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Articles in the Urban Farming Category

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[20 May 2013 | No Comment | ]
Repurposing “streets with no name”

In a number of cities, there are certain derelict streets that are nearly denuded of dwellings or businesses. Desolate and forlorn, these streets resemble something out of a post war apocalypse. Detroit may be the poster child du jour of such stark and sad emptiness, but there are many other examples across the Rust Belt and elsewhere. What to do with neglected streets has long been a source of planning discussion and conjecture. In some instances entire abandoned neighborhoods have or are being converted to urban agriculture or community …

Uncategorized, Urban Farming, Urban Poverty »

[20 Feb 2012 | No Comment | ]

It was 4:15 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Snowflakes were drifting down and there was already a line of 50 people waiting outside the North Lansing Police Precinct gymnasium in the February cold for food. Some of them had already been there more than an hour and the distribution was not set to start for another 90 minutes or so.  On this Friday night, we were not celebrating the bright lights of the gridiron, but instead trying to fulfill the basic needs of the less fortunate.

I had the distinct honor of …

Featured, Urban Farming »

[6 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]
Urban Ag as a Change Agent in Cleveland: A Photo Essay

Urban gardening in the Rust Belt needs to be scaled up, as the era of cheap food is not: supply costs, health care costs, subsidy costs, etc. Moreover, the new economy is again becoming a localized, “handshake” economy, with ingenuity and partnerships within the sphere of a city creating for a web of social capital that can itself be consumed before being churned out. To that end, the old model has been one based on consumption and exhaust. This waste has led to our post-industrial ruin. Our future must be …

Featured, Good Ideas, The Environment, Urban Farming »

[14 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]
Chicks in the ‘Hood: Touring Pittsburgh’s Urban Chicken Coops

On Sunday I had the pleasure of touring several of Pittsburgh’s urban chicken coops.
The self-guided tour was the first of its kind in the city. Read more about the tour and its organizers here.
Check out these chicks…

This was from a backyard farm in the Highland Park neighborhood.

The city’s zoning code allows for three chickens per 2,000 square feet, plus one additional chicken for each additional 1,000 square feet, according to event organizers. Roosters are not permitted. Chicken farmers must also apply for a zoning ordinance.
Here’s some of the bounty, from …

Featured, Green Jobs, Real Estate, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Farming, Urban Planning »

[10 Jan 2011 | 18 Comments | ]
Urban Farms: Bad Idea?

Urban farming in places like Detroit (and elsewhere) has gotten a lot of good press, this blog included.
But the author of this piece, Richard Longworth says we shouldn’t necessarily be praising urban farming, but instead seeing it as a symptom of how far some cities have fallen. (We’ve written about Longworth, and his work at the Chicago Council’s Global Midwest Initiative before.) His suggestion? Better grocery options for central-city neighborhoods, including big box retailers like Wal-Mart.
Reading Longworth’s post reminded me of a speech I heard at last year’s GLUE (Great Lakes Urban …

Economic Development, Featured, Regionalism, Sprawl, The Housing Crisis, The Media, Urban Farming »

[17 May 2010 | One Comment | ]
Las Vegas Keeps Building

Above: The party’s not over in Vegas.

Some urban thinkers thought one silver lining of the economic crisis could be a slowdown in unsustainable sprawl, particularly in overbuilt areas of the southwest, like Las Vegas.
But that appears not to be the case at all, according to this New York Times story.
Despite home prices having declined 60 percent in four years, and despite the fact that there are nearly 10,000 empty homes with 5,600 more expected on the market soon, the Times reports, “builders here are putting up 1,100 homes, and they …

Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Headline, Real Estate, The Big Urban Photography Project, Urban Farming, Urban Planning »

[12 Mar 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
Cleveland’s Land Use Metamorphosis

Next American City is carrying a very interesting story about Cleveland’s battle to return vacant land to productive use.

A collection of foundations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private citizens are collaborating to return agriculture to the city. What’s unique about Cleveland’s efforts, however, is the level or coordination and the overarching vision for a greener, more cohesive neighborhoods, according to the article.

The process has been dubbed, Reimagining a More Sustainable Cleveland and it has the support of the mayor, the state government and a handfull of well endowed foundations.

Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Urban Farming »

[6 Aug 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Community Gardens Blossom in Toledo

The Toledo Blade reports the number of community gardens in Lucas and Wood counties is increasing significantly – from 30 to 81 in the last eight years.
A number of the gardens were showcased on a recent public tour. The Blade reported some gardens even raise chickens and turkeys, and feature art to add vibrancy to the neighborhood.
The article goes on to add,”Raising thousands of pounds of food, these gardens are located at churches, schools, and in empty lots. Typically grown in improved soils without pesticides or chemicals, the vegetables feed …

Headline, Urban Farming »

[16 Jul 2009 | 5 Comments | ]
A History of Urban Gardening in Cleveland

Urban gardening has become pretty trendy in Rust Belt cities and elsewhere as of late and like many trends, it turns out we’re only coming full circle.
As The Cleveland Memory Project demonstrates, there’s a long tradition of urban agriculture in the city.
Some of earliest traditions can be traced back to The Depression.
Relief gardens were begun to help feel hungry families during the nation’s darkest economic times. Urban gardens were supported by all levels of government and society as a way for the unemployed to provide for their families.
In 1933, Cleveland’s …

Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Headline, The Environment, Urban Farming »

[7 Jul 2009 | One Comment | ]
Growing Power

All you members of GLUE – Great Lakes Urban Exchange- may remember hearing (and seeing!) Will Allen and learning about his amazing urban farm, Growing Power, in Milwaukee.
In fact, we at Rust Wire featured some photos from Growing Power back in March.
Now, The New York Times has noticed Allen and the work he is doing.
For those of you not familiar with the project, Growing Power is  “14 greenhouses crammed onto two acres in a working-class neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side, less than half a mile from the city’s largest public-housing …