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Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis: Use state resources to boost urban farming

repdem

Lawmaker seeks to increase urban access to food

By Jess Seabolt
Nuvo
Jan 5, 2015

Excerpt:

A Central Indiana lawmaker wants to provide better access to healthy food to inner-city Hoosiers with legislation to promote urban farms, food-co-ops and farmer’s markets.

“One of the biggest complaints I get when I go door-to-door is that there aren’t any grocery stores in urban neighborhoods anymore,” said Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis.

Moed said the continuing closure of grocery stores in urban neighborhoods means that many people only have access to food is at local drug stores or gas stations that don’t offer healthy options.

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January 17, 2015   No Comments

Vertical Farm Design Competition

veg

Indoor Ag-Con’s Las Vegas Agritecture Workshop Hosts Dr. Despommier as Judge

Las Vegas, Nev.
PRWEB
January 06, 2015

Excerpt:

Agriculture is going through a transformation that harnesses architecture, technology and urban planning to create vertical farms that decrease resource consumption and re-localize food production within cities.

On March 29 and 30, three teams consisting of students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Downtown Design Center and urban farming professionals will envision these farms of the future in a workshop that will teach vertical farming concepts in a hands-on, experiential setting.

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January 17, 2015   No Comments

Singapore Management University plants seeds for new urban farming movement

smu
(From left) Imran Aljunied, 28, SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer, Mayor for Central Singapore District Denise Phua and urban farmer Donald Tan, 48, plant a nutmeg sapling at the Grow initiative at the Singapore Management University campus on Jan 6, 2015. Photo By Alphonsus Chern.

Under the project, 30 planter boxes containing plants such as herbs, will also be put up for adoption at $80 a box.

By Olivia Ho
The Straits Times
Jan 7, 2015

Excerpt:

SINGAPORE – A new urban farming movement is taking root in the heart of the city at Singapore Management University (SMU).

The university launched its new Grow initiative to encourage gardening and sustainable living on Tuesday morning, when it started a new garden plot outside the School of Accountancy and Law building along Queen Street.

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January 16, 2015   No Comments

Campaigning for Urban Agriculture in Sacramento, the Farm to Fork Capital


Paul Trudeau with Southside Aquaponics inside his backyard greenhouse.

A state law enacted in 2013 allows cities to create urban agriculture incentive zones, which would reduce property taxes if landowners allow small scale farming.

By Amy Quinton
Capital Public Radio
January 05, 2015

Excerpt:

Trudeau had a business license to sell the food to restaurants, but he wanted to expand. He found an oddly-shaped commercial lot in a blighted area and found an owner willing to let him put a greenhouse on it. But then he ran into trouble.

“I went to the city though to check it out, like ‘what would I have to do’ and they were like, ‘Well raising food, that’s not a permitted use in the commercial zone or residential zone,'” says Trudeau. “So I kind of got stopped in my tracks there.”

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January 16, 2015   No Comments

Is solar the solution for millions of people without access to electric light?


Video via The Verge.
(Must see. Mike)

MPOWERD has developed “Luci” a low-cost, waterproof, solar-powered lantern that could replace kerosene lamps in the developing world

About Luci

How does Luci work?

Luci has three main components that make her work: (1) a solar panel that captures photons from sunlight or incandescent light; (2) a rechargeable internal battery that stores her power; and (3) 10 LED bulbs that produce her light.

Does Luci need any additional parts, such as batteries or a charger?

No – unlike some other solar lights, Luci does not require any additional parts, since her unit contains solar PV cells, a battery, and LED lights all in one.

How does Luci charge?

Luci’s solar panels charge when facing sunlight or incandescent light. In direct sunlight, Luci will fully charge in 8 hours. She will charge even when it’s cloudy outside, but it will take longer. To charge Luci in incandescent light, place the solar panel close to the light bulb – but not so close that it becomes hot. It will take longer than 8 hours to charge under incandescent light.

