Thursday, January 24, 2013

Remember to keep an eye on City Farmer website

Hello everyone.

I hope you are bundling up well during the cold weather we're having (if you are in Southwestern Ontario, I mean ... -18C for London overnight!).  And if you are cocooning inside, I hope you have lots of seed catalogues.  I just received two from Vesey's out of PEI.  The one is of bulbs and plants - and has a gorgeous poppy on the front.  I'm actually afraid to look inside it and be tempted!  I love poppies. 

(In case you want a list of good sources for seeds, check out the resources page of Community Gardens London - - where there is a list that includes a place from most of the provinces.  An alter ego of mine maintains the website.)

I hadn't meant to start talking about seeds.  I was just looking over the City Farmer website ( and was excited by the variety of topics that turn up there: urban agriculture ideas and projects from so many different places.  The dozen or so articles most recently posted (thursday evening) by the amazing Michael Levenston are:

Seeds of Change®, a U.S. seed company (heritage and organic focus) and maker of nutritious organic foods just awarded twelve (12!) $10,000 grants to community groups to carry out community based gardening or sustainable farming projects.

There is a proposal in Detroit to by a group called RecoveryPark to turn a 3 acre site into an urban agriculture [social enterprise] project to fund its addiction treatment programs.  

Cultivating Community, Harvesting Health – Community Gardens to Urban Farms is the positive title of The American Community Gardening Association's annual conference to take place in Seattle in August.

A film about food in Austin, Texas explores the idea of what it would be like if an entire city could feed itself with healthy, local, organic food.  A big dream and people are trying to make it reality.

A beautifully illustrated calendar - all vegetables! -

National Center for Appropriate Technology, together the [U.S.] National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) are calling for papers on Innovations and Trends in Sustainable Urban Agriculture.  There's going to be a special issue on "Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems."
National Sustainable Agriculture Infomormation Service: ATTRA -
National Centre for Appropriate Technology: NCAT -

Barry Thomas Becht and Binah Godisall are a writer- artist team writing children's books in a series called Seven Kind Kids.  They've just done one titled The Community Garden.
   (I'm looking for their own website, so I don't put in a link to the Amazon conglomerate)

from Local Food supported by the Big Lottery Fund. It will use it for its Islington Combined Harvest project to try to produce high quality local produce for people in the area. The café will host tastings and children will be invited to learn about food production and agriculture.

Linked by Michael Levenston
The Canmore Community Garden in Alberta has plots for 100 gardens.  There's a new video out (from Verge Permaculture, I think) about the garden and one of its founders, Crystel Vultier.  Vultier also started the Farm Box project which sources local and organic food right from the farmers and distributes to 130 families weekly.
the video is right on City Farmer:
Information about Canmore Community Garden:

At the Moritzplatz in Berlin, a busy roundabout in the centre of bustling Kreuzberg, well over a thousand supporters have helped the site to grow “from an ugly vacant lot to a paradise”. Over 500 different types of herbs and vegetables are growing here.

Linked by Michael Levenston
St Werburghs City Farm is 34 years old
Two popular lion-haired rabbits have been returned to St Werburgh’s City Farm after they were stolen in a New Year’s Eve break-in. Vandals damaged animal pens, CCTV units and security lights at the Farm’s charity centre during the raid at 9.45pm. Following an appeal for information in The Post, police say they received an anonymous tip off from the community. The rabbits were then recovered from an address in Easton where the suspect was arrested.

The Badger Rock Middle School currently has 100 sixth and seventh-graders but will expand to 150 students next year. Students learn in a state-of-the-art building on Madison’s south side. The Center for Resilient Cities hosted a grand opening celebration on Sept. 18, 2012.

Makers and Eaters Unite: 100 farmers, 1 city
Fresh City is a city farm. We incubate farmers that change lives by farming the city for a living. Heading into our third growing season we are confident that our model is scalable. We want to expand our member farmer program so that each neighborhood has a farm and a farmer. We are confident that we can have 100 farmers growing 1,000,000 pounds of produce in Toronto within the next two years. But we need your help.

National Conference “Enhancing Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for sustainable livelihoods”
14-15 February, 2013
Planning for the Business of Growing Food in BC’s Towns and Cities
Complete Report on-line. ...written to help planners, engineers, and administrators ... to gain a better understanding of the potential, pitfalls, and best practices for growing, potentially raising, and selling food within town boundaries. Strategies and approaches outlined in the Guidebook provide local governments with tools to proactively plan for urban farming. This resource has been developed in collaboration and consultation with urban farmers, municipal staff, academics, and advocates.

No comments: