New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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Yale University’s Landscape Lab

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A plant-based medicine class teaches students at the School of Nursing about the uses of medicinal herbs grown in the Lab’s gardens, as well as about food and nutrition.

By Katie Martin
Yale Daily News
Oct 06, 2017

Excerpt:

The Lab is two years old, but it’s built around a quarter-acre urban farm that’s now in its fifth growing season. Since the Lab’s inception, Freiberg, a team of volunteers, student interns and partner organizations in New Haven have built a barn, a patio and a “WikiHouse” (more on that later); terraced a hillside to create a medicinal herb garden; installed beehives; and begun cultivating mushrooms. The timber barn, adjacent to an agroforestry orchard, is built with wood from the Yale Forest, and serves as the site for courses, workshops and gatherings.

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October 14, 2017   No Comments

The Netherlands: This Tiny Country Feeds the World

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A sea of greenhouses surrounds a farmer’s home in the Westland region of the Netherlands. The Dutch have become world leaders in agricultural innovation, pioneering new paths to fight hunger. Click image to see larger file.

The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.

By Frank Viviano
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
National Geographic
Sept 2017
(Must see photos. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States, which has 270 times its landmass. How on Earth have the Dutch done it?

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October 13, 2017   No Comments

Australia: Myanmar refugees embrace community garden to cope with PTSD

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Win Men says gardening in the community garden lets him forget his past trauma for a while. (ABC News: Pablo Vinales)

The simple act of gardening at a small Sydney community garden for refugees is one of the things 66-year-old Win Men loves most about his Australian life.

By Pablo Vinales
ABC
Oct 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“I enjoy dong this gardening things here and I am happy to be able to do it in freedom… in my homeland I could not do this freely without fear,” he said.

Mr Men is part of the Karen community, an ethic minority from Myanmar, who was forced to flee his country because of persecution.

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October 13, 2017   No Comments

Farmers sign up to run world’s first floating farm in Rotterdam

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Andrew Cobner, junior vice president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, told DutchNews.nl that cows might feel the effects of a sea voyage, according to a 2015 article on vehicle motion and animal welfare.

By Sean Boztas
Dutch News
Oct 5, 2017

Excerpt:

The world’s first floating farm, to be built in Rotterdam, has recruited two dairy farmers and a herd. Albert Boersen and Myrthe Brabander will be the faces of an experimental Floating Farm and their Montbéliarde cows its moos.

The AD reports on Thursday that the grass is already growing for Dutch floating projects developer Beladon, which plans to build a 1,000 square meter floating platform on the harbour. The aim is to produce 800 litres of milk a day and, potentially, yogurt or Comté-style cheese.

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October 12, 2017   No Comments

Philippines: Solon Calls For Passage Of Urban Agriculture Act

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AGRI Partylist Rep. Orestes Salon made the call on Tuesday after the House Committee on Food Security consolidated four measures seeking to promote the use of urban agriculture in all urban areas in the Philippines. (Photo: Rep. Orestes T. Salon/Facebook)

“The urgency of addressing our nation’s food security should guide us in our actions,” Salon said.

By Philippine News Agency
October 10, 2017

Excerpt:

Salon said the proposed law could help improve the country’s food supply and could positively impact employment and income generation for urban settlers.

Under the bill, an Office of Urban Agriculture shall be established by the Department of Agriculture.

The said office shall be mandated to study and make recommendations regarding the impact of urban agriculture and vertical farming in metropolitan communities, and develop a research agenda on urban agriculture.

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October 12, 2017   No Comments

Canada: 1984 film – ‘My Urban Garden’ – Filmed in Halifax

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“As relevant today as it was when it was made.” Mike

By Polly Bennell, Director
National Film Board
1984 | 26 min

(Must See. Mike – City Farmer was consulted on this film in the early 1980’s)

Excerpt:

In this short film, Halifax gardener Carol Bowlby harvests a mouth-watering crop from her small backyard plot. In considering soil quality, lack of space and a short growing season challenges rather than obstacles, she offers a wealth of practical growing tips for urban gardeners. By heeding Bowlby’s advice, bountiful organic gardens work equally well on apartment balconies, in small or large city lots or in a rural setting.

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October 11, 2017   No Comments

United Arab Emirates: A City in The Desert Will Simulate a Mars Colony – Include Vertical Farm

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Click image to see larger file.

The city is expected to include a giant greenhouse to test agricultural techniques, as well as laboratories designed to explore how to store food, generate energy, and get water.

By Leanna Garfield
UK Business Insider
Oct 4, 2017

Excerpt:

The firm is designing a city in the desert of the United Arab Emirates meant to simulate a Mars colony. The $140 million development near Dubai is slated to be “a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars,” according to the local government.

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October 11, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Urban farm a bad idea, residents tell Langley City

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Ryan Hughes and about 40 residents living near the site of the proposed urban concept farm on the BC Hydro right of way told Langley City council they oppose the idea. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Proposal would convert BC Hydro right-of-way

By Dan Ferguson
Langley Times
Wed Oct 4th, 2017

Excerpt:

Ryan Hughes said it is an area of large lots that already have what amounts to urban gardens.

It would make more sense to make urban gardens more accessible to residents in high-density neighbourhoods like Douglas Crescent and the Fraser Highway, he said.

