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Our New City Farmer Web Site - "City Farmer News" (www.cityfarmer.info)

On January 1, 2008, we created a new web site "City Farmer News" at (www.cityfarmer.info) where all our new stories are featured. "City Farmer News" will replace "Most Recent Pages and Links" on this site, so please visit our new site.

This site, "Urban Agriculture Notes" (www.cityfarmer.org), which has been running continuously since 1994 with its hundreds of pages of urban agriculture information, will remain online and will be updated when necessary with corrected emails, URL's, etc. It is still a gold mine of useful resources.
March 23, 2008


Introduction to Organic Food Gardening - City Farmer's 2009 Classes in March
Learn how to grow your own vegetables in an urban environment. City Farmer's hands on organic food gardening course includes: site selection/design/soil preparation seed sourcing and starting; planting/harvesting/composting; organic gardening techniques/natural pest control; container gardening; waterwise gardening.

How to Worm Compost: Comix Style - How to Backyard Compost: Comix Style
City Farmer has produced two, new, teaching flyers in comic-book format. These are based on images from our How-To Slide Shows.
Posted January 8, 2008

Charity Helps Out At Home Kids Benefit In Canada's Back Yard
"Heifer has provided a three-year grant of $150,000 to the program, which is operated at FortWhyte Alive, an environmental-education centre and farm on 263 hectares of land inside Winnipeg's city limits. About 40 high-school students spend two hours working at the farm each week during the school year, and about eight are hired as full-time employees in the summer. Among other things, the teenagers grow and market vegetables, raise bees and run a honey business, and operate an aquaponics system featuring a 450-litre fish tank that is home to more than 200 tilapia." Fortwhyte Farms
Posted December 23, 2007

Growing Power - An Urban Agriculture and Education Center
"Will's newest aquaculture houses are built in simple plastic hoop houses with the fish tanks buried in the ground to increase insulation and allow the use of inexpensive pond liner vs. stand alone tanks in an attempt to cut costs and reduce energy inputs. The last greenhouse system he took us through was built for $5000 plus labor, and it houses 3000 tilapia and 1500 Lake Perch in addition to 300 sq. ft of water cress and several hundred pots of greens and vegetables that were basking in the warm humid air." Posted December 20, 2007

Farmadelphia
Photos: "Farmadelphia proposes to transform the urban environment by introducing bucolic farmlands into the city's urban fabric. The insertion of incongruous rural elements assigns a new use for the abandoned parcels, creating juxtapositions between farm and city that challenges its residents to revitalize their surroundings and daily lives. The conversion of vacant lots into farmlands not only provides employment in the industry of agriculture but also empowers residents to take charge of their lives and their land." Posted December 20, 2007

Where The Wild Things Are
"For the past four years, Grubb has been acquainting himself with the medicinal and nutritional qualities of these plants that thrive on neglect, often in poor soils, on marginal land. He is an urban forager: a student of nourishing foods that can be gathered for free in the city. On this glorious morning the weedscape looks idyllic: the hawthorn and wild roses are in flower and birds are singing in the tree tops." Posted December 20, 2007

Opponents Squawk Over Chicken Ordinance
"Some U.S. cities allow the raising of chickens on residential property and outline basic best practices and basic requirements that minimize concerns such as noise and pests, she said. In St. Louis, up to four chickens may be kept without a permit. New York City bans roosters, but allows residents to keep an unlimited number of chickens, as long as they acquire permits and keep their dwelling areas clean. " Posted December 20, 2007

Pollinating Our Future: Urban Agriculture Conference - Feb 28 - Mar 1, 2008. Milwaukee, WI. USA
"This conference invites everybody interested in urban agriculture to participate by sharing needs, experiences, questions, and project ideas. This conference will address the barriers to urban agriculture, by involving a wide range of often disconnected stakeholders: urban producers, researchers, urban planners, developers, community organizations, and urban activists to address the most important and controversial issues of poverty alleviation, environmental and waste management, local economic, social and community development and global warming." Posted December 17, 2007

Food Production, Urban Areas and Policy Responses
PDF. Paper published in 1998. Frank Ellis and James Sumberg "In a sense the term urban agriculture both claims too much and offers too little in the policy context of urban poverty and family food security. It claims too much by equating all food production in towns with improved food security for poor people, and it offers too little by failing to consider the role of rural-urban interactions in explaining the survival capabilities of the urban poor." Posted December 6, 2007

Using Bokashi at Home and at the Office
"I don't cook meat at home but my upstairs neighbour does. When I noticed that they were storing their garbage on the porch during the Vancouver civic labour dispute [in the summer of 2007], I gave them a single bucket [no nesting], a bag of bokashi, and told them how to use it. It was a few more weeks before garbage pickup resumed and the amount of garbage they produced reduced significantly. Their bucket, when full, smells sweet and pickley even when it contained chicken skins, fish heads and small bones." Posted December 4, 2007

Design for Food: Sustainable Saanich, Thinking Outside the Green Building
Janine de la Salle, Director of Food Systems Planning at Holland Barrs Planning Group spoke to interested planners, architects, developers, community members, and students about putting food front centre in city planning. ... "Who and how will Urban Agriculture spaces be managed? Requires local solutions; Working with strata councils; Neighbourhood organizations and NGOs; and Partnerships with landscape caretakers. (3.8 MB PDF) Posted November 28, 2007

Growing Chefs (video)
Some Vancouver chefs have decided to share their love of food - and growing it from scratch with some eager young apprentices at local elementary schools. "...our four classes, Grades 1-4, managed to grow their own lettuces, beans, peas, beet greens, and in one case, radishes! Guided by our chefs, the students learned to prepare a Green Bean Stirfry and a Chilled Snap Pea and Mint Soup. Not bad for six to nine year olds!" Posted November 28, 2007

Documentary Films: "Another World is Plantable!" Buenos Aires, Berlin, Cape Town
In the film series, "Another World is Plantable!", community gardens in different parts of the world are presented. At the core of the film series are the activists from the community gardens, the gardens themselves, and the visions the activists have of them. They recount how and why their gardens are not just green oases in the middle of the city, but much more than that projects that bring into being 'another world'. Posted November 28, 2007

15 Photos from World Urban Ag Album
These photos of urban agriculture were taken in Kathmandu, Nepal; Dakar, Senegal; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Saint-Louis, Senegal; Mbour, Senegal; Bamako, Mali; Cahors, France; Oxford Tract, Berkeley; Florianopolis, Brazil. Posted November 28, 2007

University of California, Berkeley, Course: Urban Agriculture – Environmental Science, Policy & Management - 117
"ESPM 117 (formerly called "Urban Garden Ecosystems") revolves around a fundamental question: How do we mend the ecological and social rift between city dwellers and the food they consume?  Over the semester, we take a socio-ecosystemic approach to the study of urban food production (with a particular emphasis on organic gardening) and discuss the ways in which urban agriculture can aid in the reintegration of food, soil, and city.  The course is interactive and hands-on, integrating theory & practice." Posted November 28, 2007

The North American Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Alliance
The Cedar Tree Foundation has awarded the Urban and Periurban Agriculture Alliance a grant to support its first year. "The aim of this initiative is to form an alliance encompassing a wide and culturally diverse range of actors and stakeholders involved in urban and peri-urban agriculture in North America, to share knowledge and best practices amongst them and to foster linkages externally, so as to give voice to its advocates and recognition and legitimacy to its activities." (Six-page statement: the 'official' Alliance announcement.) Posted November 27, 2007

Why We All Will Be Gardeners
Jac Smit, president of the Urban Agriculture Network, has been studying urban agriculture for several decades. Smit credits such unrelated elements as the Internet and breakthroughs in drip irrigation as helping drive the current trend, but he told Faircompanies what we're seeing now is only the beginning. "Nutritionally self-reliant cities, metropoli, micropoli and megapolitani will increase as global warming reduces rural agriculture and as technology and systems improve." (Article) Posted November 19, 2007

A Plucky New Breed of New Yorkers
"New York has no law against keeping chickens (only roosters are prohibited), and a new wave of taste-sensitive New Yorkers such as Ms. Mackin are skipping the grocery store to raise birds of their own. Some are even selling to gourmet food shops, where wealthy New Yorkers pay $3 for a half dozen of the freshest and most local eggs." Posted November 16, 2007

YouthGROW Documentary
"YouthGROW is an urban agriculture, youth employment program that uses food and food justice as an avenue to greater social justice issues. By using a consensus decision-making process, the program also builds leadership skills by fostering critical thought, encouraging communication and, raising self esteem through hard work and community service." Posted November 14, 2007

The Urban Gardener; Researcher Finds Green Benefits In Local Produce
"A Queen's researcher has found that if Kingston residents grew some of their own fruit and vegetables, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions annually by up to 14,000 tonnes - or the equivalent of taking 4,700 compact cars off the road. He also said Kingston has a total of 2,000 acres of accessible land on which to grow food."
See also complete thesis: Urban Agriculture In Kingston: Present and Future Potential For Re-Localization and Sustainability
Posted November 13, 2007

The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock - "no room for backyard gardens"
"Food supply is tougher: Heat and drought will devastate many of today's food-growing regions. It will also push people north, where they will cluster in cities. In these areas, there will be no room for backyard gardens. As a result, Lovelock believes, we will have to synthesize food -- to grow it in vats from tissue cultures of meats and vegetables. It sounds far out and deeply unappetizing, but from a technological standpoint, it wouldn't be hard to do." Posted October 29, 2007

Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids
"Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids also tells the story behind the recipes - the inspiring tale of the Kitchen Garden at Collingwood College. In 2001, Stephanie initiated a garden and cooking program in a large inner-city Melbourne, Australia school. Since then the program has given hundreds of primary school children the opportunity to plant, grow, harvest, cook and eat the very best kind of food - freshly grown, organic, unprocessed and delicious." Posted October 28, 2007

The Urban Farm of the Future
(2MB PDF news article.) The ecoCity Farm culture, known as enviroponics, combines aquaculture and chemical free greenhouse plant production that may be capable of organic certification. "It would create enough food from a quarter-acre block to fulfil a significant part diet of 300 families." Australia. Posted October 28, 2007

Cooking With Love: Alice's Kitchen
Rebecca Gerendasy makes wonderful videos about "real people who share a special connection with food and sustainable living". Currently on her web site named 'Cooking Up a Story', she has a story about cookbook author/gardener/artist Linda Sawaya who has a kitchen garden, but admits it's much larger than most. Linda gives a tour and goes back into her kitchen and prepares a Lebanese meal. Posted October 27, 2007

Urban Fruit Gleaning
This Food News story by Rebecca Gerendasy is about "the Portland Fruit Tree Project ... folks who volunteer to pick fruit from trees in lots or yards and share their abundance with a local food bank; fresh fruit from the backyard to those in need of food. This is a win-win for all involved, including the volunteers who pick the fruit; they get to help others, and keep half of the bounty for themselves." Posted October 27, 2007

Intercultural Gardens: Urban Places for Subsistence Production and Diversity
"Self-supply is once again gaining ground in cities, even in the wealthy North. It not only provides access to healthy food and meaningful activities but also gives underprivileged people scope for civic engagement in the field of sustainable urban development. In Germany intercultural gardens have been causing a stir in recent years. They are considered successful integration projects because they encourage participation and provide scope for formative action." (4100 word paper in German Journal of Urban Studies, Vol. 46 (2007), No. 1) Posted October 24, 2007

Urban Agriculture for the Middle East and North Africa
"The 'Exit Workshop for the Regional Training and Knowledge Sharing in Urban Agriculture for the Middle East and North Africa' was held September 9-10, 2007 in Amman and was attended by 22 participants from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. The second day of the workshop was dedicated to formalize the 'Arab Network for Urban Agriculture' and its action plan for 2007-2008 was approved. The network will be officially registered in Jordan where it will be hosted by the City of Amman while the technical secretariat will be hosted by the City of Ariana-Soukra in Tunisia." Posted October 23, 2007

One Year of Time-Lapse Photos of the City Farmer Demonstration Garden
Graham Clark chose one web cam photo from every day over the past year, November 2006 - October 2007, and put 360 of them in this time-lapse movie. You'll see the garden slowly come to life and also see some of our visitors.

