54 Million People in the U.S. May Go Hungry During the Pandemic — Can Urban Farms Help?

An example of urban farming is seen on this Chicago rooftop. Linda / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

EcoWatch.com – When I call Chef Q. Ibraheem to discuss urban farming in her own cooking career, she’s in the middle of placing an order for microgreens from a small farm in Lake Forest, a ritzy suburb just north of downtown Chicago. Now’s a great time for her to chat, actually, because the Chicago-based chef is immersed in what she loves, sourcing ingredients as locally as possible.

“It’s really important we know where our food is coming from,” she says. “I know my farmers by name. I can go to the farms, see how they are growing everything, see it in the soil. It’s always nice to have something within reach and know your product.” Chef Q runs supper clubs and chef camps throughout Chicagoland, sustaining the local economy by purchasing ingredients from urban gardens and farms within miles of her pop-up experiences.

“As a chef, you realize you have a responsibility to your guests,” she says, and for her, that responsibility means being transparent about ingredients, and even educating diners about what’s on their plates. Growing up spending summers on a farm in Georgia, Chef Q has an innate curiosity about where and how her food is grown, and she recognizes the importance of farms in both urban and rural areas.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.ecowatch.com/urban-farming-coronavirus-pandemic-2647433678.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

Family farm is also a tree sanctuary and a home for rescued Taal horses

MB.Com – Sometimes, a farm isn’t just a place where crops grow. Sometimes, it can be a place of conservation and rejuvenation.

Artana Farm & Eco-Sanctuary is one such place. Located in Iba, Zambales, Artana is a family-owned, non-commercial agricultural estate that includes various planted crops,farm animals, a guesthouse for rent, an area dedicated to the preservation of native trees, and various farm tourism activities.

“Artana is a portmanteau of our parents’ names, Arturo and Ana Achacoso,” says Beng Achacoso-Pascua, a freelance voice talent and retired network executive who owns the farm together with her mom and seven siblings.

“All our lives, we had always referred to our farm as ‘Zambales,’” she says. In 2014, after our father passed on, my seven siblings and I came together to vote on an appropriate name for our farm-which we all acknowledged as the retreat we all loved, and our parents’ legacy.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT: https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/06/family-farm-is-also-a-tree-sanctuary-and-a-home-for-rescued-taal-horses/

How urban design can transform lonely cities into social societies

Stuff.co.nz – Yet another vibrant mural has sprouted in San Bernardino, this time with a community garden Loma Linda University and Huerta del Valle hope will foster wholeness around town.

Loma Linda University, meanwhile, provided an acre of land, water and financial support for the community garden, called El Jardín de la Salud.

Leaders hope the space promotes respect, unity, responsibility and justice.

Huerta del Valle, an Inland Valley group dedicated to encouraging community members to grow their own organic crops, hosts workshops, educational programming, urban farming and plots for personal gardening.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122579037/how-urban-design-can-transform-lonely-cities-into-social-societies

Texas Southern’s Blodgett Urban Gardens digs deeper as COVID brings urgency to its mission

Dr. Sheri Smith is a professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University and a board member of Blodgett Urban Gardens. Her students first came to her with the idea of starting a community garden.

Sheri Smith is on a mission. It’s Saturday, which means it’s farm stand day at Blodgett Urban Gardens, the Texas Southern University community garden she leads in Third Ward.

Smith, who teaches urban planning and environmental policy at TSU, is wearing an oversize red Rawlings T-shirt; her eyes are darting left and right between her beige sun hat and face mask, surveilling the activity in the garden and the handful of volunteers tending their beds.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Plants-with-purpose-at-Blodgett-Urban-Gardens-15541271.php

4 reasons why the world needs more urban farming post-pandemic

WeForum.org – Since lockdown, public interest in growing fruit and vegetables at home has soared. Seed packets are flying off shelves and allotment waiting lists are swelling, with one council receiving a 300% increase in applications. Fear of food shortages will have motivated some, but others with more time on their hands at home will have been tempted by the chance to relieve stress doing a wholesome family activity.

The seeds of enthusiasm for home-grown food may have been sown, but sustaining this is essential. Urban farming has much to offer in the wake of the pandemic. It could help communities boost the resilience of their fresh fruit and vegetable supplies, improve the health of residents and help them lead more sustainable lifestyles.