The right-of-way area is already heavily used by pedestrians runners, cyclists and dog owners, Hughes added.

“This is the wrong location,” Hughes said.

[Read more →]

October 11, 2017   No Comments

Ancient grain reveals the development of the earliest cities

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A new study shows that the Mesopotamian farmers during a food crisis did not try to farm their land more intensively, but converted more land to arable land. (Photo: Shutterstock)

How were the first cities established and how did they develop? The analysis of 8,000 years old grain from ancient Mesopotamia has some answers.

By Rasmus Kragh Jakobsen
Science Nordic
Oct 3, 2017

Excerpt:

At this time, people lived in villages of perhaps 100 to 200 people, and then suddenly, some 6,000 years ago, over a period of a few centuries, these villages grew to cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants.

The development of arable farming, which provided food for all these people, is a key piece of the puzzle to understand how these cities grew so quickly.

In recent years, archaeologists have obtained a new peep-hole that allows them to see back in time. Amazingly enough, packets of information have survived 8,000 years in the form of grain from burned down houses.

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October 10, 2017   No Comments

Hexagro – The Living Farming Tree

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A modular, scalable and automated indoor garden that allows you to grow healthy food at your house or business, without being an experienced farmer.

From crowdfunding page

Thanks to LED lights, an automatic irrigation system and scalable kits you will decide how much produce to grow based on your own needs. Easy to unpack at home, you can choose to start with the basic 4-modules kit and scale up later on. But if you already can’t wait to invite your friends for dinner, the fully equipped 11-modules configuration is the one for you!

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October 10, 2017   No Comments

New Zealand: Fighting to save an urban food forest in the heart of Auckland

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Trevor Crosby is fighting to save a food forest in the heart of Auckland. Photo by Sally Tagged [See great video on website.]

Sanctuary Gardens Mahi Whenua, in the heart of Auckland, is a food forest and community garden where more than 60 local families are growing fresh food.

By Nicky Pellegrino
Stuff
October 2 2017

Excerpt:

“All we can say at the moment is that the future is uncertain,” says retired entomologist Trevor Crosby, who is determined to do what he can to save what he describes as, “a hidden biodiversity jewel of Auckland.”

Trevor isn’t against development but argues that cities also need open spaces where nature can thrive. Sanctuary Gardens is currently home to more than 400 species of plants and trees, some relatively rare.

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October 9, 2017   No Comments

Montana: Community garden “watchman” memorialized with mural

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Photo by Rebekah Welch.

If a sprinkler wasn’t working or a lock needed replacing at the Garden of Eaton community garden, Frank Smith was there to do it.

By Matt Neuman
Missoulian
Sep 30, 2017

Excerpt:

“He was the watchman here,” Zuuring said. “He was always out here making sure the sprinklers were working, and chasing away any kids that were stealing tomatoes. If there was a problem with something, he wouldn’t say a word, he’d just fix it.”

From his house just outside the fence of the garden, Smith kept a watchful eye, and always found a reason to tend his plot if someone else dropped by the garden. His daughter, Janetta Brewer, said the garden was his favorite place to socialize.

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October 9, 2017   No Comments

Hawaii: Makiki Community Garden in Honolulu

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Click image to see larger file. Photo by Karen De Borga.

“Although, since there is such a large immigrant community in the garden, some of the vegetables I don’t even recognize,” she admits.

By Tom Kunz
Hawaii Home
Issue: August 2015

Excerpt:

Besides education, gardening is also good for the pocketbook, as the cost of organic food in Hawaii continues to rise. “My daughter loves cherry and grape tomatoes, so our family can go through a container in a day and a half,” Lake says. “That’s $5 per container on sale, which adds up to $20 per week in just tomatoes! That’s why we have five tomato plants in our plot.”

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October 8, 2017   No Comments

St. Paul Police Officer Uses Garden To Grow Community Relationships

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It’s a community garden nestled behind a public housing high-rise for seniors and others in St. Paul.

By Angela Davis
CBS Minnesota
Sept 28, 2017

Excerpt:

“They don’t just see a uniform anymore,” he said. “They see me here with my kids. They get to talk to me more than just on a police level. It’s more a friendly level.”

Officer Pederson says his father brought in soil from his farm outside of Hutchinson to get the garden started.

“He’s an officer when he puts on his uniform and stuff and when he needs to be,” Nyakundi said. “He’s basically a nice man. And he’s cute, too!”

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October 8, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Urbanite Finds Success Growing Organic Choy for Vancouver Market

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Caroline Chiu is an organic farmer who has found success growing Chinese vegetables. Photo by Jennifer Gauthier / For Metro.

In fact, more than 90 per cent of produce grown in the Lower Mainland in the 1920s was cultivated by Chinese farmers in a system segregated by racist policies of the time, according to historian Kay Anderson, author of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

By Wanyee Li
Metro
Oct 06 2017

Excerpt:

Farming wasn’t the dream career Caroline Chiu’s parents had in mind for their daughter but the budding entrepreneur has found that organic Chinese veggies are a hit in Vancouver.

The 28-year-old started her half-an-acre farm in Richmond, called Riverside Farm, after completing farm school at Kwantlen Polytechnic University two years ago. She tapped into her own commnunity to find success in Vancouver’s rapidly growing local-food scene.

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October 7, 2017   No Comments