February 3, 2011

Urban Farming Movement Discussion

I recently listened to a Commonwealth Club podcast of a panel discussion on The Urban Farming Movement

The Podcast is available here, scroll to #81, 5/20/2010.

You can get the audio in Real Audio format here.

Here is the description:

The Urban Farming Movement

Jason Mark, Co-manager, Alemany Farm; Editor-in-Chief, Earth Island Journal Novella Carpenter, Founder, Ghost Town Farm; Author, Farm City Christopher Burley, Founder, Hayes Valley Farm David Gavrich, Founder, City Grazing Sarah Rich, Writer; Editor; Co-founder, The Foodprint Project; Co-author, Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century - Moderator

Enterprising city dwellers are bursting from their pre-packaged lives and taking back their choices for consumption. Urban farms foster community and healthy eating beneath towering city blocks, where fast and easy often supersede fresh and home-grown. Like SF’s own Alemany Farm and Hayes Valley Farm, these urban crop spaces allow neighbors to trade their Swingline staplers for pitchforks and break new ground. Fresh, organic veggies are grown and sold, and the locavore food economy is epitomized. What’s the appeal of throwing away the chain grocery store for the neighborhood till?

Come hear from local leaders of the movement like Novella Carpenter, founder of Oakland’s Ghost Town Farm, and trailblazing San Franciscans Jason Mark, of Alemany Farm, Christopher Burley, founder of Hayes Valley Farm, and David Gavrich, "goat whisperer" and founder of City Grazing. They’ll discuss the urban farming movement's place in the world of organic, local-grown culture, and how they’re bringing the farm to the city - goats included!

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club on May 12, 2010

December 20, 2010

Chickens In The Garden

Jill Richardson: I Took a Chicken to the Doctor

I've broken the beauty of chickens down into their component parts but as you can see it's a cycle. Chickens take unwanted things from my home and yard and turn them into valuable products - eggs, fertilizer, and meat. Or in my case, eggs, fertilizer, and cute fun pets that I will never eat.

Can you garden without chickens? Yeah. But as I've found over the past year, it kinda sucks. I started gardening with totally dead soil. We compost. We have a worm bin. And our family of four produces entirely too little compost to feed our soil.

July 16, 2010

Back Yard Farming

I was recently sent an article about Back Yard Farming in Minneapolis. It is very interesting. Take a look at:

July 6, 2009

The Connection Between What We Eat and How We Feel and How Healthy We Are

They're eating food grown in the White House vegetable garden.

The Obamas' first harvest,

Working with a few professional supervisors under the eye of their host, they pulled up a big bounty: 73 pounds of lettuce, 12 pounds of peas and one cucumber (which had originally been white but was yellow by the time the kids got to it). And then they all went inside to cook, before returning to the garden to eat.

First Lady Michelle Obama said,
"My hope is that [through] this garden, we can continue to make the connection between what we eat and how we feel and how healthy we are," she told the kids...

March 19, 2009

There Will Be A White House Vegetable Garden

In January I wrote about different groups suggesting there be a White House vegetable garden.  Well now there is some great news: Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden,

On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II.

. . . While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern. In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

. . .Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said laughing. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, would probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”

This is wonderful news!

January 16, 2009

A Vegetable Garden at the White House

Alice Waters of Chez Panisse has written an open letter to Barack Obama, asking for a garden at the White House as an example. You can read it at Alice Waters's Open Letter to the Obamas: Food Politics. Here is an excerpt,
Of course, I cannot forget the vision I have had since 1993 of a beautiful vegetable garden on the White House lawn. It would demonstrate to the nation and to the world our priority of stewardship of the land—a true victory garden!

January 9, 2009

Urban Homesteader

Dave wrote a post at Smelling the Coffee that quoted an article titled How You Can Start a Farm in Heart of the City. I read that article and it inspired me to write, and gave the inspiration for this new blog.

The article talked about exactly what I am -- an urban homesteader. This paragraph is me:

Before you start thinking that you have to move somewhere else to grow your own food, take another look around. With a couple of notable exceptions, American cities sprawl. They are full of wasted space. As a homesteader, you will begin to see any open space as a place to grow food. This includes front yards as well as backyards, vacant lots, parkways, alleyways, patios, balconies, window boxes, fire escapes and rooftops. Once you break out of the mental box that makes you imagine a vegetable garden as a fenced-off parcel of land with a scarecrow in it, you'll start to see the possibilities. Think jungle, not prairie. The truth is that you can grow a hell of a lot of food on a small amount of real estate. You can grow food whether you're in an apartment or a house, whether you rent or own.

Do you have 4' ? 8' feet of open ground? If you don't have a yard, do you have room on a patio or balcony for two or three plastic storage tubs? If you don't have that, then you could get a space in a community garden, a relative or neighbor's house, or become a pirate gardener, or an expert forager -- some of the tastiest greens and berries are wild and free for the taking.

I do exactly what this says. I look around at every available space and wonder why there is nothing growing on it. The concrete triangle of wasted space at the beginning of the street I live on upsets me because there is nothing on it – just concrete. If we owned the house? The grass would be gone bye bye IMMEDIATELY and fruit and veggies would be there. That is why I keep saying I could not live in an apartment and when we move it has to be somewhere with a garden or space for one.

-- Sudeep