New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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33 year old Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol, England, saved

windmillSee larger map image here.

Celebrations As Bristol City Farm Is Saved By Hitting £50K Target

Bristol Evening News
December 21, 2009,

A city farm in Bedminster has been saved from closure thanks to the public, who have helped raise £50,000 in just five months.

The four-and-a-half-acre farm was started on derelict land in 1976 as a result of the demands of local people, and has grown to an attraction visited by 200,000 people every year.

Windmill Hill City Farm, which currently employs 80 people, is a registered charity, so there is no charge for entry, but every donation helps to keep the farm operating as a free community facility for the enjoyment of the public.

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December 21, 2009   Comments Off

Leadenhall City Farm Proposal – London, England

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Fungi and Rhubarb Garden – The north facing end of the site will be in shade most of the day and most of the year. Large logs would be impregnated with fungi spores, the rhubarb and mint would be grown beneath them providing interesting food and creating am exotic and educational lunch time destination.

Leadenhall City Farm
By Mitchell Taylor Workshop

“Parks, allotments and markets are set to spring up across Britain on the sites of building projects that have been mothballed in the recession.

“Piers Taylor, of Mitchell Taylor Workshop, one of the practices shortlisted for the Leadenhall site has proposed a city farm, populated with colour-coded chickens. He wants to create grassy banks to picnic on and plant blackberry bushes amid the surrounding steel, granite and glass.”
- from The Times Oct 30, 2009

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November 11, 2009   Comments Off

Rosie Boycott’s grow-your-own food revolution – London, England

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By Liz Hoggard
London Evening Standard
June 11, 2009

Rosie Boycott — career feminist, newspaper supremo and Mayor Boris Johnson’s “Food Tsar” — is proof you can start gardening at any age.

She was 51 before she picked up a spade. “Six years ago, I’d never grown a single vegetable,” she laughs.

Like many frazzled Londoners, she thought growing your own was some boring activity reserved for dullards and oldies with nothing better to do. Back then her life was full of smart parties and TV appearances. The first female editor of The Independent newspapers, she socialised with actors and politicians. In 1998 she became the editor of the Daily Express. But then in 2001 she lost her job when the paper was acquired by Richard Desmond.

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July 12, 2009   Comments Off

Seeds of change: cabbages and carrots could replace flowers in royal parks

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Dig for Victory in St James’s Park’s
See larger photo here.

By Sam Jones
The Guardian, June 30 2008

Designed for the Prince Regent by the architect John Nash, Regent’s Park is noted for its lovingly tended blooms. But soon the flower beds of that – and other London royal parks – could make way for rows of humble carrots, cabbages and globe artichokes.

In a plan inspired by American cities, the royal parks are pondering the creation of a string of model allotments to give the public a living, ripening illustration of the virtues of growing your own fruit and vegetables.

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August 12, 2008   Comments Off

Edible Cities – A report (2008) of a visit to urban agriculture projects in the U.S.A.

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New report shows edible cities are the future – Edible Cities, looks at examples of urban agriculture projects in cities and identifies a series of opportunities that other cities could be adopting.

The British group visited an inspiring range of projects in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York and noted a number of similarities to and differences from urban agriculture initiatives in London, including:

• A commercial element to many of the US projects, which is much less common in the UK;

• A more liberal situation in the US than in the UK to encourage composting, but less willingness than in the UK to include animals in some urban agriculture projects;

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May 25, 2008   1 Comment

Home Farmer Magazine

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New British magazine.

“Well Clayton in Manchester was just about the most inner city district in the country and we lived the ‘Good Life’ there. Only we didn’t really know it was the good life – it was just life. In amongst the back streets, where everything was purple from the dye works or noisy and full of smoke from the wireworks, we had hens and their eggs, pigs for their meat, and by the river there was an old man who kept sheep with whom we’d do a swap – a clutch of plucked hens for half a lamb.

“Within sight of my bedroom you could see the remains of Manchester United’s first stadium, the power station, a dozen factories, including the one that the Germans bombed, my school, rows of back to back houses and a few dozen little farms, because we all did our own. Own food, own furniture, own everything really.”

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April 14, 2008   Comments Off

Edible Roof Garden in Reading, England

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“Planting was completed in Spring 2002 and the garden is now well established. In an area of 200 m2, over 120 species of perennial plants from around the world thrive in soil only 30cm deep. The garden supports a range of layers, from roots, through small shrubs to our miniature version of a canopy layer. Most have multiple uses: food, medicine, fuel, fibre, construction, dye, scent.

“The garden demonstrates many ways we can all reduce our environmental footprint. Features include: composting of kitchen waste from the Global Cafe, irrigation using harvested rainwater pumped by renewable energy from a solar array and wind turbine, use of recovered soil and recycled newspaper, wood, stone and plastic in its construction.”

Link to roof garden here.

March 31, 2008   Comments Off