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Miracle Brew – Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer

Pete Brown is one of the U.K.’s most respected beer writers.

By Pete Brown
Chelsea Green Publishing
October 12, 2017

Most people know that wine is created by fermenting pressed grape juice and cider by pressing apples. But although it’s the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, few people know what beer is made of. In lively and witty fashion, Miracle Brew dives into traditional beer’s four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, each of which has an incredible story to tell.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

Interview with Henk Renting, longtime leader of urban agriculture movement

Henk Renting.

“Urban ag is part of building the three pillars and partnerships of a new food system, the private sector, the government, and civil society sectors.”

By Wayne Roberts
Medium
Nov 24, 2017

Excerpt:

There are many agendas that can be linked to urban agriculture.

One is a human agenda. I used to tend my own big gardens in my undergraduate days, and when I was in the Basque country. I think it’s about a lot more than a practical and low-cost way to get food to eat.

Growing food is the most basic, primordial way humans connect to nature. We work with soil, seeds and plants in co-production with Nature. Food is not just any old product. It becomes part of our body, so we become one, as in you are what you eat, in a very ontological sense. That’s why food and gardening are so often linked to spirituality, and seen as so essential to the meaning of life.

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

Long Beach, California: Landowners spurn tax breaks to convert vacant lots to urban farms

Community gardens and small urban farms like this could become more common under an incentive offered by local governments. Here, Makadu Labeet is in Vermont Square Community Garden, for which he’s the “unofficial caretaker.” Labeet says the garden is a “sacred ground” for him. JOSÉ MARTINEZ/KPCC

The city has also worked out rules regarding livestock like goats, chickens and bees, setting per-parcel limits that would apply to any newly created urban farms, he said.

By Sharon McNary
SCPR
November 28, 2017

Excerpt:

Starting this month, Long Beach landowners who don’t convert their vacant parcels to small urban farms or community gardens will be billed a monthly fee to pay for city code enforcement officers to monitor the lots so they don’t turn into illegal dumping grounds or havens for crime.

The city will be charging owners a $53 dollar monthly fee to cover oversight of some 618 vacant lots, said Larry Rich, manager of Long Beach’s office of sustainability says.

“People will end up having to pay an additional fee to the city to have a vacant lot,” Rich said. They can avoid that fee if they do urban agriculture there instead.”

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December 6, 2017   No Comments

The Minimalist Gardener

Low Impact, No Dig Growing

By Patrick Whitefield
Chelsea Green
November 20, 2017

Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back

Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.

This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time.

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December 5, 2017   No Comments

KI Urban Agri-Culture Learning Lab in Indianapolis


Communities Creating Change: Our Voice, Our Choice is a campaign to encourage and sustain urban agriculture in the mid-north/northwest area of Indianapolis

Crowdfunding
2017

Excerpt:

KI Urban Agri-Culture Learning Lab: The house we are currently rehabbing will serve as a public space for individuals and groups to learn about and engage in aquaponics, urban gardening and urban farming. Empowering individuals and groups with the knowledge, skills and experience to grow their own food and strengthen/expand their relationships by working together to address a common problem and builds community.

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December 5, 2017   No Comments

Long Beach, California: New Urban Agriculture Program to Turn Vacant Lots into Community Gardens, Commercial Farms

Vacant lot owners in Long Beach can now apply for the city’s new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) program, which reduces the property tax on lots committed to urban agriculture for five years.

By Asia Morris
Long Beach Post
November 27 2017

Excerpt:

“I encourage all vacant lot owners to take advantage of this rare opportunity,” Vice Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement. “This UAIZ program creates a win-win situation, fostering economic growth in Long Beach while paving the way for more locally grown produce.”

“This initiative supports sustainability within our community by helping to increase access to healthy foods for residents and reducing emissions from food transportation,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

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December 4, 2017   No Comments

The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production

By Ben Hartman
Chelsea Green
November 03, 2017

At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work.

In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency.

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December 4, 2017   No Comments

Gaza: Enhancing sustainable urban food systems in the Gaza Strip

Proposal: Seeks to continue working towards Palestinian agricultural policies to enhance resilience and sustainability and on the other hand it will support and facilitate local urban agriculture initiatives based on local economic development, local community innovation and youth employability.

Ahmed Sourani – GUPAP Coordinator
GUPAP – The Gaza Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Platform
GUPAP Work plan 2018-2021

Excerpt:

In 2017, GUPAP was established as an independent Palestinian NGO with its own legal status. In the coming years, GUPAP will adopt the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and promote different actions for promoting local food production by:

1. Promoting and strengthening urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable approaches and integrate urban and peri-urban agriculture into agriculture and food policies and city development and resilience plans.

2. Seeking coherence between the city and nearby rural food production, processing and distribution, focussing on smallholder producers and family farmers, paying particular attention to empowering women and youth.

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December 3, 2017   No Comments

Malaysia: Farming gains ground in Kuala Lumpur

City Farm marketing director Looi Choon Beng demonstrates how little space is needed for an urban garden. – By Kamal Ariffin, November 26, 2017.

