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Gaza: A garden for all—women and youth rebuild safe and inclusive spaces

From left: Samah Al-Nahal, Dalia Osama and Nihal Zourob are three female architects who completed the blueprint of the public garden in Al-Shoka neighborhood in collaboration with the community members. Photo: UN Women/Eunjin Jeong

The new garden will become a place where everyone in the neighbourhood— including women and girls—can use without the fear of harassment.

UN Women
March12, 2018


Green, open spaces where everyone can convene, relax and take a break may be taken for granted in some parts of the world. For women and girls in Al-Shoka, a conflict affected neighbourhood in Gaza, this was a distant dream, until now. It took three female architects and a group of young people to rebuild the only public garden in Al-Shoka, since it was destroyed during the 2014 conflict. The architects sought feedback from the community to design the inclusive space, and for the first time, women and youth feel safe and excited about using the public garden.

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April 9, 2018   No Comments

A chicken in every backyard: Urban poultry needs more regulation to protect human and animal health

U.S. Department of Agriculture. United States. Bureau of Animal Industry. Animal Husbandry Division, 1918

Nearly 1 percent of all U.S. households surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported owning backyard fowl in 2013, and 4 percent more planned to start in the next five years.

By Catherine Brinkley, University of California, Davis and Jacqueline Kingsley, University of California, Davis
Apr 3, 2018


U.S. cities once were powered by animals. Horses provided transport through the early 1900s. Pigs and hens fed on household garbage before municipal trash collection became routine. Thousands of cattle were driven up Fifth Avenue in New York City daily in the late 19th century, occasionally trampling children and pedestrians.

To reduce accidents, disease and nuisances, such as piles of smelly manure and dead animals, early public health and planning agencies wrote the first ordinances banning urban livestock. By the 1920s, farm animals and related facilities such as dairies, piggeries and slaughterhouses were barred from most U.S. cities. Exceptions were made during World War I and World War II, when meat was rationed, encouraging city dwellers to raise backyard birds.

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April 9, 2018   No Comments

There’s an microgreens urban farm hiding in Brookline Village, Massachusetts named ‘Legitimate Farms’

Video by Multimedia Journalist Emma R. Murphy

Though just a two-man operation, the farm yields an impressive amount of food. With about 80 shelves of microgreens, the farm produces about 40 pounds of food a day, according to Becker.

By Emma R. Murphy
Wicked Local Brookline
Apr 3, 2018


This is one of the beauties of microgreens, according to Becker. Rather than wait for the greens to mature to vegetables, the microgreens are ready for harvest in just days – 12 to 14 – and the flavor packs a bold punch.

“The flavor of the microgreen is the flavor of the whole plant concentrated in a tiny plant,” Becker said.

The pair also experiments with other plants and hopes to offer sunflower, which they described as “buttery, delicious and a complete protein.”

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April 9, 2018   No Comments

Will city Land Bank save North Philly nuns’ community garden?

Gary Robbins with Sister Sylvia Strahler, center and Sister Margaret McKenna pose in the New Jerusalem Laura recovery Center Garden on Norris Street in North Philadelphia. Steven M. Falk.

Hundreds of recovering users such as Robbins have gone through New Jerusalem’s program since then, and all have tended to the garden as part of a required two hours of daily community service

By Claudia Vargas
The Inquirer
Apr 2, 2018


While Sister McKenna worked, she started shoveling dirt and gardening on a vacant side lot and invited neighborhood children to help.

Every time a vacant house fell nearby, the sisters and the residents of New Jerusalem would clean up the debris, get fresh soil from the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, and create a garden or simply keep the lot clean and put a walkway through it.

Over the years, the sisters were able to obtain the deeds to some of those properties. But many of the lots they consider part of their garden remain in city or private ownership, leaving them vulnerable to sheriff’s sale.

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April 8, 2018   No Comments

Malaysia: Edible Park, is not about ornamental plants and flowers

The five-acre Edible Park is an edible landscape designed to build community around the important subject of food and how to incorporate it in sustainable living. Picture courtesy of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MIM)

The Edible Park is a lush garden with local fruit trees, vegetable and herbal plants, while its Heritage Forest showcases the region’s flora.

