New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Dickson Despommier and Vincent Racaniello host urban agriculture radio show

Urban Agriculture 9: Green Spirit Farms

Oct 2, 2014

Dickson and Vincent speak with Milan and Daniel Kluko, owners of Green Spirit Farms, a sustainable vertical farm in New Buffalo, Michigan.

Link.

October 13, 2014   No Comments

Joel Salatin speaks about ‘nook and cranny farming’ in Langley Township, Greater Vancouver

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Joel Salatin will be sharing his knowledge about small lot and sustainable farming at a workshop in Langley on Nov. 8. Photograph by: Screengrab, Food Inc.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

By Glenda Luymes
The Province
October 11, 2014

Excerpt:

The event follows on the heels of a successful workshop on small-lot agriculture and is aimed at generating production on some of Langley’s un-farmed land, said LSAF director Karen Taylor.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve. But unlike ag-giants Abbotsford and Chilliwack, 73 per cent of Langley’s land is in parcels smaller than 10 acres. Only 55 per cent of the city’s ALR land is farmed.

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October 12, 2014   No Comments

Across the US, Cities Struggle to Figure Out How to Accommodate Urban Farming

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Sacramento has its share of farmer’s markets, but there are no urban farms within the city limits. Photo by Robert Couse-Bake.

Widespread interest in urban agriculture is forcing local authorities to re-examine rules that prohibit farming in cities

By Sena Christian
Earth Island Journal
October 2, 2014

Excerpt:

Sure, nearly 1.4 million acres of farmland exist around the city, which is located in California’s vast and fertile Central Valley region, and the climate is amenable to growing produce year-round (drought complications notwithstanding). But there are no urban farms in Sacramento. The closest and most prominent urban farm, the 55-acre Soil Born Farms, exists outside the city limits.

Sacramento is relatively progressive when it comes to gardening: The city already allows frontyard vegetable gardens, urban chickens, and community gardens on private land and runs 13 community gardens on public land. But farming – that is, growing crops to sell – has fallen behind.

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October 12, 2014   No Comments

United Kingdom farm park attracts 100,000 visitors a year, with city dwellers learning about agriculture

dClick on image for larger file.

The thing about opening up your farm to the public, is that sometimes raising livestock isn’t as picture perfect as city dwellers think.

By Laura Poole
ABC Australia
Oct 3, 2014

Excerpt:

Farmers know that sometimes new born lambs will die.

Despite the home truths, lambing time at Cotswold Farm Park in England, is one of its most popular times for visitors to come through the gates.

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October 11, 2014   No Comments

Urban Agriculture in and around Chicago

2 Hour Presentation By Local City Farmers

Oct 1, 2014

Local agriculturists discuss growing food in Chicago’s urban environment at this event hosted by Windy City Sustainability. This program was produced by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

October 11, 2014   No Comments

Mayor of Baltimore backs tax credits for urban farms

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Urban Farm. In the foreground are metal tubes for the first greenhouse. Photo by Perna, Algerina.

Mayor’s office opposed City Council bill in 2011; now supports Welch’s legislation

By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun
October 1, 2014

Excerpt:

In legislation pending in a City Council committee, Welch is seeking a 90 percent break on property taxes for urban farmers who grow and sell at least $5,000 of fruit and vegetables a year. The credits, which must be approved by the city’s Cffice of Sustainability, are good for five years, but can be renewed for a total of 10 years, according to the bill.

Welch has said he hopes the legislation will help eliminate the city’s so-called food deserts in which some neighborhoods have no access to healthy food nearby.

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October 10, 2014   No Comments

3 Acre Plot in Missoula Fairgrounds

freedomLate Summer, 2012 View of the Missoula County Fairgrounds. Freedom Farms is located within the dark polygon at the bottom. Click on image for larger file.

“If we can have all these beer breweries in town, we can certainly have just as many food growers.”

By Taylor Wylie
Montana Kaimin
Sept 30, 2014

Excerpt:

This idea — creating gardens and miniature farms in metropolitan areas — is part of a national urban agriculture movement. This involves anything from planting simple, individual gardens, to the large-scale growing of fruits, vegetables, herbs and animals within city limits.

In Missoula alone, there are four main organizations that focus on urban agriculture: 1000 New Gardens, Missoula HIVE, the P.E.A.S Farm/Garden City Harvest and Freedom Gardens.

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October 10, 2014   No Comments

L.A. City Council introduces plan to encourage urban farming

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Los Angeles City Councilman Curren D. Price, pictured in February, joined Councilman Felipe Fuentes proposing tax breaks for landowners who lease vacant property for agriculture. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Food Policy Council estimates that 8,600 parcels in Los Angeles would be eligible.

By Angel Jennings
LA Times
Oct 8, 2014

Excerpt:

A motion introduced Wednesday by Councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Curren Price calls for landowners to receive tax breaks for leasing vacant property for agriculture.

