New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Oldest Baseball Stadium, Fenway Park in Boston, Opened a Rooftop Garden

“Two local companies from Somerville, Recover Green Roofs and Green City Growers, worked on the installation and planting of Fenway Farms,”

By Nick DeLuca


The oldest baseball stadium in the country, our beloved chapel known as Fenway Park, is constantly evolving in order to maintain an atmosphere and bevy of features designed to make Red Sox nation comfortable and keep them engaged.

On Thursday, April 9, the Red Sox announced its latest Fenway iteration: a rooftop garden aptly called Fenway Farms.

News of the new nursery comes shortly after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took a tour of Fenway and digested 174 new seats, enhanced Wi-Fi, an interactive video wall for fans to take photos, activity space for children and two new 30” high x 39.3’ wide LED ribbon boards.

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April 11, 2015   No Comments

‘Seeds of Time’ Documentary Opening in Theaters on May 22

Directed Sandy McLeod
Produced By JD Marlow, Emily Triantaphyllis, Chiemi Karasawa

A perfect storm is brewing as agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler races against time to protect the future of our food. Gene banks of the world are crumbling, crop failures are producing starvation inspired rioting, and the accelerating effects of climate change are already affecting farmers globally. But Fowler’s journey, and our own, is just beginning. From Rome to Russia and, finally, a remote island under the Arctic Circle, his passionate and personal journey may hold the key to saving the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.

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April 10, 2015   No Comments

Review Paper on ‘Garden Kits’ in Africa


Lessons Learned and the Potential of Improved Water Management

By Douglas J. Merrey and Simon Langan
International Water Management Institute
2014. 60 pages


The purpose of this paper is to synthesize available knowledge and lessons learned from past experiences in promoting kitchen or home gardens, with a special emphasis on water management. The paper has been prepared based on an extensive desk study. It focuses on gardens whose primary purpose is production of food and, at times, growing herbs and spices for home consumption.

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April 10, 2015   No Comments

Think about urban farming to boost jobs, repurpose land in Detroit

Cartoon by Clifford Kennedy Berryman (April 2, 1869 – December 11, 1949) who was a Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist with the Washington Star newspaper from 1907 to 1949. He was also a cartoonist for The Washington Post from 1891 to 1907.

Some estimates suggest the city has 40 square miles of vacant land — meaning the geographic landscapes of San Francisco, Manhattan and Boston would all fit in nicely.

By Mark S. Lee
Crain’s Detroit Busimess
April 01, 2015


According to the DFFC study, a 30 percent increase in the local food production ecosystem would make it the second-largest source of jobs in Detroit behind only the government sector — and imagine the opportunities for entrepreneurs and suppliers as well.

Where to start?

With a business case focused primarily on enhancing education, awareness and the positive impact this will have on the local economy and job creation. This plan should address:

Impact urban farming programs will have on economic development and job creation in Detroit.

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April 10, 2015   No Comments

Portland’s ‘Your Backyard Farmer’ Transforms Yards into Organic CSAs, Part 1

Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter. Donna and Robyn originally created the company Your Backyard Farmer and began CSA farming operations in the backyards of their clients because they were having trouble accessing land to start their farm. Photo by Lisa D. Holmes.

“Seattle Urban Farms is doing it. Farmscapes in L.A. is doing it. Most of the people we’ve taught are still active. Green City Growers in Boston is doing very well.”

By John Clark Vincent
Mother Earth News


“We showed up at a client’s home, and they had pulled every one of their pea plants out of the ground. So we asked them where the pea plants went, and they told us they were looking for peas. They thought they were in the roots, and we were like, holy cow, you don’t know what peas are? So we told them they should go to the grocery store and look at the produce and figure out what all these vegetables actually look like,” says Robyn Streeter.

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April 9, 2015   No Comments

Columbia, Missouri community garden connects international students

A small plot next to the Kirkman House at 410 N. Tenth St. is prepared Tuesday for the inaugural spring season of planting by Columbia College’s International Club members. Jefferson Middle School English Language Learners students helped college students tend the plot to create connections and a community for Columbia international students. Photo by Natalie Helms.

Buretta said working in the garden is a great way for the students to meet other people and feel more at home in a foreign place.

By Natalie Helms
March 31, 2015


A 14-year-old from Somalia and a college student from Nigeria were among those in the dirt planting potatoes and spinach Tuesday afternoon on the grounds of Columbia College.

Ferihiya Osman, the 14-year-old Somali, and Rotshak Dakup, a Columbia College sophomore who came to the U.S. in 2013, started as strangers but ended up as team members tending to the college’s community garden. The plot, known as the “Cougarden” after the school’s cougar mascot, will be the centerpiece of an effort to bridge the age gap between Columbia’s international students.

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April 9, 2015   No Comments

AKER : print your urban farm

AKER Crowdfunding Video from Tristan Copley Smith on Vimeo.

Start growing your own food this Spring with these flat pack, open source urban farming kits.

AKER is efficient and designed to make maximum use of space for growing food: balconies, rooftops and small to medium sized gardens are perfect. Each kit is also material efficient, fitting onto a single 4’x8′ sheet of material.

AKER needs no tools and snaps together without needing screws or glues. That means no mess and a quick, simple assembly for any kit (with documentation!).

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April 8, 2015   No Comments

‘The Mobile Garden’ used in Healthcare and Education

mobileMobile Garden with wheelchair access.

The main, circular, planting tray of The Mobile Garden is 1.2 meters in diameter and 15cm deep with drainage holes in the base and a central divider.

