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The Rise of Urban Farming and Other Varieties of Sustainable Ag

The Rise of Urban Farming and Other Varieties of Sustainable Ag
My newest buzzword for 2011 is CSA. I'd never heard the term until recently, but now it seems to be popping up all over, as is interest in sustainable agriculture and urban farming. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture -- the practice of signing up with a local farm for weekly produce and, in some cases, meat and dairy. I first read about CSA in Kristin Kimball's recent memoir, "The Dirty Life," which is justly attracting rave reviews on Amazon. A Manhattan writer who gave up the city for love, she has been farming an organic spread, Essex Farm, in upstate New York since 2003, with her husband, Mark. Essex Farm provides a complete sustainable diet for its 150 members. Kimball's book is an engrossing depiction of the back-breaking work and edible rewards of CSA. Urban farming is also on the rise. Urban farming comes in a variety of models. A vision of urban and vertical farming. Next Page: More visions of urban farms.

Related:  Gardening

Plants For A Future : 7000 Edible, Medicinal & Useful Plants Recommended this month Permaculture News: Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN) and Free Research Handbook Research is one of the five key areas of the UK Permaculture Association's work. Hijacked Regulatory Agencies Do the Bidding Of Big Ag in the War on Natural Food Brandon TurbevilleActivist Post With recent headlines regarding SWAT team attacks on wholesome dairies and raw milk producers, it might be of some relevance to discuss the level of corruption that exists amongst our own hijacked government regulatory agencies and the international food corporations they are tasked with policing. Indeed, when one is aware of the revolving door that exists between agencies like the FDA and large corporations like Monsanto, it is easier to see how such fascist food raids can be launched and subsequently justified. A clear and relatively recent example of the influence and pressure that is often exerted on regulatory agencies can be seen in the debate over rBGH. Believe it or not, there was once a time when consumers were aware that dangerous genetically modified growth hormones in their milk was something that was potentially harmful to their health.

Planting A Pineapple Did y’all know that you can take this and turn it into… This? And that this will eventually produce… This? Yes, I’m talking about turning your average, ordinary grocery store pineapple into a tropical showpiece within your home. Small Urban Space Rain Gardens Rain gardens aren’t just for homeowners with large tracts of land. A rain garden planted in a small urban area can make a big difference in the water quality and environment of its surrounding area. When it rains in densely populated urban areas, impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and roofs not planted with gardens, trees, or turf, produce runoff that goes straight into storm sewers. Some storm drains carry water to treatment plants, while water from other storm drains washes directly into lakes, rivers, and oceans. Any time a large influx of water pours into an aquatic ecosystem, the balance of oxygen and nutrients is disturbed, causing death to aquatic life, and other disruptions of the ecosystem. Photo, City of Kingston, Melbourne, Australia

A Vertical Garden Feeds 10,000+ Visitors to Chicago O'Hare Airport Growing Your Greens/Video screen capture John of Growing Your Greens has been busy in Chicago. No sooner does he post a video of an old meat packing plant morphing into a gigantic vertical farm and food processing facility, than we also get a visit to an urban garden that is bang in the middle of Chicago O'Hare airport. Using an aeroponic Tower Garden growing system, the garden is growing lettuce, greens and herbs for airport restaurants with an almost zero transportation footprint. There is always a significant energy footprint involved with growing food indoors. Let the Fish do the work Starting up an aquaponic gardening system can be a rather easy job, particularly for those who have already tried the hydroponic system. Aquaponic gardening system – Let the fish do the work Yet, many people still have doubts about the efficiency of such a system.

Spinach or the slammer?: Defiant front yard gardener faces jail time Keeping with the beleaguered homeowner theme of my earlier post on a New Jersey homeowner whose private driveway, according to Google Maps, is the entrance to a nearby state park, here’s the just-as-irk-inducing story of Julie Bass, an Oak Park, Mich., resident who may face jail time — 93 days in the slammer to be exact — for her decision to landscape her front yard in a matter that Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski finds to be “uncommon.” Although I’m reminded of “brazen eco-martyrs” Quan and Angelina Ha, a water-conscious couple who battled the city of Orange, Calif., over their drought-tolerant front yard, it’s not xeriscaping that has Bass in hot water with Oak Park brass — it’s the luscious legumes that this rebellious locavore is unabashedly growing out front. So what exactly are Oak Park officials looking for in a suitable front yard? Ack. Have you ever gone head-to-head with officials in your community for growing a plot or two of veggies in your front yard?

Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert Photo: Laying mulch before the winter gives your soil a head start for the next growing season. It also protects delicate plants, adding the equivalent of a whole zone level to those that might not be hardy enough for the area. Kristin Schleiter, the acting Director of Outdoor Gardens at the New York Botanical Garden, shares some tips to make the most of mulch. When choosing the type you want to lay in your garden, avoid mulch made of raw wood (because it robs the soil of the nitrogen plants require) and any that are artificially dyed (since they add extra chemicals to the garden). Photo:

High-end consumers taking up urban farming Coco de Mer co-founder Sam Roddick in her “bee buffet” garden in London’s Hampstead. Photo by James Ostrer. Putting the Chic in Chicken Coop Gardening Tips ‘n Ideas A DIY Vertical Garden Example Ever since coming across Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden I’ve been interested to observe how this technology might transform the home gardening scene. I mean, it’s only a matter of time before we begin running out room for gardens to grow on a horizontal plane. Yet vertical – that’s another dimension altogether. For most home gardeners the concept isn’t a new one. We’ve been staking tomato plants, espaliering fruit trees and training creepers to grow over undesirable fences for aeons.

Aquaponic Gardening: Growing Fish and Vegetables Together What if I told you that you could catch fish for dinner right in your own backyard? And if you did, what if I told you that right up until you caught those fish, they were growing the veggies for the rest of your dinner? Would you believe me? You should! This is all within reach using a new style of gardening called aquaponics. Aquaponics is, at its most basic level, the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in water and without soil) together in one integrated system.