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January 16, 2015   No Comments

City of Vancouver Food Strategy: What Feeds Us

Published on Jan 15, 2015
City of Vancouver: Thien Phan, Wendy Mendes, James O’Neill
Film Maker: Farzine MacRae, MacRae Multimedia (macraemultimedia.ca)

Launched in January 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Food Strategy represents the culmination of over ten years of policy, planning and community organizing towards the creation of a healthy, just and sustainable food system. None of this would be possible without the creativity and dedication of countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. This video highlights some key areas that have made a big impact in Vancouver.

Vancouver Food Policy information.

January 15, 2015   No Comments

Kits Neighbourhood House in Vancouver will have a roof garden

sean
Garden beds on the 4th floor deck. Building was designed by architect Sean McEwen.

Seven beds with a wonderful view west across Kitsilano

Architect Sean McEwen has built seven beds for urban agriculture into his design for the newly opened Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, BC. Originally opened in 1894 when it was named the Alexandra Orphanage and Non-Sectarian Home Society, it moved to its present location in 1972 where its many program “reach people and help them with their community aspirations, needs and challenges and problem.”

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January 15, 2015   No Comments

Hong Kong to acquire 80 hectares of land to create the city’s first agricultural park.

hk

It would likely boost the annual amount of local produce by 25 per cent to about 20,400 tonnes, equivalent to a value of about HK$200 million.

SCMP Editorial
Jan 5, 2015

Excerpt:

With more than 90 per cent of fresh produce coming from the mainland, there would seem little to be gained from the idea. Farming is a fickle business, being governed by the weather and seasons and requiring costly equipment and fertiliser. Land for housing and recreation is in short supply. Setting aside space to grow what can already be obtained for reasonable prices elsewhere would appear to make little sense. With the government’s compensation rate for farmland presently at HK$808 per square foot, acquiring the 80 hectares would cost, by the Post’s estimates, at least HK$7 billion.

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January 14, 2015   No Comments

Grow Your Own Greens With The Growbot, A System Designed To Make Rooftop Farming Easy

roofbot

The Internet-connected lightweight greenhouses can squeeze into vacant city corners and grow five tons of lettuce a year. That’s a lot of salad.

By Adele Peters
Fast Co Exist
Jan 5, 2014

Excerpt:

But a startup called Cityblooms hopes to help change that. The company makes small, modular “growbots,” lightweight greenhouses that can squeeze into vacant city corners and grow food more efficiently than the typical community garden. The hydroponic units are cloud-connected, so farmers can remotely track the growth of their crops, as well as control irrigation, humidity, and plant nutrition.

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January 13, 2015   No Comments

“Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production”

One hour video.

With Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin from Greenroof’s Virtual Summit 2013

Greenroofs.com
Jan 1, 2015
(Must see. Mike)

The current importance of urban agriculture is evidenced by the numerous food farms currently operating at many different scales and many different parts of the world. Here we visit just 5 innovative approaches to growing local produce on horizontal and vertical spaces on rooftops and on the interior from Canada and the United States.

Mohamed Hage
The founder of Lufa Farms tells how his 31K-square foot greenhouse, opened in 2011, is bringing fresh vegetables year round to families in Montreal. Antiquated zoning regulations and building codes, rather than agriculture, were the most challenging hurdles before he could get his business “off the ground.” Hage believes that rooftop farms will change the fresh-food dynamic and vastly improve the way city-dwellers eat.

[Read more →]

January 13, 2015   No Comments

Renovated historic fire station would anchor city’s revised ‘urban farm’ program

fireh
The century-old former fire station No. 9 at 2518 Winter St. will be renovated into the centerpiece of an “urban farm” — a concept city officials hope will spread and bring better nutrition to so-called “food deserts.” Photo by Kevin Leninger.

Initial site’s demise may have been blessing in disguise, officials say

By Kevin Leininger
The News-Sentinel
December 29, 2014

Excerpt:

When the city rejected its first applicant to develop a pilot “urban farm” earlier this year, it could have represented a setback in efforts to bring better nutrition to underserved areas sometimes called “food deserts.”

