New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Atlanta Resorts’ rooftop garden takes farm-to-table to a higher level

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Resorts Chefs. Resorts culinary staff, standing from left Steve Klawitter and David Wong, and Robert Levenson, seated, enjoy creating menu items with the garden’s produce.

“So consider this year a 2.0. We went out early with seedlings and basically doubled what we did last year with a lot more tomatoes, squash, eggplant, every herb you can think of.”

By Scott Cronick
Atlanta City Weekly
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Guests can also taste four types of tomatoes (Roma Plum, San Marzano Plum, Rutgers and Brandywine), five types of peppers (bell, Cubanelle, Serrano, jalapeno and Thai hot ), and other vegetables including eggplant, cucumber, bitter melon and luffa.

“The chefs personally harvest them,” Batten says. “They put a lot of pride in being able to go out and grow and then harvest. If they need something quick or have an idea for something, they don’t have to wait for an order to come in.”

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August 22, 2016   No Comments

Nanofarm: The first appliance that grows food for you

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Kickstarter drive begins

By Replantable
Aug. 22, 2016

From January 2016 until just a few weeks ago, 30 nanofarms have been put through their paces in the homes of our beta testers. Each beta tester has had the chance to harvest between 2-4 crops of produce, and they are very happy with the results.

While the beta testers agree the nanofarm does a great job growing food, they had lots of helpful criticism that led to the added features you see in the production model:

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August 22, 2016   No Comments

Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

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Around the world, farmers are ageing as the sector fails to attract younger talent who head instead to cities in search of work

By Magdalena Mis and Isaiah Esipisu
Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 August 2016

Excerpt:

In an urbanising world, city farming has become fashionable in recent years, with urban farms mushrooming from Accra to Mumbai and London.

According to a 2014 study, city dwellers were farming an area the size of the European Union.

But while the trend is welcome, urban farmers won’t be able to feed themselves any time soon, experts say.

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August 22, 2016   No Comments

New edible park opens in West Seattle

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There are convenience stores nearby, heavily trafficked, but fresh produce options are not abundant. The new edible park hopes to help combat this problem.

By Maggie Wilson
Kiro 7
Aug 14, 2016

Excerpt:

West Seattle’s new Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP), which Stu helped to create, is home to pear, cherry, apple and plum trees. “Very old trees,” said Stu, sweeping his arm through dusty air. “Probably 70 years old.”

The edible park is completely free to help garden in and harvest from. It’s 2/3 of an acre and sits at 5265 18th Avenue SW.

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August 22, 2016   No Comments

Sydney now has its very own working city farm

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Organic market farmer Michael Zagoridis is part of the Pocket City Farms team. (Pocket City Farms)

If you thought true working farms were only for the country, think again. Sydney now has its very own organic urban variety, Pocket City Farms, located in Camperdown, near a major highway on a former bowling green.

By Yasmin Noone
SBS
Aug 16, 2016

Excerpt:

“Our primary aim is to bring farming into the city and to create food as locally as possible… People can come past and see us growing the food and then come in on a Saturday to our market and buy the food. It’s a real instant connection.”

The new farm, which officially opened around six weeks ago (but took three years to get off the ground), is located near Sydney University, nestled in a side street off the Great Western Highway, and bordered by an art gallery, city park and small Portuguese museum.

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August 21, 2016   No Comments

Indoor farms give vacant Detroit buildings new life

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Green Collar Foods Operations Director Darren Riley explains the process called aeroponics that mists the bare roots of plants like this kale that grow under fluorescent lights on shelves at the indoor farm. Neighboring Supino Pizzeria buys the company’s kale. Brandy Baker, The Detroit News.

The city is considering regulations that could expand indoor agriculture even more.

By Breana Noble
The Detroit News
August 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The urban agriculture ordinance, however, assumes indoor farming would be large-scale, said city planner Kathryn Underwood. To increase the zoning district, the City Planning Commission sent an amendment to the City Council for consideration that would take into account smaller operations. It is expected to vote on the proposal in the fall.

“(The amendment) recognizes (indoor farming) can happen at very large scales and very small scales,” Underwood said. “It will allow more of it to happen.”

