The importance of urban gardening

Photo credit: Google

Youth community gardeners care for more than 1,400 plants at the Cadillac Urban Gardens in Southwest Detroit.

Urban agri can boost food security in cities—DA

A mixture of urban agricultural production technologies can enable cities to produce their own food, complementing the government’s efforts in the countryside to maintain food security in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Exploring Negros Occidental: the "Organic Capital" of the Philippines:
Exploring Negros Occidental: the “Organic Capital” of the Philippines:

At the launching of DA’s  urban agriculture project in Las Piñas City on February 4,  Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that urban agriculture can provide additional source of fresh and safe food and extra income for urban residents, among other benefits.

The project is implemented in partnership with the DA Regional Office for CALABARZON, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM's A-risers :
Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM’s A-risers :

Among the production technologies proposed by DA are edible landscaping, green riprapping, aquaponics and container gardening.


Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.):
Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.):

Norby De La Cruz, a resident of Las Piñas and a container gardening enthusiast cited the benefits his family has gained from urban agriculture.

“On the financial aspect, we are able to save since we no longer have to buy some of the vegetables, herbs and spices we need in our kitchen,” De La Cruz said.

Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.):
Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.):

He also mentioned that during emergencies, they have a ready source of food. He likewise shared that having more plants in their house gives them more fresh air, and that gardening has become his way to exercise and contribute to the clean and green program of the city.

Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela):
Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela):

Alcala said that urban agriculture may not be able to produce all what city dwellers need but this is a way to increase awareness on agriculture and the government’s programs to ensure food security.

Read the full article: Philippine Information Agency

Vegetables grown in containers on brownfields in Berlin (You Tube / in German)

Food production in an alternative city garden :

See production of vegetables in all kinds of containers : sacks, crates, pots, bottles, cans , …

Only possible (authorized?) on a brownfield in Berlin (Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use.)?

How to make tetra pots for growing food, using waste tetra packs (You Tube)


draft buklod tao video on tetra pots

Learn how people in the Philippines use discarded tetra packs to transform them into containers for urban container gardening, diminishing waste, producing food and enhancing their annual income.

Should inspire people all over the world to develop similar projects to combat hunger, malnutrition and poverty.  What is possible in the Philippines, is feasible elsewhere in a similar way.


To give her family fresh food 12 months out of the year while trimming the grocery bill (Google / The Victoria Times Colonist)

Read at : Google Alert – vertical gardening

Start a veggie grow-op

By Melissa Lampman, Postmedia News

The climate of many Canadian cities – rife with wind, snow in many months, and even giant hail – can be a challenge for even the most experienced garden enthusiasts.

Knowing she couldn’t control the weather and wanting fresh vegetables year round were reasons enough for longtime Calgarian Ursula de Vries to come up with a way to grow food indoors. And thus, Vertical Veggie Farms was born.

The mother of five wanted to give her family fresh food 12 months out of the year while trimming the grocery bill. “One of the major expenses we have in our household is food, so I thought if I could change the way I do things with food, that it would lessen the impact,” she says.

Her family “inspired me to grow really good quality food for them.”

The Vertical Veggie Farm (available for $340) is a hydroponic growing system that comprises a movable stand that measures 158 centimetres high, 51 cm deep and 114 cm wide with 15 plant spaces suspended by wire and five solution reservoirs.

It also comes with the proper light bulbs, 15 hydroponic starter cubes, growing fill, organic solution, as well as heritage seeds of beans, lettuce, chard and kale.


Veggie war with ‘seed bombs’ (msn / Reuters)

Read at :

Rebel gardeners wage veggie war with ‘seed bombs’

‘Art farmers’ in Buenos Aires aim to create public awareness, appetite

By Eduardo Garcia

BUENOS AIRES — Forget potted plants and privet hedges; a group of Buenos Aires artists want to make the Argentine capital a free-for-all kitchen garden, turning neglected parks and verges into verdant vegetable patches.

Following in the footsteps of “guerrilla gardeners” who have been scattering flower seeds in vacant lots and roadsides in cities such as London and New York since the 1970s, the Articultores group is taking the concept a step further.

