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Category — Urban Farm

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   No Comments

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   No Comments

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   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

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   No Comments

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   No Comments

Project highlights Vancouver’s farming potential

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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

Excerpt:

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.

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July 14, 2014   No Comments

Edible yards proliferate in Vancouver neighbourhoods

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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

Excerpt:

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.

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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

Exempt:

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.”

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July 5, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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
theguardian.com
2 July 2014

Excerpt:

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

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July 3, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farm takes root in patchwork of South Denver lawns

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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

Excerpt:

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.”

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June 29, 2014   Comments Off

Opinion: ‘Sustainable’ urban farms aren’t sustainable

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Miniature wheelbarrow. 1900.

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

By Warren Mirko
Vancouver Sun
June 26, 2014

Excerpt:

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.

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June 27, 2014   Comments Off

Frequent flyer invests in city farming in Vancouver

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Ahmed Amlani of Inner City Farms was surprised by Simon Pek’s $500 investment. Photo Dan Toulgoet.

Traveller sought local recipient to offset carbon footprint

Cheryl Rossi
Vancouver Courier
June 19, 2014

Excerpt:

Pek, a PhD candidate in the faculty of business at Simon Fraser University, took an alternative route to compensate for carbon emissions from his flights. Instead of investing in a conventional carbon offset program, Pek invested $500 in Inner City Farms, a small business with 20 urban plots in Vancouver yards.

Pek likes that Inner City Farms displaces produce for more than 50 families and eight restaurants that would be transported from afar, grows its food organically, farms by hand and provides city dwellers the opportunity to learn about farming.

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June 21, 2014   Comments Off

Hantz Farms Detroit, Hantz Woodlands: The business of urban agriculture on the cutting edge

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More than 1,000 volunteers converged on 20 acres in Detroit’s lower east side to plant oak trees as part of Hantz Woodlands’ community tree planting in Detroit’s lower east side, Saturday, May 17, 2014. The volunteers, many part of business teams, planted 15,000 hardwood saplings. Photo by Katie Bailey, MLive.com. Click on image for larger file.

It is being called one of the largest urban reforestation projects in America.

By James, Donald
Proquest LLC
June 20, 2014

Excerpt:

Exceeding his expectations, on Saturday morning, May 17, close to 1,200 people convened at Belvidere and Goethe for Hantz Farms Planting Day to help plant 15,000 trees in the immediate area. On land once owned by the City of Detroit but now under the ownership of the for-profit Hantz Farms Detroit, volunteers fanned out to plant such trees as sugar maple, white birch, bur oaks, and flowering dogwoods.

“These trees are going to grow big and strong and straight,” said Hollier, who once served as a legislative liaison for Mayor Dave Bing’s administration. “There’s no doubt that the trees will have a positive environmental impact while giving the area a beautiful and clean look. Next year, we will plant another 15,000 trees.”

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June 21, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farms sprouting in western Pennsylvania

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Mindy Schwartz operates her urban farm, Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery, on land in Wilkinsburg, just outside Pittsburgh, that once held two dilapidated houses. Photo by Robin Rombach.

Gardens are being planted on vacant land where houses once stood.

By Ann Belser
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 26, 2014

Excerpt:

After buying and moving into a three-unit apartment house in 1994, Schwartz, 49, built raised garden beds and began growing produce — more than she could eat. So she sold some of her vegetables to local restaurants.

In the spring, she set up a rack in her basement near the warm steam boiler, and hooked grow lights to shelving.
“Next thing you know, I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of seedlings,” she said.

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June 8, 2014   Comments Off

Vallejo urban farms will open gates to public in city-wide tour

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Tom Ferguson and Rachel Hoff stand in their backyard, which is also a Vallejo urban farm, Dog Island Farm. The couple is co-organizing an Urban Farm Tour this year to feature five other urban farms in Vallejo. Irma Widjojo — Times-Herald.

San Francisco Bay Area – Organizers hope tour will educate, inspire

By Irma Widjojo
Times Herald
Sept 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Hoff and Ferguson moved to their current Vallejo home about six years ago and use about a quarter acre of their land for farming, including growing fruit and vegetables and raising chickens, turkeys, rabbits and goats.

A few years ago, they even experimented not going to the grocery stores for a year to save money. Today, although the rules are a little looser, they are still mostly living off their land.

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June 3, 2014   Comments Off