Eight Innovations In Urban Farming in the United States

Português: Senegalês rega plantas.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Farming the cities is becoming more and more popular across the U.S. Youth, hipsters, and people who want to gain a connection where and how their food is produced are growing food on rooftops, balconies, window sills, backyards, and empty lots in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and cities all across the country.

Just Food: City Chicken Project: Organized by Just Food, this project educates urban gardeners on how to keep healthy, happy chickens, which, in turn, provide eggs, fertilizer and aerated soil.
Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barnes Center: Chef Dan Barber heads this innovative yearly conference at which participants take part in discussion panels ranging from urban farming to beekeeping to composting.
The Urban Farm Handbook: Written by two young urban farmers from Seattle, this book is a hands-on instructional guide for the novice urban farmer, covering a wealth of relevant topics.

Source: foodtank.org

Los huertos ecológicos van dando vida a la ciudad

Vigo view

Vigo view

Aunque la demanda mostrada por la ciudadanía viguesa es superior a la posibilidad real de poder participar en uno de ellos, lo que está claro es que llevan meses alegrando la vista entre tanto mobiliario urbano. Hablamos de los dos huertos urbanos cedidos por el Concello de Vigo tanto el de Camelias como el de Lavadores que ya funcionan completamente y, dos más en proyecto, el de Navia y el que se está ultimando ya en Teis.
Y es que, siguen floreciendo y dando sus primeros frutos los huertos urbanos que ocupan 3.000 metros cuadrados municipales. Vigo se suma así a la moda totalmente consolidada en otras ciudades como Madrid o Barcelona.
En estas primeras huertas ecológicas se invirtieron más de 21.000€. Actualmente, el huerto de Camelias cuenta con 100 metros cuadrados, mientras que el más grande es el ubicado en la parroquia de Lavadores, en concreto, en la calle Fontáns, con 2.236 metros cuadrados.

Source: vigoalminuto.com

Quand l’agriculture s’installe en ville…


Agriculture (Photo credit: thegreenpages)

Dans cet article, André Torre et Lise Bourdeau-Lepage s’interrogent sur la place de la nature en ville à travers la question de l’agriculture urbaine. Ils défendent l’idée que son avenir est étroitement lié à ses dimensions paysagères et esthétiques, voire éducatives, chères aux habitants des villes.

Longtemps célébrée comme un vestige des temps passés, l’agriculture en ville s’impose aujourd’hui à l’agenda des politiques, qu’il s’agisse des documents d’urbanisme (schémas de cohérence territoriale (SCOT), schémas régionaux de cohérence écologique (SRCE), plans locaux d’urbanisme (PLU)) ou des contractualisations locales (voir, par exemple, le Schéma directeur de la région Île-de-France (SDRIF), voté le 25 octobre 2012 et qui soutient l’agriculture de proximité). Comme les y incitent les lois SRU (solidarité et renouvellement urbains) et les Grenelles de l’environnement, les collectivités territoriales expérimentent des dispositifs fonciers innovants en faveur de l’agriculture de proximité : zones agricoles protégées, périmètres de protection et de mise en valeur des espaces agricoles et naturels périurbains, îlots fonciers, chartes foncières ou projets agri-urbains. Dans le même temps, émergent des initiatives du tissu associatif ou des riverains, comme les réseaux Terres en villes, Terres de liens, ou PURPLE au niveau européen, dont l’objet est de favoriser une gestion concertée de l’agriculture et des espaces agricoles périurbains et d’encourager l’installation de paysans et d’activités agricoles à proximité des villes (Torre 2012a).

Source: metropolitiques.eu

Interreg IVC Project LOCFOOD : Local Food as an Engine for Local Business

abundant harvest-local apples

abundant harvest-local apples (Photo credit: lmainjohnson7)

The entrepreneurs may have great knowledge about their product and the production phase, but lack of knowledge on businesses development, how to handle growth, cooperation, logistics, market knowledge etc. Other challenges are low profitability, small scale production and how to strengthen the regional advantages and uniqueness. An overall theme in sparsely populated areas is further depopulation.

The local food sector SMEs have a great potential of playing an important role in creating jobs and opportunities in rural areas. The local food represents a tool to develop new business opportunities and products, also promoting a higher degree of local pride and identity and providing secure jobs and economic growth. Starting from the awareness of the Regional and local authorities role in improving regional and local policies and considering the range of SMEs in the local food sector and the challenges encountered by small producers, regional strategies are of utmost importance to increase their competitiveness and success, LOCFOOD aims at fulfilling the need of experience exchanging and best practice sharing among policy makers to further develop common policies and strategies.

