New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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In a small patch of Bamako, Mali a few plots of land stand strong

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maliQuartier de Magnambougou, Bamako, Mali. Click on image for larger file.

Independent growers farm greens and root vegetables on small plots of land with basic tools.

By Nicolas Leblanc
Nicolas is a French documentary photographer working on social and environmental issues. nicolasleblanc.com
Makeshift 14 (2009)

Excerpt:

In the southern corner of the Sahara, and on the fringe of the capital city Bamako, the fertile Magnambougou district offers an essential oasis. Along the banks of the river Niger, carefully organized plots of land crisscross broken houses and dirt roads. As urbanization of Mali’s capital continues — a trend replicated across West Africa — the tranquil ‘green lung’ plays an increasingly positive role in cooling and feeding the sun-soaked city.

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June 20, 2016   No Comments

Urban Agriculture Educational Poster

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farmcity2Link to large poster here.

What distinguishes it from rural agriculture is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system.

By Weikun Liang
Pittsburgh, PA
Human Computer Interaction student at Carnegie Mellon University

Excerpt:

Zoning plays a big role in urban agriculture. It can dictate what kind of growing can be allowed, whether animals, retail sales, and even education can be part of the operation. Many cities have multiple restrictions on raising animals with the result that most urban farms don’t keep animals for production purposes.

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June 20, 2016   No Comments

Steady growth in Singapore’s community gardening movement

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cosingTampines Greenvale Residents’ Committee Community Garden, a Platinum-banded garden that was also conferred a Diamond Award for achieving its third Platinum band. (Photo: NParks) Click on image for larger file.

This year’s Community in Bloom (CIB) Awards saw 436 community gardens take part, the highest number of participating gardens in its 12-year history.

Channel News Asia
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Out of the 436 participating gardens – which comprises almost half of all community gardens in Singapore – 213 were from the public housing category, 37 from private housing, 113 from educational institutions and 73 from organisations.

“I am heartened to see that the gardeners’ love for gardening has brought them closer to one another. As the Community in Bloom network expands even further, we now regularly see gardeners from one neighbourhood helping out at gardens in other neighbourhoods, forging even more ties,” said Chief Judge of the CIB Awards 2016 and President of the Singapore Gardening Society Tan Jiew Hoe.

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June 20, 2016   No Comments

Urban farms may sprout up in city parks in Glendale, Arizona

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irspCommunity Services Director Erik Strunk, Assistant Director of Community Services Tim Bernard and Parks and Recreation administrator Mike Gregory address the council on urban farming on undeveloped park land throughout the city. Photo by Darrell Jackson.

Heroes Regional Park has approximately 50 acres, Orangewood approximately 38 acres and Northern Horizon approximately 28 acres. City staff has researched either allowing use at cost to the farmers or leasing the land.

By Darrell Jackson,
The Glendale Star
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Parks and Recreation Administrator Mike Gregory told council the potential for farming of the land would help with aesthetics by making current land a green belt and help control blowing dust.

“We discussed an interim farming to improve the appearance and limiting dust control,” Gregory said. “It would be the responsibility of the farmers to maintain the land and they would pay for any water used on the land.”

Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff asked staff about the option on leasing the land to potential farmers, rather than just allowing them to use the land free of charge.

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June 19, 2016   No Comments

Loo Urban Farm in Penang, Malaysia

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loo

Sustainable Non-Toxic Aquaponics Green Vertical Urban Farming

From their website:

Loo Urban Farm, started by Philip Loo, with the initial aim to sustainably produce healthy food for our own consumption. It has then grown and evolved to be a social enterprise that will enable every home to sustainably produce self-sufficient, fresh and healthy food globally.

We continue to innovate, build and distribute our advance and efficient planting system. We educate and lead society as a whole to produce their fresh and healthy food at home or in a community.

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June 19, 2016   No Comments

New York’s public floating food forest raises $32,000

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In 2016 in New York City people will be able to visit a barge containing edible, perennial plants. We want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh food as a commons too.

By Adam Born
City Metric
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

A leased barge, measuring in at 120 x 30 feet, will provide the foundation for a forest growing a range of produce. Whilst touring piers around New York state for six months, the forest will accommodate up to 300 people per day coming aboard, exploring and foraging for anything from herbs, berries and kale to kiwis.

The project is partly inspired by the growing urban agriculture movement found in New York City, now home to the largest rooftop farms in the world. From what was once a hobby for a few keen enthusiasts, this expansion has been supported by grassroots movements, volunteering and municipal programs.

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June 19, 2016   No Comments

Thieves steal $10k of tools from community garden in Ballarat, Australia

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stolenFive sheds at the Ballarat Community Garden were emptied by heartless thieves on Friday night devastating members including John Ditchburn. Picture: Kate Healy

Armed with wire cutters thieves sliced the wire of cyclone fencing, squeezing through gates to enter the garden.

By Olivia Shying
The Courier
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Mr Burns and the several hundred people connected to the garden are gutted after the senseless attack. Mowers, mulchers, electric hand tools and marquees were taken from five separate sheds.

“We were broken into last Thursday. (Potential) thieves were stopped by one of our members who saw them inside the garden looking at the sheds,” Mr Burns said.

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June 19, 2016   No Comments

The Unlikely Fish-Farming Start-Up in the Middle of Berlin

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fishs(Photo: ECF Farmsystems Berlin)

ECF’s goal is to cover the planet with aquaponic systems, on rooftops and urban sites around the world—and its plan seems to be on track.

By Elizabeth Rushe
Pacific Standard
June 13, 2016

Excerpts:

ECF is two things: First, it’s a living, breathing aquaponic farm, slap bang in Berlin city, in the neighborhood of Schöneberg?—?where David Bowie and Iggy Pop famously lived in the 1970s. After spending a hellish Saturday afternoon in nearby IKEA, you could literally walk all of four minutes down the road to the ECF farm, and see where your fresh fish and vegetables are grown. ECF is comparably prolific, farming 30 tons of fish per year; in 2015, the company quoted its output at 30 tons of veggies.

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June 18, 2016   No Comments

Mr. Danilo Agliam – Gold Award, Outstanding Urban Farmer of the Philippines, 2014

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farphil

The benefits of Mr. Agliam’s urban farming practice and knowledge generated all these years has been an object of interest shared locally and internationally. Exchange urban farmers and students from Korea, Taiwan and Japan spent time in Baguio City learning with and from him.

By Robert Domoguen
SunStar
June 14, 2016

Excerpt:

For years, he has been growing vegetables, fruits and root crops at the rooftop of a four-story building that you reach by climbing stairs from the bottom. I have been there once some three years ago and the climb was not a problem then. I agreed to visit him later in the week, and to reach that goal, I already imagine myself moving about with dainty and luscious vegetables up in the sky.

My friend constructed a 6×8 meter greenhouse that allows him to rotate the growing and harvesting of vegetables every month. Under open field farming, vegetables are grown and harvested in three to six months.

Mr. Danilo Agliam grows both pakbet (tomatoes, eggplant, bitter gourd, kabatete and upo) and chopsuey (lettuce, potatoes, spinach, aurogola, pakchoi pechay, Japanese mustard) types of vegetables.

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June 18, 2016   No Comments

El Catano Community Garden in New York: Where Gamers Come to Play

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dominsDomino players work their strategies and keep up the conversation at El Catano Community Garden in East Harlem. The garden is maintained by a nonprofit founded by Bette Midler. Photo: Ralph Gardner Jr./The Wall Street Journal

The East Harlem space is one of 52 gardens New York Restoration Project acquired in 1999

By Ralph Gardner Jr.
The Wall Street Journal
June 12, 2016

Excerpt:

I came here in 1946,” said Mr. Mantilla who is 80 but seems to be a walking, or rather seated, advertisement for the benefits of dominoes. He doesn’t have any wrinkles and doesn’t look a day over 60. He said he worked for Mr. Sinai Hospital for 30 years.

