Posts tagged "Urban Farming"
Los Angeles Times:
"New California law aims to cultivate urban agriculture
A new law promoting community gardens and small farms lets municipalities lower property taxes on plots of 3 acres or less if owners dedicate them to growing food for at least 5 years.
By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO — Sandwiched between rows of homes in the fog-kissed Mission Terrace neighborhood, Little City Gardens provides salad greens and fresh-cut flowers to local restaurants from what was once a weedy vacant lot.

Like many of California’s urban agriculture practitioners, however, Caitlyn Galloway is plagued by a key uncertainty: She is on a month-to-month lease with a landlord who must recoup the lot’s steep property taxes and may soon sell or develop.
Now, California cities and counties eager to encourage community gardens and small-scale farms in urban pockets have a novel tool at their disposal that could help solve Galloway’s problem. Legislation recently signed by Gov.Jerry Brown will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value — and property taxes — on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years.
"As urban farmers one of the biggest obstacles we’ve faced is land tenure," said Galloway, 32. "It’s a huge step for urban agriculture."
Photo: (Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times:

"New California law aims to cultivate urban agriculture

A new law promoting community gardens and small farms lets municipalities lower property taxes on plots of 3 acres or less if owners dedicate them to growing food for at least 5 years.

By Lee Romney

SAN FRANCISCO — Sandwiched between rows of homes in the fog-kissed Mission Terrace neighborhood, Little City Gardens provides salad greens and fresh-cut flowers to local restaurants from what was once a weedy vacant lot.

Like many of California’s urban agriculture practitioners, however, Caitlyn Galloway is plagued by a key uncertainty: She is on a month-to-month lease with a landlord who must recoup the lot’s steep property taxes and may soon sell or develop.

Now, California cities and counties eager to encourage community gardens and small-scale farms in urban pockets have a novel tool at their disposal that could help solve Galloway’s problem. Legislation recently signed by Gov.Jerry Brown will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value — and property taxes — on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years.

"As urban farmers one of the biggest obstacles we’ve faced is land tenure," said Galloway, 32. "It’s a huge step for urban agriculture."

Photo: (Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times

“Farmscape Brings Urban Agriculture to Los Angeles
Zak Stone. June 25, 2012
In a dry and sunny city like Los Angeles, planting grass is one of the more useless ways to use your property. It takes a lot of water to grow and it’s expensive—but beyond that, what’s the point when the climate supports much more interesting flora, like succulents, and delicious ones, like fruits and vegetables? A company called Farmscape is proving that there’s enough of an appetite for farming on residential land to turn the proposition into a high-growth business. The less-than-four-year-old company has 12 full-time employees—including seven farmers who receive a living wage plus healthcare—and is looking to keep growing.
"One of the things that people don’t talk about when they talk about the food system is who is working," says Rachel Bailin, Farmscape’s marketing manager. It’s often poorly paid and vulnerable migrant workers. But the company is changing that by bringing farm labor out into the open, into the yards of city-dwellers and businesses. So far they’ve installed more than 300 urban farms throughout the L.A. area and maintain 150 of them weekly.
Projects range from a rooftop garden on a downtown Los Angeles highrise to small plots for families. An exciting project in the works is a three-quarter acre-sized farm for a restaurant in the West San Fernando Valley. And the diversity of the projects is echoed by the diversity of their clients. “When we first started, we expected that our clients would be of a higher income level and would be two-parent working families,” says Bailin. Instead, Farmscape has been delighted to build gardens for preschool teachers, single mothers, and institutions and businesses that want employee gardens as perks.”
Via: GOOD Magazine

Farmscape Brings Urban Agriculture to Los Angeles

Zak Stone. June 25, 2012

In a dry and sunny city like Los Angeles, planting grass is one of the more useless ways to use your property. It takes a lot of water to grow and it’s expensive—but beyond that, what’s the point when the climate supports much more interesting flora, like succulents, and delicious ones, like fruits and vegetables? A company called Farmscape is proving that there’s enough of an appetite for farming on residential land to turn the proposition into a high-growth business. The less-than-four-year-old company has 12 full-time employees—including seven farmers who receive a living wage plus healthcare—and is looking to keep growing.

"One of the things that people don’t talk about when they talk about the food system is who is working," says Rachel Bailin, Farmscape’s marketing manager. It’s often poorly paid and vulnerable migrant workers. But the company is changing that by bringing farm labor out into the open, into the yards of city-dwellers and businesses. So far they’ve installed more than 300 urban farms throughout the L.A. area and maintain 150 of them weekly.

Projects range from a rooftop garden on a downtown Los Angeles highrise to small plots for families. An exciting project in the works is a three-quarter acre-sized farm for a restaurant in the West San Fernando Valley. And the diversity of the projects is echoed by the diversity of their clients. “When we first started, we expected that our clients would be of a higher income level and would be two-parent working families,” says Bailin. Instead, Farmscape has been delighted to build gardens for preschool teachers, single mothers, and institutions and businesses that want employee gardens as perks.”

