Urban gardening and rooftop farming

 

Photo credit: am new york

Learn how to build a garden or rooftop farm with Annie Novak’s book, “The Rooftop Growing Guide.” (Credit: Annie Novak)

Annie Novak, author of ‘The Rooftop Growing Guide,’ on urban gardening and rooftop farming

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Chatting with the author of ‘The Rooftop Growing Guide’
  • Tips on how to get your own green space started

If you’ve ever wanted to turn your barren backyard or empty rooftop into a green space for fresh veggies, herbs and flowers, Annie Novak has you covered.

The co-founder of the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint and manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden is also behind the new book, “The Rooftop Growing Guide” ($23, Ten Speed Press), a how-to in green roofs, container gardening, crop planning, pest management, harvesting and more.

“I remember thinking when I was asked to help start the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm that there was a book missing,” Novak says, who had to navigate legal and safety issues to implement her farming knowledge on a rooftop. “If you want to see a good idea spread, you have to teach people how to do it. My hope with this book was that everyone who has a question mark gets to a place where they have an exclamation point. They can get excited about what they want to do.”

Curious? Novak shares her tips for getting started:

 

Get permission first

“Permission is the first thing, and often the step that’s skipped,” Novak says. “If you’re going to invest the time and money in a space, you need to make sure it’s all right.”

Read the full article: am new york

Rooftop gardens could grow three quarters of city’s vegetables

Photo credit: Minna Takkala

URBAN FARMING GROWING TREND

by MINNA TAKALA – TREND EXPLORER

According to a recent study by EU rooftop gardens could grow three quarters of city’s vegetables. In recent years urban gardening, agriculture and farming have been growing globally. The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a good example of community garden program that has turned into a vibrant resource for the local community.

The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden was originally an overgrown, abandoned piece of railway land used as an unofficial landfill site. It received funding from London Development Agency and was finalised in eight month during 2010. Important aspects of the project was to provide opportunities for volunteers and its design and construction offered apprenticeship schemes for local people. It has won awards like Hackney Design Award 2010, Sustain Magazine 2010 Winner – Public Realm, Commended London Planning Awards 2010 – Community Scale Project.

Read the full article: Minna-Takkala

The pleasure of gardening in the city

Photo credit: Heavy

Image: (Getty)

Everything You Need to Start an Organic Urban Garden

Un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

 

FOR OUR FRENCH SPEAKING FRIENDS

POUR NOS AMIS FRANCOPHONES

En 60 jours, il est passé de quelques graines à un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture

Par Mathieu Doutreligne

Dans l’agitation de notre vie quotidienne, l’idée de faire pousser ses propres légumes semble impossible. L’histoire et les photos qui suivent vous prouveront le contraire et vous donneront la motivation nécessaire pour réaliser vos rêves.

TRANSLATION: In the bustle of daily life, the idea of growing your own vegetables seems impossible. The story and photos below prove the opposite and offer you the motivation to achieve your dreams.

===========

Si les autorités le permettent – If the authorities accept it.

 

 

Roof farms and vertical farms

Photo credit: Treehugger

Green roof at Toronto’s Mountain Equipment Coop (credit: Suzanne Jesperson)

Green roofs, living walls and vertical farms are all morphing into living green buildings

by Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter)
Design / Green Architecture

21 photos

EXCERPT

The green roof installed at Toronto’s Mountain Equipment Coop in 1998 it was one of the first of its kind- the extensive lightweight planting of low-maintenance, smaller native plants. It was not designed to be looked at; the only way you can get to it is via a ladder and a roof hatch, and the only people who can see it are in the new condos surrounding the store now. It was a nice touch, but nobody knew what a revolution in building design it was the start of.

Livging walls - credit SPARK - http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2015/03/spark-1.jpg.0x545_q100_crop-scale.jpg
Living walls – credit SPARK – http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2015/03/spark-1.jpg.0x545_q100_crop-scale.jpg

There really is no reason that ground, walls, balconies and roofs cannot all feed us, provide habitat for wildlife, shade and cool our buildings, and provide feedstock for our furnaces and electrical generators. There is no reason that our own waste can’t be digested on site and provide compost for the farm. There is no reason that our buildings cannot provide employment for people living in them, growing the food that others in the building can then have for dinner.

This is the future of green living building, it’s not walls, roofs or garden; it’s everywhere.

Read the full article: Treehugger

Grow edibles on rooftops

Photo credit: Brisbane Times

Dr Sara Wilkinson tends a tomato crop on a rooftop above Broadway at UTS. Photo: Peter Morris

Rooftops offer a viable and sustainable space for growing edible produce

by Robin Powell

What if the greens you need for tonight’s dinner were grown on the roof of the office where you work? From a cook’s perspective this is a dream – fresh produce and no time wasted on shopping. And the advantages of urban farming extend way beyond the wellbeing of the time-poor consumer. Produce farmed on urban rooftops also contributes to reducing the heat island effect of cities, lowering summer temperatures and minimising the carbon footprint of food.

