New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'

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A New Book by Permaculture Co-originator David Holmgren

The book will be launched by Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne on February 10 2018.

Excerpt:

David Holmgren’s new book, RetroSuburbia shows how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities and, above all, themselves to be more self-organised, sustainable and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living and hope for the next generation.

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November 7, 2017   No Comments

Bill Clinton visits urban farm in St. Louis

Former President Bill Clinton greets visitors to the Good Life Growing urban farm in St. Louis.

“What this school is doing for these kids will benefit this area 20 years from now,” he said.

By Blythe Bernhard
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Nov 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Schoolchildren grow kale, cabbage and other produce in their outdoor garden. They eat fresh fruit and vegetables at breakfast and lunch. At fitness stations, they roll dice to get assigned different exercises and repetitions.

Healthy diet and exercise habits “make (students) feel empowered and less likely to act on frustrations,” Clinton told reporters at the event.

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November 7, 2017   No Comments

Brooklyn’s thriving hives produce thousands of pounds of honey annually

Mickey Hegedus raises bees but also offers a swarm-removal service (Photo courtesy of Mickey Hegedus)

Currently, the city has 91 registered beekeepers maintaining 285 hives, more than 100 of them in Brooklyn and a similar number in Queens.

By Angelica Frey
The Bridge
October 31, 2017

Excerpt:

Mimi Chan, a web designer who lives in Fort Greene, took up beekeeping after losing her backyard garden (along with the house) in a divorce. Her cousin gave her the idea, pointing out an upcoming class in beekeeping. “She thought it would help me get over losing my garden. I enrolled in the class and fell in love with beekeeping,” Chan recalls. “That was 5 years ago, and I’ve been beekeeping ever since.” She now keeps two beehives in her backyard, chronicling their activity on Instagram.

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November 6, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Kitchener Community gardens will flourish under changes designed to empower residents to get growing

Left to right: Wendy Janzen, Trent Bauman, Juanita Metzger, Kai Bender, Levi Bender and Chip Bender stand with some of the produce from the community garden at Uniroyal Goodrich Park in Kitchener. – David Bebee,Record staff file photo

The City of Kitchener is turning over a new leaf on its community garden program with changes designed to help residents take the lead in starting new gardens, or maintain and upkeep existing gardens in their neighbourhoods.

Excerpt:

Wire Service
10/31/2017

City council recommended the approval of several changes to the city’s existing program in response to feedback received during the Love My Hood consultation. Designed to make it easier for residents to become involved in community gardening, the changes include providing insurance coverage for individual gardeners, increased funding for new gardens and providing funding to enhance existing gardens. An easy-steps guide and single staff contact will round out new supports to get more people engaged in community gardening.

“We heard residents say the demand for community gardens is growing,” says Josh Joseph, supervisor, neighbourhood development office, City of Kitchener. “There are 35 community gardens in Kitchener, including 15 on city-owned land, plus gardens on private property and we hope to increase this number each year.”

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November 6, 2017   No Comments

Canada: How to feed a hungry city

Brandon Hebor, co-founder of Ripple Farms Inc., inspects the growing lights of an aquaponic lab. Ripple currently sells its produce to high-end chefs.

Toronto has become a leader in urban agriculture, but there’s worry public awareness is lagging as new projects struggle to take root

By Charlie Friedmann
Globe And Mail
Nov 3, 2017

Excerpt:

“Torontonians have long grown in their backyards and continue to do so, but it’s mostly been under the radar,” notes Joe Nasr of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University and a co-ordinator of Toronto Urban Growers (TUG). “What’s new is this attention to the fact it exists and that it has a place in the city, and that the city can help it prosper.”

TUG has brought together a diverse group of civilian stakeholders since 2009, with the goal of increasing the availability of healthy and sustainable food grown, processed and sold in Toronto. Through networking meetings, public forums and lobbying, the group has done just that, and – working with the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) – was largely behind efforts to bring Toronto’s Urban Agriculture Day to fruition.

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November 5, 2017   No Comments

Japan: ‘Digital Vegetables’ – Art Installation That Aims To Puts Residents Back In Touch With Their Gardening Roots

The exhibition encourages visitors to touch the greenhouse’s seven different vegetables, including cabbages, mini-radishes, carrots and tomatoes. A touch detection system fires off a light and music show that’s different for each vegetable.