El Catano Community Garden is maintained by New York Restoration Project, founded by Bette Midler in 1995. The inspiration, at least part of it, behind the nonprofit seems to be the understanding that nature and civilization can coalesce as easily in a space not much larger than a spacious apartment—the garden is 2,523 square feet—as well as it can in any of our more majestic parks.

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June 18, 2016   No Comments

Tasty Greens Neighbourhood Farms – New in Vancouver BC

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Microgreens: Sweet Corn, Wheatgrass, Daikon, Oriental Mustard, Curly Cress, Arugula, Fenugreek, Red Cabbage, Sunflower, Beet, Broccoli, Garlic Chives

By Samantha Dobo and Xche Balam

Tasty Greens headquarters is an East Vancouver character home on a popular bike path, which makes our 2 wheeled deliveries a breeze. We offer this punctual service by bicycle, because our aim is to be carbon neutral.

We recycle depleted soil, root mass and burlap via vermiculture and composting at our HQ. This creates nutrient dense soil to enrich future crops. Our Tasty Greens grow under ambient, led and florescent lights, in organic a medium and are grown from organic seed.

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June 17, 2016   No Comments

New York Community Garden ‘Born of Chaos’ Marks 40 Years

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40year

It was used as a soup kitchen, community and activist space; it hosted concerts, theater and art, but also many homeless people and drug addicts

By Monika Reme
Bedford Bowery
June 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Latino gang members turned activists founded the garden in 1976. “Instead of channeling their energy and anger into violence and crime, they wanted to take back and rebuild the neighborhood,” explains Martin, a soft-spoken landscape architect.

Since then, activists and volunteers defended the squatted city lot against many attempts to develop the site – even against other community activities or plans to create affordable housing.

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June 17, 2016   No Comments

Waterloo, Ontario community garden gets $100,000 grant from Toyota

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springbSpringbank Community Garden. Click on image for larger file.

“Giving back to the community is an important part of what we do,” Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada president Fred Volf

CBC News
June 10, 2016

Excerpt:

Rare charitable research reserve announced the $100,000 partnership with the Japanese automotive company in a news release Thursday. The money will mean that Springbank Community Gardens will be able to grow its 15,000 square foot plot dedicated to food banks by another 6,800 square feet, the release said, an expansion expected to double the garden’s organic produce output from what it was in 2015.

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June 17, 2016   No Comments

Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh is 30 years old

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goerdScottish MP Willie Rennie visits Gorgie City Farm. Picture: TSPL

170,000 people visit ever year because Gorgie City Farm is simply a great day out.

By Stephen Jardine
The Scotman
June 10, 2016

Excerpt:

What is perhaps most valuable is the connection it provides to life outside the city. Last year a survey of 1,000 primary schoolchildren for the food and farming campaign group Leaf showed one in three couldn’t identify the sounds made by cows and sheep and one in five didn’t know bacon came from pigs.

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June 16, 2016   No Comments

What about a Father’s Day gift that will put food on the table? An Allotment!

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fath

I did used to have a whisky optic in my allotment shed, useful when it was cold and handy for sterilising my secateurs, but probably not the healthiest idea, although it does explain why I was always happy up there!

By Ali Marshall
Torquay Herald Express
June 15, 2016

Excerpt:

The allotment feels like a quintessentially British idea, although I’m sure other countries have their own versions, with its measurements in rods (10 rods, the average size of an allotment, is about 250m2) and its linkage to our social history.

The idea can be traced right back to Anglo-Saxon times, when the trees that covered our landscape were cleared away and the land first shared out, or ‘allotted’.

From the Tudor period onwards allotments became a political and social issue, a symbol of the rebellion of peasants against wealthy landowners enclosing land.

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June 16, 2016   No Comments