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  #101  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2012, 9:10 PM
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Rooftop farm for B’klyn Navy yard


March 13, 2012

By RICH CALDER

Read More: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...TpKSlnIm173msI

Quote:
From shipyard to industrial park — and now farm. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is taking “going green” to heart, opening a 45,000-square-foot rooftop farm to supply local restaurants, shops and foodies with fresh, organic produce. Brooklyn Grange — which, oddly, is based in Long Island City, Queens — is expanding the operations of its first-ever Big Apple rooftop produce garden by opening a new open-air farm atop a Navy Yard building near Flushing Avenue and Cumberland Street. The site was once used for manufacturing by the military but is now part of the city-run industrial park.

- The roof will include an enclosed greenhouse, and the open-air area won’t be in operation during winter months. Flanner said the company is planning to host a regular “Farmer’s Market” outside the Navy Yard gates on Flushing Avenue. The farm will also provide produce and other ingredients for several businesses that operate at the industrial park, including Kings County Distillery. About 10,000 seedlings have been planted at the Long Island City farm and will be replanted at the Navy Yard. The project is being funded with a $592,730 grant in start-up costs by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection because the farm is expected to soak up enough rain to keep more than 1 million gallons of sewage out of the East River per year.

.....
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  #102  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 8:30 PM
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Gardener on the Roof: Examining Urban Farming


March 30th, 2012

By Irmak Turan

Read More: http://urbanomnibus.net/2012/03/gard...urban-farming/

Quote:
How do we measure and communicate the value of urban agriculture? That was the underlying question throughout “Gardener on the Roof: Examining Urban Farming” last Saturday at Union Docs in Williamsburg. The panel presentation and discussion, moderated by Nicola Twilley of Edible Geography, brought together individuals with varied backgrounds (two farmers, two city planners, and an artist) who take three different approaches (scientific research, community outreach, and art) to understanding the place of urban farming in New York City.

Tyler Caruso and Erik Facteau kicked off the event with a presentation of their research on the stormwater management potential of urban farms and their project Seeing Green. Their research aims to measure the environmental benefits of urban agriculture when employed as part of the city’s green infrastructure system, with a focus on the issue of combined sewer overflows (CSOs), a significant problem in New York anytime there is a heavy storm event. In other words, can urban farms contribute to the mitigation of environmental issues in the city in the same way that bioswales and blue roofs do?

The team identified three sites in the city for study, each with a different soil type and growing set-up: Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm in Long Island City, Added Value raised bed farm in Red Hook, and the roof of the NYC Parks Department’s Five Borough Administrative Building on Randall’s Island. By measuring the evaporation and evapotranspiration rates of the soil on two of the sites (they are still raising funds to set up testing at Added Value), Caruso and Facteau are quantifying how much stormwater is retained (permanently absorbed by the soil) and detained (temporarily held in the soil) during a storm, thereby reducing the rush of runoff into the city’s sewer system. The type of soil, planting methods (raised beds vs. in-ground) and differing microclimate conditions all affect the retention and detention potential of the various sites.

Caruso and Facteau hope the results of their project will inform policy decisions made by City officials. They noted there is a lack of data-driven research on urban farms that can help to secure incentives and support from the City compared to other green infrastructure strategies such as green roofs. For example, rooftop farms are currently ineligible for the City’s green roof tax credit, despite providing the same environmental benefits as non-agricultural green roofs. By scientifically quantifying the stormwater effects of urban farms, the team hopes to prove the benefits of the sites beyond their bountiful produce.

.....



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  #103  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 3:32 PM
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Huge Rooftop Farm Is Set for Brooklyn
By LISA W. FODERARO
Published: April 5, 2012

Brooklyn is fast becoming the borough of farms. On Thursday, Bright Farms, a private company that develops greenhouses, announced plans to create a sprawling greenhouse on a roof in Sunset Park that is expected to yield a million pounds of produce a year — without using any dirt.

The hydroponic greenhouse, at a former Navy warehouse that the city’s Economic Development Corporation acquired last year, will occupy up to 100,000 square feet of rooftop space. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall, with the first harvest expected next spring.