By Ben Tan
Malay Mail
March 31, 2018


JOHOR BARU, March 31. Tucked away in the heart of Medini City in Iskandar Puteri, Johor lies a two-hectare garden that attracts a growing fan base.

Despite its urban location, the garden called Edible Park, is not about ornamental plants and flowers.

Instead, gardeners plant vegetables, fruit and herbs to promote better eating choices.

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April 8, 2018   No Comments

Volunteers gather to build community garden in Colorado Springs

Volunteers with the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens are spending the rest of their Spring Break building plots to help people grow their own food.

Written By Rachael Wardwell
Posted: Mar 31, 2018


One of the volunteers explained the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

“It’s totally important, that’s why we’re spending our Spring Break doing it, I have all six of my kids out here so they can understand where their food comes from and how important it is that we take nutrition responsibly and we take care of our needs,” said Melissa Olson, a volunteer.

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April 8, 2018   No Comments

The Models for ‘American Gothic’ Pose in Front of the Iconic Painting (1942)

Click image to see larger file.

Above, you can see Wood’s sister and dentist–otherwise known as Nan Wood Graham and Dr. B.H. McKeeby–posing in front of “American Gothic” in 1942.

Open Culture
Mar 27, 2018


The impetus for the painting came while Wood was visiting the small town of Eldon in his native Iowa. There he spotted a little wood farmhouse, with a single oversized window, made in a style called Carpenter Gothic. “I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long to go with this American Gothic house,” he said. He used his sister and his dentist as models for a farmer and his daughter, dressing them as if they were “tintypes from my old family album.” The highly detailed, polished style and the rigid frontality of the two figures were inspired by Flemish Renaissance art, which Wood studied during his travels to Europe between 1920 and 1926.

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Homeowners cry ‘fowl!’ over measure to allow city residents to raise chickens in Bardstown, Kentucky

Ann Rosalie Ballard gestures while asking a question regarding the draft ordinance that will create regulations to allow city residents to raise and keep chickens under limited circumstances. Ballard spoke in opposition to the ordinance.

“It’s like, if we allow chickens in Bardstown, then all of a sudden the Beverly Hillbillies are moving in as neighbors,” he said.

By Jim Brooks
Nelson County Gazette
Mar 29, 2018


Ann Rosalie Ballard and several other downtown residents spoke against allowing residents to raise chickens, even on a very limited basis.

Ballard lives in the city’s historic district, and she focused many of her questions about how raising chickens will fit in the restrictions homeowners in the historic district already deal with.

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April 7, 2018   Comments Off on Homeowners cry ‘fowl!’ over measure to allow city residents to raise chickens in Bardstown, Kentucky

Urban versus conventional agriculture, taxonomy of resource profiles: a review

Bedding out. The Graphic, 1870.Click image to see larger file.

If cities can evolve to shoulder some of the burdens of their food provision, while concomitantly providing ancillary environmental, social, and economic benefits to the city with UA, then this strategy is worth pursuing.

By Benjamin Goldstein, Michael Hauschild, John Fernández, Morten Birkved
Agron. Sustain. Dev. (2016) 36: 9


Urban agriculture appears to be a means to combat the environmental pressure of increasing urbanization and food demand. However, there is hitherto limited knowledge of the efficiency and scaling up of practices of urban farming. Here, we review the claims on urban agriculture’s comparative performance relative to conventional food production.

Our main findings are as follows: (1) benefits, such as reduced embodied greenhouse gases, urban heat island reduction, and storm water mitigation, have strong support in current literature. (2) Other benefits such as food waste minimization and ecological footprint reduction require further exploration. (3) Urban agriculture benefits to both food supply chains and urban ecosystems vary considerably with system type.

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April 7, 2018   Comments Off on Urban versus conventional agriculture, taxonomy of resource profiles: a review

Canada: City Farmer – a United Nations ‘Feed Your City’ Selection

Link to the exhibit. Click image to see larger file.

City Farmer’s ‘Demonstration Garden’ Official Feed Your City 2017 exhibit selection

City Farmer’s ‘Demonstration Garden’ in Vancouver, Canada

City Farmer Society celebrates its ‘40th anniversary’ in 2018. We have been promoting urban agriculture since 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Our near half-acre ‘Demonstration Garden’ was started in 1981 and continues to operate 37 years later in the heart of the city.

