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

Category — Urban Farm

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

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


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

[

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
July 21, 2014


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.

[

July 27, 2014   No Comments

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


“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


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.

[

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
July 15, 2014


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.

[

July 24, 2014   No Comments

Sun Valley Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Phoenix


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


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.

[

July 23, 2014   No Comments

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

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


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.

[

July 21, 2014   No Comments

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

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


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.

[

July 18, 2014   No Comments

Six ‘urban agriculture’ terms explained

4kidsFrom left, Marissa Jacobsen, Brenna Leyden, Ryland Aksamit, and Hailey Brundage repair a drip hose before planting tomatoes in a raised bed at the Mickle Middle School community garden in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by Kristin Streff.

Foodscaping, CSA, Co-op, Farmer’s Market, Soil Contamination, Food Desert

By Ellen Meyers
Christian Science Monitor
July 6, 2014


Foodscaping is a gardening practice that makes people’s home landscapes edible. For example, homeowners may incorporate more edible plants into their entire yards instead of relegating them to small garden plots. Many businesses are also taking up foodscaping, making fruits, vegetables, and herbs as part of their curb appeal.

The practice itself has turned into a business. One company, Nashville Foodscapes, designs, implements, and maintains foodscapes for its customers, according to the business’s website. For one customer’s yard, Nashville Foodscapes put in a fruit tree, a herb spiral, edible dogwood, and other edible plants.

[

July 16, 2014   No Comments

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

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


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.

[

July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Project highlights Vancouver’s farming potential

More and more people in Vancouver are letting professionals take over their yard to grow vegetables. Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , Vancouver Sun.

By combining laser mapping, 3-D imaging and water use data, a UBC study is pinpointing where food can be grown in the urban jungle

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 13, 2014


Researchers are using 3-D modelling and water use data to learn just how much food can be grown in Vancouver and how much more water that will require as we morph into a truly edible city.

The project is using laser mapping from aircraft flown over the city to determine where food can be grown successfully in yards, parks and private lands by estimating the amount of solar energy and evapotranspiration, a fancy way of describing how much water returns to the atmosphere through plants and general evaporation.

[

July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Edible yards proliferate in Vancouver neighbourhoods

Each conversion from sod to vegetables inspires neighbours to do the same.

Ralphs and Warren — the twentysomething proprietors of City Beet Farm — maintain 17 yard gardens all within ten blocks of each other, essential because they move themselves and their produce by bicycle.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 6, 2014


Most of the vegetables are sold to individuals and families through CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture — with a season-long subscription to weekly food baskets that cost from $330 to $460 for enough to supply two people, to around $700 for a family.

City Beet has 45 subscribers for its small box and 15 for the large, plus they run a weekly public market every Friday at Mighty Oak Cafe on West 18th. Inner City has 40 family CSA subscribers, eight restaurant subscribers and provides each yard owner with a subscription. A rotating cast of volunteers who help mainly with harvesting are also paid in vegetables.

[

July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurs

rideuaAaron Quesnel delivers fresh greens year-round to restaurants throughout Vancouver. Photo by Nik West.

For those who aspire to farm in the big city, the terrain is rough and strewn with obstacles. But urban agriculture can also be a viable business for hardworking souls, such as Aaron Quesnel, with an in-demand product–microgreens used by some of Vancouver’s top chefs–and a good story to share

Richard Littlemore
BC Business
July 1, 2014


Quesnel is the founder and president of Sky Harvest, which is the optimistic-sounding name of a business that, in May 2013, started selling produce generated in a 13-square-metre indoor farm, located in an unlovely and under-used storefront building on Powell Street in East Vancouver.

Quesnel and a skeleton staff plant, grow, harvest and deliver microgreens, the “nutrient-dense, visually appealing and flavourful” early shoots from a host of salad-friendly vegetables. Sky Harvest currently offers 13 varieties, including arugula, kale, radish, sorrel, cilantro, sunflower and peas. They harvest most crops after only a week, when they’re past the point of being “sprouts” but not yet “baby greens.”

[

July 5, 2014   Comments Off

The Guardian – Next-gen urban farms: 10 innovative projects from around the world

The Farmery, slated to open this fall in an as-yet-undisclosed location, will be an 8,000-square-foot market that will grow its own mushrooms, greens and fruits. Photograph: Amy Edwards/Farmery.

As the ‘buy local’ movement grows, social entrepreneurs find novel ways to make agriculture an integral part of urban life

By Sarah Shemkus
2 July 2014


GrowUp Box, London, UK
Beacon Food Forest, Seattle, Washington, US
Pasona Group, Tokyo, Japan
Farmery, North Carolina and TBA, US
Sky Greens, Lim Chu Kang area, Singapore
Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn, New York, US
Deu Horta Na Telha, São Paulo, Brazil
Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin, Germany
Urban Organics, St. Paul, Minnesota, US
Lufa Farms, Montreal, Canada

[

July 3, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farm takes root in patchwork of South Denver lawns

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


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.”

[

June 29, 2014   Comments Off

Opinion: ‘Sustainable’ urban farms aren’t sustainable

Miniature wheelbarrow. 1900.

Posted in Vancouver Sun: Free land and tax dollars subsidize city agriculture

By Warren Mirko
Vancouver Sun
June 26, 2014


Already, urban farms are costing residents tax revenue which goes toward things such as bike lanes and park maintenance. Don’t think that income from the farm’s yields will offset the lost revenue. While these farms produce hundreds of tons of produce per year, they are producing the cheapest and most plentiful items people already purchase from any grocery store.

[

June 27, 2014   Comments Off