When finished, the greenhouse will rank as the largest rooftop farm in the United States — and possibly the world, Bright Farms officials say. This spring, Brooklyn Grange, another rooftop farm developer, is set to open a 45,000-square-foot commercial operation at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“Brooklyn was an agricultural powerhouse in the 19th century, and it has now become a local food scene second to none,” said Paul Lightfoot, the chief executive of Bright Farms. “We’re bringing a business model where food is grown and sold right in the community.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/ny...y-farming.html
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  #104  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 11:36 PM
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In an old Chicago meat plant, greens and fish grow

By MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer – 1 day ago

CHICAGO (AP) — They call this place the Back of the Yards, a neighborhood in the middle of the city once filled with acres and acres of stockyards.

In their heyday, those stockyards gave Chicago a reputation as the world's meat-packing capital — but also as an environmental and health horror brought to life in the stark images of Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle."

A few remnants of that industry remain here today. But the stockyards are long gone, replaced by an industrial park and a mindset that, from now on, Chicago will try to move past those images.

Now, you will find a jungle of a very different kind here.

It's on the third floor of an old meat-packing plant, a humid hothouse, of sorts, filled with rows of greens and sprouts, even exotic white strawberries. Nearby, in large blue barrels, lurk tilapia, fish native to tropical regions.

It's all part of the fledgling world of urban "aquaponics," vertical farms set up in old warehouses, where plants and fish are raised symbiotically. The idea is that water containing fish excrement is used to feed and fertilize the plants, which then filter that water before it goes, through a series of pipes, back to the fish.

"I never really saw myself going into farming — but this was an opportunity to try something different," says Mario Spatafora, a 24-year-old, spectacle-wearing accountant by training who is vice president of finances at this new Back of the Yards company, known as 312 Aquaponics. The company hopes it will soon be selling fish and vegetable greens to restaurants and at farmer's markets in the Chicago area.

...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a fan of vertical farming, has noticed and taken an interest in aquaponics.

"The mayor correctly believes that it can have a tremendous impact on these neighborhoods, both in terms of jobs and healthy food," says his spokesman Tom Alexander.

Emanuel recently visited 312 Aquaponics, which shares its old meat-packing plant building with such tenants as the Living Well Brewery, where fermented tea called kombucha is made, and the New Chicago Beer Co., a microbrewery that will open later this year.

The sunny space that 312 Aquaponics occupies has high ceilings and brick floors and warm, moist air. In it, visitors find rows of flats under grow lights. Many of those flats are filled with lettuce and "microgreens," tiny plants, such as basil or beets, that are grown closely together in hydroponic containers and used much like sprouts in salads and sandwiches.

Once the plants are ready for market, the flats will be covered and distributed to restaurants live so they stay as fresh as possible,...


"Technically, we're a farm," Spatafora says. "But nothing in the Chicago business code regulates farming. The closest thing they've got is a restaurant, and clearly, we're not a restaurant."

...

On the Net:

■312 Aquaponics site: http://www.312ap.com/home/
■Growing Power: http://www.growingpower.org/
■Sweet Water Organics: http://sweetwater-organic.com/
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  #105  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Michigan State proposes 100-acre, $100-million urban-farming research center in Detroit

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

April 13, 2012

Michigan State University has proposed building an urban-agriculture research center in the city of Detroit that over time could grow into a 100-acre campus and a $100-million investment.

The goal, said Rick Foster, director of MSU’s Greening Michigan Institute, is to make Detroit the center of a worldwide research effort devoted to growing food inside cities as a way to get fresh food to urban residents and to put vacant urban land back into productive use.

Research efforts would include “vertical agriculture,” in which food is grown inside multi-story buildings, and innovative ways to produce energy and conserve water in food production.

If implemented, Detroit would become the key research city in a network that includes Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and others.

...

He said any effort would likely start small, probably no more than about 10 acres. But Foster said he envisions the research effort growing over time into an entire Detroit campus, possibly including a business incubator devoted to food-producing businesses.