“The circular planting table has a depth of 15cm making it suitable for growing flowers, herbs, salads and some varieties of vegetables. The height is just right for a seated gardener or for those who find bending or kneeling difficult. It can be pushed around pretty easily on it’s castors. The planting table has a diameter of 1.2m that can be further divided by individual allotments or mini gardens for sharing, making it ideal for care homes looking to keep patients active.” November 2011, Able Magazine.

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April 8, 2015   No Comments

1841 – The Cultivation of Every Requisite Vegetable in the Kitchen Garden


Being the result of 35 Year’s Practical Experience in this Climate

By Andrew Gentle
Late Curator of the Elgin Botanic Garden, New York

… and was entrusted with the management of two very extensive establishments in the Old Country for six years, before I embarked for this “land of the free.” In the year 1805 I commenced operations for Dr. Hopsack, in New-York by laying out his grounds.


Cure for Cancer: Wood Sorrel – Acetosella

The reader, perhaps, may be anxious to know in what way I became possessed of this important

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April 7, 2015   No Comments

Brighton, Colorado sets rules for urban farming of bees, up to 6 chickens

Jan Coffelt has bees in the backyard of her Lakewood home Photo by Seth A. McConnell.

“We have had calls about whether or not people can slaughter in their yards.”

By Megan Mitchell
Denver Post


Residents interested in keeping backyard hens and honeybees can get their coops and hives set up before summer now that City Council has approved new regulations for urban farmers.

Up to six hens (and ducks) and are now allowed outside single-family homes, and anywhere from one to eight hives can be placed on private property (depending on the homeowner’s land size).

Both bees and chickens are also allowed in some parks and open space properties.

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April 7, 2015   No Comments

Michigan State: Policy released on urban livestock recommendations

Cairo, Egypt. Urban livestock production: sheep, goats and mixed poultry on top of an apartment building in Cairo. (S.D. Lukefahr)

Urban livestock workgroup calls for the creation of an urban agriculture act to stimulate and support efforts to raise and grow food locally.

By Brad Neumann,
Michigan State University Extension
March 26, 2015


Over the course of five meetings, the Urban Livestock Workgroup developed the following recommendations:

Develop an Urban Agriculture Act to address, stimulate and support local efforts and interest in raising livestock in urban/suburban areas.

Acknowledge the interconnection of raising livestock and plants (crops), recommending the proposed Urban Agriculture Act require development of guidelines for urban/suburban agriculture.

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April 6, 2015   No Comments

Pittsburgh law students tackle urban agriculture and food policy issues

Jaclyn Clifford and Marlene van Es will soon be graduating from the University of Pittsburgh Law school and are starting a firm for legal aid to entrepreneurs who want to start environmental oriented businesses in the city.Photo by Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette.

By Diana Nelson Jones
Pittsburgh Post_Gazette
March 26, 2015


“Jackie and I said, ‘This is what we’re passionate about and there’s a lack of legal services in this area,’” said Ms. van Es, a New York native with a degree in agriculture from Cornell University.

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April 6, 2015   No Comments

Diverse perceptions of the future of agriculture on the Hanoi, Vietnam periphery


The main results show that farmers and agricultural department officials are more optimistic about the future of urban agriculture than non-farm residents.

By To Thi Thu Ha (FAVRI1), Paule Moustier (CIRAD2), Nguyen Thi Tan Loc (FAVRI).
In: Jean-Louis Chaléard (ed). Métropoles aux Suds, le défi des périphéries? Paris : Karthala, pp. 261-272, 2014.


The objective of the paper is to appraise how peri-urban agriculture and its future are perceived by a variety of residents of Hanoi, including city planners, farmers and non-farmers. It is based on surveys conducted in 2009 involving 47 agricultural households, 14 heads of cooperatives, 83 non-agricultural households, and 13 public officials in charge of agriculture in districts and communes.

The questions related to the relationship between farmers and non-farmers and their perceptions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of agriculture, preferences for different urban landscapes based on pictures showed to them (parks, vegetable gardens, buildings), the perceived future of agriculture and perceived processes of urban planning. The main results show that farmers and agricultural department officials are more optimistic about the future of urban agriculture than non-farm residents.

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April 6, 2015   No Comments

From Riots To Vineyard — A Story of Urban Revival in Cleveland, Ohio

Amid the urban blight of a poor rust belt city, an unlikely vineyard emerges as a symbol that farming can take root anywhere.

“If you don’t monetize these projects, they are going to fail.”

By: Christina Herrick
Growing Produce
March 25, 2015


Although the vineyard is only three-fourths of an acre, Frazier did his homework on what to plant, where, and how. Frazier was a complete novice, so he immersed himself in learning.

He’s consulted with Greg Johns, manager of Ohio State University’s Ashtabula Agricultural Research Station, and David Popp of Bacchus Vineyard & Winery Services LLC, who serves as his viticulturist.

There are 14 rows, 21 vines per row, half Frontenac and half Traminette, chosen specifically for their cold-hardiness.

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April 5, 2015   No Comments

New Book: ‘Raíces en el Asfalto: pasado, presente y futuro de la agricultura urbana’


Roots in the Concrete: past, present and future of urban agriculture

By José Luis Fernández Casadevante, Kois and Nerea Morán
April 04, 2015


City and countryside have kept profound links throughout history, so they cannot be understood separately. The book (in Spanish) Raíces en el Asfalto [Roots in the Concrete] follows this theme, tracking the urban theories and the main historical episodes in which social movements and local communities have grown food in the city.

From the first relief poor gardens to their appropriation by the worker’s culture, from victory gardens during the World Wars to nowadays economic and urban crisis… the book seeks for the aims and political significance of urban gardening developed by clergymen and noblemen, educators, social reformers, freethinkers, revolutionaries, unionists, artists, contra-cultural, neighbourhood & environmental movements…

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April 5, 2015   No Comments