Gardening as a Radical Act

WSJ MAGAZINE – Linda Goode Bryant will be the first to tell you she didn’t know much about farming when she decided to open a community garden in Brooklyn, New York back in 2009.

“I have actually never been very good at putting seed in soil and watering it,” said Goode Bryant, an accomplished artist and filmmaker-turned-agrarian who founded Project EATS, a circuit of small plot, high-yield farms in New York City.

Determined to transform a local Brownsville lot into a sprawling farm, Goode Bryant endured a season of swiping her credit card to support her vision and relied on her trusty hammer and bucket for her daily chores. As community members slowly opened up to the farm and they began to lend their tools and their time. “That’s power,” Bryant said. “A belief in our own power to do for ourselves.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.wsj.com/articles/gardening-food-summer-ron-finley-11597840206

Despite virtual learning, Savannah-Chatham students to plant, grow, eat more vegetables

SAVANNAHNOW.COM – Students at Savannah-Chatham schools will have more fresh veggies to eat this year thanks to a $100,000 grant the district recently received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They will also learn how vegetables are planted, grown and prepared for meals.

The grant is part of the national Farm-to-School program that encourages schools to start or augment their on-campus vegetable gardens and incorporate lessons from science, math, language arts and other core subjects into the project.

Even though the schools are open in a virtual-only format for now, Dorothy Dupree, district school nutrition coordinator, is confident she will still be able to do the program and work with students.

“Many of our in-person activities can be bumped to Year 2 or to the spring,” she said. ”[We are] definitely thinking of some creative ways to get materials out. A lot of the planned work in the fall is more behind the scenes stuff, so I am optimistic that key in-person student interactions we had planned for will not be impacted.

CONTINUE TO THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.savannahnow.com/news/20200831/despite-virtual-learning-savannah-chatham-students-to-plant-grow-eat-more-vegetables

Homeless veterans use urban gardening to heal invisible wounds


These veterans in Indiana are helping the homeless by gardening to help heal invisible wounds.

WTHR.com: INDIANAPOLIS — For 22 years, an Indianapolis U.S. Army veteran risked everything for this country.

“No one forced me to join the military,” said Craig Browder. “I did it because I wanted to protect people.

At a young age, Browder knew he wanted to be either a police officer or a soldier, and it wasn’t about anything other than serving his community.

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/indiana/inspiring-indiana/homeless-veterans-use-urban-gardening-to-heal-invisible-wounds/531-c19ebe8b-f2c9-4acf-9c5b-7bcb61b68da1

54 million people in the US may go hungry during pandemic—can urban farms help?

Image Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times

This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

When I call Chef Q. Ibraheem to discuss urban farming in her own cooking career, she’s in the middle of placing an order for microgreens from a small farm in Lake Forest, a ritzy suburb just north of downtown Chicago. Now’s a great time for her to chat, actually, because the Chicago-based chef is immersed in what she loves, sourcing ingredients as locally as possible.

“It’s really important we know where our food is coming from,” she says. “I know my farmers by name. I can go to the farms, see how they are growing everything, see it in the soil. It’s always nice to have something within reach and know your produce.” Chef Q runs supper clubs and chef camps throughout Chicagoland, sustaining the local economy by purchasing ingredients from urban gardens and farms within miles of her pop-up experiences.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.nationofchange.org/2020/08/29/54-million-people-in-the-us-may-go-hungry-during-pandemic-can-urban-farms-help/

Urban gardeners share the ups and downs of growing food

LeAndra Estis checked on the growth progress of vegetables in her backyard garden in St. Paul. Her daughters Quaia, left, and Lonna help in the garden and post their successes on social media. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS — When a suspicious-looking sprout appeared in the St. Paul garden of LeAndra Estis, she plucked it. The willful plant popped up again. Instead of pulling it out a second time, the new gardener fired up Google. The would-be intruder was spinach.

“I kept thinking, ‘That’s not right,’ ” said Estis, who had never seen the leafy green emerge from the ground and was expecting the spinach she planted from seed to look more bushy, like the mustard and collard greens she watched grow as a child.

In Minneapolis, Christopher Lutter-Gardella faced a different problem. He had to sow peas several times because his plants were getting chewed down at the base from some unseen force.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE: https://www.gmtoday.com/gardening/urban-gardeners-share-the-ups-and-downs-of-growing-food/article_beb94e8c-e873-11ea-9607-7b16a5b21269.html