Replacing Neglect with Peach Trees - Philadelphia
"Real estate professionals in the city know that green space sells houses. Heather A. Petrone, associate broker for Joseph D. Petrone Real Estate and president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, said she regularly includes proximity to community gardens in property descriptions. People who may be moving back to the city from suburban areas, where 'everybody has an acre,' are especially interested in the gardens, Ms. Petrone said. " Posted October 22, 2007

"The Edible Landscape" - An Urban Farming Renaissance?
"I come from a long line of urban farmers. Ever since my Ukrainian and Polish ancestors made the great journey from their small villages in the Old Country and settled on the fringes of Saskatoon and Edmonton, growing food has always been second nature in my family. As soon as the first meagre house was up, the apple and plum trees were planted, the raspberry thickets established and the vegetable gardens laid out." Posted October 18, 2007

Urban Agriculture Course: Coming in Winter 2008
"In response to an increasing demand for training in urban agriculture, Ryerson University's Centre for Studies in Food Security and The Chang School are developing a portfolio of distance education courses on urban agriculture in partnership with ETC-Urban Agriculture and the international network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF)." Posted October 15, 2007

Women's Garden Cycles Bike Tour
Three women embarked upon a bike trip from Washington, DC to Montreal, Canada to document community garden projects. They are currently working on making a documentary out of the experience. From July through October they looked at sites in Baltimore, Philadephia, New Jersey, New York City, Montreal, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Posted October 12, 2007

Community Garden at Flemington in final of "Australia's Best Backyard"
Video clip. "Number of Plots: 124. Dominant Language Groups: Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Haka, Tigris and English. Flemington community garden, the biggest in Melbourne, was rebuilt under the supervision of landscape architect and builder Steve Beavis. Construction took six months to complete. The garden covers a 3/4 acre site adjacent to the flats to the rear of 120 Racecourse Road. Gardeners are many and diverse and very proud of their new garden." Posted October 8, 2007

The Beginnings: Strathcona Community Garden - Media Images, Slideshow
The Beginnings: Strathcona Community Garden - Documents
"City Farmer (founded in 1978) began this project in 1984 to help promote urban agriculture. In 1985 City Farmer hired a coordinator to develop the community garden. Positive support came from the local community, from federal and municipal governments and from businesses. In 1985 a two year lease was signed between the City of Vancouver and City Farmer (Echo Energy Society). In 1986 the local gardeners set up their own organization, the Strathcona Community Garden Society, to run the site." Posted October 3, 2007

Turning the Earth: A Month-by-month Guide to Your School Garden
"We have created a series of activities that can be used in any order. Flexibility is key, taking advantage of weather and serendipitous opportunities to use the garden. We hope that teachers will take children in to the garden regularly to draw, to sit and listen, to enjoy a story read in the open air, to write poetry, to be outdoors in a quiet and peaceful space that is their own, as well as following specific lessons that reach the objectives of the science curriculum." Posted September 18, 2007

My Empire of Dirt
"The "locavore" movement says we should only eat what is grown within a few miles of where we live. How about a few feet? An experiment in Brooklyn-style subsistence farming, starring smelly chickens, an angry rabbit, a freak tornado, a vegetable garden to die for, two psyched kids, and a marriage in the weeds." (Full-length article in New York magazine.) Posted September 17, 2007

The Science Barge: A Sustainable Urban Farm
"The Science Barge tours New York City's public waterfront parks, offering sustainability education programs to wide audiences. The Science Barge is a sustainable urban farm powered by solar, wind, and biofuels, and irrigated by rainwater and purified river water. We grow food in the city with no carbon emissions, no net water consumption, and no waste stream. The vegetables grown on the Science Barge require seven times less land and four times less water than field crops. Urban agriculture protects people while it protects the environment." Posted September 14, 2007

Urban Agriculture In Kingston: Present and Future Potential For Re-Localization and Sustainability
(PDF - 276 pages. 6MB) By Sun On Lam. "Modeling and calculations indicated that urban agriculture could contribute at least $190 to $860 million per year in positive environmental, health and economic benefits. Urban agriculture could meet the fresh fruits and vegetables needs of up to 76% or more of the Kingston CMA population. There appeared to be 5600 ha of area in the inner-city that could be used for food production. " Posted September 13, 2007

Envisioning a Food Garden on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
(PDF - 53 pages.) "Immediately, they were struck with the idea of carving out a small parcel of land on the Greenway for a demonstration food garden. Why? Because, as James Beard observes, food is our common ground. A food garden could reconnect urban dwellers with food production, teach children science through gardening, and expose history and cultures through food traditions. " Posted September 7, 2007

Philadelphia Orchard Project
"This year, POP is harvesting more hope than anything else: hope for the cities 40,000 (according to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadelphia Green Program) vacant lots; hope that urban agriculture will become a permanent part of the city's structure and economy; hope that orchards can achieve this better than neighborhood gardens can; and hope for the residents of neighborhoods where blight is more common than fresh produce." Posted September 6, 2007

Farming the Concrete Jungle
In cities across the country urban farmers are growing communities, greening the landscape and revolutionizing food politics. "Founded in 1986, the Neighborhood Gardens Association (NGA) is a community land trust that holds land reclaimed by gardeners in order to save it from development when property values rise. (One of the quandaries urban agriculture programs face is that when they transform previous 'worthless' land, they simultaneously raise its property value and that of the surrounding area.) The NGA currently holds 24 plots in trust." Posted September 6, 2007

A Solution To Inner City Living? Grow Your Greens In A Bag.
"A formerly inaccessible and run-down plot of housing estate land (London, England) has been transformed into a beautiful oasis of green. Seventy 1/2 tonne bags of soil have been arranged to form an allotment space. Within their individual plots, local residents are carefully tending a spectacular array of vegetables, salads, fruit and flowers. A new sense of community has emerged." Posted September 4, 2007

Escape from Suburbia - Beyond the American Dream
This film includes urban agriculture as part of a larger theme: "through personal stories and interviews we examine how declining world oil production has already begun to affect modern life in North America." There are moving and dramatic scenes at the destrruction of LA's South Central Farm and thoughtful conversations with New York community gardeners. Posted August 27, 2007

Urban Agriculture Magazine from the RUAF
18 wonderful issues have come out so far, and they all can be read on the internet. Some issues are available in Espanol, Français, Arabic, Chinese, Português, and Turkish. "The Urban Agriculture Magazine is an initiative under the RUAF Programme. It functions as a platform for exchange and discussion of grounded information on urban agriculture: research results, project experiences, and critical analyses of conventional and innovative policies on urban agriculture." UA Magazine no. 14 - Urban Aquatic Production; UA Magazine no. 15 - Multiple Functions of Urban Agriculture; no. 16 - Formulating Effective Policies on Urban Agriculture; no. 17 - Strengthening Urban Producers' Organisations; no. 18 - Building Communities through Urban Agriculture Posted August 21, 2007

Stiftung Interkultur - Intercultural Gardens in Germany
"Intercultural gardens allow immigrants to rent plots of land and plant gardens. They can work side-by- side with Germans -- pursuing their gardening hobby, carving out a niche for themselves in a foreign country and improving their German. Many of the foreign gardeners cultivate plants and herbs from their home countries, which they otherwise can't find in Germany. The intercultural garden club in Cologne was created in 2005 and has about 30 members, eight of them very active. The gardeners are originally from Turkey, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Japan, Poland and Germany. Previous members have been from Iraq and the Ivory Coast." Posted August 21, 2007

Farming fish in cities – an undervalued activity?
"Urban planners rarely consider aquaculture when planning uses of urban water. They also usually lack information about the relative importance and benefits associated with urban aquaculture.The researchers suggest: 1. Using urban wastewater for aquaculture can only continue if city planners separate industrial effluents from domestic sewage. 2. Urban development policies must consider and include the cultivation of fish and plants in cities." Posted August 17, 2007

Sharing Backyards in Greater Vancouver
Grow your own veggies, herbs, flowers, and soft fruit. If you have a garden and want to share it with someone, or if you are looking for a space to garden, this page is for you.
Updated March 5, 2008

Montréal's Community Gardens
"Community gardens have been part of Montréal's landscape for several years. Since the new city was created in 2002, Montréal is home to 97 community gardens and approximately 8,200 plots. Eighteen boroughs offer plots of land to their citizens for gardening. In some boroughs, a gardening instructor visits the garden regularly to give advice to gardeners. Some boroughs offer adapted gardens for persons with reduced mobility." See "Montréal's community gardening program" [1.4 MB – 15 pages] an excellent paper for download in the left hand column. Posted August 16, 2007

Seed To Seed: Food Gardens in Schools
"The 90 page, A4 shaped book is available free as a downloadable coloured pdf, and as a black and white book for $20 post paid within Australia from Seed Savers. "The book is for teachers and parents on gardens that are biodiverse, organic and water-wise with low inputs and the full plant cycle from seed to seed. Chapters include the reasons for gardens in schools, planning, planting and maintaining, how to harvest and eat the garden and how to save seeds." Posted August 16, 2007

City Farmer Was Born At The Vancouver Community Conservation Centre in 1978
During a six month federal energy conservation project, City Farmer was created. Read about the group's formative months in a report written by the project's leader. "The first issue of City Farmer came out at the end of July (1978) and the second at the end of August. Both received a very positive response. The paper attempts to interest the public by showing them examples of successful Vancouver city farmers. It also reports on political issues that affect the city farmers (there has been a great deal of controversy lately about a particular woman in Vancouver who raises chickens in defiance of city by-laws), and products and information that are of use to them." Posted August 13, 2007

City Farmers - Sharing Backyard Gardens
"The program began eight years ago when LifeCycles, a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness about food, health and sustainability in Victoria, noticed the waiting lists for a plot of land in the city’s community gardens were constantly full. They decided to put up a bulletin board where people could post notes offering or requesting backyards for gardening. It was a simple act, but it worked. 'I think ... neighbours are connecting with neighbours. People are willing to open up their backyards to strangers to grow food,' Cowtan says. 'I think that’s a really great thing.' " Posted August 9, 2007

1918 - The Backyard Garden: A Handbook for the Amateur, the Community and the School
"Backyard garden-making has of late been given an impetus which will last for many years. Of course there have always been little gardens. In making them many thrifty people have found their daily recreation. With the war came the necessity of making gardens in order to help feed the world. Men and women took up gardening as a patriotic duty, but they will continue it because of the pleasure they find in the work and the superior quality of the vegetables which they are able to produce. Thousands of people never knew the real flavor of sweet corn, garden peas and string beans, when at their best, until they began to grow them in their war gardens. Many a commuter has laid aside his napkin with a sigh, after his first meal of Golden Bantam corn had been consumed, and remarked that he had never eaten anything in his life to compare with it. Certain it is that thousands of people who have learned the advantages of a home garden will never be content again to eat the stale and withered produce which comes from the stores. ... A garden of this size (square-rod garden) can be made to produce a large amount of food. Thousands of them should be started in the crowded cities and thus add materially to the nation's food supply." Posted August 5, 2007

Old Sacramento Law Limits Vegetable Gardens in Front Yards
Audio file (go to 25 minute mark in audio file). Listen to an interesting discussion about front lawns: edible versus conventional plantings and the law. "Did you know that Sacramento has a law that limits vegetable gardens in your front yard? Today on Insight, local garden advocates and city council members tell you about the 1941 law and current efforts to do away with the restrictions. " Posted August 5, 2007

Urban Farmers Take 'Home Grown' to Heart (Chicago, Denver, New York)
(NBC put this 2 minute clip on the evening news on July 31. Look down the archives page for the title.) "July 31: There's a movement afoot to eat more locally grown food, and some city residents are taking the term even closer to home. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports." Posted August 1, 2007

Chongming Island Ecological Conservation Project - China
"Organic agriculture to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Integrated Pest Management (IPM), to reduce the use of pesticides. Biological Control by using beneficial insects to reduce the use of pesticides. Producing and using compost as organic fertilizers to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers. To encourage the use of recycled sewage water for irrigation. Maintain efficient field drainage system to avoid high under ground water level. Promoting nurseries to propagate fruit trees and other trees for encouraging trees planting. Planting wind breakers to reduce damage of storms. Planting fruit trees. Promoting flowers and pot plants production. Agricultural demonstration and educational farms for urban visitors." Posted July 21, 2007

