New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Policy

Climate Corps America: The urban farms transforming how America’s most vulnerable communities eat

In the second part of our series exploring how President Biden’s idea for a nationwide Civilian Climate Corps might work, Louise Boyle looks at an urban farm in Baltimore helping to feed low-income communities and building resilience in the face of a changing climate

By Louise Boyle
Independent
Feb 22, 2021

Excerpt:

The microwave plays a significantly more important role to urban farming in Baltimore than you might first imagine.

“Our butternut squash comes from a seed which makes it little and easily microwaveable,” Gwen Kokes, food and farm programme director at Civic Works, told The Independent. “For our [customers] this is really important as it might be too expensive to turn on the gas to cook or the oven might not be working.”

The squash, along with a range of produce, is grown at Real Food Farm, one branch of Civic Works urban service corps program in Maryland’s largest city.

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March 1, 2021   No Comments

Canada: Urban Farmers Have Been Leaving Vancouver for Greener Pastures

Aaron Quesnel’s microgreens farm, Sky Harvest, used to be housed in an industrial warehouse in Vancouver. But the city’s policies eventually pushed it out. Photo by Nic West, courtesy of Sky Harvest.

The city aimed to host 35 urban farms by 2020, but its policies have resulted in more farm closures than openings.

By Lindsay Campbell
Tyee
Feb 22, 2021

Excerpt:

Less than four years ago, inside an industrial warehouse on East Vancouver’s streets of Powell and Victoria, Aaron Quesnel was living his microgreen dreams. Under stacks and stacks of towering shelves, amid the hums and florescent hues of grow lights, Quesnel and his farm staff spent their days tending to the seeds and sprouts of baby vegetables before hopping on their bicycles to deliver fresh harvests in recycled packaging. His operation, Sky Harvest, had gained a reputation amongst a loyal base of 60 restaurants and local retailers as a choice producer of nearly 20 different microgreen varieties.

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February 23, 2021   No Comments

The State of Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture – New York

Intro No. 1059 A Local Law in relation to a report on community garden food processing and agriculture.

By Charles Platkin, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., Distinguished Lecturer, Hunter College, CUNY
New York City Food Policy Centre
January 27, 2021

Excerpt:

We recommend the following:

Continue and expand the GreenThumb urban gardening program.
Increase development of urban agriculture, including hydroponic production gardens, rooftop production gardens, and other measures to combat food insecurity in under-resourced communities.
Create and expand community gardens and/or other community production gardens, including hydroponic production gardens and rooftop gardens, in NYCHA public housing.
Explore additional ways community gardens and urban agriculture can contribute to the New York City food supply.
Ensure the protection of community gardens from future development projects.
Develop legislation and/or tax incentives that promote urban agriculture.
We at the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center stand ready to support community garden food processing and agriculture.

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February 23, 2021   No Comments

New ordinance could allow St. Pete, Florida residents to grow and sell produce on their property

… in residential districts, allow on-site sales of produce (including honeybee products) on residential properties with limits on frequency, up to 36 times per calendar year;

By Andrew Harlan
I love the burg
Feb 17, 2021

Excerpt:

One major change is opening up community garden guidelines. Currently, it operates on a not-for-profit basis. The amendment would remove that restriction.

The purpose of these text amendments is to expand opportunities for the production and sale of produce in the City by removing regulatory barriers as follows, via the City of St. Pete website:

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February 23, 2021   No Comments

Michele Rayner joins Darryl Rouson in Florida legislation promoting urban agriculture

Michele Rayner

Increased hunger from the impacts of the pandemic acted as motivation for the bill.

By Kelly Hayes
Florida Politics
February 16, 2021

Excerpt:

The bills, SB 628 and HB 1013, would expand some of Florida’s current statutes on farming to meet the needs of urban agriculture, the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around a dense, urban environment. If passed, the bill would become the Florida Urban Agriculture Act.

The impact of the pandemic on hunger across the state is one of the primary motivations of the bill, Rouson said. Across the state, more than 2.7 million people struggle with hunger, including 819,370 children, according to Feeding America. And hunger has only been exasperated by the pandemic.

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February 21, 2021   No Comments

Canada: Urban Agriculture Policy and Possibilities – Vancouver

Farm plots per neighbourhood.

Our Policy and Possibilities report presents eight recommendations to the City of Vancouver, for how to improve the Urban Farm Guidelines and better support the growth of urban farming in the city.

February 2021
Vancouver Urban Farming Society

Recommendations

  1. Incentivize landowners to make land available to urban farmers using taxation or other policy tools.
  2. Make more City-owned land available for urban farming.
  3. Allow urban farming in all zones as a Permitted Use, and eliminate the Development Permit requirement.
  4. Create building bylaws appropriate for urban farm structures.
  5. Clarify and simplify the business license application process.
  6. Allow other urban farming products besides fruits and vegetables.
  7. Allow non-disruptive urban farming activities outside 8 am – 9 pm.
  8. Expand on-site sales and allow farm stands.
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February 20, 2021   No Comments

South Orange County neighborhoods help launch national urban farm movement.

Rancho Mission Viejo helped kick off a national trend in 2014 when it declared the new community of Esencia an “agrihood.” Now there are more than 90 such communities nationwide where a central amenity is a farm, which in fact can range from a full-fledged farm to a glorified community garden. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Participating households pay $100 per 6-month growing season and pitch in at least four hours of work each month.

By Martin Wisckol
Orange County Register
February 19, 2021

Excerpt:

Unlike traditional community gardens, the farms at Rancho Mission Viejo are fully integrated into the neighborhood from the outset of planning and are centrally located. Rather than individuals controlling their own plots, everything is communal. There are fruit trees, greenhouses for seedlings and, at the nearby Sendero Farm, a chicken coop tended wholly by residents.

There are also a host of related activities. These include twice monthly farm stands, where anyone in the community can buy produce, farming workshops, monthly harvests donated to the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, potlucks for the resident farmers (currently in virtual mode) and family days on Saturdays.

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February 20, 2021   No Comments