’s efforts to reuse empty buildings instead of tearing them down.

The Kettering Urban Agricultural Campus will include hoop houses for an extended growing season, land redevelopment for planting and a food processing facility, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Mrozowski told The Associated Press Wednesday ahead of an official announcement.

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March 13, 2014   Comments Off

Urban agriculture movement grows in Memphis

Roots Memphis Farm Academy farm manager and co-executive director Mary Phillips uses a seed block maker to transplant Red Russian Kale seedlings. Photo by Daily News/Andrew J. Breig.

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors donated $25,000 to help Green Leaf fulfill a plan to grow the size of the urban farming initiative to eventually include a total of 25 lots.

By Amos Maki
Memphis Daily News
Mar 6, 2014


The vacant homes and lots on Jennette Place near Walker Avenue and Mississippi Boulevard in South Memphis began germinating like an urban form of kudzu. They appeared like an invasive species in this proud neighborhood, spreading quickly, choking the life from viable properties and growing into a scourge that at one point seemed impossible to eradicate.

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March 12, 2014   Comments Off

Capital City Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Washington, DC

City Blossoms from Stone Soup Films on Vimeo.

City Blossoms has worked with over 3000 children and youth in various gardening projects

By Bonnie Averbuch
Feb 23, 2014


1. City Blossoms aims to increase youth awareness about caring for themselves and the environment through gardening. Over the past nine years, City Blossoms “has designed a unique method of developing and managing robust green spaces where children and youth are engaged as the main cultivators”, specializing in “an art-based, hands-on approach that emphasizes the strengths and unique qualities of each learning center.” All of City Blossoms programs work with the needs of the local environment and community members.

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March 4, 2014   Comments Off

Beantown Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Boston

Photo from City Spouts by Susan Young.

From rooftops to abandoned lots, from school yards to greenhouses, gardens and farms are popping up all over Boston as urban agriculture and the local food movement continues to grow.

By Bonnie Averbuch
Food Tank
Feb 15, 2014


4. CitySprouts provides a school gardening program that is integrated into the Boston Public School’s curriculum. CitySprouts is currently operating in 12 public schools in Cambridge, MA. The organization also provides support and resources to public schools across Boston. These services are available through three different programs: Classroom to Garden, which supports teachers as they extend their lessons into the school gardens; Food Education through food-producing school gardens; and CitySprouts Summer Intern Program, which helps youth build connections with their local food system and the urban natural environment.

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February 23, 2014   Comments Off

How Two Urban Farmers Inspired a Community (and Failed as a Business)


Two students in Harrisonburg, Virginia, turned up every last bit of its front, back and side yards into a farm.

By Andrew Jenner
Modern Farmer
January 23, 2014


When they applied for a business license, however, they hit a major speedbump. City ordinances, which often aspire to an antiseptic Leave it to Beaver-ish ideal for neighborhood life, prohibited farming. Their business license was denied, and Warren and Frere were informed that Collicello Gardens was an outlaw operation. (This occurred late in the summer, and to the city’s non-draconian credit, it didn’t try to prevent them from finishing out the CSA season.)

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January 31, 2014   Comments Off

Seattle’s Millionair Club creates hydroponic farm at Seattle shelter

A Seattle charity organization is now in the urban farming business

By Gary Chittim
KING 5 News
January 27, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

The Millionair Club Charity has created a hydroponic farm in the basement of its Seattle shelter.

Farm Manager Chris Bajuk said hydroponics is by far the most environmental form of farming. He explained there are no pests, so no pesticides, no emissions and very little transportation of the crops. The Club will use the fresh produce to feed homeless and jobless vistors to the shelter and will donate some to other local charities. It will also sell some of it to local restaurants like Tuta Bella.

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January 29, 2014   Comments Off

Tower Urban Family Farm in Fresno spreading its roots

Nolan Schmidt, left, and Adrien Lim, pose among raised planter beds for herbs at Tower Urban Family Farms, located in Fresno’s Tower District. Smith said it took some wrangling to meet city codes, but the operation is now offering food at local farmer’s markets. Photo by Eric Paul Zamora.

They supply herbs and greens to four local restaurants, which appreciate Schmidt’s use of interesting ingredients like red Russian kale, Bloomsdale spinach and speckled peach tomatoes.

By Robert Rodriguez
The Fresno Bee
January 13, 2014


A trained chef, Nolan Schmidt plants his urban farm in the Tower District with visions of recipes in his head.

Schmidt carefully selects the herbs and vegetables for his organic farm based on their flavor, how it looks on a plate and how well they produce. Some plants, like pineapple sage, he grows just for himself.

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January 21, 2014   Comments Off