Lunchtime Links: A Commercially-Zoned Community Garden, a no-waste concept supermarket,and Women Food & Ag reporters you should know about

 

Feed Fayetteville plants community garden in downtown commercial zone | Fayetteville Flyer

There are very few community gardens that exist in commercial zones. In my local “green” city, I walk by so many commercial properties with landscaping space like this bank in Fayetteville, Arkansas that are either poorly tended or just have impractical shrubs and inedibles. Cities and businesses need to follow the Fayetteville example here.


 

 This concept supermarket has no packaged products, reduces #foodwastepsfk.com/2014/05/origin… via @PSFK

When the article refers to it as a “high end co-op” , that makes me think that it’s another concept that won’t benefit low income people.

 


“24 Women Food and Agriculture Reporters You Should Know About ” by ow.ly/x6yRV via @CivilEats

[D]oes it really matter who writes the stories, and who makes the decisions about deploying resources and presenting news? Yes, I think it does. Here’s one small example of why: Women who write are more likely, according to the study, to quote at least some women in their articles. That diversity of outlook and that range of voices are worth pursuing because it better reflects the world.

I think it matters,too.

 

Lunchtime Links: Food Stamp enrollment declining,freezing food safely…. + + +

Media preview Hey, this might be good news? Enrollment in SNAP has started to drop. (But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about how GOP reps wanting to emulate California’s success in discouraging enrollment to many eligible low income people.… )


Five Things To Know About Freezing Foods Safely

Safe prep for freezing, safe thawing…and the freezing food things you need to know. This info comes in handy when you hit a cheap produce bounty. Sorry I can’t do more to help with freezer space. Maybe some TARDIS magic to make it bigger on the inside?


Media preview Awesome urban gardening shot by @corneliadlabaja via



Becoming a water wise gardener is . . . GardenWise! Tips on conserving water pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/2014…

I was thinking about all of you gardeners out there with water issues the other day when watering my garden. We save rain water but sometimes even that doesn’t cut it. Grateful we don’t have a water shortage and that we don’t have to pay a water bill. Here’s hoping this year isn’t too droughty or too floody for us all.

I leave you with some relevant music… This is on my Homestead Mix playlist. Came on while writing this post, so figured I should share.

Growing Power: An urban farm that grew a million pounds of food on 3 acres

I’m pretty impressed with Will Allen and his organization Growing Power.

He had a few acres of land in Milwaukee and turned it into a farm in 1993. Growing Power now consists of six greenhouses, an apiary with 14 beehives, two aquaponics hoop houses ,250 chickens, and a few dozen goats. In that space, organic and non-GMO food is grown with the idea in mind that it’s accessible and affordable for everyone. The farm also serves as an educational “idea factory” and living classroom where people can learn about acid-digestion, anaerobic digestion for food waste, bio-phyto remediation and soil health, aquaculture closed-loop systems, vermiculture, small and large scale composting, urban agriculture, permaculture, food distribution, marketing, value-added product development, youth education, community engagement, participatory leadership development, and project planning.

Not only is Growing Power proving that small farms can be productive and practical, the farm is dedicated to food justice and breaking through barriers the factory farm and food industry have created to making healthy food accessible for those with low incomes.

 via Growing Power’s Facebook page

Creating an urban garden space

An Urban Revitalization Project (click for a video!)

This was a parking lot. This is a project done by a woman who bought an old ice house and renovated it to live in, in an urban area. The garden is her own space that goes with the property but I think it’s a great example of what can come from urban spaces. There are certainly obstacles when we’re talking about converting abandoned lots and parking lots … permission from the property owner,code enforcement… yadayada…but  these things are easier to overcome when you get a few like minded people together to fight a little bit  (or a lot) for the project. I find if you emphasize, “It’s for the benefit of our community “, you get farther and gain more support.

The Farmery

Ben Greene has this idea to bring fresh,locally grown produce to the city, especially where food deserts exist. The Farmery consists of stacked shipping containers and a greenhouse in the middle. The food will be grown and sold right there in one location.

In this video, Ben breaks down how it all works
[you tube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EktAl72sIQ8]

Interior shots of the Farmery and furniture we designed for it.

Here’s another video that shows the actual concept

Ron Finley and guerrilla gardening in a food desert

When I wrote about why poor people can’t just grow their own food, Ron Finley came to mind as an example of people helping people to overcome these barriers I talked about. Ron Finley is a guerrilla gardener who is tuning the South Central LA food desert into a place where bountiful harvest is possible.

He started turning traffic medians,curbs,empty lots…any vacant space…into edible gardens in his community. As he says in his TED talk, “The drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys”. He recognized that food is the problem but it’s also the solution.

THIS is exactly what happens when someone fully grasps what it is that makes a large percentage of  Americans eat junk and has a passion and compassion for helping people. Crazy,right? You might have thought the answer was to bitch on Facebook about how poor people shouldn’t drink soda or passing state bills that stop people on food stamps from buying potato chips. How amazing that nope, that’s not how we help people eat better. We just simply make better food more easily accessible.

It takes work. Let’s hope Ron Finley can inspire than drive in others.

Ron’s TED talk is a 10 minute Must Watch:

The key points from his TED talk:

ron-finley

 

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How Guerilla Gardening Can Save America’s Food Deserts | Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian Magazine