Urban Soils and Backyard Gardens: Potential Contaminants and Remediation Techniques
"We have used spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sunflowers (Helianthus annus), and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) as phytoaccumulators for lead. We sampled the garden soils before any planting took place, and then again after the plants were harvested, and analyzed them for total and plant-available soil lead using EPA methods. We also analyzed the roots and shoots of harvested plants. We found that in moderately acid soils (pH 5-6.5) with low organic matter, phytoremediation removed at least 100 mg/kg lead after one growing season." Posted July 15, 2007

Community Design for Healthy Eating: How land use and transportation solutions can help
"The goals of preserving open space on the edge of urban areas and providing access to healthy foods converge in the urban agriculture movement. This movement seeks to preserve close-in farmland; increase the connections between farmers and urban produce buyers; and promote farming rights in the city." Posted July 15, 2007

"A Well-Watered Garden" is a short documentary
"The garden at the centre of the film is part of a faith community called Jacob's Well in Vancouver, Canada. The neighbourhood (downtown eastside) has complex difficulties including extreme poverty (the poorest postal code in Canada), drug addiction (more than 5000 needle users), widespread disease (highest HIV and AIDS infection in the western world, and prevalent mental illness (estimated to be more than 50% of the area residents)." Posted June 27, 2007

The Greenest Thumb in New York
"Green Thumb, a 29-year-old Parks Department program that oversees more than 650 city-owned community gardens tilled by nearly 20,000 gardeners, has suggested to Mr. Ramlakhan that he plant at Baisley Park Community Garden, a narrow patch of green near the Long Island Rail Road tracks in South Jamaica, Queens. But he wants to be back to his old, spacious garden in Far Rockaway, the garden where he made history." Posted June 23, 2007

Community Garden: Pilsenites Protest Proposed Podmajersky Parking Plot
"During the mid-late 1990's, plans were undertaken to turn the Canalport-Union Community Garden (CUCG) in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago into a parking lot. The effort received many public declarations of support at the time and the lack of further development efforts gave the impression that the garden would be a permanent fixture. However in January of this year the land was sold, with no public discussion, and plans to turn it into a parking lot are going forward." Posted June 19, 2007

LA Times Story: Vancouver Envisions Radicchio on its Rooftops
"The Canadian city sees food-producing gardens in urban residential developments as the wave of the future. ... The Southeast False Creek conditions require shared garden plots for 30% of the neighborhood's residential units that lack access to balconies or patios of at least 100 square feet. False Creek buildings also will have a maximum of 12 stories to increase green space and sun exposure. Plans call for fruit trees and raised beds on rooftops, courtyards lined with blueberry bushes, and balcony trellises to support fruit-bearing vines." Updated August 26, 2007

City Farmer's Pig-tailed Gardening Dynamo Teaches Kids About Bugs
Keating, an enviro-science grad, who works at the City Farmer compost demo garden, and runs her own biological control consulting company, teaches kids about the important jobs bugs have; why we have them; and if they are good or bad bugs. Her high-energy bug classes, which typically run from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, include interactive games, glossy flash cards, the always-popular bug song ("two antenna and six legs and don't forget the wings") and, of course, lots of live bugs!" Posted June 15, 2007

Rooftop Victory Garden
The True Nature Foods 'Rooftop Victory Garden' for localized agricultural production was begun as Phase I in 2006. This project received a 'City of Chicago Green Roof Grants Program 2005: Residential and Small Commercial Buildings' grant from the Department on the Environment toward realization of the vegetated roof, and has become a 'poster project' of sorts for the grant program. Species planted in fall 2006 include buckwheat, burdock, comfrey, Jerusalem artichoke, and artichoke, which were selected for their ability to provide food, fuel, fiber, encourage human health, and help build healthy soil. Species planted in 2007 include herbs such as mints, rosemary, oregano, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and squash. Posted June 12, 2007

Designing Urban Agriculture Opportunities for Southeast False Creek, Vancouver, BC
( 74 page PDF, 2.8 MB) "Develop design considerations and guidelines, technical considerations, and management strategies for effectively integrating urban agriculture (UA) into a high density neighbourhood. The report focuses on how UA is an innovative tool for urban design and can play a key role in building community around food. Topics covered in the report include: perspectives on food security, design principles for UA, a UA space typology, design ideas and considerations for UA in the public and private realms, technical considerations and support systems necessary for UA, and management strategies for endurance of the UA program over time." Posted June 10, 2007

Vietnam: Positive Development of an Economic Model Of Gardens, Fish, Cattle and Poultry Farming in Ho Chi Minh City
"Recently, the Association of Gardeners and Farm Owners in Ho Chi Minh City was established with the aim of raising their production and contributing a part to the development of urban agriculture in the city. ... Besides raising pigs, fish and dairy cows, the rearing of wild animals has become a widespread solution to supply materials to restaurants and make traditional medicine. Nearly 200 households are producing ornamental fish and each is estimated to earn VND 120 million per year." Posted June 9, 2007

An Annotated Bibliography of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Vietnam with Emphasis on Hanoi
(PDF file) "Urban agriculture began in Vietnam before the catch-phrase became popular and the practice was recognized by local administrators, academicians and scientists. Information is included on urban and peri-urban agriculture and their contribution to supplying the cities of Hanoi (the capital city) and Ho Chi Minh City. Emphasis is on vegetable production in the peri-urban area of Hanoi and its constraints." Posted June 9, 2007

Urban Agriculture in new "Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning"
The American Planning Association recently set out some guidelines which include urban agriculture: "Planners could play the following roles: Support the development of temporary farm stands, urban agriculture projects, and community vegetable gardens on school, park, and community center sites, and near public agency offices and nonprofit providers offering health, human and social services. Promote the provision of community gardens, urban agriculture projects, and community kitchens in multifamily and low-income housing projects." Posted June 8, 2007

What the World Eats - Photographs
"What's on family dinner tables in fifteen different homes around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet". eg. Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City. Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25 Favorite foods: sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips. Posted June 9, 2007

Community Gardens Promote Healthy Lifestyle In Urban Setting
"As pilot communities, residents demonstrated how two issues could be addressed with the interplay of integrated solid waste management, urban agriculture and environmental planning," Ms. Gatuslao said. "The allotment gardens are flourishing, providing the communities with an accessible, safe source of fresh vegetables and income, plus more time together for family and neighbors," Ms. Gatuslao added. "GIS-based community mapping integrated the views and opinions of the community into the database of the city government, which enabled increased participation in city planning by residents." Posted June 8, 2007

Nature's Way of Recycling
Sharon Slack (of City Farmer) is not squeamish about worms. She encourages people to get their hands dirty and slimy, all for a good cause. "These little guys do a very good job for us," she says. "They're called red wigglers. They're not the same as the big worms you see in the garden." Posted June 6, 2007

Between Consumerism and Politics...There Are No Places For Fresh Carrots
"Going by bus in the rush hours through the centre of Warsaw you can see an old woman with a bucket or an old man with a spade. Don't think they are abnormal. Don't think that you’ve lost your mind. You’ve just met members of a species slowly heading for extinction: the dziaoekowcy or urban gardeners. Dziaoeka, meaning allotment garden, is a Polish term for a little plot of land with an area between 300 and 500 sq.m. Usually it is situated near big cities, but it can often be an unexpected part of the urban landscape."
Posted June 5, 2007

G.Y.O. (Grow your own)
"It seems that we're not alone. People are discovering, and rediscovering, the joys of growing their own food, and others are taking notice. People are devouring the books, magazines and daily informational news bites about every aspect of food. (All 13 copies of one book, for example -- The End of Food, by Eastern Ontario resident Thomas Pawlick -- were recently either checked out or on hold at the Ottawa Public Library.) People are growing their own on the rooftops of Montreal, in the community gardens of Vancouver, and in the backyards of Ottawa."
Posted May 21, 2007

All Cooped Up in a Manhattan Co-op
"We now had enough fresh eggs to open a stall at the Greenmarket. After a lot of persuasion, because Isabella would have preferred to preserve every egg in the refrigerator for all time, we cracked one open to eat. I'll admit I was hesitant. It felt vaguely cannibalistic. The yolk was a brilliant neon orange. Scrambled eggs were suddenly a delicacy."
Posted May 17, 2007

Farming In The City 2
(Guests: Steve Pedersen - Coordinator, Public Health Association of BC. Michael Levenston - Executive Director, City Farmer. Peter Mcallister - Woodlot Director / Mushroom Grower, Lofstedt Farm.) "This broadcast marks the second of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world. Featured on the broadcast will be the launch of an on-line community of gardeners with the hope that every lawn in British Columbia will contain a food producing garden. We will learn of an innovative project that links up underutilized backyard garden space with those willing to urban farm it. When we think of urban agriculture, rarely do we think of growing mushrooms! The steps on how to go about becoming an urban mushroom grower will be shared on this broadcast."
Posted May 13, 2007

Feeding Asian Cities - Proceedings of the regional seminar: FAO 2001
(large download 3.4MB PDF) "Contrary to the views of many urban planners and development experts, participants at a workshop in Havana, Cuba concluded that urban agriculture has to be seen as a permanent component of the urban system although some forms are based on temporal use of vacant lands only. From the perspective of urban food security, nutrition and health, urban agriculture can potentially make a significant contribution."
The French version of this report can be found on this FTP site: Nourrir les villes d'Asie

Posted May 13, 2007

New Agriculturist: Focus on... Horticulture in the City
"In this issue, we 'Focus On' the enterprises in urban and peri-urban horticulture from cities around the world, using the limited space available to grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Hydroponics - a simple solution to limited land. Drip irrigating the gardens of the Sahel. Nourishing inspiration in Sri Lanka's model garden. A creative enterprise: Horticulture in Lima. Grafting a healthier tomato in Hanoi. Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya's urban farmers. Being street-wise to jasmine."
Posted May 10, 2007

Urban Farmers Foster Art of Growing Food
"Look out, urban sprawl - farmers are fighting back by setting up operations inside city boundaries. ... As a result of the study, Philadelphia's water department has become an advocate of urban farming. Christensen is now looking at ways to affect city land policy, to get agriculture recognized as a legitimate use. "The people who do urban agriculture don't come from traditional farm families. They are young and hip, this is the profile you (City of Philadelphia) are trying to attract back to the city."
Posted May 7, 2007

Uganda - Wabiduku Peri-Urban Agricultural (Wapa) Project
"The initial stage will involve forming working committees among the target beneficiaries. The leaders of these committees, local council, one executive and the project staff will visit households within target areas to mobilize people for community meetings. These will provide a basis for forming urban farmers' associations or cooperatives for input resources mobilization and collective transportation and or marketing of their produce. The project will buy seeds, seedlings, and cuttings for demonstrating to member groups so that each member gains the skills and knowledge to set up their own gardens at home."
Posted May 7, 2007

Greater Vancouver Townhouse Development Includes Community Garden Feature
Kew Townhouse Development in Surrey - Charming Community Garden Plots - Kew features a community garden - a place where you can indulge your green thumb. "She says the architect sited the homes to take best advantage of the greenbelt. 'We optimized as many views as possible from the homes and ensured we had short roads that provide vistas onto the greenway where homes do not directly interact with it. This also contributed to a community with as much natural light flowing onto the homes as possible,' she says. At the rear of the site are a children's play area and a large 'pea patch garden.' Since going on the market after Christmas, Mosaic has sold half of the homes."
Posted May 7, 2007

Brisbane Votes For Urban Agriculture And Green Roofs
"Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia, is the first city in the world to include both urban agriculture and green roofs in an action plan to meet predicted global climate change challenges. Major parts of the action plan are aimed at reducing Brisbane's use of energy derived from fossil fuels and encouragement of more efficient use of water. But sensible, practical ways to mesh these aims with creating a new style of built-environment attracted enthusiastic votes for: Urban agriculture for greater food security and reduced cost of living."
Posted May 1, 2007