By Steve Dent
Engadget
Oct 30, 2017

Excerpt:

A Tokyo creative lab called Party has created an art installation that aiming to puts residents literally back in touch with their gardening roots with a digitally-enhanced greenhouse installation called “Digital Vegetables,” or “DigiVege” in Japan.

The greenhouse is situated in Tokyo Midtown’s garden space as part of the 2017 Design Touch event. The exhibition encourages visitors to touch the greenhouse’s seven different vegetables, including cabbages, mini-radishes, carrots and tomatoes. “Start off by touching the seven types of lives now growing strong in the soil,” the instructions say.

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November 5, 2017   No Comments

Rebuilding Iraq: Proposed 3D-Printing ‘Farming Bridges’ To Regenerate War-Torn Mosul

The farms and orchards will be irrigated by water from the Tigris river. All images © Vincent Callebaut architectures

The stacked housing units conceived by Vincent Callebaut are covered with urban farms and agricultural fields.

By Isabel Narea
DesignBoom
Oct 31, 2017

Excerpt:

This would not only guarantee food autonomy to inhabitants, but also excellent thermal inertia to the built environment. the farms and orchards are irrigated by water from the tigris river, and plowed by archimedes screws. Furthermore, gray water from bathrooms and kitchens is recycled and filtered by plants in lagoon waterfalls connected with the river. biomass composters feed the orchards and vegetable gardens suspended in biological fertilizers.

Titled ‘five farming bridges’, the concept puts forward the construction of affordable and adaptable bridges topped with modular housing units. The inhabited bridges are seen as a strategy to rebuild a new city over the ruins of the old one. to address the shortage of affordable housing, the bridges would be 3D printed using debris from war ruins, creating more than 53,000 homes.

Read the complete article here.

November 5, 2017   No Comments

Urban Flower Farm Raising Thousands for Des Moines City’s First Mobile Flower Truck

Scattered across backyards throughout the Des Moines area, our urban farm grows local, sustainable cut flowers that reflect the season. From tulips to sweet peas, peonies to dahlias, and everything in between.

By Jodi Whitworth
WhoTV
October 29, 2017

Excerpt:

Moeller’s goal is to turn a 1972 Ford ice cream truck into a mobile flower truck.

“We’ll scoot across the city just like area food trucks and offer our blooms. So it’s just like bringing the fresh cut, farm local blooms right to the customer.”

The bouquets will be arranged from the gardens of urban flower farms from across the city.

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November 4, 2017   No Comments

United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula


Think about experimenting with fruiting trees, such as citrus, figs and pomegranates, for longer-term food productivity.

My Arabian Almanakh
By: Laura Allais-Maré, founder of Slow Food Dubai and the now-defunct Balcony and Urban Gardening Group on Facebook; Cherida Fernandez, a fine artist; graphic designer Leilani Coughlan; and Prachiti Talathi Gandhi, who took on the responsibility of editing and coordinating the production of the book.

Review by: Melanie Hunt
The National
October 28, 2017

Excerpt:

The leading voice of the work is Allais-Maré, who when she began working on her own garden in the UAE, realised that there was very little information documenting the “how to” of gardening in this climate – and absolutely nothing at all, at that time, on growing using chemical-free and regenerative principles.

The seeds of an idea for a book were planted, and came to fruition four years later in the shape of a beautiful, uniquely informative illustrated journal. The book’s writers are clear that none of them are “professors of botany or qualified horticulturalists”, but that the book is written from the perspective of “leaving the earth better than how we found it”.

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November 4, 2017   Comments Off on United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula

Africa: In Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, recycled materials to grow food in the city

For J2D_Afrique, the solution lies in growing vegetables out of kits made up of old plastic bottles and rice sacks.

By Pierre Nka
Le Quotidien de l’économie
African Business Magazine
27 October 2017

Excerpt:

Given the scarcity of fertile land in the urban environment, urban agriculture using discarded plastic bottles has emerged as a potential alternative in Yaoundé, a city which is facing demographic pressure. “Young people come to the cities to look for work. It’s becoming urgent to build more housing and the pressure is such that the peri-urban areas are starting to disappear,” Kondzou explained.