Via: GOOD Magazine

“4 Tips For Starting A Farm In Your City [Video]
By Jude Stewart. May 7, 2012
Urban-farming innovators such as Detroit and Cleveland offer an object lesson in how cities can transform disused land into tomorrow’s (healthy) dinner.
Consider this paradox: 49 million Americans live with daily food insecurity, 23 million live in urban food deserts, and collectively we’re all getting fatter. Simultaneously vacant lots, concrete grooves, and other desolate, empty spots dot urban landscapes, while a quarter of traditional agricultural land is severely degraded according to the UN.
Enter the urban farm: a fast, smart, cheap way to bring healthy food closer to those who need it, transform ugly vacant spaces into lush gardens, and promote a healthier, greener, more connected urban community.
Populate empty lots with crops.
Cities like Cleveland and Detroit are leasing abandoned lots to urban farmers for practically nothing—provided the lessees are committed to filling those spots with edible greenery.
If your lot’s soil is poisoned with lead or other contaminants, simply truck in new soil in raised beds. Even cheaper: Plant your veggies in burlap bags filled with clean soil. Roll the sacks up and fill with more soil as the plants grow, and you can transport them indoors when winter hits.
Use your roof.
ASLA’s video suggests restaurants harness their roofs to grow ingredients for their own meals. Big-box stores can lease or farm their own vast roofs and sell the proceeds in-store or via local greenmarkets. Rooftop farms use wasted space and lower your utility bill, too.
Fill up your food trucks.
Mobile trucks sell prepared foods—often unhealthy at that. Why not use them as fresh-fruit stands? Food truck legislation in many cities has relaxed in recent years. Opportunity knocks, suburban farmers: Coordinate with a food truck owner to sell your produce wherever there’s a need in your city—not just at the Saturday greenmarket. Hook the kids on juicy berries or watermelon in summer, and you may make a confirmed veggie fan year-round.”
A recently released video by the American Society of Landscape Architects uses case studies from edible-city innovators, such as Cleveland and Detroit, to offer practical advice for bringing urban farms to your backyard (or corner lot or rooftop). Here are four helpful tips:
Plant a garden in your own yard (or farm the job out to someone else).
Acres of perfect green grass are both a hassle to maintain and, nutritionally speaking, useless. Inhabitants with yards in D.C. and Portland can even lease their yard to those with greener thumbs—and take a cut of the produce they yield.”
Via: Fast Company
Photo:  Flickr user Joel Carranza

4 Tips For Starting A Farm In Your City [Video]


By Jude Stewart. May 7, 2012

Urban-farming innovators such as Detroit and Cleveland offer an object lesson in how cities can transform disused land into tomorrow’s (healthy) dinner.

Consider this paradox: 49 million Americans live with daily food insecurity, 23 million live in urban food deserts, and collectively we’re all getting fatter. Simultaneously vacant lots, concrete grooves, and other desolate, empty spots dot urban landscapes, while a quarter of traditional agricultural land is severely degraded according to the UN.

Enter the urban farm: a fast, smart, cheap way to bring healthy food closer to those who need it, transform ugly vacant spaces into lush gardens, and promote a healthier, greener, more connected urban community.

Populate empty lots with crops.

Cities like Cleveland and Detroit are leasing abandoned lots to urban farmers for practically nothing—provided the lessees are committed to filling those spots with edible greenery.

If your lot’s soil is poisoned with lead or other contaminants, simply truck in new soil in raised beds. Even cheaper: Plant your veggies in burlap bags filled with clean soil. Roll the sacks up and fill with more soil as the plants grow, and you can transport them indoors when winter hits.

Use your roof.

ASLA’s video suggests restaurants harness their roofs to grow ingredients for their own meals. Big-box stores can lease or farm their own vast roofs and sell the proceeds in-store or via local greenmarkets. Rooftop farms use wasted space and lower your utility bill, too.

Fill up your food trucks.

Mobile trucks sell prepared foods—often unhealthy at that. Why not use them as fresh-fruit stands? Food truck legislation in many cities has relaxed in recent years. Opportunity knocks, suburban farmers: Coordinate with a food truck owner to sell your produce wherever there’s a need in your city—not just at the Saturday greenmarket. Hook the kids on juicy berries or watermelon in summer, and you may make a confirmed veggie fan year-round.”

A recently released video by the American Society of Landscape Architects uses case studies from edible-city innovators, such as Cleveland and Detroit, to offer practical advice for bringing urban farms to your backyard (or corner lot or rooftop). Here are four helpful tips:

Plant a garden in your own yard (or farm the job out to someone else).

Acres of perfect green grass are both a hassle to maintain and, nutritionally speaking, useless. Inhabitants with yards in D.C. and Portland can even lease their yard to those with greener thumbs—and take a cut of the produce they yield.”

Via: Fast Company

Photo:  Flickr user Joel Carranza



Architectural + Urban Research

Mass Urban is a multidisciplinary design-research initiative concerned with contemporary cities and urbanism. Mass Urban was co-founded in April 2011 by David Lee and Cliff Lau.

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