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August 21, 2016   No Comments

Urban Farming is taking root in Baltimore

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Maya Kosok at her flower Farm Hillen homestead. Photo Christopher Myers.

At the heart of the matter is determining what Boyd calls “the highest and best use” of city land. For urban farmers, that is agriculture.

By Amy Mulvihill
Baltimore Magazine
Aug 2016

Excerpt:

In recent years, the city has adopted a suite of regulations to better accommodate farming, everything from rewriting the rules about livestock (bees, miniature goats, rabbits, and chickens are allowed now in limited numbers) to clarifying the building code to permit lightweight, temporary greenhouses called hoop houses. Perhaps most ambitiously, last year the City Council passed an Urban Agriculture Property Tax Credit that provides a 90 percent tax break to farmers who produce $5,000 worth of crops annually. There is also a pending rewrite of the city’s zoning code, which would codify urban agriculture in almost all of Baltimore’s residential zones.

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August 21, 2016   No Comments

City Rezones ‘Suburban Residential’ to ‘Agricultural’ for Urban Farm in Atlanta

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A farm in the middle of one of Atlanta’s most elegant suburban cities. Mr. Coleman had not come to Roswell with his farm. The city had come to him. But that bothered him not a whit. Almost until the day he died, Jan. 29, 2012, at age 89, he and his farm were almost unchanged over the 60-odd years he lived there.

Couple will donate 30 percent of their organically grown produce to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

By David Ibata
For the AJC
Aug 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The Roswell City Council has approved a couple’s unusual request for the city to rezone their land from suburban residential back to agricultural so they can set up a small “urban farm.”

The city also granted a conditional use to let Tony and Shari Martin sell produce from the 6.7-acre farm at 410 Coleman Road, with the conditions that visitors not park vehicles on the road, and that a studio planned for the site not be for commercial use.

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August 20, 2016   No Comments

Economics Is Scarce Resources Allocation – What Resource Constraint Does Urban Farming Solve?

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We find out that vertical farming does not save resources, it expends resources instead. It makes us all considerably poorer by its existence. Thus we must really rather wonder why we’re doing it.

By Tim Worstall
Forbes
Aug 15, 2016

Excerpt:

That there are fads and fashions in the business world just as there are in other areas of human life is no surprise. But such fads and fashions should be subject to a bit of hard headed analysis from time to time. One such is the newly promoted concept of vertical or urban farming. The idea being that food can and should be grown inside cities, in buildings, rather than out in the countryside and upon land. I have mentioned before that I think the entire concept is a ludicrously stupid idea. Yet here we have another example which we can examine.

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August 20, 2016   No Comments

An Abandoned Quarry Above Rio’s Olympic Village Found New Life as an Organic Farm

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Fátima Anselmo, owner of Orgânicas da Fátima, grows organic produce in a reclaimed quarry in Rio de Janeiro. Pea vines climb bamboo stakes to her left, while banana leaves spread on the ground behind her protect a bed recently planted with carrot seeds. After finding the site in 2014, she spent more than a year and a half clearing it of rubble and building the soil from her own compost pile. Photo by Andrew Jenner.

“I always wanted to show that urban agriculture was possible,” Anselmo says. “If everyone did just a little bit of this, we’d have much healthier food and a much healthier world.”

By Andrew Jenner
Modern Farmer
August 19, 2016

Excerpt:

Anselmo estimates that restaurants and hotels make up about 70 percent of her business. (The Olympics—great news for any host city’s hospitality industry—have been very good to Orgânicos da Fátima). The rest of her sales take place at the organic farmers markets that have begun popping up all over Rio; a decade ago, there was a single such market in all of Rio, according to ABIO, an organic farmer’s association. Today, there are 19.

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August 20, 2016   No Comments

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture says ‘Not Urban, Not Rural, Just Agriculture’

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Increasing our agricultural output — No matter its form, agriculture is agriculture. Whether it’s rural or urban, as growers of food we seek the same goal — feeding our communities and world.

By Russell Redding
Lancaster Farming
Aug 13, 2016
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

In vacant lots in cities across Pennsylvania, citizens are getting back to their roots by tending to gardens and reaping the rewards.

These pockets of urban gardening number into the hundreds in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and are tended by thousands of urban gardeners.

