World’s largest urban farm to open – on a Paris rooftop

It’s a warm afternoon in late spring and before us rows of strawberry plants rustle in the breeze as the scent of fragrant herbs wafts across the air. Nearby, a bee buzzes lazily past. Contrary to appearances, however, we are not in an idyllic corner of the countryside but standing on the top of a six-storey building in the heart of the French capital.

Welcome to the future of farming in Paris – where a whole host of rooftop plantations, such as this one on the edge of the Marais, have been springing up of late. Yet this thriving operation is just a drop in the ocean compared to its new sister site. When that one opens, in the spring of 2020, it will be the largest rooftop farm in the world.

Currently under construction in the south-west of the city, this urban oasis will span approximately 14,000 sq metres (150695 sq feet) – also making it the largest urban farm in Europe. With the plan to grow more than 30 different plant species, the site will produce around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables every day in high season. Tended by around 20 gardeners, they will also be using entirely organic methods.

READ THE FULL STORY: TheGuardian.com

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/paris/

This Delaware teen is teaching ag skills for a sustainable future

Megan Chen — author, Dual School alum and rising junior at Newark Charter — has always had a passion for environmental issues. Now, she’s also the founder of a 501(c)(3) called the Urban Garden Initiative.

“I learned about the food desert problem in Wilmington, and I had an idea that I really wanted to stick with,” she told Technical.ly.

Chen is sharing the concept of urban gardening with kids as young as preschool age, through middle school — where agricultural education is often lacking — by partnering with local schools and teaching hour-long container gardening workshops. Classes can then maintain the containers themselves.

“We aim to spread environmental and sustainability education through the urban gardening educational component,” said Chen. “The gardens are one way to learn how to do that, but we go over other [aspects of sustainability], too.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT https://technical.ly/delaware/2019/08/12/megan-chen-urban-garden-initiative-teen-teaching-ag-skills-sustainable-future/

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/delaware-teen/

How Many Plants Can You Grow in a 12″ Container?

Before you start your seeds, and if you’re growing in containers, you should look over this infographic. We’ve given you a suggested number of plants that will grow successfully in a 12″ container. It would be a waste of money and time to start more seeds than you’ll need so here’s a simple guideline of where to get started!

Growing in containers is a fun and easy way to start vegetable gardening. They are ideal for anyone with a patio, balcony or rooftop garden. They also are popular among those who rent their home.

Ready to Learn MORE About Gardening In Small Spaces?

9 Of The Best Vegetables To Grow In Small Gardens

5 Vegetables To Grow In Containers This Fall

Tips For Successfully Starting Your Seeds Indoors

5 Tips For Growing Herbs In Containers

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/12-inch-container/

This farmer helps undocumented families find community

In Chelsea, Massachusetts — a 2-square-mile chunk of mostly industrial land across the river from Boston — a tiny urban farm sits in a gravel parking lot, sandwiched between towering, tarp-covered salt piles and a tightly packed residential neighborhood.

The farm was created to provide food for the Waterfront District’s high concentration of undocumented people, who don’t qualify for federal assistance and struggle to make ends meet in the gentrifying city. And that it does: 10 undocumented families visit the farm regularly to harvest from beds containing an abundance of peppers, holy basil, and fist-sized tomatoes.

But in the middle of its first growing season, the farm has also become a community hub. It’s a place for field trips, sharing knowledge, and people who just want to say hey. Excess food gets cooked into a weekly community meal held by a nearby young mothers’ program.

“We want to connect people back to growing, so they feel like they’re taking care of this piece of land together,” says Leilani Mroczkowski, food justice organizer and farmer extraordinaire for GreenRoots, the nonprofit behind the farm. “We also want to connect people to Chelsea.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE Grist.org

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/community/

Farm Stand Truck Could Bring Produce From Urban Farms To West Sacramento Food Deserts

Imagine hearing that familiar summer song and looking up to see a truck rolling up your block. Kids flag it down, only to find vegetables.

A mobile farm stand truck might be less exciting to kids than an ice cream truck, but the prospect of getting one in West Sacramento has proponents of urban agriculture pretty pumped up.

Here’s how it would work. Several urban farmers in West Sacramento would sell their produce through a refrigerated truck that stops in neighborhoods where residents face barriers when it comes to affording fresh, local produce.

Several areas of West Sacramento are designated as food deserts by the USDA.

The project is Sara Bernal’s brainchild. She’s the program manager of West Sacramento Urban Farms, which is part of the Center For Land-Based Learning, a non-profit based in Winters that runs farmer training programs. Bernal oversees 10 start-up farmers working on “incubator” plots that were formerly empty lots.

