Menu

- Home
- About GMG
- Contact
- F.A.Q.
- How to use GMG
- Policy
- RSS Feed
- Diaries

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Search




Advanced Search


Event Calendar
April 2014
(view month)
S M T W R F S
* * 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 * * *
<< (add event) >>

Facebook
Green Mass Group on Facebook



Integrated Urban Agricultural Systems

by: gmoke

Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 22:30:49 PM EST


(Where food goes, so goes the nation. - promoted by eli_beckerman)

On Monday January 30th, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) held a public meeting at Suffolk University, halfway between the State House and City Hall, to change the Boston zoning laws to allow for agriculture throughout the city, making it easier for local residents to grow and sell fresh, healthy, foods in Boston and the greater Boston Metropolitan Area.  Nearly 300 people attended.  Boston currently has about 150 community gardens serving 3000 gardeners, the highest per capita of any US city.  Now the city is trying to figure out how to change zoning to increase urban agriculture beyond gardening and household use into businesses and economic development.

Mayor Menino, the newly appointed chair of the food policy task force for the US Conference of Mayors, opened the meeting and the keynote address was given by Will Allen, Founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc. (http://www.growingpower.org), non-profit based in Milwaukee, WI which also does work in Chicago, Detroit, Ghana, and around the world.  Growing Power addresses social justice and food access issues through building local agriculture and farm-based businesses and Mr. Allen won the 2008 McArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant for his work on urban farming and sustainable food production.  Growing Power has grown an underutilized 2-acre lot into a farm that produces enough produce, eggs, honey, fish and other meats to feed more than 10,000 local residents and employs more than 100 people on 20 farms, 13 farmstands, and a year round CSA.  

gmoke :: Integrated Urban Agricultural Systems
They start by growing soil through composting to replace the existing contaminated urban soils and continue with growing worms, mushrooms, sprouts, which alone provide from $5 to $50 worth of production per square foot, and fish in integrated urban agricultural systems. There are seven different levels of production in their greenhouses, some of which are heated by compost.  At their main farm, a quarter of their electricity comes from solar electric panels and 70% of their hot water is solar heated.  They also have an anaerobic digester for methane production and electricity.  

Growing Power also provides hand's on education and summer jobs for children planting flowers by sidewalks and corners, a measure which actually reduces crime.  Green Power also has community kitchens for food preservation and processing.  They are now building a five story vertical farm at their national headquarters and planning for 15 regional centers.

Will Allen said that, since food "is the one thing we have in common," the good food movement "starts with everybody working together" and if you don't have a sustainable food system, you won't have a sustainable city.  

Video of the entire proceedings at the meeting, including the presentation by Mr. Will Allen:  http://www.cityofboston.gov/ca...

The minutes of that meeting, the recommendations by the group, maps of greater Boston food resources, and information about the ongoing urban agriculture planning meetings the city is holding:
http://tinyurl.com/BRARezoneUr...

Other cities are doing the same thing:  

Seattle is planting a public food forest
http://crosscut.com/2012/02/16...

NYC has prepared an exhaustive assessment of their urban agricultural potential (pdf alert)
http://www.urbandesignlab.colu...

London is growing wheat for making local bread
http://brockwell-bake.org.uk/

On Sunday, February 19, 6 Cambridge residents met to talk about how Cambridge, MA (pop 100,000) could become more self-sufficient in food, following the example of Todmorden (pop 15,000) (http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/ and an article in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem...

Helen Snively invited people over to her house.  Five women and one man showed up.  The ages varied from the 20s to the 60s with older outnumbering younger by 4 to 2.  Everyone was a gardener at home and in community gardens.  Among the ongoing activities of that group was participation in a yogurt coop, a group that bought milk and made fresh yogurt weekly (https://sites.google.com/site/somervilleyogurtcoop/), a web-based effort to map and encourage yard sharing in the Cambridge and greater Boston area (http://www.mycitygardens.com), fruit tree growing, and beekeeping.  There was a graduate student studying urban homesteading, a producer for "Living on Earth" (http://www.loe.org/), a syndicated radio show,  the director of the Green Streets Initiative (http://www.GoGreenStreets.org), the organizer of annual plant swaps, and the keeper of a local gardening mailing list.

Their discussion produced 3 general tasks:
Adding to an existing survey of fruit trees/bushes
Planting something to start off, possibly at City Hall on a spot where raspberries once grew
Mapping and connecting the existing local agriculture and food network to begin thinking, together, about producing 100% of our food (and fuel?) in Cambridge

Not present was a representative of the League of Urban Canners which harvest local fruits and makes jams, sauce, and other preserves from it, returning 10% of the product to the owners of the trees, vines, and bushes.  In the fall of 2011, LUrC canned over 70 pints of apple sauce and 50 pints of grape jam.  They can be contacted at leagueofurbancanners@gmail.com

There is also a Boston Sustainable Food Meetup
http://www.meetup.com/The-Bost...