Armed with vegetable seedlings and seed bombs — seeds packed with mud for throwing into neglected urban spaces, their goal is to provide organic food for city residents.


Urban Agriculture: A Guide to Container Gardens (City Farmer News / Technology for the Poor)

Read at :

Job S. Ebenezer and Technology for the Poor

Linked by Michael Levenston

Wading Pool Gardens

The president (Dr. Job Ebenezer) of the organization, Technology for the Poor, explains his vision for the spread of urban agriculture.

In 1993, Dr. Job Ebenezer, former Director of Environmental Stewardship and Hunger Education at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) established a container garden on the roof of the parking garage of the ELCA offices in Chicago. The hope was that the roof top garden would serve as a role model for creative use of urban space throughout the country. Dr. Ebenezer proved the feasibility of growing vegetables in plastic wading pools, used tires and feed sacks.


Urban Agriculture: A Guide to Container Gardens

Job S. Ebenezer, Ph.D.
President, Technology for the Poor,

With inexpensive containers and suitable soil mix, you can create an urban garden virtually anywhere – on roof tops, vacant city lots, borwn fields, and unused portion of parking lots.

“Farm Together Now” explores current state of grassroots farming in U.S.A. (City Farmer News /

Read at :

Just published – “Farm Together Now”

Linked by Michael Levenston

Communities Across the U.S. Bringing Food and Ideas to Your Plate

By Amy Franceschini
and Daniel Tucker
Photographs by Anne Hamersky
Foreword by Mark Bittman
November 2010

With interest in home gardening at an all-time high and concerns about food production and safety making headlines, Farm Together Now explores the current state of grassroots farming in the U.S. Part oral history and part treatise on food politics, this fascinating project is an introduction to the many individuals who are producing sustainable food, challenging public policy, and developing community organizing efforts. With hundreds of photographs and a foreword from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, Farm Together Now will educate, inspire, and cultivate a new wave of modern agrarians.

New model of urban farming and container gardening (City Farmer News / Unknown Urbanity)

Read at :

Japanese Ministry of Merchandize and Industry recognizes this

New model of Urban Farming

Linked by Michael Levenston

Recognizing Pasona

By Yushi Uehara
Story via Unknown Urbanity
Posted Oct. 19, 2010
Story seems to be from March 2010. Mike

The Japanese Ministry of Merchandize and Industry recognized this new model of Urban Farming initiated by PASONA as the way to produce work in the metropolis, and it eyes to reduce climate responsible functions by reducing CO2. The idea is to produce foods for lunch. The project was launched in the presence of the former first lady of Japan and ex-local governor.

In the entry hall of the Japanese Ministry of Merchandize and Industry there is also an ‘out of the box’ machine that produces vegetables in an office building. This type is called; “Autonomous Closed Box” that allows this box to be placed anywhere where you have water and electricity.

By this is it as if the triangle of Actor-Capital-Authority seems to be engaged. The question naturally is how real this will become.



Opened a headquarters office on the theme of harmony with nature Otemachi, Chiyoda major staffing Pasona Group.

Office building was built at the refurbished former Daiwa Securities, which was completed in 1957, nine-story factories and plants are provided on each floor, has been growing flowers and vegetables. In addition to producing three million shares of vegetables consumed in one year by approximately 2,000 employees working in the building, which absorbs about 2 tons of carbon dioxide per year for a green roof and wall. … the Ministry of the “pilot project Kurushiti central urban area” has been certified.

Today in a paddy rice planting ceremony held in the building, as well as local children, Chiyoda-ku, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Hatoyama Yuki and his wife, also in attendance was chairman of the House of Councilors Satsuki Eda. Mrs Prime Minister Hatoyama Yuki is “so happy I grow vegetables in this environment and rice. I look forward to the future, when the harvest is reaped.

Eco-friendly initiatives in agriculture in an office in the city.

