• 13Oct

    The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century by Dr. Dickson Despommier.

    Despommier’s ideas have been stirring around urban agriculture and environmental communities for years. I am excited to read about his innovative theories and strategies in his new book. However, as an experienced urban and rural farmer, I’m skeptical about the finer points of vertical farming.  I want to know how vertical farms will provide sufficient sunlight for plants, enough nutrient rich soil, and how pests and diseases will be dealt with from season to season. I agree that cities have untapped potential, but I think we need to examine the resources we already have and utilize them, rather than building all new structures that we hope will produce plentifully. As any farmer worth their salt knows, we can plan, but mother nature makes the rules. In a vertical farming model, mother nature is relegated to a greatly reduced role and I’m unsure how effective this can be. I hope I am wrong to be so wary of this concept though, because I can see the great benefit it could afford us. I will report back with my thoughts on this book and I hope everyone reading will take the opportunity to do the same.

    George Monbiot’s critique of Despommier’s book.

    City Farmer’s link to this book.

  • 30Sep

    Who We Are:
    The Grow Dat Youth Farm’s mission is to nurture a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food. On our farm we work collaboratively to produce healthy food for local residents and to inspire youth and adults to create personal, social and environmental change in their own communities. Grow Dat is a place where people from different backgrounds and disciplines come together in research and practice to support public health, local economies and a sustainable food system in South Louisiana.

    What We Seek:
    Grow Dat is seeking an Americorps Intern for the pilot year of the program. The position will require someone who is willing to learn and lead at the same time. The right candidate will be interested in working collaboratively, developing skills as an educator, excited about working with a diverse range of people, organized, detail-oriented, willing to do physical labor, and interested in growing food.
    Read more »

  • 21Sep

    Sen. Coburn Threatens to Hold Food Safety Bill (Food Safety News) by Helena Bottemiller

    Excerpt: ”Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says he will hold up the pending food safety bill unless Democrats find a way to pay for the measure. With time running out in the Senate, advocates had hoped that the recent egg recall would provide the impetus to finally move the legislation, which has been stalled for more than a year, to the floor. Coburn’s threat, however, is a serious problem for the bill.”  To read the full article click HERE

    Three projects that are watering Detroit’s ‘food desert’ (Grist) by Tom Philpott

    Excerpt: “…food has emerged as the key motivating force of Detroiters’ efforts to re-imagine their town as a thriving, livable place. I was struck by the cooperation on display — the way new-wave restaurateurs, market farmers, food-justice activists, and nonprofit advocates work together toward the goal of a healthy, inclusive food system where a food desert once stood. And while plenty of work remains to be done before that vision can be achieved, my week in Detroit left me with little doubt that it would be.”  To read the full article click HERE

    Forget Oil, Worry About Phosphorus (The Daily Yonder) By C. Robert Taylor

    Excerpt: “Modern farming methods depend increasingly on fossil fuels and major plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. We know that peak oil is fast approaching, if it has not already arrived. This isn’t the only shortage that should concern us. We are seeing the same coming shortages in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.” To read the full article click HERE

    Signs of a reverse brain drain, from finance to farms (Grist) by Tom Laskawy

    Excerpt: “Jurrien Swarts, a partner in Holton Farms… has structured… a kind of farm charge account — and even gave it a “premium” name: CSA Select. In his version, CSA members aren’t getting a pre-selected box of produce. Instead, they spend down their “balance” by ordering á la carte week by week from a selection of products from Holton and its 10 other farm and business partners.”  To read the full article click HERE

  • 17Sep

    Guest Article: Part I of Alexis Bogdanova-Hanna’s article on our trip to The Growing Power Conference in Milwaukee:

    It’s barely Thursday, September 9th at 4:45 AM in East Lansing, Michigan.  Bleary-eyed and squinting through the dark, Taylor and I load the car and are northwest bound within minutes.  We’re headed to Milwaukee via a car ferry, but it’s still three hours to the edge of Michigan.  As we drive through the lollygagging hills, fruit groves and crop fields of Western Lower Michigan, farmers on either side of the highway are already awake and humming along.  The vistas are appropriate, as we are about to spend the next three days celebrating the Sustainable Farmer, the Essential Agriculturalist, the Local Food Advocate, the Aquaculturalist, the Food Justice Activist, and other Visionaries at the “Good Food Table” : Growing Power’s first conference on urban and small farming.

    As we pull up to the SS Badger, docked in Ludington, the sun has cleared the horizon and dances across massive white Wind Turbinetotems asleep on the beds of semis, which we discover are segments of wind turbine towers – their presence nearly foiled by two-hundred-yard piles of the “other” black gold, coal, sparkling in the distance. Four breathless hours of Lake Michigan beauty later we arrive in Manatowoc, Wisconsin, two hours north of Milwaukee.  The ride is a meditation on fresh water, precious as it is, and plentiful in this ancient glacial intersection.