Agriculture Urbaine - Laboratoire de recherche de l'ENSP (LAREP)
"Les travaux de l’équipe de recherche en agriculture urbaine, aujourd’hui associée à l’UMR SADAPT, s’intéressent explicitement au milieu rural dans sa rencontre avec le milieu urbain. La notion d’agriculture est ici comprise dans un sens large, incluant toutes les pratiques de valorisation des sols par la culture de végétaux à des fins économiques, environnementales, sociales ou culturelles. De même, l’agriculture est qualifiée d’urbaine dès lors qu’elle entretient des relations fonctionnelles avec le monde urbain, quel que soit son degré de proximité. De ce fait, les thématiques abordées concernent la plupart des espaces ouverts des régions urbaines. Les travaux en cours se répartissent en plusieurs programmes, certains déjà anciens, d’autres encore émergeants." Posted April 26, 2007

Bee Bug Friendly with City Farmer! - City Farmer's 2007 Class in April
Learn how to safely deal with insect problems in your backyard. Includes: insect identification and lifecycles, attracting native pollinators, predators and butterflies to your garden, cultural pest control methods and how to make and use handy tools of the trade.
Posted Novemeber 20, 2006

Victory Gardens 2007+
"Victory Gardens 2007+ (VG2007+) is a concept currently being developed with the intention of being adopted by the City of San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department. The program is a two year pilot project that supports the transition of backyard, front yard, window boxes, rooftops and unused land into food production areas. VG2007+ has the mission to create and support a citywide network of urban farmers by (1) growing, distributing and supporting starter kits for home gardeners, (2) educating through lessons, exhibitions and web sites and (3) starting and maintaining a city seed bank." Posted April 10, 2007

Home Farming: Sustainable Growing for the Backyard and Small Farm
A complete Home Farm service offered to homes, schools, small farms, community gardens and other possible growing areas. "I work with a crew to install the garden and manage its upkeep. I work one-on-one with people to design, install, plan and cultivate their space over a 2- to 3-year period. However, the backbone of all the work with my clients involves having mini-classes in which we cover in detail the philosophy, physical mechanics and specific subjects needed such as seed propagation, double-digging, a discussion on a particular crop or how to harvest for maximum yield." Posted April 8, 2007

University Students' Opinions For Urban Dwellers To Persist Raising Livestock In Tanzanian Towns
By Professor Mlozi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. "... Five reasons residing at the government level encouraged urban dwellers to undertake urban agriculture. The five reasons were, in order of importance, the government paying little salary to her employees, the poor national economy, poor coordination between ministries for enhancing UA, lack of government policy for enhancing UA, and urban dwellers seeing senior government officials undertaking UA." Posted April 3, 2007

Urban Agriculture: Vegetable Production In Metropolitan Greater Vancouver District In Canada
By Professor Mlozi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. "This paper discusses the results of a survey of community gardeners in the city of Vancouver. The study was conducted with the objective of describing urban dwellers undertaking gardening, the type of crops they grew, and the reasons for growing them, and identify the positive and negative factors that enhance and limit vegetable production respectively." Posted April 3, 2007

The New Victory Garden
(Royal Horticultural Society Dissertation. PDF 1.6 MB) "In 1941, the United Kingdom, in the thick of war, launched an intrepid campaign. The predecessor of this campaign was a product of The Great War, and was practiced throughout much of the Commonwealth and the United States to decrease the demands on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. The campaign, dubbed 'Dig for Victory', encouraged British subjects to put hand to spade as a means of fighting Nazi forces through self-sufficiency and the conscientious use of local food resources. In addition to aiding the war effort, The Victory Garden became the most renown civil "morale booster": gardeners were empowered by their contribution of labour and rewarded by the produce grown. " Posted April 3, 2007

GRuB! Garden-Raised Bounty
"Since 1993, the Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) has given over 1,300 gardens to low/no-income families in the greater South Sound! KGP garden recipients receive 3 raised beds, a trellis, fertile soil, seeds, starts, a gardening guide, and the opportunity to work with a garden mentor. GRuB is raising $725,000 to purchase 1.86 acres of historic urban farmland, make infrastructure improvements to the land and build a 3,000 sq. ft. Farmhouse as the base for our youth and garden-building programs." Posted April 1, 2007

City Composting Program World Famous
"Mike Levenston, executive director of City Farmer, said Vancouver is the only municipality in the GVRD with a worm composting program for those who have balconies but no backyards. Started in the early 1990s, the program has been written up in National Geographic online and in the German magazine Der Spiegel. The worm composting slideshow on City Farmer's website has attracted nearly 40,000 visitors." Posted March 31, 2007

Greener Gardeners in Vancouver
"The City of Vancouver has taken the very unique action to make it against the bylaw to use pesticides at home (and) is the largest city west of Toronto that's gone this way," says Michael Levenston, executive director of City Farmer. "It's for the health of all of us, our children, and our animals that might play outside in the yard." Posted March 31, 2007

The Use of GIS, GPS and Aerial Imagery for Mapping Urban Agricultural Activities on Open Space in Cities
"Urban agriculture is a phenomenon that can be observed world-wide, particularly in cities of developing countries. Only little is known about the actual extent of inner city areas used for agricultural purposes, and the spatial distribution of such areas. A methodology for mapping vegetable production on open spaces has been successfully implemented in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The mapping procedure comprised analysis of aerial imagery, mapping in the field, and integration of the results into GIS. " Posted March 20, 2007

'Farming The City' from Lester Brown's book "Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble"
"While attending a conference on the outskirts of Stockholm in the fall of 1974, I walked past a community garden near a high-rise apartment building. It was an idyllic Indian summer afternoon, with many people tending gardens a short walk from their residences. More than 30 years later I can still recall the setting because of the aura of contentment surrounding those working in their gardens. Nearly all were elderly; they were absorbed in producing not only vegetables, but in some cases flowers as well. I remember thinking, 'This is the mark of a civilized society.'" Posted March 19, 2007

Research Papers Posted: International Workshop on Urban/Peri-Urban Agriculture in the Asian and Pacific Region - May 22-26, 2006
"Including: Urban Harvest: A CGIAR Global Program on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture; Urban Agriculture in Asia: Lessons from Japanese Experience; Newly Developed Technologies and Innovations in Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Korea; Urban Agriculture Program in the Philippines; Urban/peri-urban Agriculture: Status and Challenges in Taiwan; Peri-Urban Aquatic Production Systems in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Status and Potential of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Malaysia." Posted March 19, 2007

The 7th Street Garden
"The 7th Street Garden is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood.  The Garden is a highly productive community food garden wherein low income residents learn to grow, utilize and market local, seasonal and affordable produce.  The Garden will greatly contribute to food security, economic opportunity and enhance the environmental in this community. Course: Introduction to Urban Edible Gardens - Gardening as if your meals depend on it. April 6- April 8, 2007. Washington D.C." Posted March 19, 2007

The "Sharing Backyards" Idea
"A full fledged Sharing Backyards program is envisioned as a National (or International) sharing backyards website that acts as a single framework for Sharing Backyards programs across the country. Users would arrive at the website and would be asked to enter their city - the system would then bring them to the local sharing backyards portal for their city. This portal would list those offering to share space as well as those looking for space on an easy to use interactive map." Posted March 5, 2007

Victory in the Garden
"Designing utopia can be considered art or politics, and sometimes they both start the same way: - Amy Franceschini, a San Francisco graphic designer and visual artist, has initiated a move to revive the gardens planted during World War II where citizens grew food in backyards and public parks. Her efforts to create a kind of utopian agrarian future are chronicled in a show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through April 22." Posted March 13, 2007

Urban Agriculture Worldwide
"Urban agriculture is any form of food and flora production that occurs anywhere in cities, towns and villages including that which occurs on their perimeter. A recent study by the South Australian Department of Primary Industries suggests that this agriculture represents up to 25% of Australia's total farm production ($7b of $28b). The USA Department of Agriculture estimates its urban agriculture as being greater than 40% of its total production. Site includes - A report of an overseas study trip by David Mason, 2006 Churchill Fellow "To identify how sustainable urban agriculture can benefit the quality of life of Australian communities." Posted March 5, 2007

Tales of the Self-Sufficient City
"Somewhere at the intersection of New Urbanism, DIY culture, and the resurgence of gardening for self-sustenance, an active and growing community of artist-maker-activists is redefining urban survivalism. While their work addresses our tenuous food security and the threats of catastrophic climate change, it's not a fear-driven movement. Rather, the best of these "new survivalists" are embracing radical self-sufficiency because it fuels their creativity, arms them with a sense of personal empowerment, and strengthens their communities." Posted March 4, 2007

Agriculture at the Metropolitan Edge: New Ruralism and Other Strategies for Sustainable Development Public Symposium, University of California, Berkeley April 5-6, 2007
"This spring, AME will bring together more than one hundred international policymakers, scholars, farmers, planners, and activists for a symposium, Agriculture at the Metropolitan Edge: New Ruralism and Other Strategies for Sustainable Development. The purpose of the symposium is to create alliances, devise strategies and policies, and set a research agenda to address sustainable metropolitan development using a paradigm that includes food and farmland." Posted March 4, 2007

4th Annual Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Conference Melbourne Victoria, March 20-25, 2007
"Cities Feeding People- 'grow it where you live!' is the fourth annual conference of the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network. This conference is extending the scope of past gatherings to include Food Security, School Gardens and Seed Saving alongside the City Farms and Community Gardening key themes. The first four days of the conference will be held at the Collingwood Town Hall and environs." Posted March 4, 2007

Manor Gardens Allotments vs. Olympics 2012
This 8 minute YouTube video shows the fight ahead for these gardeners. "Over here in the UK we're fighting a battle to stop the LDA, who are responsible for bringing the olympics games to london in 2012, evicting and destroying a massive 80 plot, hundred year old allotment site, to make a footpath. These gardens are like an oasis of hope in one of the biggest industrial estates in London and, are some of the oldest allotments in London, having been bequeathed to be allotments 'in perpetuity' at the turn of the last century." Posted March 1, 2007

A Fish Grows In Brooklyn: Aquaculture. Is it what's for dinner?
"The recirculating technology, which is a water re-use system," he explains, "enables you to grow fish in large numbers, in a limited area." He thinks urban aquaculture could be a $1.5 billion-a-year industry—in New York alone. There's a social component to Professor Schreibman's master plan, as well; he hopes to remedy urban ills by providing jobs and food for the poor. Posted February 11, 2007

Food MK Report - Garden City Vision for Milton Keynes (England)
Includes chapters on: Growing Food for a Growing City; Eat the City; An Urban Farm for Milton Keynes. "Milton Keynes is a city of trees and green spaces. Its fertile landscape and mild climate makes it an ideal environment in which to grow a variety of vegetables and fruits. With the right support from the local authority and other key stakeholders, Milton Keynes could be a city in which urban agriculture thrives." Posted February 11, 2007

Grow Your Own VEG on BBC TV
The Royal Horticultural Society and the BBC have teamed up to produce six entertaining shows to encourage people to grow small veggie gardens. The web site includes clips from the shows and a blog describing the Society's 3 x 3m plot where they will attempt to grow a family's yearly vegetable requirements. "Host Carol Klein helps a first-time gardener and her family see just how easy it is to grow their own, and shows that whatever size your patch - from a balcony to a suburban back garden - anyone can grow veg. Salads, roots, brassicas and legumes are all explored with a sumptuous harvest in every programme." Posted February 8, 2007

UN Agency Launches 'Urban Farming' Campaign
1 February 2007, Rome - "The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has opened a new front in its battle against hunger and malnutrition - in the world's cities where most of global population growth is set to take place over the next decades. 'Urban Agriculture' may seem a contradiction, but that is what FAO is supporting as one element in urban food supply systems in response to the surging size of the cities of the developing world." Posted February 6, 2007

Green Roofs For Australia Conference: February 22, 23, 2007
SESSION 6: FOOD FROM THE ROOF 11.00am: Fourth speaker: Queensland University of Technology. Will green roof food production units lead us to the stars? 11.30am: Sixth speaker. Professor David Midmore, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Central Queensland. Recycling urban organic matter via vermiculture and rooftop aquaponics. 12.00noon: Seventh speaker: Geoff Wilson Singapore's food from the roof ideas are off the shelf and applicable now." Posted February 3, 2007

