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Food waste: harvesting Spain’s unwanted crops to feed the hungry

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gleanAdvocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded. Photograph: Natalia Lázaro Prevost

Spain’s gleaning movement has grown rapidly in response to austerity, harvesting imperfect fruit and veg – that would otherwise be wasted – for food banks. Now its own line of jams, soups and sauces is taking off too

By Arthur Nelson
The Guardian
July 2016

Excerpt:

A 39-year-old Moroccan emigré with two small children, Abdelouahid began “gleaning” – harvesting farmers’ unwanted crops – with the Espigoladors (gleaners) after losing his job in the construction industry four years ago. It is Ramadan and he is fasting but still smiling as he cuts at the green jewels.

“I don’t like to spend my days at home, sending CVs to employers, waiting for their rejection letters, or going around the restaurants trying to find food,” he says. “I prefer to do something positive. A lot of people need this food. It is better to collect it than to leave it.”

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July 20, 2016   No Comments

$2.8M expansion starts at Tilth’s seven-acre urban farm in Seattle

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setgarFour greenhouses will be added as well as a farm stand, children’s garden, rain gardens, a commercial kitchen, office space and a classroom.

Since the farm opened in 2012, 30,000 pounds of food has been grown there with help from over 2,000 volunteers, Burke said.

By Lynn Porter
Daily Journal of Commerce
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Four greenhouses will be added on the seven-acre site, as well as a farm stand, children’s garden, rain gardens and hand-crafted wetland markers. There will also be a commercial kitchen, office space, a classroom, and a circle drive for school buses, delivery vehicles and physically disabled visitors.

A new hand-crafted iron gate at Beer Sheva Park was recently installed to improve pedestrian access.

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

Seattle’s International Rescue Committee is helping local refugees rebuild their lives

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The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

By John Sharify
King K5
July 14, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s something they grew in Bhutan. It’s not just a green. It’s a piece of home,” says Tyler George-Minette, New Roots Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee for Seattle and Sea Tac.

The Namaste Community Garden he oversees serves the refugee community in the area. The families who use the garden come from Bhutan, Burma, Nigeria, and Laos.

“Each family gets one plot,” says Dal Diyali, who moved to the area from Bhutan.

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July 18, 2016   No Comments

Columbus Urban Farm Tour Series by the Ohio State University Extension office

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tour

Takes place between July 30 and Aug. 14.

Tours:

Urban fruit and vegetable production and marketing at Franklinton Gardens

Large-scale urban farm, Clarfield Farm

Multi-location, mission-drive urban farm, Italian Village Urban Farm

Demonstration food garden tour at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus at the Franklin Park Conservatory

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July 18, 2016   No Comments

Why Copenhagen Residents Want to Live on Urban Gardens

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dvasweDavid Skat Nielsen on his colony garden. (Lynsey Grosfield)

High rents are driving some Danes to not-quite-legal cabins and cottages.

By Lynsey Grosfield
City Lab
Jul 12, 2016

Excerpt:

For several years now, David Skat Nielsen has been cultivating a 7,400-square-foot patch of land on the island of Amager, in the greater Copenhagen area. Here, he pays 900 DKK ($133 USD) per month to get away from the stresses of apartment living, plant some fruit trees, build a greenhouse, and generally bask in the stillness of a hedged-in green space. Due to zoning restrictions, he can only live on the property for six months of the year, but he’s part of a growing group of Danes that would like to make these minimalistic garden lots into full-time homes.

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July 17, 2016   No Comments

German Garden Houses

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fregtDie Schrebergärten an der Schlossstrasse: Sie sollen günstigen Wohnungen für Familien weichen. Bild: Beat Mathys

There are now over one million allotment gardens in Germany. Berlin has the most with an estimated 67,000 gardens. It is a ridiculously green city. Hamburg is next with 35,000, then Leipzig with 32,000, Dresden with 23,000, Hanover 20,000, Bremen 16,000,

By Erin Porter
About Travel
July 13, 2016

Excerpt:

History: As people moved from the German countryside to city scapes in the 19th century, they weren’t quite ready to leave their green pastures.

Conditions in the cities were poor, with cramped dirty spaces, disease and serious malnutrition. Nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables were in scarce supply.

Kleingärten arose to address that problem. Garden plots allowed families to grow their own food, children to enjoy a larger outdoor space and connect with the world outside their four walls. A phenomenon among the lower-classes, these areas were called “gardens of the poor”.

By 1864, Leipzig had several collections under the direction of the Schreber movement. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber was a German physician and university instructor who preached about topics concerning health, as well as the social consequences of the rapid urbanization during the Industrial Revolution. The name Schrebergärten is in his honor and comes from this initiative.

Read the complete article here.

July 17, 2016   No Comments

Urban Dwellers Drive Massive Deforestation Locally and Abroad

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“Ironically, even as urban expansion drives forest clearance for agriculture, it simultaneously consumes existing farmland,” writes Prugh. “By one estimate, urbanization may cause the loss of up to 3.3 million hectares of prime agricultural land each year.”

Can a City Be Sustainable?
Senior Researcher Tom Prugh
Annual State of the World series from the Worldwatch Institute
May 2016

Excerpt:

A second, and likely lesser, factor linking urban growth to deforestation is that cities are often expanding into areas of farmland and natural habitat, including forests. Cities worldwide are growing by 1.4 million new inhabitants every week. Urban land area is expanding, on average, twice as fast as urban populations. The area covered by urban zones is projected to expand by more than 1.2 million square kilometers between 2000 and 2030.

“Ironically, even as urban expansion drives forest clearance for agriculture, it simultaneously consumes existing farmland,” writes Prugh. “By one estimate, urbanization may cause the loss of up to 3.3 million hectares of prime agricultural land each year.”