Instead, officials insist, it spurred changes that in many ways make the revised project more attractive than its predecessor.

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January 12, 2015   No Comments

5,000 sq. ft. roof of multi-storied apartments in Kolkata, India turned into a vegetable nursery.

kalkut
Nearly half a dozen varieties of leafy vegetables like notey shak, methi shak, palang shak (spinach), piring shak, several kinds of chilies, multiple varieties of brinjals, tomatoes, cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots, onions, beetroots, capsicum, garlic, mustard, flat beans (shim), bitter gourd (karola) are grown.

The rooftop farm can produce 8,000kg of vegetables a year.

Prithvijit Mitra
Times of India
Dec 29, 2014

Excerpt:

Deb is assisted by Luis Gomez, a Mexican national who now works with him in Birbhum. While Gomez is an expert in urban hydroponic farming, the technique which is being used in the garden, Arun Ram — another member of the group — is apt in developing multiple varieties of indigenous vegetables. They are helped by Bablu Molla and Rakesh Ghosh. The team members said they found it easier to grow the vegetables on the roof than doing it in the rugged terrain of Birbhum.

So, you have cherry tomatoes, white brinjals, white and red flat beans and okras with eight ridges. Last week, the farm grew kulfa (purslane) — a leafy vegetable that is no longer grown in Bengal. The garden, say its keepers, promotes biodiversity by attracting birds, butterflies and insects. “In the long run, it will keep the building cool and protect it from rain and heat,” said Deb.

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January 12, 2015   No Comments

Reuters: Underground and on rooftops, farms set roots in big cities

leedsmayor
Mayor of Leeds in food garden. Unknown date.

“There’s such a huge disconnect between people and where their food comes from,” he said. “Some kids in London probably think spaghetti grows on trees.”

By Shyamantha Asokan
Reuters
Jan 8, 2015

Excerpt:

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – On a cold and rainy Friday afternoon, Steven Dring is tending his baby carrots in a somewhat unusual setting. The green shoots are in a try of volcanic glass crystals under LED lights – and the tray is in a tunnel 33 meters underneath a busy London street.

Dring is the co-founder of Zero Carbon Food, one of a clutch of projects trying to help feed the world’s booming cities by farming in local spots – and often unexpected ones.

[Read more →]

January 11, 2015   No Comments

Asheville City’s Patchwork Urban Farms Fundraiser – North Carolina

The goal of this project is to raise $40,000

From CommunityFunded.com
2015

Itemized Budget:

Soil Bank – animals
Integrate small animals as soil building systems
$5,000

Soil Bank – microbes
Fix our backpack sprayer, and fund our microscope and soil microbiology montoring so we can bring soil biology to super-vibrancy
$1,000

Soil Bank – biochar
Research and Development of an urban biochar facility
$2,000

Soil Bank –
OM Organic Matter additions to soil
$500

[Read more →]

January 11, 2015   No Comments

Urban flower farms gain momentum in Pittsburgh

urbflowGreenSinner owners Jonathan Weber and Jimmy Lohr have their portrait taken inside of their greenhouse in Lawrenceville. Photo by Jasmine Goldband.

Between weddings, events and deliveries, that added up to more than 6,000 stems of cut flowers and foliage in 2014.

By Rachel Weaver
Triblive
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

Excerpt:

A Pittsburgh floral shop is planting seeds for future growth that will transform a vacant city hillside into a thriving garden.

GreenSinner is expanding beyond its Upper Lawrenceville location with a four-acre urban flower farm in Observatory Hill in the North Side.

“There’s something really appealing about being in the city,” says Jonathan Weber, GreenSinner farmer. “There are a lot of places that, because of the landscape, aren’t suited for buildings. This is currently an overgrown hillside. It hasn’t been cultivated in at least 50 years. The soil is pretty rich.”

[Read more →]

January 10, 2015   Comments Off