LOCFOOD goals are improving the existing policies and regional strategies for both SMEs and entrepreneurship in the local food sector, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovative actions concerning the use of local food.

Read more on the project

City Farmer: New Stories From ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’

the farmer in love - il contadino innamorato

the farmer in love – il contadino innamorato (Photo credit: Uberto)

Shoemakers, fashion models, computer geeks, politicians, lawyers, teachers, chefs … all city dwellers … all can grow food at home after work in back yards, community gardens or on flat roofs. For the past 34 years, City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit.

City Farmer website is a collection of stories about our work at City Farmer here in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world. The site is maintained by City Farmer executive director, Michael Levenston.

City Farmer’s first web site Urban Agriculture Notes (www.cityfarmer.org) has hundreds of pages of information about city farming. Begun in 1994, it was the first web site on the Internet to publish information about urban farming. Our Internet websites (.org and .info) grew out of our newspaper publication, “City Farmer”, which began in 1978.

City Farmer teaches people how to grow food in the city, compost their waste and take care of their home landscape in an environmentally responsible way. When visiting Vancouver, British Columbia, visit our staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, 2150 Maple Street, and see how we take care of our urban landscape. See a compost toilet, green roof, cob shed, organic food garden, permeable lane, natural lawn, waterwise garden, worm and backyard composter and more.

Source : City Farmer

Projet VARAPE : circuits courts et races locales

English: INRA 401 (Romane) sheep's head - Salo...

Salon international de l’agriculture 2011, Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quel est l’intérêt des circuits courts pour les races à petits effectifs ? comment mettre en place des filières collectives en circuits courts ? Quels sont les choix les fonctionnements les plus pertinents ? Pour répondre à ces questions, le projet CASDAR VARAPE, multipartenaires et multi-filières est mis en place de 2012 à 2015.

Le projet VARAPE a pour but d’identifier les facteurs de réussite ou les obstacles à surmonter pour la valorisation des races à petits effectifs, en particulier lors de la création de filières courtes collectives. Toutes les filières animales traditionnelles (bovins, ovins, caprins, porcs, volailles), sur l’ensemble de la France sont étudiées.
VARAPE regroupe des instituts techniques (Institut de l’Elevage, IFIP, ITAVI), des partenaires d’analyse (TRAME, INRA, CORAM), ainsi que les Syndicats ou Associations de 13 races volontaires pour participer au projet.
Le projet consiste à analyser une vingtaine de démarches existantes en France et en Europe, à suivre 13 races volontaires, puis à synthétiser et diffuser les acquis lors de trois séminaires annuels.

Plus d’informations : Projet CASDAR 2012-2014, animé par l’Institut de l’Elevage.

Pioneer in Sustainable Agriculture Shares His Vision of the Future of Food

Link to the video

Two Models of Food Production :

As Joel discusses in this interview, there are basically two different models of food production today, and there’s growing conflict between them. The first, and most prevalent, is the large-scale agricultural model that takes a very mechanistic view toward life, whereas the other—the local, sustainable farm model—has a biological and holistic view.

“As a culture, we view life as fundamentally mechanical; we’re asking ‘How do we grow the pig faster, fatter, bigger cheaper?’ And that’s all that matters.

… Our side asks, ‘How do we make the pig happier, more piggy, and more expressive of its pigness?’ We recognize the fundamental honor and sacredness of that life form or that being, if you will. That’s the fundamental difference,” Joel says.

“The amalgamation of farms has followed a mechanistic view. Machinery does run more efficiently when it runs 24/7. A bigger earthmover is more efficient than a smaller earthmover, because the bucket’s bigger and still only takes one operator to move more cubic yards of material. A mechanistic view does move a culture toward size, scale, and toward an inability to account for some of these unseen things.

But what’s happening now is E.coli, salmonella, mad cow disease, C. diff, and MRSA. I call that the biological Profit and Loss Statement that is starting to come to the fore and create awareness that, ‘Oh, maybe just growing it faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper isn’t all there is. Maybe there is more. Maybe it does matter if the earthworms are healthy. Maybe you can’t just replace earthworms with fossil fuel fertilizers.'”

I think this is an excellent point. The widely adopted factory farm “bigger is better” food system has reached a point where the fundamental weaknesses of it are becoming readily apparent, and food borne disease and loss of nutrient content are just two of the most obvious side effects.

It’s a proven fact that factory farmed and processed foods are far more likely to cause illness than unadulterated, organically-grown foods. For example, one study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks, and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks. Contamination occurred most often at farms that contained the most birds, typically 30,000 or more.