Before securing the garden, we worked out of a downtown office, publishing our newspaper named ‘City Farmer’. We also offered urban farming courses at Continuing Education, University of British Columbia.

The Vancouver Demonstration Garden is our way of welcoming people to a hands-on, organic, food gardening experience. Visitors learn to grow food from our professional staff, six days a week, and also get to taste city produced vegetables, fruits and herbs. ‘Locally’, we reach over two and half million people in Greater Vancouver, and ‘globally’ our websites reach millions of readers.

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Civic Works’ Baltimore Orchard Project Launches ‘Moveable Orchard’ Initiative

Innovative program to increase accessibility to fresh produce for underserved communities

BALTIMORE, MD (April 5, 2018) — Civic Works’ Baltimore Orchard Project (BOP) announces the launch of a $15,000 crowdfunding campaign to establish “Moveable Orchards” in Baltimore’s vacant lots and community gardens. These portable fruit trees will serve as a source of sustainable nourishment for the city’s underserved neighborhoods.

Through Baltimore City’s “Adopt-A-Lot” initiative, residents and organizations have the option to improve vacant lots in their community. But with uncertain land tenure and poor soil quality, the Civic Works program and its partners saw an opportunity to take that initiative further and develop semi-permanent structures that keep trees mobile and thriving.

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The world’s first desktop Hive™ for growing edible insects

Start a food revolution out of your kitchen with the Hive™ and grow healthy, delicious and sustainable mealworms in your home. Sold by Livin farms $699.00

Easter Egg Hunt Recipe: No Bake Energy Ball/Eggs using 1/2 cup ground mealworms

Recipes for No Bake Energy Ball/Eggs

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground mealworms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine oats, peanut butter, ground mealworms, chocolate chips, honey, chia seeds, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator; roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.

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Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Gardening tools, copper wiring and entire trees are just some of the things that have been stolen from the site, according to Smith, who estimates that they have lost $15,000 worth of equipment to theft.

By Tiffany Goodwein
CTV Vancouver
March 29, 2018


A popular community garden in Langley is forced to close its doors for the season because of rampant theft.

“We were getting things stolen every single day in January and February,” said Amanda Smith of the Maples Discovery Gardens Community Co-op.

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April 5, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Gröna oaser på storstadens tak

Till vänster: En demonstrationstakträdgård hos ett företag som specialiserar sig på biologisk bekämpning. Foto: Jenny Wikström | Till höger: Dr. B. N. Viswanath. Foto: Karl-Johan Fabó

Green oases on the big city roof

By Lindatengvall
4 April, 2018
(In Swedish – translate here.)


Runt om i världen motverkas storstäders växande problem med föroreningar av engagerade personer som tar saken i egna händer. Grå stadstak förvandlas till gröna oaser som genererar både närodlad ekologisk mat och renare luft. Trädgårdsmästaren Karl-Johan Fabó gav sig iväg för att leta reda på konstruktiva exempel. I en serie i tre delar får vi följa med honom till Indien och träffa några av de eldsjälar som ser odlingsmöjligheter även i de mest urbana stadsmiljöerna. I del 1 besöker vi staden Bangalore.

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How the White House garden became a political football

First lady Melania Trump plants and harvests vegetables in the White House kitchen garden with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on Sept. 22. 2017 (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Melania Trump finally made her first appearance in the garden on Sept. 22, 2017 (The Internet was quick to note that her ostensibly modest flannel shirt cost $1,380.)

By Anastasia Day
Washington Post
April 3, 2018
Anastasia Day is a Hagley scholar and doctoral candidate in history at the University of Delaware, writing about environment, capitalism and gardens in the twentieth century United States.


In this environment of uncertainty and competing priorities, the White House garden takes on newfound political symbolism. If Melania Trump continues the planting and harvest activities of Michelle Obama, she will be signalling support for organic agriculture, local food and school nutrition, all causes that ultimately demand radical revisions to American farm policy. To come out with sprayers of Sevin at hand before planting Roundup-Ready GMO corn, by contrast, would thrill President Trump’s far-right voting base and entrenched Republican agricultural interests, but would infuriate champions of improved nutrition and organic agriculture. To abandon the garden altogether would be interpreted as wanton disregard for children’s health on the part of the first lady: political suicide.

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April 4, 2018   Comments Off on How the White House garden became a political football