the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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596 acres

Picture 2

This map shows sites of potential community projects. We have taken several different sources of information about vacant publicly owned land, chosen the most accurate information from each and shared them here. This is our commons. We also add few private lots whose owners have volunteered their land for community use.

Tools for Land Access Advocacy +Local Community Land Access Campaign Support in NYC
Tools for Community Land Access Advocates

We’re creating a practice of building online tools neighbors can use to clear hurdles to community land access. The tools turn city data into information about particular pieces of land and connect people to one another through simple social networking functions. Continue reading

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beautiful piece

Greening the Ghetto

With 7 billion people on earth and the rapid urbanization of our societies, any piece of land becomes strategic in the race to feed the world. Nina Berman, a photographer from photo agency NOOR, started to document the movement of urban gardening in the Bronx, New York in 2010. In “Greening the Ghetto”, she goes back to Taqwa Garden, and Bobby Watson, the gardener, tells her how he and his father build up their “little piece of heaven” in Bronx.

Video and photography: Nina Berman | NOOR for Thomson Reuter Foundation

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kickstart city growers

looks like these good folks are getting funded!


City Growers – Converting Urban Lots into Sustainable Farms

City Growers is a new kind of community-centered urban farm that provides jobs for underemployed residents and fresh locally-grown produce for Boston businesses and residents. Founded in 2010, City Growers has successfully established itself as a Boston urban farm that is here to stay!

In 2012, we proved that our innovative urban farming model is sustainable. Intensively growing nutritious greens on just one quarter acre of land can support a farmer! Your contribution will allow us to acquire and prepare a quarter-acre lot in Roxbury, Massachusetts cultivating lettuce and greens for market.

Supporting this Kickstarter Helps City Growers:

  • Provide jobs in Boston communities that have the highest rates of unemployment.
  • Improve the nutritional health of city residents.
  • Reduce Boston’s carbon footprint.

Our goal is to transform Boston, the largest city in a state with the fastest-growing food-stamp program, into a hotspot of nutritionally- dense food production. Each season, we are converting more vacant city plots into productive urban farmland.

more information on their kickstarter page

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lovely ladies seeking to buy their urban farm

Check ‘em out.
We are writing to ask for your support at a critical moment for Sidewalk Ends Farm. As you know, for three years now, we’ve worked hard to turn the vacant lot at 47 Harrison Street in Providence into the productive and fertile agricultural space it is today. 
Agriculture is slow work and, three years in, Sidewalk Ends still has so much unrealized potential. Owning the lot will enable us to build on our work and invest in it further. This is a dream we hold dear and we need your help to realize it.  If we don’t buy it, there is a good chance someone else will and this could mean the end of our farm.
Thank you for all of the support that you have given us as we’ve built Sidewalk Ends from the ground up.  Visit our campaign here:
Yours in veggies,
Tess, Laura and Fay

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chicago urban farmers

making it happen!  Check out their kickstarter campaign


Chicago ‘Cooperation Operation’ to Transform South Side Lot into Creative Farm-scape
by Whitney Richardson

The Cooperation Operation (Coop Op) is a diverse group of young social & food justice activists working to create a cooperatively run urban community garden in Chicago’s South Side Pullman neighborhood. A quarter of the homes in Pullman lay vacant. The abandonment is a result of riots in the 1960s and the spoils of an industrialized neighborhood. Additional indicators of neglect include disparate access to food, high rates of substance abuse and obesity and racial divide. The Coop Op, like many young farmers across America, woke up with the hope of urban agriculture, igniting change in pursuit of a better present and future, to restore the land and make peace. Continue reading

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urban ag land access

via Little City Gardens.  A public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.  CA greenhorns, take action!

Access to land is a crucial issue for small scale farming, both urban and rural, and as we’ve previously talked about here, insecure land tenure has been one of the biggest obstacles we’ve come across in our three years of operating this farm. Running a successful, financially sound business has been particularly challenging without a reliable long term lease, as it has greatly limited the kind of investment we can safely make, both physically (in the form of long term perennial crops, thorough irrigation setup, and necessary infrastructure like hoop houses and cold storage) as well as personally (how we are able to commit to and shape our lives around this project). Because the land we farm is currently owned by a developer, we never quite know when our month-to-month lease will be terminated, or when our rent will suddenly spike in order to more adequately cover the owner’s rising costs. Also, in our particular case, the property we’re using is ill-suited for development due to it’s irregular orientation (a long, narrow lot surrounded on three sides by backyards) and a very high water table. Unfortunately, these factors are negligible when it comes to the property’s market value, and the property taxes are exorbitant. It’s hard to imagine commercial farms thriving in cities, providing food at prices comparable to their rural counterparts, when urban land is exclusively and without exception valued in terms of its potential real estate.