    We’re a day early, so we take our time southbound on 43, catching glimpses of the coast and a nearly contiguous patchwork of dairy pasture and barns until we arrive at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds in West Allis, far ahead of most of the 900+ people expected to be here for the entire weekend.  Wisconsin is the promised-land of dairy, home of Organic Valley and many of Horizon’s farmers; and it’s not only cows – the state ranks first in milk goat population, at 40,000 head, and does well with cranberries, too.  It’s fitting that the conference will play itself out here at the State Fair grounds, an institution of agricultural pageantry, traditional to American farm life for well over a century.  This particular ground is hollowed, once home to Native Americans who stewarded the land for sustenance.

    Friday Morning opens with the man himself, Mr. Will Allen, in true shoulderless-shirt form and surrounded by a Shouldervast Growing Power coterie.  He welcomes us to the Good Food Table and the “composting process” of the conference itself.  The audience – a bold mix of good food revolutionaries from around the country and the world – is enraptured by Will’s call to grow the movement, his appeal to move beyond talking and “just start doing.”  Winona LaDuke follows, her voice billowing with pride and tinged with urgency, as she recounts the rice harvest the day before and the need to protect the genetic integrity and ancestral heritages of our seeds and land.  Indeed, “the decolonization of our food.”  Urban farming luminaries fill-out a panel just before lunch, when we are served the very rice Winona and fellow Anishinaabe harvested earlier in the week. Read more »

  • 16Jul

    Gateway Greening is recruiting for a Community Outreach Educator. Apply now.

    Summary of the Position:

    The roving horticulturist will be responsible for conducting on-going site trainings both basic and advanced, repeating the trainings as necessary at community, school, and institutional gardens. Position must be experienced in building relationships with diverse groups; and have strong raised bed vegetable production and hoop house maintenance experience. Ability to trouble shoot a wide variety of group gardening issues. Understanding of evaluation process required with ability to track results and document project progress.

    Gateway Greening AmeriCorps VISTA Openings

    Gateway Greening is recruiting for full-time AmeriCorps VISTA positions to support its programs. Contact us for more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA online application process. To apply, go to www.americorps.gov/vista.

    City Seeds Urban Farm AmeriCorps VISTA Member – 2 Openings

    Description: Seeking 2 full-time Americorps VISTA members to assist in coordinating a 2.5 acre farm in downtown St. Louis that employs chronically homeless individuals that commonly suffer from dual-diagnosis mental illness and substance abuse. The member will coordinate farm logistics, increase farm production, enhance food distribution and program awareness and increased market sales and lead farm clients in therapuetic, education and job training activities.

    Community Garden Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA Member

    Description: The member supports the development of services to food producing community/school gardens in the St. Louis area through GGI programming. This includes the coordination of educational opportunities (how to grow vegetables, nutrition, and leadership) for community/school gardens, database tracking, fine tuning GGI programs/evaluation tools, and promotion of local/national food security and best practices. Tasks include organizing planning meetings, visiting garden groups and sites, assessing and monitoring community garden hubs, construction and installation of gardens and hubs, and overall logistics.

    To Apply

    AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a living stipend and are required to make a 1-3 year commitment to the VISTA project. Contact Mara Higdon, Program Director, at 314-588-9600 x22 for more information. All applicants must go to www.americorps.gov/vista to apply and search for Gateway Greening.

    Internships & Practicums

    General opportunities exist with community gardens, school gardens and City Seeds Urban Farm. Interns to assist with photography, graphic design and online communications are also needed.

    For information about internship opportunities, please contact Hannah Reinhart, Community Development Coordinator, at 314-588-9600 x28 for more information.

    An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

  • 16Jul

    Overview: The Executive Managing Director will guide the expansion of New York Sun Works. Our current focus is The Greenhouse Project, a program that is building 21st century environmental science labs on urban school rooftops. These spacious facilities packed with hands-on equipment invite students to study ecological science, natural resources, and human productivity through the lens of sustainable food production. Based on the successful Science Barge prototype launched in 2007, the first greenhouse is under construction at PS 333 in Manhattan and will be completed in October. The Executive Managing Director will oversee the implementation of outreach and service programs to foster similar projects at other schools, and will fundraise and advocate on behalf of
    New York Sun Works and The Greenhouse Project and with with the board of directors to guide our expansion. The Executive Managing Director will initially manage a team consisting of two or three program staff and a very modest part-time office support staff. The successful candidate will frequently serve as the public face of the organization and must be an effective executive leader. Read more »

  • 13Jul

    Summer Program Facilitator and Summer Program Intern: Applications Due June 14th

    About Added Value

    Added Value is a non-profit organization promoting the sustainable development of Red Hook by nurturing a new generation of young leaders.  We work towards this goal by creating opportunities for the youth of South Brooklyn to expand their knowledge base, develop new skills and positively engage with their community through the operation of a socially responsible urban farming enterprise.