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July 16, 2016   No Comments

Desolate South Bronx Community Garden Gets a Much-Needed Makeover

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ny1
NY2

The 32,000-square-foot remastered space will serve as a much needed gathering hub for the community that has been pretty much underserved for many years.

By Ameena Walker
Curbed Ny
July 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Outdoor footwear and apparel brand Timberland has partnered up with the non-profit organization GrowNYC to bring about a much needed restoration to one of South Bronx’s communal green spaces. As part Timberland’s five-year plan to create and restore urban green spaces in five different cities, the United We Stand garden in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx has been transformed from a barren space ravaged by fire to a new garden for community members to enjoy.

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July 16, 2016   No Comments

Farming your own food in Singapore with actor-singer Nat Ho

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ho
Farmer Nat Ho. Photo: Jason Ho

Ho’s takeaway is that stuff you grow yourself tastes better.

By May Seah
Today
July 9, 2016

Excerpt:

One person who has embraced the hobby is actor-singer Nat Ho, who earned himself the nickname “Farmer Ho”, thanks to his off-the-beaten-track pastime of HDB flat gardening.

“Dawn Yeoh was the first one to give me that nickname,” said the Tanglin actor, who cultivates his own cherry tomatoes, chye sim, chilli and mint in his apartment. “It seems like such an ah pek thing to do, right? But I was telling my friends about it and some of them actually started their own gardens, too.”

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July 15, 2016   No Comments

Urban Agriculture and the Next Farm Bill Symposium

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uasymClick on image for larger file.

The symposium will take place on September 30th, 2016 from 9am to 5pm, Washington DC

Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Sustainability
The Sustainability Collaborative
The George Washington University

The GW Sustainability Collaborative’s annual symposium brings together policy makers, academics and practitioners to identify current scientific findings and future research questions in the field of sustainability. This year’s conference will focus on the forthcoming 2018 Farm Bill and the potential for the first ever Urban Agriculture Title. The first half of the one-day symposium will center on land-based urban and peri-urban agricultural systems. The second half of the day will focus on non-land based (i.e. hydroponic, roof, vertical) urban and peri-urban farming.

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July 15, 2016   No Comments

A hungry Nairobi city explores urban farming

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naur
Speaking during the opening one of the projects at Baba Dogo Primary School, the county Executive for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Natural Resources Bernard Mugenyo, said the city spent Sh300,000 in developing of the green house at the school, which will act as a model learning centre and also boost both food and financial security for the school.

Nairobi county government is rolling out multi-sectoral urban farming projects in all the 17 sub counties aimed at giving impetus to enhance food security and address youth unemployment.

By Charles Mathai
MediaMax
July 11, 201

Excerpt:

The project follows the repeal of the previous by-laws and passing of Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulations 2015 by the county assembly in line with the current Constitution.

It is being implemented through the city’s Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources department, under the banner, Enhance Food security through Agribusiness and urban and Peri-urban farming Technologies.’

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July 15, 2016   No Comments

Canada: Prison Farms Shut Down By Harper Government May Be Reopened By Liberals

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Pat Kincaid poses for a portrait in Kingston, Ont., on Friday July 8, 2016. Kincaid served 4 1/2 years at the Frontenac Institution where he cared for 120 animals as part of the prison farm. (Photo: Lars Hagberg/CP)

In addition to helping the inmates develop a good work ethic, the farms produced food that was used to feed the prison population as well as supply local food banks, and also helped the local economy as it generated the need for fertilizer, equipment and other supplies, said Peters.

By Diana Mehta
The Canadian Press
07/11/2016

Excerpt:

Pat Kincaid credits the dairy cows on a now-shuttered prison farm in Ontario with teaching him the skills he needed to break a life-long cycle of crime and incarceration.

The 65-year-old Kingston, Ont., resident, who has spent a total of 35 years behind bars for assaults, thefts and other property crimes, hopes other inmates get the chance to benefit from a program the federal Liberal government is now considering reopening.

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July 14, 2016   No Comments

Urban farming plan earns woman statewide award in Rome, New York

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sunyChristina Carambia stands at her family garden in Hounsfield, NY, with the check she earned from SEFCU for her start-up business. She wants to build indoor gardens at the building.

Christina Carambia’s Underground Greens is a business plan that was chosen this spring for a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise award in the statewide New York Business Plan Competition.

By Steve Jones
Rome Sentinel
July 9, 2016

Excerpt:

Working in her “vertical farm,” Christina envisions 40 Romans, each assigned to maintaining 1,000 square feet of vegetables.

“I’d like to be able to give jobs to local people like myself, to single moms like myself who can work from 9 in the morning after they drop off their kids at school until 3 in the afternoon,” Christina continues. “So many single moms and dads are coming up to me and telling me they want to be a part of this. Since many features of indoor farming can be automated – such as watering and temperature control — I can offer a flexible work schedule.”

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July 14, 2016   No Comments

Farm-to-table transforms to roof-to-hospital in Madison, Wisconsin

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rofchUW Health American Center Sous Chef David Zanger looks around the new rooftop garden, which grows herbs, vegetables and fruit, some of which has already been used by the bistro. Photo by Tamar Myers.

In the future, he’s already looking toward building greenhouses and a therapy garden on the hospital grounds.

Excerpt:

The Amy Sheehan Memorial Garden, named for the late wife of the center’s president, has already begun to provide the hospital’s bistro with fresh produce.

The herbs, fruits and vegetables in raised beds are sprouting quickly in the full sun of the rooftop. A Killdeer built its nest in the greenery and fledglings scold passerby. And the drip-irrigation system slowly draws water from a pond on the ground.

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July 14, 2016   No Comments