His theory is clear: “when we speak about urbanisation, we’re talking about houses. Building houses means using concrete, and concrete is not good for agriculture.” While land that used to be cultivable is increasingly being paved over, there is no drop in the amount of food that needs to be produced.

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November 4, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: In Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, recycled materials to grow food in the city

Feast TV: Urban Farming – 30 minute video

Kansas Urbavore Urban Farm, Columbia Centre for Urban Agriculture, Urban Harvest St Louis Rooftop

Feast Magazine
Mar 29, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Food isn’t only grown on expansive farms in the country. Farms are an increasingly common sight in cities. In this episode of Feast TV, we explore urban farming in all of its forms. We head to a rooftop farm made possible through innovative architecture, visit a compact teaching farm carved out of an urban neighborhood and explore a fully off-the-grid farm where ideals and flavorful produce thrive. Veggie-forward cooking is taking center stage in kitchens across the country and host Cat Neville will show you a classic Italian pie that showcases farm-fresh greens and eggs.

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November 3, 2017   Comments Off on Feast TV: Urban Farming – 30 minute video

Homeless Shelter Opens Community Garden In The East Village, New York

Here, for the community to see people [out in the garden], and maybe come inside and talk to them, it just breaks down those barriers.”

By Ciara McCarthy
Patch
Oct 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Project Renewal, the longtime housing and social services charity for homeless individuals, celebrated the opening of its new community garden on Wednesday. The garden brings a welcome addition to the organization’s oldest shelter on Third Street. The green space, which includes seating area for the shelter’s residents and a greenhouse where they’ll be able to grow fresh food, arrives thanks to a partnership between Project Renewal, the local community board, and the Department of Homeless Services.

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November 3, 2017   Comments Off on Homeless Shelter Opens Community Garden In The East Village, New York

UK city farms and community gardens – in pictures

A special moment for a visitor and a resident goat at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, a working farm and environmental visitor centre in the heart of the city. Photograph: Philippa Willitts

Some 200 city and school farms in the UK, as well as more than 1,000 community gardens, are supported by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.

The Guardian
Oct 27, 2017

Excerpt:

These community projects are not just fun places to visit with children: they use green space and growing plants and animals as a catalyst for real social action. Here is a taste of the urban countryside.

Many of the UK’s community growing sites are located in some of the most deprived urban areas, where people have little access to their own outside space. Research shows that taking part in gardening and farming activities can increase wellbeing and where community sites have been developed on wasteland, this can lead to a reduction in antisocial behaviour, such as fly-tipping and vandalism.

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November 3, 2017   Comments Off on UK city farms and community gardens – in pictures

United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

See City Farmer’s submission exhibited at the United Nations. Click image to see larger file.

Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat

United Nations Food Gardens Facebook
Nov 1, 2017
(Must See. Mike)

Our “Feed Your City – a showcase of small-scale urban agriculture initiatives in the Americas” exhibit is up in the UN Secretariat lobby. Please stop by and learn more about some of the many wonderful community gardens across North, Central and South America committed to sustainability, community and connection between people and planet!

We are very excited and happy to announce that the selection for the first annual Feed Your City showcase has officially been completed! Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat starting today, 30 October!

These submissions, along with another six qualifying submissions, will be published on the UN Food Gardens website and shared through social media in recognition of their outstanding efforts to further sustainable urban agriculture and community involvement! A special thank you to UN-HABITAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme for participating in the review and selection panel.

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November 2, 2017   Comments Off on United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

Canada: What to do with those Jack-o’-lanterns after Halloween?



Go to timeline: 01:52:25 to hear the four minute piece.

City Farmer’s Lynsey Dobbie answers that question on CBC Radio

City Farmer has composted in dozens of bins over the years. We recommend ‘rodent-resistant’ bins to all Vancouver gardeners because rats are a common pest in our City.

Some of the bins:

FreeGarden Earth Bin: In 2017, The City of Vancouver began offering this plastic bin for sale at a subsidized rate of $25.

Cedar Creek Bin: All bins are lined with 19 gauge galvanized wire mesh to aid rodent resistance.

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November 2, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: What to do with those Jack-o’-lanterns after Halloween?