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Japan: In Kanagawa, homeless grow crops and confidence

Kiyoko Ojima, who helps homeless and other needy people by giving them opportunities to work in agriculture, is seen at her field in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, on March 19. Satoko Kawasaki.

“I wanted to help those who are starving by growing crops,” she said of her passion for agriculture that has led her to run a vegetable field. “There are many people in Japan, too, who struggle to put food on the table.”

By Magdalena Osumi
Japan Times
Apr 9, 2018

Excerpt:

Ojima, 39, engages homeless and other people on social assistance in work in the field, in the city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. “Our main goal is to help these people regain confidence … so they can eventually get back on their feet,” she said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.

Every April about 10 people, men and women ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, come to Ojima’s 10,000-square-meter field to sow seeds, cut weeds, water plants and harvest crops.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments

China: Beijing closes 321 pig farms in 2017

The city has also chosen more than 20 pig farms to promote the use of waste-processing and water-saving technologies.

Editor: Liangyu
Xinhua|
2018-04-09

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) — Beijing shut down 321 pig farms last year to clean the environment and save water.

The Survey Office of the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing Sunday said the city produced 2.42 million hogs for slaughter in 2017, down 12.1 percent year on year.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments

UK: Prisoners restore broken garden tools to give away to schools and community groups

Launching the Tools Shed Norfolk at Mayton Wood recycling centre are, from left, Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, Martin Edwards, head of reducing reoffending at HMP Norwich and Jack Narbed, Tools Shed project manager at The Conservation Foundation. Picture: Matthew Usher

Prisoners will be using new-found technical skills to restore gardeners’ broken and unwanted tools to give away to schools and community groups as part of an innovative rehabilitation project.

By Andrew Papworth
Diss Mercury
Apr 7, 2018

Excerpt:

“Participating in the scheme boosts their skills and confidence, as well as teaching practical skills which can be used when they leave prison.”

Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, said: “So many of us have tools in our garden sheds that take up space but have outlived their usefulness and we’d encourage gardeners to bring these to our recycling centres at Mayton Wood and Ketteringham.

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April 13, 2018   No Comments

India: Leafy towns can firefight urban heat – Urban farming boosts nutritional security

Pandals are special framed structures used for vegetables with twine like stems. The weak climbers utilize this support, which protects the produce from soiling and increases exposure to sunlight and aeration.

Urban as well as periurban agriculture can help achieve nutritional security, even as one agrees that food security needs to come from villages.

Dr M S Swaminathan
Deccan Chronicle
Apr 8, 2018
The author is Father of Indian Green Revolution. He is recipient of the first World Food Prize, in 1987.

Excerpt:

It is time we graduated from food security to nutritional security. Fruits and vegetables can be grown by individuals to supplement nutritional needs. There is something known as hidden hunger. You might be getting enough food, but the nutrients that your body needs might be absent from your food. Your food might not have sufficient iron, protein or zinc content. This is where rooftop and homestead kitchen gardens can be useful.

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April 13, 2018   No Comments

Home grown solutions: the rise and rise of the microgreen

Kale plants at the Organic Oasis farm in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Microgreens are growing in popularity in the UAE market, with a couple of companies even growing them in Dubai

By Anastasia Miari
The National
April 7, 2018

Excerpt:

It isn’t just the nutritional value of these mini veggies that is making this particular food trend catch on. Dubai blogger and photographer Samantha Louise Marshall first began growing her own microgreens to use as stylish garnishes on her food shoots, finding the simplicity appealing.

“I grow wheatgrass and cress from time to time in a really simple glass sprouting jar using packets of seeds,” she says. “I love that you just need water and no soil and that they grow fairly quickly and last a few days. If you use them up and want to take a break, you can just clean out your jar and restart when you want. It’s not like a plant you have to maintain, and a packet of seeds is enough for a few batches.”

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April 13, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Concrete Garden Magazine

Grow – A short film by Concrete Garden Magazine – about urban agriculture in Victoria, B.C. from Concrete Garden Magazine on Vimeo.

The five students decided that people needed to be more informed and open to the idea of food grown in urban settings, whether that was through community farms, backyard gardening, or just by supporting local farmers.

Concrete Garden is a quarterly print magazine about sustainable urban agriculture based in Victoria, B.C. We feature compelling stories on our food system, local businesses, Indigenous food practices and food sovereignty, green architecture, and global ecological issues from a local perspective.

Concrete Garden is dedicated to decolonizing agriculture and food communities throughout our work. We humbly acknowledge that this magazine is produced on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish – the Lekwungen and W?SÁNE? peoples.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

UK: Freightliners City Farm at 40: A refuge from city life in London

Freightlinders City Farm under construction in the late ’70s. Picture: Freightlinders City Farm.

Though 2018 is a year of celebration for Freightliners, there’s also nagging doubt. Its future is under threat.

By James Morris
Islington Gazette
Apr 4, 2018

Excerpt:

“We’re not 100 per cent certain of how it started,” Liz admits. “But we think it goes back to 1973, where the Maiden Lane Estate is now, on the other side of the Cally.

“We do know it was a community group coming together wanting to keep their own animals, grow food and live a bit of the good life. There was always a focus on children and young people, and giving them a safe space.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

Don’s Finest Living Foods delivers super-young sprouts and veggies to health-conscious customers

Don DeLillo: Putting his money where our mouths are in Huntington Station, NY.