READ THE FULL STORY: CapRadio.org

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/farm-truck/

Urban farmer helps boys grow into responsible men through mentor program

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An urban farmer in Kansas City is using his skills and life experience to cultivate the minds of young men.

Dre Taylor is the founder of Males to Men, a rites of passage program that works to raise “strong, conscious and productive young men.”

“A man has accountability and responsibility with himself and his community and that’s what we try to teach our young men,” Taylor said.

One component of the program involves Nile Valley Aquaponics, a plant and fish-based farm at the corner of 29th and Washbash. Taylor, who operates the farm, uses it to teach the young men in his program valuable lessons.

SEE THE FULL ARTICLE AT Fox4KC.com

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/mentorship/

Green Umbrella helps secure the city’s future in urban agriculture

This month, Green Umbrella’s Greater Cincinnati Food Policy Council announced that the long-awaited Urban Agriculture Zoning Ordinance has finally passed in the City of Cincinnati. With this legislation comes increased freedom for residents and communities to take their food security into their own hands.

The Greater Cincinnati Food Policy Council is a formal initiative of Green Umbrella. Its mission is “to advance a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system” across all of Greater Cincinnati. The council works to address systematic and legislative changes that affect food systems and access on a community level.

The council program manager, Michaela Oldfield, says that this legislation is good news for Cincinnati residents as it cleans up the rules and regulations surrounding things like community gardens, backyard gardening, small-scale urban farming, and community composting.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE Soapbox Media

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/soapbox-media/

Detroit’s farmers are losing patience with the city’s outdated livestock laws

In March this year, Atieno Kasagam came home from a long vacation to find a slip for a misdemeanor complaint on the front door of her house. It cited her for possession of a farm animal without a permit and having an unlicensed dog.

It wasn’t the first time her and her partner Zomi Huron have gotten the fine, and it probably won’t be the last. The couple owns a produce farm, Ile Ibeji, spread across several lots in Jefferson Chalmers where they keep dozens of fowl—chickens, ducks, geese—and don’t plan on getting rid of any. It’s currently illegal to keep any “wild animals” inside the city limits, according to Detroit’s city code.

Kasagam was furious. She and Huron have been keeping animals for years and live on a block with lots of vacancies and only six neighbors, none of whom mind the animals. The law is largely enforced through a complaint-based system, so Kasagam suspects that an outsider spotted the animals and reported it.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE Detroit Curbed

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/detroit-livestock/

Summer Inspiration: 24 Food and Farming Change-Makers

Some of the most inspiring people we’ve covered this year are working to make the food system more just, sustainable, and equitable. -Civil Eats

Darren Chapman: A Phoenix Urban Farmer Growing Hope for the Formerly Incarcerated

Since 2005, the founder of the Tiger Mountain Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona has recruited and worked with thousands of formerly incarcerated people, teaching them practical, on-the-job skills for growing food, maintaining landscaping, and more. The foundation grows produce for 12 of the region’s farmers’ markets, and has helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurs launch their businesses.

Kate Greenberg: Shaping Colorado’s Farmland for the Next Generation

The 31-year-old advocate and policymaker has her work cut out for her: How to preserve the state’s farming and ranching traditions amidst a wave of farm retirements, development pressures, and climate change?

Art Cullen: Putting Rural Politics on the National Stage

The Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman from Storm Lake, Iowa, has used his “tenacious reporting, impressive expertise, and engaging writing” to get readers to look closer and think harder about the political, economic, and environmental challenges unfolding in the Midwest.

TO SEE THE FULL LIST VISIT Civil Eats

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/summer-inspiration-24-food-and-farming-change-makers/

Urban Farms Helping Chicago Neighborhoods Grow More Than Vegetables; ‘We Can Really Impact The Community’

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of acres in Chicago are little more than empty fields.

But CBS 2 Morning Insider Vince Gerasole learned they could sprout jobs and economic opportunity by converting them into farms. He spent a day down on the farm getting to know the people who work the soil.

“I get to eat a lot of good vegetables and grow a lot of vegetables,” said Urban Growers Collective production manager Malcolm Evans. “I can put in a lot of work and get a lot of love out of it.”

Evans grew up in the Cabrini Green public housing complex, so he didn’t know much about farming – or even where vegetables came from – until he started with Urban Growers in 2003.

He’s now worked in urban farming for 16 years.

READ THE FULL STORY Chicago CBS Local

Original source: https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2019/08/chicago-veggies/