...
They are looking for suitable space on the lower east side. I'm guessing they could find a site from which to grow in Poletown given where they are focusing locating the thing.
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  #106  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2012, 8:19 PM
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One Thing Missing from the Urban Farm Movement: Farmers


Apr 24, 2012

By Nate Berg

Read More: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/nei...-farmers/1834/

Quote:
.....

Urban gardens and farms are appearing in backyards, schools and empty lots in cities all over the country. But people with the actual know-how and willingness to tend them – in other words, farmers – are far less abundant. For Dan Allen, this is a critical problem. He's an urban gardener in Los Angeles, and runs a company called Farmscape that helps tend small-scale farms in the city. While there's clearly interest in the idea of making urban areas into not just consumers but also producers of food, Allen sees that interest as fleeting.

- That diligent maintenance is, in another word, work — the kind of work that makes people sweat, gets dirt under their fingernails and maybe even gives them a sore back. Allen says he's seen countless gardens and urban farms wither from lack of pruning, poor attention to irrigation schedules, and just a general lack of understanding about how to turn a plot of dirt into a producer of food. Neglect is rampant in backyard farms and even more so in farms at schools, Allen says. Often the downfall of school gardens is summer. "Everybody goes on vacation and forgets about the garden.

- What these neglected gardens need, he argues, is more consistent and trained minders who have the skills and time to maintain them. He points to the urban farming initiative in Cuba, where the state actively supports the infrastructure and the farmers who, in Havana, are producing an estimated 90 percent of the city's fruits and vegetables locally. Despite growing official encouragement of urban farming from cities like Detroit, strong governmental support like that seen in Cuba is obviously a lot less likely in the United States. This is where companies like Allen's can become part of the picture. Farmscape currently tends about 150 urban gardens a week in L.A.

.....



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  #107  
Old Posted May 3, 2012, 4:57 PM
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SPUR, David Chiu push SF urban gardens


April 23, 2012

By Stephanie M. Lee

Read More: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNOH1O6RJO.DTL

Quote:
The craze over planting cabbage and carrots in the backyard has taken root in San Francisco in such a big way that it's grown well beyond the backyard. Almost 100 edible gardens have sprouted throughout the city, on both public and private land. Waiting lists for patches of soil can be two years, sometimes longer.

But while urban agriculture may be wildly popular, starting a neighborhood garden from scratch in San Francisco means tangling with as many as seven city agencies. Although the city changed zoning rules last year to allow gardeners to grow and sell food, its approach to urban farming could be simpler and reap greater benefits, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, or SPUR, says in a report being released Monday. Legislation that attempts to streamline the process will be introduced to the Board of Supervisors this week. "There are more people who want space to grow food than there is space to grow that food," said Eli Zigas, who oversaw the analysis as food systems and urban agriculture program manager for the smart-growth think tank.

The report, the result of a six-month study of the budding small-business model, makes the case for increasing that space. It calls on city agencies, including the Recreation and Park Department and the Public Utilities Commission, to provide more land to urban farmers, including existing public areas that are underused. The report identifies about 50 potential, and sometimes unconventional, spots where farms could grow, such as parks, rooftops, median strips and vacant lots. Urban farms will never be able to produce enough to feed every San Franciscan, Zigas said. But, he said, they yield benefits that go beyond fresh crops. They bring neighbors together, serve as potential sites for learning, absorb rainwater and can save the city from spending money to landscape and weed a site. In its report, SPUR recommends assigning the management of urban gardens to a single body.

.....
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  #108  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 9:31 PM
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http://www.coolhunting.com/food-drink/urban-farming.php

Urban Farming
Approaches to sustainable agriculture in several of the world's largest cities

Quote:
More than half the world's population now lives in cities, but when it comes to feeding them, trucking in the necessary amount of food isn't a sustainable process for any metropolis. Growing out of the need for better solutions, urban farming is becoming an increasingly common approach, whether resourceful groups and individuals are planting vegetables in a container on their back porch or are harvesting land as part of the burgeoning agricultural community.