Guerrilla Gardening and the Combat of Desertification (Brigit Strawbridge / Willem Van Cotthem)

One of my Facebook friends, Brigit Strawbridge, shared with us the following :

Pimp Your Pavement

is a project from

For six years I’ve been cultivating neglected patches of land in my neighbourhood of the Elephant & Castle. Driven by a life long love of gardening, a lack of a garden, and the fun of doing it in public I found easy opportunities in the abandoned flower beds, neglected traffic islands and tree pits near me. Since then I’ve gardened alongside hundreds of others and met a lot of inspiring people who are doing the same thing as me in corners of their community all around the world.

It’s my hobby, my passion and I’m keen to get more people gardening like this. The local overlooked landscape – in both meanings of the word – forgotten about but also in great view is a space in which we can make a very tangible and welcoming contribution to improving our local environment, both ecologically and socially. As a guerrilla gardener, blogger, author and talker on the subject, I’ve got plenty of people involved too, but guerrilla gardening is just a strategy, and the result can be all sorts of landscapes of varying scales and purpose, sometimes overtly provocative. I’ve noticed that enthusiastic newcomers can feel a bit daunted by expectations of enormous transformation and the risk of prosecution for criminal damage (even though both are quite unlikely)!

This campaign will be a way of giving people, particularly newcomers, a very tangible objective – transforming a patch of pavement and taking back responsibility from the local authorities who have plenty of other things to be concerned with on our behalf.

Pimp Your Pavement will be a more palatable way of inviting the authorities who are in charge of most of our pavements to participate in this grass roots enthusiasm. In cities around Europe (Zurich, Berlin, Amsterdam and to a much lesser extent London) I’ve seen how guerrilla gardening can change the authorities view of their responsibilities, and I’m keen that these examples are inspiration to encourage change in more places.

Explore these pages, join the Facebook Page, and if you’re already pimping pavements or helping people pimp pavements get in touch, share what you’re doing and let’s work together.

Richard Reynolds, 2010


Brigit Strawbridge wrote : Pimp Your Pavement; what a great way to bring nature back to our streets –


I reacted immediately and joined ‘Pimp Your Pavement’ at

where I read :

Transform a patch of pavement with a colourful addition of your own. Sow sunflower seeds in an empty tree pit, plant pansies in a derelict planter… the pavement is your canvas. Sow the seed, spread the word…

If we can ‘bring nature back to our streets’ and considering the success of ‘guerrilla gardening‘ in many countries, I sent the following comment to this Facebook page :

‘Guerrilla gardening being successful in the cities, even on the most incredible, infertile spots, it should be easy to grow some vegetables and fruit trees in the drylands of the developing countries too. Guerrilla gardening can pave the way to efficiently combat desertification, hunger, child malnutrition and eventually poverty by introducing small gardens around the houses of the rural and urban people. Let gardening guerrilleros reach hands and exchange their experience for the benefit of smallholder farmers in the drylands, in particular for their kids.  See the embryo of a kitchen garden in a refugee camp in the Algerian Sahara desert.’

2007 – Family garden in Layoun refugee camp (Tindouf area, S.W. Algeria, Sahara desert) – (Photo WVC)

Urban farming in containers (sacks) – (IRIN)

Read at : IRINNews

KENYA: Bag a farm

NAIROBI, 18 February 2010 (IRIN) – Faced with high food prices, low income and barely a patch of arable land, hundreds of residents of Nairobi’s densely populated slums have adopted a novel form of intensive agriculture: a farm in a sack. Ex-convict John King’ori is hoping the project, run by Italian NGO COOPI, will help him go straight after eight years behind bars for a violent robbery. King’ori chairs the Juja Road Self-Help Group, whose 76 members, also mostly former prisoners, are among the 1,000 households in Mathare and Huruma hoping their sacks will provide a sustainable source of vegetables such as kale, spinach, capsicum and onions.

“We can plant over 40 seedlings in each sack; each household is responsible for watering and maintaining their sack. We hope the vegetables will be ready for consumption in a few weeks’ time,” said King’ori at a demonstration plot. COOPI fenced the plot, improved water storage and provided the top soil, sand, manure and seedlings.

“The aim of the urban farming project is to empower the people to have better food purchasing power,” its manager, Claudio Torres, told IRIN. Continue reading Urban farming in containers (sacks) – (IRIN)