Growing Cities Blog

Grow Where You Are!

November 8th, 2013

Check out our brand new infographic co-created by Sustainable America. You can always grow something somewhere, Grow Where You Are! Here are some ways you can get involved in growing in your community!

Grow Where You Are

Creative Carvings!

October 31st, 2013

Inspired by today’s spooky holiday, here are some nifty garden-themed pumpkins that caught my eye!

flower pumpkin

From the blog Riding NYC With Amy

From the Food Network - VEGGIE MONSTER


And one that might be fun for the kiddos by City Girl Farming.

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Lauren Mandel Looks at Midwest Rooftops

September 18th, 2013

This post is from Eat Up.

Image from Eat Up

Photo by Lauren Mandel (see Eat Up blog)

Overlooking the Windy City’s articulated skyline a handful of urban farmers has climbed up to the convention center‘s roof to cultivate 1/4 acre of prime real estate. McCormick Place West, as its known by locals, was built in 2007 with three acres of extensive green roof overhead. The convention center’s catering company, Savor Chicago, decided to take advantage of this local acreage by partnering with Windy City Harvest – the Chicago Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture program that provides hands-on training – to convert a portion of the green roof into the Midwest’s largest rooftop farm. Everything grown on the roof travels downstairs to fuel the convention center’s 3 million annual visitors with local, roof-fresh fare.

Read more of this post on Skyline Vegetable Convention

September 7th, 2013

Hi Everyone, Check out some images from the film festival!

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The premiere was a beautiful night with over 500 people in attendance, including the filmmakers.



2013-09-01 17.50.02Before the screening the audience was able to meet urban farmers and taste some delicious local food as well as talk to us. We met a ton of folks who were really excited about urban agriculture and the potential it has to revitalize cities.

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After the screening we got a ton of great feedback, including a lot of “I’m so inspired!” so that felt really great. We’re excited to roll it out in more cities this Fall!

New York Green Summit, Royal gala, & more!

October 7th, 2012

If you would have told me when we started Growing Cities close to two years ago that it would lead us to meet the King and Queen of Sweden, I would have said you must be smoking something.  Something strong.  After the last few days though nearly everyone I’ve told about the event thinks I’m the one who’s on drugs.  But, when I say I talked to the Swedish princess (and maybe even hit on her a bit) it’s not a lie…unfortunately, she already has an American boyfriend.

Dan Andrew on Stage

Dan and Andrew on stage for Q&A

The reason we came to New York City was for the Farm to Fork Conference, put on by the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce of New York (SACCNY).  We were delighted to be invited to speak at the event and share our stories about urban farmers across the country.  We were interviewed on stage for about a half hour and showed our trailer to the group, with their majesties in the front row.

We also were able to meet with some really fabulous chefs, food thinkers, and business people from across the world.  To give you an idea of the variety, at lunch I had the CEO of Unilever (yes, the one that has two billion customers) on one side and a famous Swedish chef from Stockholm on the other…with the princess across from me!  Andrew, meanwhile was eating with the Volvo’s CEO and Swedish ambassador.

Other highlights included an impassioned presentation by Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City, a book we’re very excited to check out.

She gave us a greater appreciation of the history of agriculture in cities and a deeper understanding of the relationship between food and geography, especially in an urban context.  Sorry, I just geeked out – we had tea with her yesterday so you might hear more soon after we read her book!

Showing the trailer to the crowd

We also heard from Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of the Stonyfield yogurt and leader in the organic foods movement.  He talked about the fight to label Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in California (learn more here) and the importance of seeing beyond vitamins when you think about the health benefits of organic foods (e.g. in response to the now infamous Stanford study)

Other speakers were amazing as well, from world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs to filmmaker and ocean activist Fabien Cousteau (yes, grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau).  It seems so improbable as I write it that I can’t really believe we really met all of these people myself!

To top it off, later in the evening we attended the Royal Gala Dinner at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Central Park.  As we were arriving I couldn’t believe that at this time last year we were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the back of Andy’s mom’s minivan worrying about how we could possibly go on making this movie on such a tight budget.

Of course, a lot has happened since then—transcription, Kickstarter, editing, music, interns, sundance.  Wow!  It makes me realize how far we’ve come—that what we’ve created is alive and well, even if it’s not completely finished.  I’m really proud of us.  Of Andy for sticking by me no matter what I asked…waking up at 5am to film, moving into a lackluster studio, transcribing hundreds of hours of interviews…the list goes on.

Getting fancy at the Royal Gala

Of course, the work is by no means over and we have a long road ahead—from finishing the film, submitting to festivals, and promoting once its released.  Nevertheless, I can’t help but walk around with a smile on my face today thinking, ‘Wow, we’ve created something.’

Thanks to everyone for your kind and generous support along the way – none of this would be possible without you all.  And we’ll hope this isn’t our last audience with the King and Queen!  And the princess of course ;)

Master Urban Farming Taster

December 8th, 2011

And Dan doing what he does best!

Master Urban Farming Filmmaker

December 8th, 2011

Andrew doing what he does best!