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  #109  
Old Posted May 29, 2012, 3:32 PM
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'Vertical farm' blossoms at meatpacking plant


May 29, 2012

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Read More: http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/29/us/pla...html?hpt=us_t2

Quote:
An old meatpacking plant on Chicago's South Side is being transformed into an eco farm, which its founders says will produce food sustainably, while creating zero waste. American entrepreneur John Edel is the founder of "The Plant," a vertical-farm initiative that he hopes will show people the ease of adapting to green food production in urban living environments.

- In 2010 Edel began repurposing the meatpacking plant and two years on it has opened its doors to both the public, and business opportunities. Edel says of The Plant's ethos: "It started out minimal (waste) because that's how I've always operated ... Using as little resource as possible to do things. At a certain point I realized if we built an anaerobic digester, we could get our waste down to zero." The Plant's anaerobic digester uses bacteria to break down organic waste into biogas -- comprised of methane and carbon dioxide -- and material that can be used as fertilizer. A "combined heat and power system" will convert the methane into energy, which Edel says will take The Plant completely off grid and allow it to produce large quantities of food with zero waste output.

- Despite still being under construction The Plant currently has five tenants, including aquaponic farms, a hydroponic farm, bakers, tilapia fish breeders, a mushroom garden and a kombucha tea brewer (a type of tea said to have health benefits). Their products are sold to local restaurants, cafes and markets, as well as used to produce more food within the farm itself. Recycling is also a big part of the inner workings of The Plant and tenants work with each other to use their waste output in their food production and farming techniques. For example, the tilapia fish produce ammonia-based waste, which is sent through a biofilter before the nitrates are fed to plants growing in hydroponic beds. The plants absorb the nitrates, cleaning the water, which is then returned to the fish in an example of a "completed loop cycle." Edel says: "The key to this farm is the closing of loops: energy loops; resource loops; money loops -- by keeping jobs local. If you can close the loops, you can make things more sustainable."

.....



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  #110  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 5:41 PM
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Growing Pains: Why Is L.A. So Hard on Urban Farmers?


June 12, 2012

By Willy Blackmore

Read More: http://www.good.is/post/growing-pain...urban-farmers/

Quote:
.....

The city of Los Angeles is an ideal place to stage an urban farming revolution—if the government chooses to dig in. L.A. is temperate year-round. It’s got lawns for miles. If the city devoted 9 percent of its urban land to crops—we’re capable of growing everything from beans to lettuce to melons to squash here—its residents could essentially survive on our own produce. In 2010, only 6,000 acres of land in L.A. county were devoted to growing food, with less than 100 of those farmed organically. Nursery products like ornamental trees and ground cover plants currently account for more than half of the county’s agriculture. In one assessment of 50 large U.S. cities’ support of local food, L.A. ranked 43rd.

- Orange groves made way for Craftsman homes in Pasadena. Wheat fields were paved over with wide Valley boulevards. The post-war boom hit, and the rush of high-paying jobs in aerospace and manufacturing funded block after block of idyllic suburban housing. By 2008, the county’s citrus space had dropped to 1,075 acres worth just over $14 million, and the value of L.A. real estate had skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the families moving into those high-priced Craftsman bungalows were starting to crave more locally-grown foods on their dinner plates, and visits to the farmers market became a weekly must for many Angelenos. To meet growing demand for that fare, Tara Kolla started her own backyard flower farm in a residential corner of Los Angeles in 2003. But Kolla soon found that those outdated gardening restrictions were still on the books.

- Kolla’s experience turned her into an accidental activist. Now, she’s been joined by a coalition of farmers, businesses, and researchers that’s organizing to push the city’s agricultural policy further into the 21st century—and into the upper ranks of American cities with progressive urban agriculture agendas. “We all want to grow food and we want it to be easy,” says Francesca De la Rosa, co-chair of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s working group to advocate for urban agriculture policy in the city. That would mean limiting bureaucratic hurdles, clarifying the rules, and extending some base-level incentives to urban agriculturalists—from overhauling the city’s free compost and mulch giveaway programs to extending the reduced water-usage rate that big agriculture enjoys for smaller edible landscaping and gardening projects. The city could also help out by freeing urban farmers to supplement their edible produce with more lucrative prepared products—land and water in L.A. don’t come cheap.

