New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Urban Farm

An Urban Homestead Tour with Justin Tiret in Portland

An Urban Homestead Tour with Justin Tiret from Cooking Up a Story on Vimeo.

Video story by Rebecca Gerendasy.

How much can you grow on a small parcel of land?

By Rebecca Gerendasy
Cooking Up a Story
August 2014

This video tour of an urban homestead with Justin Tiret shows us his backyard garden in Portland, Oregon. Tiret is able to grow and raise much of the annual food production to meet his family’s needs. On a 1/4 acre lot, Justin and his wife Tracey raise feral bees for honey and candle wax, chickens for eggs, hazelnuts (a work in progress for the actual nuts),

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August 22, 2014   No Comments

Edmonton’s Reclaim Urban Farm is ‘intentionally political’ in boosting local food

recalimReclaim Urban Farm’s Ryan Mason and Cathryn Sprague pick beets, soon to be made into borscht at St. John’s Institute. Photograph by John Lucas, Edmonton Journal.

Will also teach gardening, cooking skills to disabled adults

By Liane Faulder
Edmonton Journal
August 13, 2014

Excerpt:

“It’s intentionally political,” says Mason of the farm, noting urban agriculture educates the community, generates conversations about issues such as food security and offers a model of how to make food production part of daily life.

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August 20, 2014   No Comments

Jack Dog Farms: Urban farming in South Minneapolis

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Jack Dog Farms uses the community-supported-agriculture (CSA) model for generating income

By Judy Peacock
Twin Cities Daily Planet
August 01, 2014

Excerpt:

Urban farmers Corrine Bruning and Justin Wells started Jack Dog Farms in 2013 and named it after their 9-year-old German shepherd, Jack. Next-door neighbor Zhen-Qi Acupuncture (2213 E. 38th St.) leases the property to them.

In just one year, Corrine and Justin have transformed a vacant, unproductive lot on a busy street into a welcoming green space for fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers. A visitor to their urban farm will see neat plots of dirt separated by grass. Each plot contains a different crop—familiar ones like tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and onions, and some not so familiar like arugula, kale, chard, and bok choi. A nearby fire hydrant provides water.

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August 11, 2014   Comments Off

Young farmers thrive in Surrey BC’s urban jungle

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Doug Zaklan and Gemma McNeill want to inspire other young people to take up farming. Photo by Nick Eagland.

“We’re looking at what the opportunities are for incubating young farmers and people who are engaged in agriculture, and how as a city we can form an innovation centre that will help them become landowners and farmers on their own,” said Linda Hepner.

By Nick Eagland
Vancouver Sun
August 8, 2014

Excerpt:

Zaklan and McNeill know what it’s like to have urban neighbours — Zaklan Heritage Farm, an eight-acre parcel of land that has been in the Zaklan family since 1928, is surrounded by townhouses and industrial buildings. Zaklan is grateful his family didn’t sell the land to developers, but wishes others had his fortune.

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August 10, 2014   Comments Off

10 Urban Farms in St. Louis

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Gateway Garlic Urban Farm owner Mark Brown his Spanish Roja garlic. Photo by Caroline Yoo.

“I enjoy introducing people to new varieties of produce, such as the three kinds of carrots I planted this year — ‘Amarillo Yellow,’ ‘Cosmic Purple’ and ‘Scarlet Nantes,’” says Ezel Stone Urban Farm owner Thomas Hood.

By Sara Graham
St Louis Riverfront Times
Jul. 31 2014

Excerpt:

When you think of a “farm,” you likely imagine a sweeping vista of corn, soybean and wheat fields. And this is, in fact, what you see on much of Missouri’s more than 27 million acres of rural farmland. However, there is rapidly growing interest in producing food closer to where we live, in the urban cores of our major cities. Previously abandoned lots and underutilized rooftops are being transformed into productive “foodscapes” in St. Louis.

In just the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed an explosion in urban agriculture, led by city residents who want to increase local access to fresh food, to serve as an example for healthy eating, and provide a model of self-sufficiency. Here are ten of Gut Check’s favorites.

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August 9, 2014   Comments Off

Can urban farming flourish in the high desert? Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Gaia Gardens is in full production in southeast Santa Fe. Photo by Conor L Sanchez.

Last year, Gaia Gardens brought in just over $21,000 from sales. Their total expenses were $16,000, leaving the farm with about $5,000 in net revenue.

By Conor L Sanchez
Sante Fe Reporter
July 29, 2014

Excerpt:

The city of Santa Fe, however, has yet to produce a policy that addresses urban farming. Last summer, the Public Works Committee considered a resolution that ordered city staff to look at ways for urban agriculture to be integrated into land use, but that didn’t get far. Now, the Santa Fe Food Policy Council is preparing what it calls “a comprehensive food plan,” part of which addresses urban agriculture. This fall, those formal recommendations are expected to land before city and county officials.

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August 7, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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

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July 28, 2014   Comments Off

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.

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July 27, 2014   Comments Off

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

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“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.

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July 26, 2014   Comments Off

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.

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July 24, 2014   Comments Off

Sun Valley Farming: 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Phoenix

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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.

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July 23, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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.

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July 21, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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.

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July 18, 2014   Comments Off

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

Excerpt:

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.

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July 16, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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.

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July 14, 2014   Comments Off