Other resources include
Boston Food System mailing list bfs@elist.tufts.edu, https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/su...
Northeast Food mailing list  nefoods@elist.tufts.edu, https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/su...
And the national local food system mapping system
http://www.localharvest.org/

The informal Cambridge 100% local grown food group will meet again in March.  Another local food event in March is

Growing Civic Fruit

7pm, Tuesday, March 27
Rm 110 School of Hospitality Adminstation
928 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA
Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of artists, architects and designers all over the world in recent years. Please join us for a cross-disciplinary discussion on the intersection of art, urban agriculture, and civic engagement - fertile ground for sowing seeds that remind us of our interdependent relationship with nature and each other.

The conversation will follow a screening of the new Boston Tree Party short documentary film.

Panelists will include artist Lisa Gross, founder of theBoston Tree Party, art critic Nicole Caruth, and Rachel Black, professor of Gastronomy at Boston University. The conversation will be moderated by Dina Deitsch, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

The discussion will be followed by an apple cider reception in celebration of the launch of the second Boston Tree Party planting campaign.

About the project

The Boston Tree Party (http://www.bostontreeparty.org/) is a participatory public art project, a performative re-imagining of American political expression, and an urban agriculture project. At its core, the Party is a diverse coalition of communities from across the Greater Boston Area coming together in support of Civic Fruit. Communities ranging from elementary schools to assisted living centers, universities, churches, and more have each committed to planting and caring for their own pair of heirloom apple trees. Together, these trees form a decentralized public urban orchard that symbolizes a commitment to the environmental health of our city and the vitality and interconnectedness of our communities.

The structure and design of the Party is a playful re-imagining of patriotic and political language, imagery, and forms of association. Over forty communities from across Greater Boston are currently participating as "Tree Party Delegations." Each pair of trees creates a new gathering place and opportunities for learning, exchange, and participation. The project seeks to catalyze a lasting engagement with the issues of food access, health, environmental stewardship, biodiversity, public space, and civic engagement.

The Party launched in April 2011 with the Boston Tree Party Inauguration on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. A new planting campaign will begin in April 2012.

More on this theme:
Occupy Green
Urban Fruit Harvesting
Raspberry Gobble
City Sunday Garden Story
Recycled Solar Garden Cloche
How to Heal the World

Poll
More integrated urban agricultural systems?
yes
no
not yes
not no
neither yes nor no
both yes and no
don't understand the question?
none of the above

Results

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

I voted NO gmoke. (0.00 / 0)
I don't think it's a good idea for people to grow food especially in the city.  

Obama Extends The Patriot Act
http://www.latimes.com/news/na...


Hungry (0.00 / 0)
If people do not grow food, they are going to have to become hunters and gatherers, reverting to the times before we discovered agriculture.  Sounds like you want to get rid of all farms and farmers, let alone gardens in the city.

Solar IS Civil Defense

[ Parent ]
About
Green Mass Group is an online forum for Green thought and collective action in Massachusetts. It is a community forum for justice, sustainability, democracy and health in the Commonwealth and beyond. Read more

Quotes

"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism."

--Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938. Message to congress.


Connect with us


Find GMG on Facebook

Blog Roll
We recommend
AlterNet
The Automatic Earth
Club Orlov
Common Dreams
CounterPunch
Democracy Now!
Energy Bulletin
Green Change
Green Horizon
Green Party Watch
Mass Greens
No Supper Tonight
The Oil Drum
Open Media Boston
The Sanctuary
Sustainability by Design
Sustenance
techPresident
Truthdig
Web of Debt
YES! Magazine

Third Party Politics
Ballot Access News
Free & Equal
Independent Political Report
Poli-Tea

MA Politics
All Politics is Wicked Local
Blue Mass Group
Bob LeLievre's Blog
CommonWealth Unbound
Gold Mass Group
Mass Roundup
MassBeacon.com
Mass Politics Blog
Planet Valenti
Red Mass Group


Important Links
Massachusetts
Alliance for Democracy
Alternatives for Community and Environment
Bioneers by the Bay
Boston Workers Alliance
Center for Popular Economics
The Crash Course
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
The E.F. Schumacher Society
Greater Boston Peak Oil & Climate Change Meetup
Green Justice Coalition
Green-Rainbow Party
Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center
Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities
Massachusetts Global Action
Massachusetts Green Jobs Coalition
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
Massachusetts Peace Action
New Economics Institute
Northeast Organic Farming Association - Mass.
Nuestras Raices
ONE Massachusetts
Peacework Magazine
PV Sustain
Secure Green Future
Small Planet Institute
Stop the Wars Coalition
Student Immigrant Movement
Students for a Just and Stable Future
Time Trade Circle
Transition Massachusetts
Traprock Center for Peace & Justice
United for a Fair Economy
United for Justice with Peace

New England
Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
New England United

National
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
Grassroots Economic Organizing
Green America
Green Party of the U.S.
The Greens/Green Party USA
Institute for Local Self Reliance
Institute for Policy Studies
New American Dream
Post Carbon Institute
Progressive Democrats of America
Slow Money Alliance
The Story of Stuff
Transition US
US Solidarity Economy Network

Global
350.org
African Greens
European Greens
Federation of Green Parties of Americas
Global Greens
New Economics Foundation


check to have links open new windows
Powered by: SoapBlox