It’s a great start, but there is more potential in these systems that we can unlock, bringing more people into the agriculture industry, improving the health and nutrition of Pennsylvanians, and enhancing our urban areas and waterways.

[Read more →]

August 19, 2016   No Comments

Professional urban agriculture and its characteristic business models in Metropolis Ruhr, Germany

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caput1 Click on image for larger file. Institution: Institut für RealienkundeProvider: KulturpoolProviding Country: austriaCreation Date: 1716 Gemüsegarten, Vegetable garden.

Agriculture plays a significant role in Metropolis Ruhr cultivating about one-third of the metropolitan area, but on-going loss of farmland and short-term lease of land affect farms considerably by complicating access to land.

By Bernd Pölling, , Marcus Mergenthaler , Wolf Lorleberg
Land Use Policy
Volume 58, 15 December 2016, Pages 366–379

Abstract:

‘Low-cost specialization’, ‘differentiation’, and ‘diversification’ are three overarching business models of professional urban agriculture in developed countries. Manifold city-adjusted farm activities belong to these business models resulting in the characteristic farm heterogeneity of urban areas. This paper makes use of the business models as tool for a geo-statistical analysis to spatially investigate farming patterns in reference region Metropolis Ruhr, Germany. Additional farm interviews substantiate findings of the geo-statistical analysis by focusing on horticulture as a common farm activity towards ‘low-cost specialization’, direct marketing and participatory farming belonging to ‘differentiation’, and equestrian services as a representative of the ‘diversification’ business model.

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August 19, 2016   No Comments

Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services

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New Book: From White House to Tacoma, WA, urban agriculture is growing

By Sally Brown (Editor), Kristen McIvor (Editor), Elizabeth Hodges Snyder (Editor)
Hardcover: 407 pages
Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2016 edition (April 26, 2016)
(Must see. Mike)

Summary:

Urban agriculture has the potential to change our food systems, enhance habitat in our cities, and to morph urban areas into regions that maximize rather than disrupt ecosystem services. The potential impacts of urban agriculture on a range of ecosystem services including soil and water conservation, waste recycling, climate change mitigation, habitat, and food production is only beginning to be recognized.

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August 19, 2016   No Comments

Alleycat Acres Puts New Twist on Community Gardens in Seattle

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Breaking ground on an Alleycat Acres parking strip farm. Photo: Alleycat Acres

Each Alleycat Acres farm relies on a team of neighborhood volunteers to keep it running. Before creating a farm at a given location, the organization gauges the interest of the surrounding community.

By Cat Johnson
Shareable
Aug 2016

Excerpt:

Unlike traditional community gardens, such as the city of Seattle’s P-Patches, this farm is not on a lot—it’s on a parking strip between the sidewalk and the street. And rather than people working on their own plot within a larger garden, everyone here tends to the entire garden, which spans the length of two houses, collectively—primarily on a volunteer basis. Once a week, food from the farm is taken to a nearby food bank.

The farm is one of three currently run by Alleycat Acres, an organization working to “(re)connect people, place and produce” by transforming underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood-run farms. There are two Alleycat Acres farms on parking strips and a new one in-the-works on a city-owned lot.

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August 18, 2016   No Comments

Excerpts from Michael Ableman’s book, ‘Street Farm’ (August 2016)

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A Sole Food urban farm in an old Petro-Canada station in Vancouver’s East End. Photo by Agriculture Urbana.

‘People are no easier to recover than the land buried under layers of pavement.’

By Michael Ableman
Earth Island Journal
Aug 17, 2016

Excerpt:

We interrupt harvesting for one of our farm walks, a chance for me to share some techniques or a little philosophy, answer questions, and tell stories. And I realize that even as I am telling stories to make abundance real and visual for folks who may never have experienced it, I am feeling my own doubts and questions about what lies ahead. It feels odd for me standing in this parking lot on a street corner talking about soil microbes, optimal plant spacing, or the life cycle of an aphid. On my rural farm, not far from here, I’d be carrying on similar conversations, but there I’m mentoring young, well-scrubbed kids fresh out of college, most of whom have never known real hardship, all still hopeful and idealistic, too young for life to have slapped them around.

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August 18, 2016   No Comments