April 30, 2012 § 4 Comments
Last year, we introduced you to Sweet Water Organics, a hybrid company (read: for-profit and non-profit) that is trying to develop a viable urban farm using aquaponics. They’re one of the first aquaponic farms in the country, drawing inspiration from operations like Growing Power. Recently, Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an article about Sweet Water that reads like a bullet-point list of charges against the company.
April 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
While working at the United Nations, I’ve grown accustomed to celebrating diverse (and sometimes odd) international days and commemorations (Happy World Day for Laboratory Animals!). But when I was alerted that April was National Garden Month here in the US, I was all too eager to jump on board and celebrate one of my favorite Midwest gardening organizations — St. Louis’s Gateway Greening.
January 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The American Planning Association has an annual award that recognizes excellence in development projects round the country and world. The National Planning Award, this year, was awarded to Re-Imagine Cleveland, an innovative project from Cleveland, Ohio that won for the category of ‘Innovation in Sustaining Places’ one of fourteen such categories recognized by the association. The project, Re-Imagine Cleveland, was launched and adopted by the Cleveland City Planning Commission in 2008 and has been developing projects that are changing neighborhoods ever since.
With very clear goals Re-Imagine Cleveland sough to:
- advance a larger, comprehensive sustainability strategy for the city
- benefit low-income and underemployed residents
- create prosperity in the city
- help address climate change
With 56 different community run projects currently underway, and more on the way, the Re-Imagine Cleveland program has produced results that are hard to ignore. With projects ranging from community and market gardens, orchards, and native species planning to the countries first urban vineyard, Chateau Hough. Re-Imagine Cleveland is putting people to work, building communities, and changing the face of Cleveland.
With over 20,000 vacant lots in the city limits of Cleveland, the amount of work that still needs to be done is widely understood but the enormity of the project, however, is still impossible to grasp. The seeds of change are beginning to take root, thanks largely in part to the efforts of Re-Imagine Cleveland and its partners; The City of Cleveland, Neighborhood Progress Inc.,The Cleveland Land Lab, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, and Kent State University.
Today, January 10th in Good Magazine an article questioning the sustainability of the urban gardening/ farming movement was published. In the wake of the Great Recession in cities like Cleveland and Detroit this movement has made a meteoric rise and as with every bubble, it has to pop at some point, right? The author, Sarah Parsons, suggests that this is movement has an all-together different feel than other weak-economy movements to patch up our economy such as the ‘Relief Gardens’ of FDR in the wake of the Great Depression or the WWII Victory Gardens, stating:
I think it is hard to deny that urban farming / gardening is a trendy topic these days, hell, food culture in general is in vogue. The silver lining to this bubble is not that there is a bubble, that may one day pop, it is that people are beginning to re-imagine the potential of the urban land scape. There has been a paradigmatic shift away from globalization, particularly in the Midwest, that has been wrought with the realities of corporate consolidation and the outsourcing of much of our industries. A new alternative, in localism, has been born and found its leg to stand on in urban farming. Urban farming is here to stay, so get working on a garden!
For the full, official, report on Re-Imagine Cleveland click: Here
May 24, 2011 § Leave a Comment
April 19, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Tim Smith, one of our presenters, discusses his organization Community Greenhouse Partners and the direction it’s taking (via CoolCleveland.com).
April 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Victory Garden Initiative, a group in Milwaukee that’s basically crowd-sourcing the urban agriculture movement, is holding their third annual Blitz on May 28 (which coincidentally is the day of the Symposium in Chicago). They’ve got a great thing going, in spite of political obstacles last year in the form of restricted access to city water.
From their Facebook event:
The Blitz is a one day event aimed at installing as many new food-producing gardens as possible throughout the Milwaukee area. Help us as we install as many gardens as we can throughout the Milwaukee area on Blitz Day! We need your enthusiasm, your shovels, and your vision for a nutritious, sustainable food system. Real change, one garden at a time. We install garden beds throughout the day, then close the event with a Potluck to celebrate.
More after the jump…