    About Our Summer Youth Program

    In Added Value’s seven-week Summer Youth Program, participants work each day on our 2.5-acre urban Farm and in the community. We will be also working on our new farm site on Governors Island. Working under the supervision of our staff, and youth leaders, new participants develop a strong sense of self and community while learning the skills necessary to grow food from seed to sale.
    Additionally, youth participants are introduced to the social context of our work, the food system, issues of community wellness, and social justice. Read more »

  • 02Jul

    JOB IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE

    (Note, we are asking that applicants indicate if they are eligible for JOBS NOW! or AC HIRE. Please see end of document for more information.)

    City Slicker Farms was founded in 2001 with the mission to empower West Oakland community members to meet the immediate and basic need for healthy organic food for themselves and their families by creating high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens.  The Program Assistant helps the organization fulfill its mission by assisting the Executive Director and staff in coordinating administrative duties.  This is a great position for motivated, detail-oriented people who are interested in all aspects of community food security and food justice.

    The Program Assistant will:

    • Coordinate School and Community Group Farm Tours with field staff
    • Coordinate publications with staff and volunteers (West Oakland Healthy Eating Guide and Annual Reports)
    • Source farming and office materials with staff and volunteers
    • Advertise volunteer opportunities and intern positions
    • Coordinate hiring of interns and supervise administrative interns
    • Create & update documents
    • Field phone & e-mail inquiries
    • Coordinate data collection
    • Conduct data entry for program recordkeeping and maintain databases
    • Analyze and report on data for evaluation purposes
    • Maintain filing systems
    • Send thank you letters to donors and grantors and maintain donor database
    • Assist the Executive Director with packaging and mailing of funding requests
    • Coordinate copying and printing of office forms, brochures and applications
    • Maintain office equipment, conduct computer backups, and be the liaison with IT volunteers
    • Assist the Executive Director with materials for monthly Board Meetings
    • Provide backup for Apprentices, including leading tours and directing volunteer groups on occasion
    • Maintain communication systems (web, newsletter, social networking sites)
    • Participate in outreach events, including tabling
    • Compile and distribute weekly staff meeting minutes Read more »
  • 03Jun

    Will Allen, the guru of urban farming and pioneer of food justice, will be in the Washington DC area for two days to promote and proliferate urban agriculture for healthier and more sustainable communities in our region.

    Who is Will Allen?  He is the father of the food justice movement, recipient of the 2008 MacArthur Genius Award for his pioneering work with urban farming, and was recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.  Will Allen is the founder and CEO of Growing Power, a leading urban farm organization in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison.

    Come to Sowing Seeds Here and Now! A Chesapeake Urban Farming Summit on June 18th at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center for a day long summit that will bring national and local leaders to proliferate urban agriculture in our region.  Will Allen will be giving the keynote speech, and sessions include practical policies and zoning considerations to promote urban agriculture, food justice and equity in our food system, and engaging youth in food production for healthier communities.  Hands on workshops include urban farm design, community composting, and high tunnel construction.  More information and tickets are at sowingseedshereandnow.com .

    In connection with the Sowing Seeds Here and Now summit, we will also be hosting an event at Busboys and Poets (14th and V Street NW) on Thursday, June 17th from 6-8pm featuring the summit keynote speaker, Will Allen of Growing Power. This is a unique opportunity to convene in an intimate setting with Will Allen, who will be speaking on solutions to food inequities and public health epidemics in the Washington, DC region. The evening will feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres by Busboys and Poets, and by Restaurant Nora, DC’s premier organic restaurant.  Tickets are on sale now at *sowingseedshereandnow.com * for $25. All proceeds benefit urban farming projects in the Washington, DC region. Join us for a night of insightful urban agriculture discussion and leave inspired to make a change.

  • 21May

    From Salon.com

    It’s not just kids and dirt. From indoor fish farms to business training for refugees, a slide show of 11 pioneers

    Urban farmers are coming to the rescue in dozens of city neighborhoods where you’re about as likely to find a fresh tomato as you are to find a unicorn on the sidewalk. But if “urban farmer” calls up visions of an old hippie hoeing a quaint little patch of sunflowers in the shadow of high-rises, think again. Modern urban farming is about block parties with DJs and cooking lessons. It’s raising fish in indoor tanks and getting outdoor education in city schools. It creates meaningful jobs for inner city youth who learn to plan food systems and cultivate crops. But most of all, it’s about ingenuity. Urban agriculturists see potential where others sees blight, seeking out vacant lots and neglected open spaces, looking at what they have within arm’s reach rather than thinking about what’s missing.

    This slide show is a tour of some of the country’s most innovative approaches to urban agriculture. These are farms and gardens created in the service of education and activism. Whether they’re training entrepreneurs, teaching kids to grow organic kale, or producing food from plots no bigger than your living room, the urban approach to farming is about feeding, not being fed.

    View the slide show

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