“Somebody needs to do this thing now, or else we will not be ready for a possible crisis in the future.”

By Asila Jalil
Malaysian Insight
Nov 26, 2017

Excerpt:

In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Wong Min Lik has co-founded Moutou Art Space on the rooftop of a building at Lorong Panggong.

The 35-year-old Wong said the rooftop was empty space before they took over in December last year. Today, it has a bar and a garden which brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs such as lemongrass, ginger, mint, lemon, passionfruit, and bitter gourd.

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December 3, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: ‘Closed loop’ urban farm in Queenstown tackles food waste with insects

Located in Queenstown, Citizen Farm grows vegetables, edible flowers, mushrooms, as well as jade perch fish. (Photo: Wendy Wong)

The farm currently produces around 150kg of vegetables and fish a month, and goes through the same weight of food waste a day for its insect farm, which currently houses about 10kg of the black soldier fly’s pupae.

By Wendy Wong
Channel News Asia
Nov 26, 2017

Excerpt:

As the Government ramps up efforts to reduce food waste and raise awareness of the problem, one urban farm in Singapore has been trying to lighten this load with the help of an insect.

Set up earlier this year, Citizen Farm in Queenstown has been using the black soldier fly to help grow its vegetables, as food for its fish and to help tackle food waste – the first in Singapore to incorporate these insects as part of farming practice.

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December 2, 2017   No Comments

Indoor farming expert says Korea, Japan need to up investment

Toyoki Kozai, professor emeritus of Chiba University and president of the Japan Plant Factory Association, speaks to the press at an indoor farming facility in Chiba University in Chiba, Japan. (Son Ji-hyoung / The Korea Herald)

An example is the $1 billion investment into factory farms by Sanabio, a joint venture between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese optoelectronics giant Sanan Group.

By Son Ji-hyoung
Korea Herald
Nov 26, 2017

Excerpt:

In the wake of cost-saving light-emitting diode technologies, now is the best time to invest in indoor farming, according to Kozai.

Currently, products grown in indoor vertical farms are 20 to 30 percent more expensive than those of conventional farms.

JPFA, a Chiba University-affiliated vegetable factory operated across 10,000 square meters, uses solar light to grow tomatoes and strawberries, and artificial light for lettuce production.

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December 2, 2017   No Comments

Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill School Gets Millions In Greenhouse Funding

The Urban Assembly Unison School is one of seven schools slated to receive greenhouse funding from Eric Adams’ $7 million initiative.

By Kathleen Culliton
Patch Staff
Nov 29, 2017

Excerpt:

“This is about keeping Brooklyn’s kids at the forefront of innovation and growing their futures,” said Borough President Adams.

“Young people across the borough will now have the opportunity to learn about growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and plants that will empower them to make healthy choices.”

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December 1, 2017   No Comments

Why it pays to grow herbs at home – even in winter

Basil, parsley and coriander are easy to cultivate: all you need is a windowsill – and some helpful advice

By Alys Fowler
The Guardian
Nov 25, 2017

Excerpt:

Herbs are easy to grow; all you need is a windowsill. And, unlike in supermarkets, you get to choose from 40 types: the tiny leaves of Ocimum basilicum ‘Pluto’ pack a mighty punch; O. basilicum ‘Mrs Burns’ is by far the best lemon; and O. basilicum ‘Dark Opal’ is the best purple, with spicy, warm flavours.

Basil is my favourite indoor herb, but parsley and coriander can be treated in the same way. A packet of seed will cost around the same as a shop-bought plant and, sown judiciously, will last a year.

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December 1, 2017   No Comments

Hong Kong urban farmers find bliss in rooftop gardens

Pol Fàbrega is the co-founder of sustainable living group Rooftop Republic. Photo: Edmond So

Sustainable living proponents praise benefits but lament regulatory hurdles

By Yujing Liu
South China Morning Post
Nov 25, 2017

Excerpt:

Some 60 rooftop farms and 1,400 farmers have emerged locally over the past decade, and a handful of farms are added each year, according to Mathew Pryor, an associate professor and head of the landscape architecture ­division at the University of Hong Kong.

More than 7.38 million people now live in just 2,754 square km in the city, and only 24 per cent of the land is developable urban area. Hong Kong is likely to stay the world’s most densely populated city in 2025, according to a Bloomberg study.

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December 1, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Made-in-Toronto devices aim to make indoor gardening simple

Modgarden founder Aamar Khwaja. Photo by Samuel Engelking.

Consumer demand for cannabis-centric systems is also high

By Rae Ann Fera
Now
November 24, 2017

Excerpt:

Of course, when people think of growing herbs indoors, a different variety comes to mind.

With federal legislation legalizing marijuana, including growing at home, coming in July 2018, that other herb is on the radars of Modgarden and HiGarden.

HiGarden has already designed a four-pot prototype of the VIGA in anticipation of the four-plant growing limit the law will allow, but beyond that, no modifications have been made, largely because weed is still illegal.

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November 30, 2017   No Comments