Currently Browsing: Urban Farming

On the trademarking of ‘urban homesteading’: The Original Best Most Complete Post on the Subject™

By Mat Rogers, Director of Agrariana Language and terminology are an integral part of the food movement. Making distinctions between agricultural practices deemed vile and reprehensible, in favor of methods moral and healthful, is a critical organizing tool for activists. Thus the good-food lexicon is...

Grow vacancies: Gene Fredericks is thinking inside the city’s big box

They're the bane of urban and suburban areas alike: the vacant, boarded-up K-Marts and Home Depot Expos, squatting like concrete cowpies amidst a landscape of weedy parking lots. But where most people see blight and a waste of space, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Gene Fredericks sees opportunity: to...

San Francisco set to approve zoning changes for backyard farming for cash

Summer of urban-ag love: The Bay Area is known as a bastion of urban farming and the local food movement, but "laws governing land use are still stuck in another era, one that frowned on farming in the city, especially in residential areas," reports Zusha Elinson. When Little City Gardens ran into trouble...

Foraging restaurant and suppliers adapt to new rules

Forage gleans a new strategy: When Forage restaurant opened in Los Angeles's Silver Lake neighborhood, they used produce from customers' backyards to supplement their normal produce purchases, paying for the backyard produce with food or drink from the restaurant and often noting the donor's name on the...

Want to grow food on City of Oakland land? Here’s how

By Stephanie Paige Ogburn We’ve all seen it: the vacant lot down the street that gets full sun, or the underused city park choked over with weeds. And many of us have thought: I bet that would be a great community garden space, if some enterprising growers could take it over. For most of us, the thought...

The new New Urbanism incorporates food growing into urban planning

Let's rurbalize it!: While "farming is the new golf," in terms of surburban developments incorporating communal food-growing operations into their scope, urban planner Daniel Nairn sees many more advantages to embedding such land use into the fabric of a dense city block. In this interesting concept for a...

Chicken expert Gail Damerow answers newbie questions

Cluck, cluck, cluck. Bwaak! These are not sounds I expect to hear on a stroll in my North Oakland, Calif. neighborhood -- the usual soundtrack is more like thumping bass, sirens, and the rattle of fast-food paper bags. And yet chickens are pecking in backyards on practically every block, in converted sheds...

Unlocking Genetic Diversity with the Backyard Seed Vault Project

By Mat Rogers The 1979 children’s book Ox-Cart Man describes a colonial family who spends all year raising a crop and an ox, building the ox’s cart, and making mittens, brooms, and candles. Then the ox-cart man sets off to market to sell the crop and the mittens, brooms, and candles, then the ox, then the...

Bringing everyone to the table: A review of “PolyCultures”

A handful of recent movies - most notably "Food, Inc." and "Fresh" - have undoubtedly boosted the number of people with something to say about national food policy. And just as the local foods movement emphasizes supporting local farms and producers, filmmakers are beginning to take a closer look at the...

The ‘femivore’: New breed of feminist, or frontier throwback?

Cross-posted from Grist, where I am serving as deputy food editor (part time). Have locavores and feminists -- factions that a few years ago, some bloggers believed to be fundamentally at odds -- become allies? That's what Peggy Orenstein suggests in her essay, "The Femivore's Dilemma," for today's New York...

What does asthma have to do with farm animals — or food?

When government officials hear the words "backyard livestock," they tend to worry about disease outbreaks and sanitation crises. And for good reason, as improperly managed animals — including dogs and cats — can be the source of all sorts of public health problems. When it comes to asthma, however, recent...

Pets vs. livestock: Cracking open the myths about backyard chickens

Last spring I decided that this was the year I was going to finally get some chickens. On a snowy Saturday in March I brought home six tiny cheepers that I bought at my local ranch store in Livingston, Montana. Two of them died right off, which didn’t entirely surprise me: those fluffballs didn’t look like...

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