Growing Space: The Potential for Urban Agriculture in the City of Vancouver
PDF 2.1 MB. School of Community and Regional Planning - UBC. "The report documents existing urban agriculture activities and supportive policies that are in place, identifies suitable new sites through the development of a public land inventory and explores other potential opportunities to expand urban agriculture initiatives in Vancouver. This report aims to inform planners, city officials and citizens about the potential of urban agriculture and recommends actions to expand and improve opportunities for urban agriculture in Vancouver." Posted February 1, 2007

London: The Edible Urban Landscape
An Assessment Method for Retro-Fitting Urban Agriculture Into An Inner London Test Site. "This thesis has developed a method, based around Geographical Information Systems (GIS), for retro fitting, measuring and evaluating, a vegetable growing, UA system, which could be integrated into green urban space. The results of the method should be in a format which makes them quantifiable for both architects and planners, so that UA food systems can be considered as a form of renewable energy, along side wind or solar." Posted January 29, 2007

BBC Photo Journal: Harvest in Caracas, Venezuela
"Since coming to power in 1999, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has implemented a range of social and economic programmes. One of them aims to change the way city dwellers think about food through the creation of organic urban gardens and to promote self-sufficiency. The Organoponico Bolivar 1 garden occupies 1.2 acres in the centre of Caracas and is the first of its kind in the capital." Posted January 28, 2007

Electric Home Composter
"The processing is completely contained in order to ameliorate problems associated with odour, leachate, rodents, insects, pathogens, exhaust gases and condensate. The process also utilizes and incorporates into the finished product, wood, straw or similar carbon based wastes, preferably in a dry pelletized form." Posted January 25, 2007

More SPIN Farming - produce and flowers from 15 small urban lots in Saskatoon
"Satzwich says he and Gail make approximately $30,000 per year. To do this they work 10-12 hours per day (with breaks), 6-7 days per week, from May to mid December. Based on even their minimum working days and hours, that works out to $6.25/hour per person. Hardly wages that are going to hoist market gardeners into middle class income levels but, considering that some farmers lose money every hour they work, perhaps it isn’t too bad either." Posted January 23, 2007

Food Urbanism: Urban Agriculture, Food Security, Local and Sustainable Food Systems, Grow-Your-Own, Polyculture, Urban Food ...
"When I was in Vancouver a few months ago for the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security conference, I visited a number of Urban Agriculture projects, the most significant of which was City Farmer. City Farmer has been focusing on Urban Agriculture for almost 30 years and their web site is, for many people, the main portal into the diverse world of growing food in a city." Posted January 18, 2007

Ethics Of Urban Agriculture: Farming Within The Human Settlement
"The moral and ethical standards concerning food production, processing, distribution and consumption have drifted in the past century towards food becoming a commodity and the problem of hunger and food insecurity being perceived and addressed as one of income. This paper asserts that the time has come to invent and adopt a new set of ethics regarding the relationship of food production and the human settlement [urbanization and farming]. The paper is organized as a checklist for a discussion. It reaches no conclusions. It is presented in draft form for critique by the conference attendees." Posted January 16, 2007

Manor Garden Allotments VS 2012 Olympics
"Manor Gardens Allotments is a 1.8 hectare site on the east marshes of Hackney. It's a wedge of land between the River Lea and Bully Point Nature Reserve – and right in the middle of the 2012 Olympic site. For 100 years this ground has been an allotment and was supposed to remain so in perpetuity. Now it has a compulsory purchase order on it and it will soon be bulldozed to make way for a concrete walkway. After the four week Olympic period, this will be broken up and the area made into a reed bed. This may satisfy some environmental concerns but the community - diverse and layered as it is - will be destroyed. Far from dancing in the streets, everyone is grieving." Posted January 12, 2007

A Lot To Lose: London's Disappearing Allotments
Report by The London Assembly. "The relentless pressure on land in the capital, the need to build at high densities, and, in some cases, neglect and disuse, mean that allotments are slowly but surely being eroded. ... Among our recommendations are an online search tool for allotments in London, greater sharing of information on supply and demand across the capital and the use of boroughs’ planning powers to compel high density housing developers to allocate land for allotment use." (Excellent report with maps!) Posted January 12, 2007

Worldwatch: State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future - Farming the Cities
Chapter 3 - Farming the Cities. "Despite all that farming can do for the city landscape and the urban soul, politicians, businesses, and planners continue to regard food as a rural issue that does not demand the same attention as housing, crime, or transportation. Policy makers would be wise to realize the nutritional, social, ecological, and economic benefits of reversing this mindset and putting programs in place to encourage cities to feed themselves. Fortunately, urban politicians, businesses, and planners are beginning to regard urban agriculture as a tool to help cities cope with a range of ecological, social, and nutritional challenges—from sprawl and malnutrition to swelling landfills and the threat of attacks on the food chain." (PDF $8) Posted January 11, 2007

Saving Vegetable Seeds in an Urban Garden
Booklet by Rae Blewden. PDF file. "You take a single lettuce seed, small as a sliver, plant it in the soil, it rains, the sun shines, you watch. A plant grows, quickly too, and it will feed you good, healthy, nutritious food all summer, leaf by leaf as you need it. Then at summer's end it will send up a two foot tall seed stalk that will produce up to 60,000 more lettuce seeds that will grow 60,000 more lettuce plants." Posted January 8, 2007

Edible Estates - Front Yard Vegetable Gardens and Edible Landscaping
"Edible Estates proposes the replacement of the American lawn with a highly productive domestic edible landscape. Food grown in our front yards will connect us to the seasons, the organic cycles of the earth and our neighbors. The Edible Estates project will be implemented in 9 cities in the United States over the next 3 years. An adventurous family in each town will offer their typical suburban front lawn as a working prototype for the region. They will dare to defy the sweeping continuity of their neighborhood's green lined streets. Working together with the family and additional helpers the front lawn will be removed and replaced with an edible landscape." Posted January 3, 2007

Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) - Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
"The activities have been centered in the dissemination of adequate technologies for horticultural crops under controlled conditions including the design of simplified methods of family hydroponics production and small business, the dissemination of concepts on UPA, training courses, the development of adequate technologies and the start-up of experiences and projects in Argentina, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela." Posted December 31, 2006

Honeybees Thrive in New York City
"David Graves has hundreds of thousands of honeybees in seven hives in Brooklyn, the Bronxs and Manhattan. Each of his hives can produce 50 pounds of honey a year, which he sells for $5 per half-pound at the city's greenmarkets. 'They do really well here,' says David Graves, 'There are so many parks and gardens and rooftop flowerpots. Even if it's dry, they can get the water they need from the East River.' " Posted December 29, 2006

Urban Farming in an East-African Town - To Subsidise My Income
Book. "For urban households in East Africa who have access to land, either around or close to their home, producing a crop or keeping livestock is often a cultural norm. Since 1990 however, the need for urban agriculture has been strengthened by economic crisis. And while production of crops or livestock on urban land may not be as significant as the production that urban households - or their relatives - earn from rural land, it still makes an important contribution to livelihoods. In the words of several respondents in this book, it 'subsidises my income', making possible a standard of living that would otherwise be unattainable." Posted December 14, 2006

Webcam Time-Lapse Movie from City Farmer's Garden
Graham Clark has taken images from our web cam and created a time-lapse movie showing the changing garden in November. It's more interesting than an early Andy Warhol video - there are rain drops on the glass and snow at the end of the month. Posted December 13, 2006

Kitchen Gardeners Unite
Video. Kitchen Gardeners International founder speaks from his front garden. "Home-food production is in complete freefall with a further decrease of 20% recorded between 2004 and 2005. Ingredients for the average meal travel between 1000-2500 miles from field to table, 25% farther than they did 2 decades ago, using up to 17 times more fossil fuels than a meal made with local ingredients." Posted December 12, 2006

MOBY - An Inner City Community Garden Project, Vancouver BC
Video. "This Vancouver, B.C. neighborhood is building community while transforming an abandoned lot in a crack neighborhood into a flourishing community garden. Join MOBY-lizer Jason O'Brien and folks of all ages for cob clay-stomping fun accompanied by music in an inner-city urban garden below the elevated skytrain." Posted December 12, 2006

Southside Community Land Trust Launches the Providence Urban Agriculture Initiative
"The three-year, $182,596 grant SCLT received will fund the Urban Agriculture Initiative, the first of its kind in the nation. Paraphrasing the well-known adage about teaching someone to fish, the Urban Agriculture Initiative's overall goal is simple — Teach people to garden, and they will never be hungry. The Urban Agriculture Initiative expects that by 2007, one thousand more Providence residents will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to grow their own food." Posted December 10, 2006

Urban Agriculture Program Botucatu City, São Paulo, Brazil
"The program serves 11 commercial market gardens, 3 school market gardens, 3 social projects and 2 market gardens in health facilities. It involves 50 families directly. The production process is organic, with an agroecological focus; avoiding contamination of soil, water, farmers and consumers." Posted December 8, 2006

SPIN Cities: Farming Where We Live - A Workshop, March 22-24, 2007
(PDF format) "Had I known about the feasibility of sub-acre farming when I started my farming career 20 years ago, I would never have bought large acreage in the country, and would have fulfilled my farming aspirations more easily and with less expense in the city." – Wally Satzewich
"We have urban agriculture backwards in this country. Its practitioners started with social mentoring and quality of life goals and hoped that sustainability would follow from that. But to produce successful city-based farm operations, they need to be run by professional farmers." –Roxanne Christensen " Posted December 1, 2006

Urban Homesteaders Grow 6000 Pounds Annually, Pasadena, California
See videos on site! "Our homestead supports four adults, who live and work full time on a 66' x 132' city lot (1/5 acre). The yard has over 350 varieties of edible and useful plants. The homestead's productive 1/10 acre organic garden now grows over 6,000 pounds (3 tons) of produce annually. This provides fresh vegetables and fruit for our family's vegetarian diet and a source of income. We operate a viable & lucrative home business that supplies area restaurants and caterers with salad mix, edible flowers, heirloom variety tomatoes and other in-season vegetables. In addition, we share our homestead with a menagerie of animals -- chickens, ducks, three rescued cats, red wiggler worms (which compost garbage) and our summer of 2006 addition of a dwarf nigerian and pygmy goat." Posted November 30, 2006

Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) Updates
"Proposal extension RUAF Cities Farming for the Future approved! - Urban Agriculture Conference for Municipal Authorities in Lima, Peru - Establishment of an Urban Agriculture Association in China - Urban Agriculture Magazine No. 16: Formulating Effective Policies on Urban Agriculture " Posted November 23, 2006

From Rooftop to Restaurant - A University Cafe Fed by a Rooftop Garden
"Having never taken care of a rooftop garden before, I was surprised by the ways it differs from a traditional garden. The main differences can be summed up in two words: sun and wind. The resulting growing conditions tend to be more extreme. Even after a good rain, it takes very little time for the beds to dry out; our solution is mulch, mulch and more mulch." Posted November 19, 2006

Ecocity Farm
These Autralians won the ABC TV's The New Inventors program for their 'Ecocity Farm'. "Ecocity Farm is an improved aquaponics system of food production which combines the breeding of fish with the growing of vegetables and, importantly, is designed for use in areas where farmland is at a premium - namely the urban, village and suburban environments where 75 per cent of the world's population live." Posted November 15, 2006

Nurturing Ambitions Good Enough to Eat - On A Roof with a View
"Between 30 and 40 different crops are planted in Trent's rooftop oasis and, while it may not be able to change the entire air pollution problem overnight, this project may be instrumental in opening up potential solutions. For instance, open-top chambers will be installed in the garden to provide firm data about the beneficial effects of plants as filters for air pollution."
Trent Rooftop Food Garden Posted November 4, 2006

The Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture
"We see a place that serves as a practical example of "farming in the city" for those who grew up on small farms in rural America or abroad and who wish to keep their agricultural heritage alive and to make agriculture a viable part of their lives in Kansas City; as well as a place that offers practical strategies and information to people who didn’t grow up with farming." Posted November 2, 2006

The Garden is the Best Classroom
"Merri Schwartz, pastry chef at C Restaurant, spent this past spring piloting her Growing Chefs program at Champlain Heights Elementary in East Vancouver. The program matches volunteer chefs with classrooms of Grade 1, 2, or 3 students. Over the course of three and a half months, chefs visit the classroom, helping kids plant and then harvest an indoor vegetable garden."
Growing Chefs Website Updated November 3, 2006