“There are thousands of vacant, unproductive lots throughout Los Angeles,” said Fuentes, who represents the 7th District, which covers the Northeast Valley. “By converting empty parcels into urban farms, we can encourage local economic development, green our communities and provide produce in neighborhoods that lack access to fresh foods.”

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October 9, 2014   No Comments

At MIT, A Farm Grows That Is Built For A City

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CityFarm is a soil-free system for urban farming that actually might work

Fast Coexist
Oct 1, 2014

CityFarm started as a 60-square-foot module inside MIT’s Media Lab, where Harper grew lettuce, herbs, and tomatoes in a windowless room bathed in blue and red artificial light–the part of the sun’s spectrum that plants can actually absorb. The system had no soil. Some plants were grown hydroponically and others aeroponically in a simple mist. Both methods require far less water–as much as 90% less–compared to a conventional farm. More recently, Harper began experimenting with an even bigger system in the building, which is also meant to test whether sunlight exposure helps or hurts the crops.

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October 9, 2014   No Comments

Atlanta-based PodPonics grows greens in shipping containers

CBS46 News

Lettuce Buy Local currently includes three product varieties of delicate local greens:

Green Mix – green romaine and green lollo
Encore Mix – green romaine, green lollo and red lollo
Dragon Mix – baby mustard, red kale, purple kohlrabi, mizuna, red cabbage (in stores summer 2014)
Jurassic Mix – baby kale (available in stores fall 2014)
Rocket Mix – arugula (available in stores fall 2014)

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October 9, 2014   No Comments

Satellite images reveal shocking groundwater loss in California

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“Most climate models indicate that by the end of this century, the dry regions of the world will become drier.”

By Karen Kaplan
Los Angeles Times
Oct 2, 2014

Excerpt:

The severity of California’s drought continues to shock, with the latest example coming courtesy of NASA.

The space agency’s two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, satellites have been been in orbit since 2002, making highly sensitive measurements of Earth’s gravity field. Variations in the gravity field can be caused by a number of factors, including the amount of water stored underground in soil and rocks.

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October 8, 2014   No Comments

Ripe City Urban Farm in Tallahassee, Florida

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“So many people were like me, where they had no idea where food was growing.”

WTXL TV
Sept 30, 2014

Excerpt:

The farm is located near midtown at the old location of the popular Ten-Speed Greens.

Produce from the farm goes to local restaurants like Cypress, Bread and Roses Kitchen, and Sweet Pea cafe. You can also find Ripe City selling their veggies at the Frenchtown Heritage Marketplace.

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October 8, 2014   No Comments

Brooklyn’s Gotham Greens to sprout big Chicago farm

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Viraj Puri, co-founder and chief executive of Gotham Greens, said its Chicago rooftop farm will be the city’s largest.
Photo by Buck Ennis.

The six-year-old urban farm company is building a 75,000-square-foot rooftop farm in the Windy City.

By Adrianne Pasquarelli
Crain’s New York Business
Oct 7, 2014

Excerpt:

The cost of the new facility was not disclosed, but similarly sized greenhouses can cost as much as $4 million to build.

“Farming on soil is still cheaper, but there seems to be a market for high-value produce grown hyperlocally,” said Nevin Cohen, assistant professor of environmental studies at The New School. “I’m hopeful that innovations in design and technology will bring the cost of rooftop greenhouses down.”

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October 8, 2014   No Comments

Documentary ‘Symphony of the Soil’ online until October 10

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See the complete video on this page until October 10.

Extols the Importance and Mystery of Soil

By Dr. Mercola
Mercola.com
Oct 1, 2014

Excerpt:

One of Earth’s greatest treasures is soil, without which we could not survive. Soil is the mother of nearly all plant life, and ultimately, all animal life on this planet. It’s the interface between biology and geology—the living skin of the earth.

A new documentary, “Symphony of the Soil,” extols the importance and mystery of soil, as discussed by some of the world’s most esteemed scientists, farmers, and activists.1 This visually stunning film reveals how the future of humankind largely depends on how well we care for this vital natural resource.

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October 7, 2014   No Comments

Nourrir Les Villes, Défi de L’agriculture Familiale

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Des innovations locales et paysannes en Afrique de l’Ouest

By Isabelle Duquesne – responsable programme Agriculture et Alimentation, CFSI and
Hélène Basquin – chargée d’information Agriculture et Alimentation, CFSI
CFSI and Fondation de France
Oct 2014

Nourrir les villes par l’agriculture familiale locale : c’est le but commun à 110 actions concrètes engagées depuis 2010 en Afrique de l’Ouest. Ce sont plusieurs milliers d’hommes et de femmes, leurs organisations et leurs partenaires (ONG françaises, européennes et africaines) qui ont relevé le triple défi d’aujourd’hui et de demain : nourrir leurs familles et les populations des villes ouest-africaines en pleine expansion, créer de l’emploi en milieu rural et gérer de façon respectueuse les ressources naturelles.

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October 7, 2014   No Comments