- Activists are also encouraging L.A. to find farming opportunities in its own backyard—the city’s underused public parks, city-owned vacant lands, schools, hospital grounds, green spaces between the sidewalk and the street—even its prison yards. To push the issue, L.A.-based edible landscaping outfit Farmscape has launched a stunt campaign to elect the company mayor under a platform to “bring farms back to the city.” As a company, Farmscape designs, builds, and maintains container gardens for private clients, restaurants, and schools. As mayor, it would take the same approach to the city’s public spaces. “We would transform many of the city-owned spaces—City Hall, Griffith Park, the police station—into urban edible paradises,” said Rachel Bailin, Farmscape’s marketing media manager. Yes, Farmscape is a private business championing its own public political platform, but even its self-serving mission helps highlight one of the major impediments to urban farming's spread in L.A. As Bailin sees it, community organizing in urban agriculture can never compete with the economic sway a multinational corporation has in dictating agricultural policy.

.....



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  #111  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 7:52 PM
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Maybe because it never rains there? I was surprised by just how brown most of Southern California was outside of the irrigated cities.
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  #112  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2012, 2:08 PM
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Farmscape Brings Urban Agriculture to Los Angeles


June 25, 2012

Read More: http://www.good.is/post/farmscape-br...o-los-angeles/

Quote:
In a dry and sunny city like Los Angeles, planting grass is one of the more useless ways to use your property. It takes a lot of water to grow and it's expensive—but beyond that, what's the point when the climate supports much more interesting flora, like succulents, and delicious ones, like fruits and vegetables? A company called Farmscape is proving that there's enough of an appetite for farming on residential land to turn the proposition into a high-growth business. The less-than-four-year-old company has 12 full-time employees—including seven farmers who receive a living wage plus healthcare—and is looking to keep growing.

"One of the things that people don’t talk about when they talk about the food system is who is working," says Rachel Bailin, Farmscape's marketing manager. It's often poorly paid and vulnerable migrant workers. But the company is changing that by bringing farm labor out into the open, into the yards of city-dwellers and businesses. So far they've installed more than 300 urban farms throughout the L.A. area and maintain 150 of them weekly.

Projects range from a rooftop garden on a downtown Los Angeles highrise to small plots for families. An exciting project in the works is a three-quarter acre-sized farm for a restaurant in the West San Fernando Valley. And the diversity of the projects is echoed by the diversity of their clients. "When we first started, we expected that our clients would be of a higher income level and would be two-parent working families," says Bailin. Instead, Farmscape has been delighted to build gardens for preschool teachers, single mothers, and institutions and businesses that want employee gardens as perks.

.....



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  #113  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Growing Pains: Why Is L.A. So Hard on Urban Farmers?


June 12, 2012

By Willy Blackmore

Read More: http://www.good.is/post/growing-pain...urban-farmers/
Have you guys seen The Garden?

Such a travesty:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1252486/
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  #114  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 4:26 PM
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To Find Fields to Farm in New York City, Just Look Up


July 11, 2012

By LISA W. FODERARO

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/ny...imes&seid=auto

Quote:
.....

New York City is suddenly a farming kind of town. Almost a decade after the last family farm within the city’s boundaries closed, basil and bok choy are growing in Brooklyn, and tomatoes, leeks and cucumbers in Queens. Commercial agriculture is bound for the South Bronx, where the city recently solicited proposals for what would be the largest rooftop farm in the United States, and possibly the world.

- The main difference between this century and previous ones is location: whether soil-based or hydroponic, in which vegetables are grown in water rather than soil, the new farms are spreading on rooftops, perhaps the last slice of untapped real estate in the city. “In terms of rooftop commercial agriculture, New York is definitely a leader at this moment,” said Joe Nasr, co-author of “Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture” and a researcher at the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University in Toronto. “I expect it will continue to expand, and much more rapidly, in the near future.”