Full story, including how to take action, here:

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youth farm urban farm training program

An apprentice opportunity in Brooklyn, NY.
Through a season on the Youth Farm, you will become intimately familiar with the tasks, challenges, and rewards of growing many varieties of vegetables and AFTP image 4 squareflowers appropriate to our region and diverse NYC community. Through this 20-hour per week commitment, you will gain a sense for the physical, mental and spiritual energy required to produce nutritious and delicious food, beautiful flowers, and a rich and harmonious community space.

Hand-on work, formal instruction, field trips and independent projects will all form part of your learning environment. You can expect to walk away with an array of technical, organizational and critical thinking skills needed to produce nutritious food, and a clearer picture of how you see yourself pursuing a career related to sustainable agriculture. Our Certificate in Urban Farming provides an excellent foundation for any future food systems development work.

Find more information on the website
Download the flier HERE

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national brownfields conference

This year the conference takes place in Atlanta, GA, and once again, Urban Ag is on the agenda.


The National Brownfields Conference is the largest event in the nation that focuses on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment.  As defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a brownfield is a property that has a presence, or potential presence, of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, thus creating complications during its expansion, redevelopment, or reuse. EPA’s Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse these properties.

Every 18 months the National Brownfields Conference convenes, attracting over 6,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the program’s success. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned professional, Brownfields 2013 offers something for you!

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teaching farm fellow


Start Date: March 11, 2013      OR            Start Date: May 27, 2013
End Date: March 10, 2014                        End Date: May 23, 2014

Organizational Description
In 2007, the founders of Jones Valley Teaching Farm transformed three and a half acres of vacant downtown Birmingham property into an urban farm, driven by the singular vision of making our community a healthier place.

In late 2011, Jones Valley Teaching Farm reexamined our opportunities in order to identify ways to increase our long-term impact on young students. Through this process, we decided to both renew and re-define our focus on K-8 education, especially in Birmingham City Schools–an urban public school system.  Jones Valley is now intensely focused on empowering future generations with an education to eat smarter, think healthier—and live better as we develop and deliver innovative and relevant educational programs and services to school communities. As we launch this renewed educational focus, we begin with a measurable goal: to educate 10,000 students annually through our food, science and nutrition education curriculum and programs.   Continue reading

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green city growers

How Can Urban Agriculture Go From Niche To Food System?
Everyone loves a story of a plucky urban farm, but what steps do we have to take to make them a vital and integral part of how we feed our cities? by Ariel Schwartz

There are few upsides to the U.S. recession that left people across the country without jobs, and in some cases, homes. But if we had to pick one good thing that emerged from the economic mess, it would be the vacant land that is now being used to create a new urban agriculture revolution. In a new report, PolicyLink highlights the projects and policies around the country that are bringing urban agriculture to lower-income communities of color–and some of the big challenges that they’re dealing with.

When done well, urban agriculture initiatives can offer access to healthy food in areas that formerly had little, provide jobs and skills development, and provide a sense of community. Getting to the point where that’s possible isn’t easy, however. Among the hurdles that nascent urban agriculture projects have to overcome: water access, land use issues, inadequate business training, and insufficient income generation.

Read the rest of the article here.

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for the urban farm strategists in the room

Five Borough Farm - now in book form.

Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City provides the most comprehensive picture of the city’s urban agriculture activity to date, recommends initiatives to connect farmers’ and gardeners’ grassroots efforts to municipal policy, and provides a framework for understanding and measuring how urban agriculture contributes health, social, economic, and ecological benefits to the city. Order your copy on Amazon. Continue reading

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fundraiser for cloud 9 rooftop farm

Come celebrate the fall season with Cloud 9 and Nice Roots Farm!
Games, Soup, Beer, and Live Music!

Sunday, September 23rd at 3 pm we will be gathering at SHARE, the future site of Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm, in the Nice Roots orchard: 2901 W Hunting Park Ave in Philadelphia.

Suggested Donation of $10

Musical Lineup: 
4 Jesse Sparhawk
5-7 Sour Mash

Nice Roots Farm Is a project of SHARE Food Programs. Nice Roots serves as a demonstration garden for urban growing techniques, as well as a source of local, chemical free food. Learn more here:

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urban ag discussion

urban greenhorns – dial in! Orion wants your perspective.

Urban agriculture is hot! Many cities now have initiatives that grow food, and their yields go far beyond broccoli and beets. Orion welcomes author Jennifer Cockrall-King and friends to discuss all of the movement’s crops on July 17 at 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific.

As Rebecca Solnit writes in “Revolutionary Plots” in the July/August issue of Orion, this new green revolution is “an attempt to undo the destructive aspects of the first one, to make an organic and intimate agriculture that feeds minds and hearts as well as bodies, that measures intangible qualities as well as quantity.”      Continue reading


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