International Network for Urban Agriculture
INUAg.org is an up-to-date, organized and searchable resource for individuals, communities and organizations interested in urban agriculture. We are striving to be comprehensive in geography, sector, topic, growing methods, business models, policy and other topics as urban agriculture grows. INUAg is based in Chicago serving a global membership. Inuag.org has forums for members to exchange ideas, best practices and resources. INUAg is looking to develop partnerships with existing urban agriculture organizations and coalitions to help expand the viability and success of urban agriculture. Website.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
The not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is growing a food revolution from the ground up. In 482 schools Australia-wide, around 60,000 children are enthusiastically getting their hands dirty and learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food. The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits. Website.
Urban Agriculture Act No. 720 mandates urban and vertical farming in the Phillipines
The bill institutionalizes city farming in highly urbanized areas to promote the production, processing and marketing of food crops and livestock through intensive production methods, like the use and reuse of available sources and wastes. The bill also advocates vertical farming, which involves indoor agriculture. At the Senate, Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid sponsored Senate Bill No. 2095, which promotes urban agriculture and vertical farming for the same reasons as well as to create agricultural jobs and develop innovative agricultural techniques. International Network for Urban Agriculture post.
Emmanuel Pratt’s mission to turn blight into farms and to grow entrepreneurs
As you turn south off 95th Street at Cottage Grove, you might miss the farm on your left. Most farms, after all, don’t look like abandoned shoe factories. That will change if Emmanuel Pratt has anything to say about it. He envisions a network of urban farms across Chicago, feeding both people and new businesses in blighted food deserts. Chicago Tribune story.
Here’s Why Your Smartphone Is the Key to a Better Food World
Sullivan cofounded growmingle, a new company that is using technology and digital “mapping” to connect people in Austin’s vibrant local food scene—including farmers, chefs, distributors, advocacy organizations, retailers, and consumers—with one another. Recognizing the fragmentation of the local food world in Austin and the difficulty many producers have connecting with customers, the growmingle team has set out to become the Airbnb of the Texas capital’s locavore movement by interactively mapping it. Eventually, growmingle will have a Yelp-like mobile app guiding users to purveyors of locally grown food. Take Part story.
More NW hospitals buy local foods
“Hospitals are an exciting new market for farms,” says Lucy Norris, director of marketing for Northwest Agricultural Business Center. “It makes perfect sense that hospitals would want to serve healthy, delicious and clean food to their patients, employees and visitors. Increasing local food procurement and working directly with farms can be an important way for hospitals to demonstrate their commitment to sustaining a healthy environment, the health of their patients and community and the economic viability of sustainable farms.” Capital Press story.
Local food hubs for schools find support in Augusta
Lawmakers are examining a plan designed to put more locally-grown food in Maine schools. The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee will hold a work session on a bill Thursday that would provide grants for groups to start “food hubs,” where small farmers can aggregate their products to distribute them to places like schools and grocery stores. The bill would also fund programs to train food service workers on the preparation and procurement of Maine-grown foods and create a $6 million bond issue to develop more food hubs. WCSH-TV story.
Pinning their hopes on a blue moo
When Robyn Murdoch arrived on Norfolk Island in 2001 as chief executive of its administrative body, she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. Many of the cows, she was perplexed to see, were blue. The curious cattle, a heritage breed that had evolved over decades on the island, 1400km off the east coast of Australia, soon became her obsession. She left her job in November 2002, married local farmer Paul “Jap” Menghetti a year later and set about collecting every one of the unusually-hued animals. Today, the couple owns all but one of the island’s Norfolk blue cattle (a neighbouring farmer has the other), which is said to have its origins in a single angus-shorthorn cross “blue bull” brought from the mainland more than 100 years ago. The Australian story.
Good Food Festival Turns 10 This Weekend at UIC Forum
Now in its 10th year the Good Food Festival and Conference is expected to bring over 5,000 people to the UIC Forum March 13-15. For anyone interested in learning more about local farming, the locavore movement, sustainability gardening, local environmental issues and anything else involving local food, this is the event to attend. The festival, produced by FamilyFarmed.org, brings together farmers, chefs, food businesses, advocates for sustainable food and consumers for three days of workshops and seminars. Chicagoist story.
Wall Street Investors Take Aim at Farmland
The great bulk of US farms—enterprises that generally have razor-thin profit margins—are run by independent operators. That may be on the verge of changing. A recent report by the Oakland Institute documents a fledgling, little-studied trend: Corporations are starting to buy up US farmland, especially in areas dominated by industrial-scale agriculture, like Iowa and California’s Central Valley. But the land-grabbing companies aren’t agribusinesses like Monsanto and Cargill. Instead, they’re financial firms: investment arms of insurance companies, banks, pension funds, and the like. In short, Wall Street spies gold in those fields of greens and grains. Mother Jones article.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
A Comeback for the Last Mushroom Farms of the Paris Catacombs?
Just a few kilometres from Paris’ financial district of La Defense, in Montesson, this quarry inherited from one of the original champignonnières of Paris, is still cultivating the real deal. The grandson of a champignonnière de Paris, Angel Moioli grows his mushrooms like no other producers in the world can– the Parisian way. He produces around 300kg per week and sells to locals who come to buy from him regularly, as well as restaurants and chefs who come specially. Photo essay of the champignon de Paris cultivated in abundance and almost exclusively once upon a time in the catacombs of Paris.