Produce to the People: Community gardens and farmers' markets challenge convenience stores and fast-food joints
"The centerpiece of Fresno Metro Ministry's efforts has been establishing community gardens throughout Fresno. These are particularly prized by the city's large population of Hmong refugees, rural people from the Laos area who sided with the United States in the Vietnam War and migrated here afterward. In Fresno, many Hmong live crowded into small apartments, barely scraping by on public assistance. Depression and other psychological problems are common, and childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes (often associated with poor diets) are on the rise." Posted November 2, 2006

Where a Community Grows - Philadelphia
"Planters and plantings of the Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden have changed, but after 30 years, crops and camaraderie flourish. The garden, one of the oldest in a city famous for its community gardens (there are 500 of them here), has 62 individual plots. It also has communal plots for flowers and herbs, an apple, peach and pear orchard, a children's garden and grape arbor, a raspberry patch, and an apiary, whose three beehives produce rich wildflower honey that the gardeners sell." Posted October 27, 2006

1918 - Vacant Lot Cultivation: Expectations and Plans of the Cities of Canada
"It is evidently felt that, pressing as the necessity was in 1917 for not alone every farmer, but every citizen, to aid in greater production, the necessity for such work and such effort is far more pressing in 1918. All the cities in the country, and many towns, have awakened to the occasion and are bestirring themselves in the task of making productive what has previously been considered waste land, and, as such, has been allowed to lie idle. When it is considered that in Montreal alone, vegetables to the value of $100,000 were grown last year, it is not difficult to believe that in all the cities and towns together, the productive worth of the efforts put forth amounted to a number of million dollars, which means that food stuffs of that value that would otherwise have been consumed in Canada were released for shipment abroad." Posted October 22, 2006

Table-Top Garden Beds For People In Wheelchairs
"To enable people in wheelchairs to grow their own vegetables, Neighbourgardens has designed and built solid cedar Table-Top Garden Beds, 72"Lx40"Wx10" soil base, with specially contoured sides to allow easy wheelchair access from both sides. A portable greenhouse attachment allows for winter gardening and a specially designed drainage system conducts the earth's electro-magnetic energy up into the garden bed to provide the gardener with the same therapeutic value that is normally derived from gardening directly in the ground." Posted October 21, 2006

Informal Irrigation in Urban West Africa: An Overview
"In West Africa, the urban population is taking over the rural. Informal irrigation in urban and peri-urban areas taking advantage of the growing urban markets and the common lack of refrigerated transportation and storage, complements rural agriculture in feeding the cities with fresh vegetables. This report tries to provide a state-of-the-art overview on irrigated urban agriculture in the West African sub- region based on a comprehensive literature review supported by the results of three IWMI- FAO projects." Posted October 19, 2006

All-You-Can-Grow Buffet
Broken Pencil #33 The Food Issue, October 2006. An excerpt from the article on this web link; 800 more words in the hard copy issue." 'Food is essential for us, so it only makes sense we should know where it comes from,' Levenston says matter-of-factly. But where to start? He recommends growing sprigs of parsley and handfuls of oregano at first, something small that can be put in a pot on a balcony. Progressing further means securing a swath of land to grow vegetables, fruits and even grains if the space allows." Posted October 19, 2006


Parish Reaps Rewards of Garden Project - Harvest Just in Time for Hearty Fall Soups
"Behind St. Thomas's Church, Toronto, a once-bedraggled patch of grass blossomed into a lush garden this summer, producing ripe vegetables for the parish's Out of the Heat program. The garden will be featured in a forthcoming video by Greening Sacred Spaces, which showcases ecologically sound projects undertaken by faith communities in Toronto. " Posted October 12, 2006

Urban Agriculture Worldwide
"This site will be a diary of my experiences and observations as I travel to Singapore, Holland, England, USA and Canada on my 2006 Churchill Fellowship departing 14th October and returning 13th December, 2006. The purpose of my trip is to identify how sustainable urban agriculture is benefiting the quality of life of urban/city communities for application in Australia. I invite you to be part of this journey by viewing this site and providing comment. - David Mason" Posted October 2, 2006

Urban farming: City pickers
Article in The Independent: "It was once a forgotten wasteland in east London - now it's a thriving organic farm. Urban areas consume huge amounts of food, so why aren't there more places like this? The plot is one of three managed by Growing Communities, a local social enterprise group, and though they jointly amount to less than one acre, they comprise the first Soil Association-certified organic growing plots in London." Updated October 12, 2006









IDRC's 'Expose Urban Solutions' Photos
Urban agriculture images included. "Cultivating New Horizons - In Dakar, flat concrete rooftops form a veritable second city landscape. As Senegalese cities become more and more dense, entrepreneurs like this immigrant farmer are beginning to make use of this vast, unused resource to enhance their livelihoods with productive activities.  His salads are grown organically with home-made compost made from kitchen scraps and chicken manure donated by his neighbors. The produce will be sold in the market to earn the man a modest monthly income." Posted September 28, 2006

Fly From Space to Community Gardens in BC Using Google Earth
City Farmer created 'place-markers' in Google Earth, which allow you to fly from the sky to different garden sites; that is virtually. You can visit individually chosen sites or you can push the 'play' button (an arrow under the Places window) to automatically fly to all the gardens. See Victoria's Capital City gardens for instance and then fly back to UBC's Acadia gardens. Simply click on our link to download a tiny 'kmz' file (unzip the .zip file first) and then open the file in your Google Earth program. Updated September 27, 2006

BC Community Gardens Up Close - Aerial Photos
We've created a slideshow of aerial photos of community gardens in British Columbia; most of these are higher resolution images than can be found on Google Earth. See the Fraser Street Garden in Vancouver, or visit us in the Compost Demonstration Garden next to our neighbours, the Maple Street Community Garden. We've also included photos of some of the gardens at ground level for those who don't like heights. Posted September 27, 2006

Shaping Livable Cities - Stories of progress around the world
(PDF) IDRC WUF publication. Contents include: "Beijing uses urban agriculture to help foster and balance economic expansion, social equity, and ecological protection. - In Pikine, Senegal, local participative management is at the heart of a project to enhance and support urban agriculture. - Various municipal officials prepare to deal with the health and environmental risks caused by the use of wastewater in urban agriculture." Posted September 27, 2006

UGROW "Seeds, Soil & Stories" Project Report
(PDF) "This report describes an investigation of the health impacts of community gardening in Toronto, Ontario. ... These benefits were set against a backdrop of insecure land tenure and access, bureaucratic resistance, concerns about soil contamination, and a lack of awareness and understanding by community members and decision-makers. Results also highlight the need for ongoing resources to support gardens in these many roles." Posted September 27, 2006

See Our Garden on Responsibility.TV
(Slow, large download) Our garden is featured on Italian Internet TV in this video clip. "Responsibility.TV is an innovative WebTV that aims to promote a Sustainable Future through the diffusion of a Culture of Social and Environmental Responsibility." Posted September 22, 2006

Hot Summer Of Urban Farming
"Over the summer, 8 artists from Denmark and abroad have made temporary works, gardens and plantations in outer Nørrebro. Among the projects that can be seen are: An Oxygen Greenhouse in a traffic hot spot. A free area transformed into a parterre with a royal monogram. A Town of Dandelions. A potato garden with stories of the plants origin and uses. A project about what could be grown if the undecided areas were to be used for urban farming. An ongoing process about the largest open space in Nørrebro and stories harvested from a bench. Nance Klehm from Chicago will forage crops from the city and serve meals from a mobile kitchen." Updated September 21, 2006

Food Not Lawns - How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community
New book. "Flores, an urban gardener and activist, believes that the first step toward a healthier, more self-reliant, and more ecologically sane life is growing your own food. Gardening is a radical act, she says. Those who control our food, control our lives. Gardening empowers us, offering freedom from the industrial food market where profit, not heath and the environment, rule the day. Flores envisions life-sustaining paradise gardens everywhere, from your own front yard, to an inner-city abandoned lot, or even the strip of grass between the sidewalk and street. Her step-by-step guide leads you through the practical steps of site selection and design, building nutrient-rich soil, and choosing appropriate plants." Updated September 20, 2006

Kampala: A Vision of the Future
"I view Kampala as a progressive African city. Recently working as a researcher in this urban center, I set out to discover farmer innovators, and not only did I find one or two, but indeed I found many. What I also found in Kampala, that directly relates to its titling of 'progressive', is that those within bi-lateral agencies and the government are not only very much aware of these innovators, but even utilize their know-how to further the good of all farmers, and food consumers, within Kampala City. I discovered real environmentalists and long-term, sustainable-minded actors within the policymaking realm." Updated September 14, 2006

Not in My Backyard
"Mrs. Mabel Bikandema, an innovator farming in the Makindye Division of Kampala, produces compost from all of the organic matter that originates on her farm and in her household. To supplement her own source of biodegradable mass, Mrs. Bikandema regularly visits the produce market, where she pays boys around 2,000 shillings (about 30 US cents) to collect discarded organic matter - cabbage stems, bananas peels, animal droppings, etcetera - and take it to her home." Updated September 14, 2006

Benefits and Barriers to Implementing and Managing Well Rooted Community Gardens in Waterloo Region, Ontario
Masters Thesis. "Incorporate community gardens into land use plans. Look for suitable areas and designated them as areas for community gardens. Offer incentives to developers who put community gardens into their development plans. Incentives can including being lenient on zoning, awarding developers for "green building" and showing the financial benefits to the developer of incorporating community gardens into their plans." Updated September 13, 2006

Documentary:  "Farmers in the City" - Problems and Opportunities in the City of Lima 
In Spanish. English subtitles coming. "The first Urban Harvest documentary demonstrates what is urban agriculture and why it is practiced in particular in Metropolitan Lima. The documentary identifies the reality of urban agriculture in the eastern district of Lima and describes the importance of urban agriculture as a livelihood strategy for families that contributes to their food security and provides them with extra and alternative income, while also maintaining a sustainable city environment." Updated September 7, 2006

Deconstructing Dinner - Radio - "Farming in the City I"
One hour radio show. Guests: Wally Satzewich - Farmer, Wally's Urban Market Garden / SPIN Farming (Saskatoon). Beth Sobieszczyk - Program and Social Enterprise Coordinator, Fruit Tree Project, LifeCycles Project Society (Victoria). Jac Smit - President and CEO, The Urban Agriculture Network (TUAN) (Washington D.C.) Posted September 4, 2006

Pristine Outhouse a Compost Outpost
Features City Farmer's Toilet - "There's a lock on the outhouse door, so the toilet is used only by staff and garden visitors willing to abide by the rules: 'Please place toilet paper in toilet after use but do not add other hygiene products; Please sprinkle a cup of shavings from the green container on solid waste after use; Please mark on the calendar an X for liquid waste or an O for solid waste after using the toilet.' " Posted September 4, 2006

Unearthing the Clandestine Plots of Vancouver's 'Guerrilla Gardeners': The Revolution Will Be Fertilized
"Often working at night, landless gardeners plant anything from fruit trees to flowers, hoping they will be left to grow undisturbed. Some gardens are faithfully tended, others left to their own devices. Unlike community gardens, which are licensed by the city, no one know how many guerrilla gardens exist in Vancouver." Posted September 2, 2006

Contamination Closes Community Garden In Montreal
"The community gardeners have found out the hard way that growing your own food in a big city means you have to ensure that environmental pollution doesn't make it onto your plate. The public garden has been helping feed families for 22 years. Now, tests have discovered lead and arsenic in the vegetables. That's five to 10 times the levels found in store-bought produce." Posted August 22, 2006

Gardens For All: People, Plants, and Policy Conference - September 7-8, 2006
"The goal of the conference is to bring together leaders from across the gardening and policy community to engage in a realistic examination of how public policy impacts gardening. The objective is to identify and share examples of best practices for how enlightened public policy can assist individuals and communities realize the benefits of gardening." Posted August 22, 2006

Small is beautiful…and profitable!
"Urban farmers in Philadelphia demonstrate that you don't need a whole lot of land—or fancy equipment—to see black. Their 280 beds turn an average of three to four crops each season, and they grow 100 varieties of 50 different types of vegetables (it’s enough to make your head spin). Breaking $50,000 was accomplished within a 9-month growing season." Posted August 22, 2006