Roof garden - Photo Jardin Inspiracion - 1546347_644306198944314_987979625_n_2 copy.jpg
Roof garden – Photo Jardin Inspiracion – 1546347_644306198944314_987979625_n_2 copy.jpg

Rooftop vegetable gardens increase urban biodiversity; decrease stormwater run-off; offer psychological benefits to those involved with the garden and with fellow gardeners; and can even protect and extend the lifetime of the roof.

Interest in green roofs is growing like dandelions in spring: the City of Sydney reports an average of one development application a week for a green roof or wall. Already, 100,000 square metres is given over to green roofs across the city, and Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the City is doing all it can “to introduce more of these features into our urban landscape”.

* Roof garden - Photo Les Urbainculteurs - 1503385_633030990087111_1484373713_n copy.jpg
* Roof garden – Photo Les Urbainculteurs – 1503385_633030990087111_1484373713_n copy.jpg

Yet few are food producing. Sydney’s environmental conditions suggest an urban harvest could contribute significantly to food production. The city of Toronto, for instance, which is under snow for three or four months of the year, estimates that 10 per cent of its fresh food could be grown within the city limits.

Read the full article: Brisbane Times

Yes, we can be an urban gardener !

Photo credit: Wisma Kreatif

Being An Urban Gardener, Get Advantages To Container Gardening

By Incog Nito

EXCERPT

Get Advantages To Container Gardening

Whether it’s to save money, an act of preparedness, or simply an incredible pastime, container gardening is a versatile and wonderful method of growing food for you and your household.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSkRaCYnadqa78sSHBM-_H3ZePuWC3wMqj_rg7Ama3N5YnodYCP
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSkRaCYnadqa78sSHBM-_H3ZePuWC3wMqj_rg7Ama3N5YnodYCP

 

Container gardening is a simple method to garden, specifically when you do not have backyard area. With the increasing expenses of food and people having less to invest, increasingly more of people are amusing the concept of growing our own. Not all of us are lucky sufficient to live on a farm or have lots of acreage in the countryside. Numerous people keep an eye out of the window just to see the cement and brickwork jungle of the suburban or city spread.

http://images.thefuntimesguide.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/43/files/vegetable-container-gardening-ideas.jpg
http://images.thefuntimesguide.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/43/files/vegetable-container-gardening-ideas.jpg
Advantages Container Gardening:
  • You conserve a lot of money!
  • Its a great, gratifying and enjoyable pastime
  • Your food tastes So much better, and is more healthy and nutritious
  • You are less depending on grocery stores
  • Your home is transformed into a wonderful green Eden
  • You understand your food is not laced with pesticides and chemicals
  • You’ll get a much healthier and calmer way of living, and be more in-touch with nature
  • It’s a wholesome, instructional and exceptional activity for the children
  • You acquire important understanding and life-skills
  • Growing your very own food significantly lowers your carbon footprint

Read the full article: Wisma Kreatif

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: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg
Exploring Negros Occidental: the “Organic Capital” of the Philippines: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg

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 : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg
Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM’s A-risers : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg

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

 

Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg
Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg

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.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG
Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG

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): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg
Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg

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

Alleviating food crisis with small gardens

Photo credit: Eng. Taleb Brahim 2008-02

Vegetable production in the Sahara desert

Eng. Taleb Brahim in Smara refugee camp (S.W. Algeria)

Family gardens, school gardens and urban gardening against the actual food crisis

by Willem Van Cotthem

Drought is described as a very important environmental constraint, limiting plant growth and food production. The World Food Program (WFP) has recently indicated drought in Australia as one of the major factors for the difficulty to deliver food aid to millions of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Drought is seen as the force driving up wheat and rice prices, which contributes directly to food shortage, social unrest and disturbances at the global level. Therefore, mitigating drought and limiting water consumption seems to be essential factors for resolving the actual food crisis and to find long-term solutions to malnutrition, hunger and famine, particularly in the drylands.

Application of water stocking soil conditioners, keeping the soil moistened with a minimum of irrigation water, and seeding or planting more drought tolerant species and varieties will definitely contribute to solve the food crisis. Scientists in China and the USA have recently discovered important genetic information about drought tolerance of plants. It was thereby shown that drought tolerant mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana have a more extensive root system than the wild types, with deeper roots and more lateral roots, and show a reduced leaf stomatal density. My own research work on the soil conditioning compound TerraCottem has led to similar conclusions : treatment with this soil conditioner induced enhancement of the root system with a higher number of lateral roots. More roots means more root tips and thus a higher number of water absorbing root hairs, sitting close to the root meristem. As a result, plants with more roots can better explore the soil and find the smallest water quantities in a relatively dry soil.