This connection should be obvious, but many are still under the mistaken belief that a factory operation equates to better hygiene and quality control, when the exact opposite is actually true. A pig rolling in mud on a small farm is far “cleaner” in terms of pathogenic bacteria than a factory-raised pig stuck in a tiny crate, covered in feces, being fed an unnatural diet of genetically modified grains and veterinary drugs

Source : articles.mercola

The importance of local food systems in promoting a healthy diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Catherine Golden:
Three-quarters of the French population do not follow the official government guidelines of the PNNS, or Programme National Nutrition-Santé (National Nutrition and Health Programme), which recommends eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day [1]. However, fruit and vegetables play a protective role in the prevention of diseases that appear in adulthood, like cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes[2]. Indeed, good health does not solely depend on eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day―the nutritive qualities of this food are equally important.

In fact, to gain the maximum benefit from fruit and vegetables, they should be eaten as soon as possible after harvesting and be subjected to a minimum of post-harvesting processes, because their nutritional value―mainly their vitamin content—gradually diminishes, to varying degrees, depending on the conditions in which they are harvested, stored, and transported [3].
Consumer health can be augmented by the consumption of local fruit and vegetables, so local food systems and sales need to be developed. Local food systems operate through two distribution channels: direct producer–consumer sales and indirect sales via a single intermediary. This matches increasing demands by consumers for regional, seasonal, healthy, and high quality produce, which helps preserve the environment and restores the social bond between consumers and producers. While there are very real economic, societal, and environmental benefits in establishing local food systems, they are still struggling to have an impact in terms of market share (it is estimated that only 7% of fruit and vegetables is currently distributed through local food systems [4]) and these systems are facing and have to surmount many challenges relating to logistics, economics, marketing, the environment, and training.

Source : BE citizen

Regulación, Participación y Agricultura Urbana

Análisis Legislativo, Normativo y de Modelos de Gestión en Londres, Berlín y Madrid :

Eat Local Food!

Eat Local Food! (Photo credit: donkeycart)

Descripción:  Moran Alonso, Nerea –  Hernández Aja, Agustín  : 

“En general las ciudades europeas cuentan con una amplia tradición de agricultura urbana, en la que las asociaciones de hortelanos juegan un papel importante en la gestión de los espacios y en la interlocución con las administraciones públicas. Por su parte los gobiernos locales desarrollan políticas de fomento de los huertos urbanos y han definido herramientas concretas para su regulación, protección y gestión. Esta doble tradición ha sido decisiva a la hora de resistir las presiones urbanizadoras que se producen en el suelo urbano. En el estado español no encontramos el mismo contexto normativo y las iniciativas de agricultura urbana están aún en periodo de ensayo, aunque son numerosos los programas municipales de huertos de ocio y están aumentando los proyectos liderados por asociaciones vecinales y ecologistas. Basándonos en los resultados del análisis se propone un modelo administrativo para el desarrollo de la agricultura urbana en las ciudades españolas, que parta de la definición de políticas concretas, el reconocimiento normativo en los planes de ordenación urbanística y en las ordenanzas municipales, y el diseño de un modelo de gestión en el que participe el gobierno local (adquisición de terrenos, infraestructuras, asistencia técnica y financiera, espacio de coordinación) y las asociaciones de hortelanos. Palabras clave: normativa urbanística, participación ciudadana, políticas públicas, huertos comunitarios.”

De la table à l’étable : il n’y a qu’un pas

English: Local food cartoon created for Transi...

English: Local food cartoon created for Transition Town Worthing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Les Artisans Bouchers privilégient les circuits courts. En contact direct avec l’éleveur en amont et le consommateur en aval, la “confiance” constitue le maître-mot. “De l’étable à la table, il n’y a qu’un pas”, insiste Philippe Wallois, secrétaire général du Syndicat des Bouchers de la Manche.

Comment a évolué le métier d’artisan boucher depuis 20 ans ?
“Il a été bouleversé tant dans le bon sens que parfois un peu trop vite au détriment de certains critères. Une des grosses difficultés à laquelle nous avons eu à faire face est la disparition des abattoirs publics. Dans la Manche, nous ne disposons plus que de Cherbourg et St-Hilaire-du-Harcouët. Il faut impérativement sauvegarder ces outils locaux d’abattage de proximité pour préserver les spécificités de notre filière avec des bouchers traditionnels qui vont acheter les bêtes chez les agriculteurs pour les revendre dans leur magasin. Le consommateur aime cette proximité. Nous pouvons lui dire où l’animal a été acheté. Où il a été abattu. Une relation de confiance s’établit. Si un jour nous venions à perdre ce type d’outil, nous ne pourrions plus travailler de la même manière.” Philippe Wallois.

Source : agriculteur-normand