See Our New WebCam!
We are testing out a webcam at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. The photo of the garden will update every few hours throughout the day. In this way you will be able to see how it looks in spring, summer, fall and winter no matter where you live in the world. Posted August 20, 2006

The Diverse Roles of Urban Agriculture - Case Study of South Durban Basin KwaZulu-Natal - South Africa
"This study addresses the social, economic and political importance of urban agriculture in the heavily industrialized area of the South Durban Basin (SDB). Research suggests that resource accessible households use UA as a means of securing their assets for a variety of livelihood endeavours, not solely economic." Posted August 18, 2006

ELT Easy Green - Living Wall is a Pregrown, Modular Living Wall Panel
"City Farmer - Vancouver, BC - This single panel, the first of many to be used for food production. This panel is planted with a variety of lettuce and demonstrates how plants can be grown in areas where food production would have been impossible before." Posted August 15, 2006

Meet City Farmer Staff at the Garden or call our Compost Hotline
"City Farmer staff both garden and teach at our Demonstration Garden all year long. They give workshops, attend 'outreach' events in the community, speak to the media, develop educational material for our web site, answer the Compost Hotline, look for new varieties of plants and search out the 'greenest' gardening techniques. Here's a brief summary of their expertise." Posted August 10, 2006

The Guide: Soil Contamination and Urban Agriculture:
"There are several important aspects of soil contamination which are addressed in this guide, including the dangers of gardening in contaminated soil, the potential sources of contamination, ways to evaluate the level of contamination present in the soil, and the options for addressing the problem. Anyone interested in the current state of brownfield remediation for community groups practicing urban agriculture should read this guide." Posted August 3, 2006

Urban Agriculture in Montreal: Marketing Recommendations for an Urban Greenhouse in Notre-Dame-de-Grâc
"Results of the market study undertaken in this project indicate that restaurants in the Montreal area form the most interested purchasing group for the products of the greenhouse. Once underway, purchasing arrangements with high-end and health-food restaurants will likely be the most financially reliable. Additionally, marketing strategies in the retail sector should target the identified principal consumer group of women between the ages of 46 and 60." Posted August 3, 2006

Revealing Social Dimensions of Open Space Cultivation by Older Women in Harare - Advancing a Social Planning Discourse for Urban Agriculture
"Findings from this research have been used to develop a gender-aware history of women and urban agriculture in Harare. Key findings show that the forms of organisation for open space cultivation developed by older women have been historically unacknowledged, ignored, and impeded by those with decision making power, most often male elites." Posted August 3, 2006

Your Backyard Farmer
Portland, USA "We provide you with an organic vegetable farm right outside your door, customized to your family's size and dining choices. Farm sizes depend upon the size of the family; typically a 20 x 20 sq ft area will feed a family of 4. A 15 x 15 sq ft will feed a vegetarian family of 2-3. A 10 X 10 sq ft. plot will feed an individual or family of 2. Both larger and smaller farms are available as we do try our best to accommodate each individual farms needs." Posted July 28, 2006

44 Urban Agriculture Photos
Finding new photos that illustrate city farming is an exciting occasion. You'll find something to surprise you in this collection. "Queen Elizabeth II in lively discussion with gardening enthusiasts on their garden allotment." ... and... "With their garden implements held on their shoulders these blind children form a 'V' for victory gardening." Posted July 27, 2006

National Post article: Worms dine just outside my kitchen
City of Vancouver - City Farmer Program. "I recalled my wife's expression from earlier that day, and also her parting words. But it was too late to bail. The instructor had already dumped a bucket of worms onto a composter lid. From this pile of damp earth emerged a swarming mosh. Suddenly, it was our turn to handle worms. We hived off into groups and got to work. My team prepped its black plastic compost box, filling it halfway with a supply of straw and shredded newspaper. Using a watering can, we more or less soaked the bedding." Posted July 23, 2006

Using Compost to Make a Container Garden: Step-by-Step Slideshow
"Balconies, Rooftops and Decks. City Farmer Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, shares her recipe for starting a container garden." Posted July 17, 2006

In The Footprint Of The City
(Three part film series that investigates the relationship modern Los Angeles metropolitan region has had with agriculture.) Part III, Seeds of Urban Change opens up the discussion of urban agriculture by asking the general public, as well as, a host of food security experts, about the need for keeping agriculture close to cities. It documents the dedicated people and innovative programs that are supplying fresh foods from local farm fields to the dinner tables of city residents." Posted July 13, 2006

Cities Farming for the Future - Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities
(Complete book is now available on-line!)... This publication presents the "state of the art" of the development of sustainable urban agriculture and as such indicates progress made since the first major publications on urban agriculture: the UNDP publication "Urban Agriculture" (published in 1996 by Smit et al.) and the DSE publication "Growing Cities, Growing Food: Urban Agriculture on the Policy Agenda" (published in 2000 by Bakker et al)... Posted July 12, 2006

Garden Mosaics
"The mission of Garden Mosaics is to connect youth and elders to investigate the mosaic of plants, people, and cultures in gardens. Garden Mosaics youth learn about the diversity of plants and cultures in their community, form positive relationships with adults, take action to benefit their neighborhood, and participate in a global project to help the environment and food system." Posted July 11, 2006

Rats to Roses - A film about community gardens
"We follow two main gardens at the heart of this story, the Esperanza Garden and the Euclid 500 Garden. The Esperanza Garden, created in the mid-1970s, has become a center of the community, where both older people and young maintain it as a community space. The Euclid 500 Garden, operated by Charles Louis, serves a special purpose in the community - the many fruits and vegetables grown there by volunteers are used to supply food pantries for the most needy in the area." Posted July 11, 2006



IDRC reports...Vancouver's Urban Agriculture Resource Centre
"A group of five writers, supported by IDRC through its Focus City Research Initiative, toured Vancouver's City Farmer, a demonstration site and resource centre for urban agriculture (UA). In addition to its public education programs, City Farmer offers a Web site that has become a information clearinghouse for UA information around the world. During WUF, City Farmer provided material and staff to demonstrate some of the innovative programs the City of Vancouver funds." Posted July 8, 2006

Compost Chef Shares Recipe for Composting Success - at World Urban Forum
"It's like a cake," she said, "you layer it - green, brown, green, brown." The green Costa is referring to are moist materials, like kitchen scraps that are high in nitrogen. Brown materials, like leaves, are drier and high in carbon. Costa is with City Farmer, a long-time IDRC partner." Posted July 8, 2006

A Growing Opportunity: Urban agriculture takes root in empty lots and abandoned spaces
"The rapid urbanization under way in Asia and Africa is one key driver of urban agriculture's growth. "What you have is a gravity shift of the market for goods from rural areas to urban areas," says Mougeot. Another is the poverty that urbanization too often generates. "As you become poor," says Mougeot, "food, which is an essential need, takes up a growing share of your budget" -- 60 per cent or more for many poor families in developing world cities." Posted June 29, 2006

Soild Waste Branch Vancouver BC - Experience over 15 Years
"As sophisticated, beautiful and livable Vancouver is, there exists an element of poverty and pollution in the raw underbelly of our City that demands leadership, innovative thinking, and aggressive strategic policy and planning, combined with a healthy dose of compassion on the part of our civic leaders. " Posted June 27, 2006

Urban spots sprout veggies: Project has neighbourhood green spaces turned into affordable 'edible' landscapes
"It was at this moment that Ms. Takiramule was given what she described yesterday to World Urban Forum delegates as 'the dream of my life.' A local community leader strolled towards her and offered her an application form to participate in the Kampala City Council's 'edible' landscape project - an innovative urban planning strategy that turns wasted urban spaces into vegetable gardens." Posted June 26, 2006

Growing Better Cities - Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Development
Luc Mougeot's new book is now on-line! "As the cities grow, so does the number of urban poor. Unemployment, hunger, and malnutrition are commonplace. In the big city, most of any cash income the poor might bring home goes to feeding themselves and staying alive; any food that does not have to be bought is a bonus. As a result, more and more people are attempting to grow at least some of their own food to supplement poor diets and meager incomes. But farming in the city — urban agriculture — is too often seen by municipalities as a problem to be eradicated rather than as a part of the solution to making the city and its environment more sustainable." Posted June 21, 2006

1. Spain: Housing plan mixes history and high rise - Spanish scheme based on ancient market gardens
2. Sociopolis - Construct a first neighbourhood of 2,800 homes south of the city of Valencia

"...largest urban orchard-gardens in any major Spanish city. Urban orchard-gardens are qualified as green zones, located within the city boundary, whose vegetation is agricultural, used and maintained by the citizens themselves, and accessible to all of the local population by means of roads and paths. This means it is the local people, cultivating small orchard-garden units (from 25 to 100 m2) to produce fruit and vegetables for their own consumption, and creating for this purpose associations and groups that together to conserve the public space and the landscape, who directly foment urban cohesion and social interaction." Posted June 20, 2006

An Examination of a Community-Based Urban Agriculture Project: the Case of Musikavanhu in Budiriro, Harare
"The aim of the study was to develop a comprehensive understanding of a community-based urban agriculture project. Specifically, the research analysed the organisation of Musikavanhu project in Budiriro, Harare, Zimbabwe, showing its relationships with external bodies, how it accessed land for urban agriculture and identified the nature of farming practices. Furthermore, the research was initiated to explore the effects that a community-based urban agriculture has on the community with the intent of identifying the actual benefits." Posted June 17, 2006

Daryl Hannah Evicted From Tree on Urban Farm
Archive search and pay for this and other articles on the eviction story. "Former mermaid Daryl Hannah said recently she didn't know there was a farm in South-Central Los Angeles until she got a phone call from a woman named Butterfly. This was back when Joan Baez was living up a tree on the same farm and singing folk songs, and I'd like to thank all of them for their contribution to the first paragraph of this column." Updated January 15, 2007









Whitmire: Study Gateway Greening Community Garden Areas, Reversing Urban Decline
"As a community development agency, we hope to show that greening projects have positive effects on neighborhoods and their residents. Some of the positive effects we are examining are crime reduction both to property and people, increased property values and improvement of property, improvements in the overall appearance of the neighborhood, and increased feelings of safety." Posted June 9, 2006

Strip Farming in Vancouver
"A farm situated on the strips of land between sidewalks and streets in a 10 block by 10 block area of east Vancouver—an area bounded by, say, Commercial Drive and Renfrew Street, and 1 st Avenue and Broadway—could be made to yield 3,600 bushels of food per year in the form of tomatoes, potatoes, squash, beans, peas, cucumbers, zucchinis, green and white onions, garlic and all sorts of other foods, and also any number of herbs." Posted June 8, 2006

Setting up and Running a School Garden - A Manual for Teachers, Parents and Communities (FAO Publication)
"In preparing this manual, intended to assist school teachers, parents and the wider community, FAO has drawn upon experiences and best practices derived from school garden initiatives all over the world. Classroom lessons are linked with practical learning in the garden about nature and the environment, food production and marketing, food processing and preparation, and making healthy food choices." (in English, Spanish and French) Posted June 8, 2006

The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values
"We find that the opening of a community garden has a statistically significant positive impact on residential properties within 1000 feet of the garden, and that the impact increases over time. We find that gardens have the greatest impact in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Higher quality gardens have the greatest positive impact. Finally, we find that the opening of a garden is associated with other changes in the neighborhood, such as increasing rates of homeownership, and thus may be serving as catalysts for economic redevelopment of the community." (Complete 49 page paper is available for download at no cost.) Posted June 7, 2006

Urban Agriculture in Vancouver: Slideshow by City Farmer
"Vancouver is recognized as one of North America's most liveable cities. It’s no coincidence that 25% of British Columbia's food is produced within an hour of downtown Vancouver ― more than 40% of Vancouverites grow food in yards, balconies, and community gardens. The city is home to 1000 community garden plots at 22 active sites." Posted June 6, 2006

Seeds for City Farmers
"Manhattan Farms started with the idea that you can grow things wherever you are, be it city high-rise or country acreage. We specialize in small plot or container gardening for city farmers, but find we also thrive in rural settings. All of our open pollinated, heirloom seeds come guaranteed to grow." Posted June 4, 2006

