Category — United States
“When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer.”
— Ron Finley, the “Gangster Gardener”
Delila Vallot – Director
Rafael Marmor – Producer
Christopher Leggett – Producer
John Legend – Executive Producer
(Must see. Mike)
South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America.
February 10, 2016 No Comments
Talk about urban farming in Richmond and the 31st Street Baptist church is a good place to start.
By Tina Griego
Jan 31, 2016
Pastor Henderson put two-and-two together and said to his congregation: “It’d be a shame to obtain this land and do nothing with it for a couple years. Let’s create a garden.”
He turned to Mrs. Pearcie, a congregant possessed of a green thumb so mighty, the pastor could only marvel.
February 7, 2016 No Comments
“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
Jan 29, 2016
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.
February 4, 2016 No Comments
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
Jan 26, 2016
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.”
February 1, 2016 No Comments
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
Jan. 20, 2016
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.
January 24, 2016 Comments Off on Spiritual farming with Steven Wynbrandt
Although PHX Renews already provides the water and supplies for 150 garden beds, they continuously have a waiting list, Waldeck said.
By Melanie Whyte
January 19, 2016
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.
January 23, 2016 Comments Off on Urban Farmers given room to grow in Phoenix
“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
Jan 18, 2016
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.”
January 22, 2016 Comments Off on CommonWealth Urban Farms in Oklahoma City
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
Dec 25, 2015
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.
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
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
December 11, 2015
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.
December 18, 2015 Comments Off on Urban Roots in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serves as a platform for education and empowerment through urban agriculture
“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
Dec 4, 2015
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.”
December 12, 2015 Comments Off on Refrigeration system would help urban farms in West Sacramento, promote local economy
In the city of Minneapolis, there are 275 community gardens and more than 15 urban farms.
Dec 2, 2015
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.
December 11, 2015 Comments Off on City of Minneapolis Cultivates Urban Farming
“I’m gonna put food on the corner instead of drugs,” Brooks said.
By Brittany Murphy
November 26, 2015
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.
December 4, 2015 Comments Off on Local gardener transforms vacant lot into thriving urban farm in Richmond, California
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
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.
December 2, 2015 Comments Off on A small but growing number are finding success growing crops within City of Columbus
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
Nov 11, 2015
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.
November 20, 2015 Comments Off on Rise of Urban Farms in West Sacramento
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
Nov 4, 2015
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.
November 12, 2015 Comments Off on Can Chicago’s City Farm outlast the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green?