- Gotham Greens began harvesting from its hydroponic greenhouse on a rooftop in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn last year; it plans to open three more next year in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The existing operation, with 20 employees, grows bok choy, basil and oak leaf lettuce, and sells to retailers like Whole Foods and FreshDirect.

- Brooklyn Grange, another farming operation, incorporated with the intention of finding a site in Brooklyn. But two years ago, a one-acre rooftop became available instead in Long Island City, Queens. The partners, led by Ben Flanner, the president and head farmer, spread out 1.2 million pounds of soil and started planting. This spring, Brooklyn Grange finally made good on its name, starting a second farm on a 65,000-square-foot roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where more than 100 rows feature pattypan squash, scallions and beefsteak tomatoes.

.....



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Old Posted Sep 3, 2012, 7:58 PM
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Counting the harvest: How numbers can save urban gardens


28 Aug 2012

By Christopher Weber

Read More: http://grist.org/food/counting-the-h...urban-gardens/

Quote:
.....

In the past, protests have coalesced around the threatened farm or garden. Now, a loose coalition of scholars and activists is taking a different tack. They’re proactively surveying gardens in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago in hopes that hard data — servings harvested, revenues earned, and more — will make landlords think twice before summoning the bulldozers.

- In New York, a geographer named Mara Gittleman is completing the third year of a garden survey called Farming Concrete. Gittleman recruited volunteers, mostly gardeners, to record the weight of the harvest (using kitchen scales) and the number and type of plants being grown. In 2010, the survey’s first year, she found that 67 New York gardens yielded 87,690 pounds of food, with an estimated value of $214,060.

- In Philadelphia, a garden survey is being driven by hopes of connecting threatened gardeners with legal aid. This July, I spent a morning with two University of Pennsylvania students, Michael Paci and Swaroop Rao, attempting to count the city’s community gardens. They were doing it the old-fashioned way, by visiting every single garden. Squatter gardens are common in Philadelphia. On the way to the target neighborhoods for the day, we passed scores of illegal vegetable plots, sometimes six or seven to a block. Though some had been tended for decades, they had recently begun to wane. A 2008 study found that the number of community gardens in Philadelphia was declining, despite rabid interest in urban agriculture.

.....
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2012, 3:36 AM
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A road map for urban agriculture in NYC


25 Sep 2012

By Jared Green

Read More: http://grist.org/food/a-roadmap-for-...ulture-in-nyc/

Website: http://www.fiveboroughfarm.org/

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Although there are 700 urban farms and gardens spread throughout New York City’s five boroughs, urban farming there still feels ad-hoc, somewhat tacked-on in many places. The gains have been slow and future progress isn’t guaranteed.

To boost the long-term prospects of urban farming in the U.S.’s biggest city, the Design Trust for Public Space and its partner, the Red Hook-based nonprofit Added Value, just launched a new report some three years in the making called “Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture,” along with a companion website. The project seeks to create a comprehensive “road map” with the goal of helping stakeholders — policymakers, community groups, farmers, and designers — “understand and weigh the benefits” of urban agriculture, while making a compelling case for significantly ramping up local government support for this growing field. Basically, if you’ve been looking for a thorough examination of all the policy aspects of urban farming, this is it.

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  #117  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2012, 11:01 AM
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It's taken three years, but it looks like Detroit is finally going to put in place its urban farming ordinance, and this one is more generous and liberal than originally proposed:

Quote:


Large-scale farming projects in Detroit might be under way by next spring

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

October 8, 2012

...

The draft Urban Agriculture Ordinance is expected to go before the City Council's advisory City Planning Commission later this month, and the council itself would then take up the ordinance in January.

Written with the advice of nonprofit community gardeners and advocates of large-scale farming, the ordinance puts no size limits on urban farms, and it permits the sale of produce through many avenues, from farm stands on the property to farmers markets and directly to public or private entities, either retail or wholesale.

Proposed projects like Hantz Farms and RecoveryPark would still have to win approval from city planners, and may be required to conduct soil testing or other measures. But they would have the zoning ordinance on their side rather than against them.