$4,000, self-invested, to equip his first basement farm

By Amy Onorato
Innovateli
Apt 6, 2018

Excerpt:

And so, Don’s Finest Living Foods was born. DeLillo took roughly $4,000 he saved up from his job at Empire LED and poured it into equipment he would need to build an urban farm in the basement of his parents’ Huntington Station home.

Once his crops were flourishing, he used word-of-mouth networking and a website to build a local customer base, which places regular orders on a “subscription-like” basis, DeLillo said.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

They Turned This Miami Church Into a Farm

And now their produce is available at Whole Foods

By Carlos Frías
Miami Herald
April 06, 2018

Excerpt:

St. Simon’s Episcopal church was going broke. It’s a tiny squat building on 4 acres of land in south Miami-Dade County, with a tiny congregation. That’s when a new member of the congregation, Moses Kashem, came up with an idea. A young farmer, he Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald.com
Moses Kashem had a crazy idea — or so everyone else thought.

The son of a Muslim Indian father and a Catholic Italian mother, he wanted to turn the four unused acres surrounding a Miami Episcopal church into an urban organic farm.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

Kenya: Balcony farming helps city folk produce own food in Mombasa

Part of the garden of Ms Zainab Abdalla a a balcony farmer at Tononoka Majengo Machura Estate in Mombasa County./Alphonce Gari

“If such initiatives are embraced, there will be a variety of food that shall improve the nutritional needs of their families.”

By Alphonce Gari
The Star
Apr. 05, 2018,

Excerpt:

She followed up with the Agriculture office in Mombasa town, which taught her how to set up the garden.

Today, she is producing a variety of vegetables and fruits, including spinach, sukuma wiki, cabbages, mchicha, cowpeas, tomatoes and onions.

“The balcony garden does not need much maintenance. It is not time-consuming. I just devote 10 to 15 minutes of my free time to attend to the plants,” she said.

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April 11, 2018   No Comments

Guerrilla Gardening in New York City

In the 1960s, Jenny Benitez looked at an abandoned lot in Harlem and saw a space she could transform into a garden. Credit Elias Williams for The New York Times

Gardening season kicked off this week in our city’s 553 community gardens, marking the 40th anniversary of the parks department’s GreenThumb program.

By Jonathan Wolfe
New York Times
Apr. 4, 2018

Excerpt:

But before community gardens were sanctioned by the city, rundown lots were repurposed to grow flowers and vegetables by guerrilla gardeners like Jenny Benitez.

“I wanted a place for my boys to play,” said Ms. Benitez, an 85-year-old resident of Harlem. “I imagined a place with white roses and hydrangeas and everything in bloom, where people would come and enjoy nature.”

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April 11, 2018   No Comments

Paris to turn a third of its green space into urban farms

La Chambeaudie Farm is located on the 500 square meter (5,380 square foot) roof of a medical center owned by Paris Metro (RATP) in the 12th arrondissement — a district in the east of Paris on the right bank of the River Seine. Credit: Aéromate

So far, 74 companies and public institutions have signed a charter to partner with the city in developing urban agriculture.

By Katy Wong
CNN
3rd April 2018

Excerpt:

Since the Parisculteurs project launched in 2016, 75 projects have been approved by the city of Paris, covering 15 hectares of spaces. The projects will create more than 500 tons of produce.

La Chambeaudie Farm, run by agriculture start-up Aéromate, is located on the 500 square meter (5,380 square foot) roof of a medical center owned by Paris Metro (RATP) in the 12th arrondissement — a district in the east of Paris on the right bank of the River Seine.

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April 10, 2018   No Comments

South Africa: Joburg’s mushrooming rooftop gardens

A crop of basil will supply restaurants and traders around FNB’s Bank City.

Joburg CBD dwellers are putting on their farming caps, 21st century-style

By Natalie Watermeyer
Business Alive
05 April 2018

Excerpt:

The potential for taking farms to rooftops was recently demonstrated by the Urban Agriculture Initiative, a partnership between the Chamber of Mines, the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership and WIBC (Wouldn’t It Be Cool), an incubation and mentorship organisation.

In a pilot project run over the past six months, Nhlanhla Mpati was selected to establish a hydroponic garden on a balcony of the 93-year-old Chamber of Mines heritage building in Marshall Street.

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April 10, 2018   No Comments

Food Justice And Sovereignty In The Neoliberal City: Possibilities And Limits Of Urban Agriculture

One of the most celebrated, but least investigated, aspects of urban agriculture is how the produce is distributed and used.

By Chiara Tornaghi
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Bollettino Della Società Geografica Italiana Roma – Serie Xiii, Vol. X (2017), Pp. 92-103

Excerpt:

Introduction. The rediscovery of urban agriculture. An opportunity to re-think the link between city, urbanism and food.

In the last ten years the urban cultivation of food – in the form of allotments, community gardens and more generally urban agriculture (UA) – has raised the interest of community groups, local governments and research in the Global North. Before then, the interest for food cultivation – while still an existing grassroots practice – has been considerably limited in the policy and research communities. A notable exception being David Crouch and Colin Ward’s (1988) work which to date, is still one of the most complete overviews of the European urban allotment tradition.

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April 10, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy


City Farmer’s green roof is featured for a few seconds starting at [0.41].

City of Vancouver
March 2018

The City of Vancouver has set a target to capture and treat 90% of Vancouver’s average annual rainfall by using green infrastructure tools and design guidelines on public and private property.

In the natural environment, rain is absorbed and filtered by plants and soils. In cities, this natural water cycle is disrupted and rainwater flows across pavement and rooftops.

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April 9, 2018   No Comments