The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely
"Open to all the new eco-gardening techniques, and the various weird and wonderful ways people make use of their plots, contents include: the history of allotments from 19th century origins, through wartime Dig for Victory, to the cosmopolitan communities of today; features photos and interviews with current plot-holders; planning your perfect allotment finding it, assessing it, clearing the ground and working out what to grow." Posted May 30, 2006

Green-thumbed guerrillas hatching secret plots!
Brendan O'Neill reports from London on the nighttime rebels whose aim is to prettify public spaces. "Perhaps guerrilla gardening is a response to the alienation of urban life - the distance urban residents and workers can feel among the gray monoliths owned (and neglected) by faceless bureaucrats. Guerrilla gardening looks like an attempt not only to make cities more colorful, but also to take symbolic ownership of them and make them more livable. " Posted May 30, 2006

Lure of the Urban Veggie Garden: Digging for love, money, fame and sex appeal.
"The various efforts in Vancouver are what make the city feature prominently on the international urban gardening stage, says Michael Levenston. "We're it: Vancouver, Canada," he argues. Levenston is the seasoned guru behind the local fixture City Farmer, and he's witnessed his life-long obsession go from the fringe to the mainstream since he started out in 1978." Posted May 29, 2006

Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risks
"More than 200,000 urban dwellers eat exotic vegetables daily on Accra's streets and in canteens and restaurants. Most of the perishable vegetables are produced on open spaces in the cities or its fringes due to insufficient cold transport and storage. This activity is highly profitable and can lift vulnerable groups out of poverty. It can also contribute to flood control, land reclamation and city greening. However, poor farmers have increasing problems finding in and around the cities unpolluted water sources for irrigation." Posted May 28, 2006

Grow your own, Big City
"People like Levenston believe there is an enormous and untapped potential to turn concrete jungles into abundant food producers. According to a mapping project undertaken by City Farmer, one third of a typical residential block in Vancouver is landscaped, and could be growing crops." Updated June 6, 2006

Chickens Becoming Popular Urban Pets In US
"A recent show by the Seattle Tilth Association featured the latest in chic coop designs. Among the most elaborate was a seven-part cedar structure including a fully-insulated main tower with sand-blasted glass windows decorated with etchings of chicks and hens. The coop has four windows, complete with screen and storm windows, a thatched roof and a swinging drawbridge." Posted May 27, 2006

Farming without a farm: City dwellers falling for everything from backyard chicken coups to dairy cow leases
"There's definitely a need to reconnect with pure products, pure processes," says Reinier Evers, marketing strategist and founder of Springwise.com. "This is not to say we all want to 'go back to nature.' It's more like adding a touch of the real world to our increasingly technological, manufactured lives." Urban farming tops a colourful list of business concepts in Springwise's May marketing report, with sightings of the trend spanning the globe." Posted May 18, 2006

International Workshop on Urban/Periurban Agriculture (UPA) in the Asian and Pacific Region
"It will also focus on the urgent needs of farmers, city dwellers and the government on the development of UPA in their respective settings. Finally, it will allow Asian countries to step forward toward a better understanding of UPA, and small-scale farmers to take advantage of its benefits in the Asian and Pacific region ..." Updated May 17, 2006

School Children Are Setting Up Gardens To Feed The Poor And To Give Fresh Produce To Food Banks
"Farmers, backyard gardeners and groups across the county have begun planting seeds and tilling land in a unified effort to keep the Thurston County Food Bank's shelves stocked. Farm land that would normally lie fallow and surplus vegetables that would otherwise go to waste have found a new purpose." Posted May 10, 2006

Edible Garden Project Set to Grow
"The project seeks to increase availability, storage and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables among North Shore residents who have inadequate food supplies, especially food bank and community kitchen participants. The essence of the project is to encourage the sharing and growing of food among individuals, families, and the community." Posted May 9, 2006

Paris buzzing as busy bees enjoy city life
Stung by declining honey production, France is promoting urban apiculture. "One of the solutions, UNAF president Henri Clément said, is to encourage city dwellers to learn about bees and to raise their own. They've asked city governments and businesses across France to set up beehives in public spaces. 'We want to sound the alarm, to let people know bees are in danger,' Mr. Clément said. 'Rural France is disappearing, but in the city, people are curious about bees and want to re-establish their ties to the country, so we think the future of bees is also in the cities.'" Revised January 15, 2007

The Future of Pakistan Agriculture
"About 70 percent of the total rainfall occurs as heavy downpours in summer from July to September, originating from the summer monsoons, and 30 percent in winter. Summers, except in the mountainous areas, are very hot with a maximum temperature of more than 40°C, while the minimum temperature in winter is a few degrees above the freezing point." Posted April 27, 2006

The Good, the Bad and the Bugly
"Keating says many people are afraid of ground beetles because they're quite large, but she explains they serve a very important function in biological control by eating the eggs of snails, slugs, cutworms and grubs. She blames science fiction movies about giant bugs for promoting people's fear of them. 'You have to realize they're not 10 feet tall and they're not coming to get us.'" Posted April 27, 2006

City Farmer's Pesticide Reduction Resources
"On this page you will find a growing list of resources to help you replace pesticides with natural pest control techniques. BC biological suppliers, organic fertilizers for your lawn and garden, organic landscapers in Vancouver and a look at insects we see at our garden and how we respond are published here." Posted April 9, 2006

Online course for urban agriculture - Feeding Cities in Anglophone Africa with urban agriculture
"The aim of the online course allows for municipal authorities, students, NGO workers, or other interested people in urban and peri-urban agriculture to either strengthen their knowledge or learn about the variety of topics involved in urban and peri-urban agriculture. ... explain the concepts of urban agriculture, identify health impacts, evaluate the potentials and constraints of crop production, estimate the risks and opportunities of livestock production, implement solid waste management procedures, treat and re-use wastewater, promote the integration of urban agriculture in urban planning and development." Posted April 8, 2006

Somerton Tanks Urban Farm Grosses $52,200
"In 2003, its first year of operation, Somerton Tanks Farm, located in northeast Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the U.S, produced $26,100 in gross sales from a half acre of growing space during a 9 month growing season. In 2005 gross sales increased to $52,200. So in just three years of operation Somerton Tanks Farm achieved a level of productivity and financial success that many agricultural professionals claimed was impossible. " Posted April 7, 2006

SPIN-Farming to Revolutionize Urban Agriculture
"SPIN is becoming popular with a broad, crossover market of aspiring urban farmers because it reduces the two big barriers to entry - land and money - as well as conventional large-scale farmers who want or need to downsize - as well as part-time hobby farmers. What unites them all is an ability to approach farming in a radical new way. Its precise revenue targeting formulas and organic-based techniques make it possible to gross $50,000+ from a half- acre." Posted April 7, 2006

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Policy Prospects in Kenya
"The workshop, which also received support from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), used an issue-based framework as the basis for developing a policy process. Substantive papers were presented on: Employment and Poverty, Health Issues and Waste Management, Food Security focusing on Household Nutrition (Fresh Vegetables and Dairy), Land Use Management and Physical Planning, Legislation and Governance." Posted April 3, 2006

Wally's Urban Market Garden
"Gail and I (Wally) are both long-time residents of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We operate an urban market garden. One unique feature of our market garden is that it is located within the confines of a city: Saskatoon. Our produce is grown on a number of residential garden plots scattered throughout the city. This allows us to practice an eco-friendly form of agriculture, one that puts less pressure on rural habitats, and fosters self-reliance in an urban setting. This form of agriculture makes it more feasible to utilise organic household kitchen wastes, as much of this material can be composted and used for growing crops." Posted March 29, 2006

Edmonton Community Garden Network Resource Manual PDF 107 pages (2.3 MB)
"In 2002, the Edmonton and area has seen the numbers of community gardens blossom to about 28 active projects, and several are in the planning stage including many school community projects. These gardens provide an opportunity to communities of diverse needs and circumstances including: the elderly, teens, low income, newly arrived immigrants, young children, and people with a variety of physical and mental capacities. In 2001, over 835 families are involved in local community garden projects. In 2001, approximately 240,000 sq.ft. in land is used in community gardening." Posted March 26, 2006

City Farm Edmonton
"We are in our first year of operation and have thus far put down a clay oven, a strawbale raised-bed mandala garden, and a 'children's barn' or building area. We have designs on putting some buildings up, but there is no shortage of development work to do and our focus is currently on programming for school groups, drop-in open access, camps, and events." Posted March 26, 2006

University of Alberta Campus Community Garden
"We planted 12 tomato plants and they did incredibly well! We bought them from the Farmer's Market as seedlings. We had a good amount of rain, but unfortunately with the rain came cloudy skies. We had more tomatoes than we could handle almost, but most did not ripen on the vine; we needed a sunnier season. So, so, so many green tomatoes though! And many did ripen on our counters afterwards. I had tomatoes all season long anyway. " Posted March 26, 2006

Food Security, Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project and Urban Community Farms
"Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project (RFTSP), a non profit organization run and operated mainly by volunteers, started in 2001 with picking fruit in the private gardens of Richmond home owners who were not able to use their crop. Then RFTSP grew by adding gleaning second harvests in local farms and by growing organic vegetables at the "Sharing Farm", a one acre piece of land loaned by the City of Richmond. Recently another piece of land Terra Nova (1.5 acres part of a 63 acres city park) has been also loaned by the city and is being prepared for growing more organic food this spring (2006)." Revised March 21, 2006

Urban Agriculture in East Africa: practice, challenges and opportunities
"Although urban agriculture is tolerated in Kenya, town planning legislative provisions do not recognise urban agriculture as a legitimate land use that should be provided for in the urban areas. In the case of Tanzania, efforts have been made to integrate urban agriculture into the urban land use system, but little has been done to actualise the legislative provisions. Therefore, it has not been possible to harness the full potential of urban agriculture in employment, income and food supply." Revised March 21, 2006

A Farm in the Asphalt Heart of Brooklyn
"The 2.75-acre asphalt lot in Red Hook occupied by the farm has been owned and operated for the past 80 years by the New York City Parks Department as a 24-hour football and baseball field for three shifts of Brooklyn's waterfront dock-workers. Last year, Added Value arranged a deal with the Parks Department to turn it into a working farm that would employ youth from the surrounding low-income neighborhood of Red Hook, educate school kids on sustainable food-growing practices, and produce food." Revised March 16, 2006

Urban agriculture as a survival strategy: An analysis of the activities of Bulawayo and Gweru urban farmers (Zimbabwe)
"The research concluded that the government of Zimbabwe, policy makers and town planners in the cities of Bulawayo and Gweru cannot afford to continue with politically motivated regulations lacking strict by-laws governing the practise of urban agriculture. The current green belts model was a step in the right direction though it did not address the issue of title deeds, which is a crucial one for urban farmers." Revised March 16, 2006

Home Vegetable Gardens featured in Oscar Winning Animated Film
"Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit" is centred in a large town where everyone is passionate about backyard food production. The stars of the film run an organic pest control firm. "As the annual Giant Vegetable Competition approaches, it's 'veggie-mania' in Wallace and Gromit's neighborhood. The two enterprising chums have been cashing in with their pest-control outfit, 'Anti-Pesto,' which humanely dispatches the rabbits that try to invade the sacred gardens."
Posted March 8, 2006

14 Acre Farm (The Largest Urban Farm In The Nation) Needs To Be Vacated
"Two days ago the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department unceremoniously posted an eviction notice on the farm's gate calling for the farm to be vacated by March 6th. That would leave current crops in the ground to be plowed under by a developer's bulldozers. The intended replacement for the farm is a warehouse intended to serve (primarily) Wal-Mart."
Also: L.A. South Central Farm Receives 3-Day Eviction Notice
Posted March 5, 2006

Upper Canada College Prep School Gets Back to the Garden
"Upper Canada College is a day and boarding school for 1400 boys from kindergarten to grade 12. Founded in 1829 and situated on a 43-acre campus in the heart of Toronto, it is the oldest independent school in Ontario. The learning garden is just one project - certainly the most joy-giving one to date - in UCC's Green School for the 21st Century initiative."
Posted March 5, 2006


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Revised January 9, 2009

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