Growing Cities Blog
This post is from Free Farm organizer, Tree, about the farm’s eviction and the struggles of temporary land use in San Francisco.
Last Wednesday evening I got the news that the Free Farm must vacate the property it is on no later than December 31, 2013 (we have been given one more growing season). Like Hayes Valley Farm which is closing in June or like Esperanza Garden which must be out by May 1st. We knew we were on the land temporarily, we just didn’t know when we would have to leave, and we thought we might possibly have more time than this.
Esperanza Garden, which I helped start (and the Free Farm provided seedlings for) grew produce for the Free Farm Stand and has been growing on a small vacant lot squeezed between two buildings on Florida St. It has twice been a garden. It was originally started by people in Cell Space (which recently closed because of lack of funds for rent) and then it closed down and was resurrected into Esperanza Garden. I think it has been there as Esperanza Garden for at least four years. We always knew that the property could be sold at any time and around the end of last year we learned of it’s fate. The new owner sold it to a developer who is going to build a condominium. I learned just the other night that the short deadline had arrived to move out.
Read more on The Free Farm blog
The Atlantic has released a brilliant article that describes, at length, the method of Aquaponics and its potential to feed urban environments. It is written by Roman Gaus who is the CEO of UrbanFarmersm, a clean-tech company that develops sustainable agriculture systems for urban applications.
Aquaponics is a method of combined fish and vegetable farming that requires no soil. The result is a 90 percent reduction in freshwater use compared with conventional fish farming, and a significant reduction in added nutrients such as fossil fertilizers. The system can be run without pesticides and, because the fish environment is spacious and clean, without antibiotics.
Commercial-scale aquaponics is a delicate technology that is gaining momentum. It might not replace our conventional food system, but it has the potential to achieve a sizeable urban market share.
Read on at The Atlantic article: “The Farming Technique that Could Revolutionize the Way We Eat.
Higher Ground Farm, a Kickstarter project, plans to be Boston’s first commercial rooftop farm, and the second largest open-air rooftop farm in the world. The green roof will be on 55,000 square foot space on the South Boston waterfront in the Spring of 2013.
Check out the project here at Kickstarter.
Rendering of Higher Ground Farm, by Recover Green Roofs
Check out this video by the Lexicon of Sustainability on PBS. The five minute film showcases farmers, gardeners, and cooks who have taken the term ‘local’ to heart. Beautiful footage explains terms like ‘locavore’, ‘connected market’, and ‘Local is my Own Backyard’.
RUAF reports urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry as a strategy for climate change adaptation and mitigation
RUAF-Foundation (International network of Resource centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security) released a report on the ability of urban and peri urban agriculture and forestry (UPAF) as a strategy to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The report lists the many advantages of UPAF including the ability to reduce urban energy use, impacts of higher rainfall and the vulnerability of the urban poor. Policy recommendations for metropolitan, municipal and other local government institutions are also included.
The RUAF and UN-Habitat embarked on a joint programme to support pilot projects and policy implementation of UPAF in Kathmandu, Nepal, Bobo Dioulasso, and Kesbewa, Sri Lanka.