...

"It's broad enough to allow our work to move forward along with all the existing gardens," Mike Score, president of Hantz Farms, said late last month. "My impression is that a very broad range of interests were responded to, so it's well-written."

"I think it's very comprehensive," said Gary Wozniak, president and CEO of the proposed RecoveryPark farming project. "I think it covers all the bases in terms of the different sizes and different types of communities these things can go into."


...

The draft ordinance does not contain language allowing farm animals, but Kathryn Lynch Underwood, a City Planning Commission staffer heading up an urban agriculture study committee, said the city will revisit that next year once the initial ordinance is passed.

Eventually, she said, planners would like to allow for chickens, rabbits and bees to be raised in the city -- all of which are being done anyway, although without the blessing of an ordinance.

Besides dealing with farm animals in a later revision, the ordinance could be reopened as other concerns arise, she added.

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The ordinance is pretty surprising as the parties that are now praising it were fuming when it was originally brought up because it was drawn so narrow and restructive.
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  #118  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 7:22 PM
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These guys want to provide the nation’s capital with a steady source of local food

Read More: http://grist.org/food/these-guys-wan...of-local-food/

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.....

Jim Epstein, a food-minded real estate developer, founded Blue Ridge Produce with the owner of a small retail market in Charlottesville, Mark Seale, after stumbling upon a common vision — and this facility. Together, the two men hope to create a food hub much like the many that have sprouted up around the country to help the local food industry scale up in recent years. The difference, however, is that Epstein and Seale are hoping to make a profit. And the fact that this model is being seen as an investment opportunity says something about the stability, inevitability, and urgency of the local food market.

- Many food hubs serve as the marketing and distributing arms for growers wanting to break into the larger-scale markets of nearby cities. And many are nonprofits (including Charlottesville’s Local Food Hub). They are often built from the growers up, establishing their own distribution streams that run parallel to the mainstream food system and include deliveries to individual restaurants or homes. But Epstein and Seale want to work within the existing channels, recruiting Sysco and Aramark to add local produce to their D.C.-bound truckloads, while aggregating food directly from farmers. James Barham, an agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s marketing service, who has visited the facility twice, says Blue Ridge’s laser-tight focus on aggregation is unique. “They can really complement and add value to the traditional distribution system … and focus on [helping] producers building capacity to meet demand.”

- But like other efforts to scale up of the local food movement, Blue Ridge has seen its share of complexity. While it may be Virginia-grown, most of the produce isn’t organic — at least not yet. But Seale is encouraging the farms he works with to transition acreage to organic over time. And while the company’s website says it will “strive to source from organic, local and low-spray producers,” it’s unclear when this will occur. But organic or not, a switch to produce can be good for farmers. A study of farms in Virginia’s Culpepper County found that locally sold produce earned up to $3,000 per acre versus the $250 per acre earned in the commodity grain or feed crops that have traditionally been grown in the area. “Some of our farmers put additional acreage into produce this season, because they knew we’d be there to sell it,” Seale says.

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  #119  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2012, 3:37 AM
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A Vertical Farm For San Diego

Read More: http://earthtechling.com/2012/11/a-v...for-san-diego/

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The project, designed for the city’s historic Gaslamp district, was conceived of to address the growing issues of population growth and food supply — San Diego’s in particular. With the majority of the city’s produce arriving from the Imperial and Central valleys, as well as neighboring states and other countries, this building-integrated vertical farm was designed to help alleviate dependence on these sources of food for the 30,000 plus residents of San Diego’s central urban core, via architecture that addresses food sustainability.

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  #120  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2012, 6:29 PM
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- That diligent maintenance is, in another word, work — the kind of work that makes people sweat, gets dirt under their fingernails and maybe even gives them a sore back. Allen says he's seen countless gardens and urban farms wither from lack of pruning, poor attention to irrigation schedules, and just a general lack of understanding about how to turn a plot of dirt into a producer of food.
See there's this stuff called money, usually people won't do work without it.
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