As the world’s population is growing by about 78 million people a year, it affects life on this earth in a very dramatic way. Droughts have caused a rise of food prices many times before, but the present situation is quite different, because it is based on specific trends and facts : the faster growing world population and a definite change in international food consumption trends and habits.

Promoted by Migeru


[editor’s note, by Migeru]

Some experts claim that “major investments to boost world food output will keep shortages down to the malnutrition level in some of the world’s poorer nations”, and that “improving farm infrastructure and technological boosts to farm yields can create a lot of small green revolutions, particularly in Africa”.

It seems quite difficult to believe that “major investments to boost the food output” will be able to “keep the food shortages down to the malnutrition level”, wherever in this world. Indeed, the world’s most famous research institutes have already developed very effective technologies to boost food production in the most adverse conditions of serious drought and salinity. Yet, not one single organization has ever decided, up to now, to use “major investments” to apply such technologies in large-scale programs, which would most certainly change the food situation in the world’s poorest nations.

It seems also difficult to believe that “improving farm infrastructure and technological boosts to farm yields” will be able to create “small green revolutions, particularly in Africa”. It is not by improving a farm’s infrastructure that one will manage drought. Although a number of technological solutions to boost farm yields have already been developed, only those tackling the drought problems are an option to create significant changes.

I do not believe that such changes can be realized at the level of large-scale farms. On the contrary, I am convinced that application of cost-effective, soil conditioning methods to enhance the water retention capacity of the soil and to boost biomass production in the drylands, is the best solution to help the poor rural people to avoid malnutrition and hunger, giving them a “fresh” start with a daily portion of “fresh vegetables”. These rural people, forming the group most affected by the food crisis, do not need to play a role in boosting the world’s food production. They simply need to produce enough food for their own family (“to fill their own hungry stomach”). Application of cost-effective technologies should therefore be programmed at the level of small-scale “family gardens” or “school gardens” and not at the scale of huge (industrial) farms, where return on investment is always the key factor for survival of the business.

Preferentially, major investments to boost the food output in the drylands should be employed to improve food production in family gardens and school gardens, in order to offer all rural people an opportunity to produce more and better food, vegetables and fruits, full of vitamins and mineral elements, mostly for their own family members or kids, partly for the local market.

Splendid examples of long-term combating food shortage with family gardens can be seen since 2006 in the refugee camps in S.W. Algeria (UNICEF project). One can only hope that such a success story will soon be duplicated in many similar situations, where hungry people wait for similar innovative and well-conceived practices, with a remarkable return on investment, laying solid foundations for further sustainable development.

Recently, a number of initiatives have been taken to enhance urban gardening space, not only with allotment gardens, but also with “guerilla gardening” and transformation of open, underused spaces into small-scale garden plots for downtown dwellers, apartment dwellers and even for university students like those at the McGill University in Montreal. Many poor urban people are very keen on harvesting their own crops in such small gardens or applying container gardening on balconies, terraces, rooftops or other unused open spaces. Support for urban agriculture or urban gardening can be seen as a priority for decision-makers to reverse the world’s food crisis.

Food aid, be it with billions of dollars, can only be very effective if priority is given to local food production for the poor rural or urban people, who can not afford to buy the expensive commercial food products in shops or supermarkets. Small-scale family gardens, school gardens, allotment gardens and urban gardens in unused open spaces should be our strategic counter-attack against the actual food crisis.

Article published in European Tribune

Start your own garden in the city

Photo credit: Vegetable Garden

Raised beds in town

4 Tips for Starting Your Own Urban Garden

by Julie Malone

EXCERPT

Tips for beginning small-space or urban gardeners:

1. Familiarize yourself with the square-foot gardening method. There’s Mel’s book, of course, but also many helpful books on container gardening for urban areas. Books can be basically life changing in helping you visualize and execute the most “profitable” garden… Which brings me to…

2. Embrace staking methods. A more compact, full garden means everything must be trained to stay in its place. Try the “Florida weave” trellis method for keeping up larger top-heavy plants, such as tomatoes. Smaller stakes and twine will work for eggplant and peppers, which tend to tilt toward their fruits. Vertically strung jute is great for climbing beans.

3. Embrace mistakes. You’ll learn a lot more this way, and it’s more fun to laugh off failed efforts than to get frustrated. Plus, it’s rare that even the worst blunders will yield absolutely nothing (so munch while you laugh!).

4. Embrace your favorites. Keep planting these year after year so that while you may or may not have success with experimental new plants, you’ll always have your efforts rewarded.

Read the full article: Huffington Post