Urban Agriculture in the Bronx, New York City (City Farmer News / NCBI)

Read at :


Community Gardens: An Exploration of Urban Agriculture in the Bronx, New York City

Linked by Michael Levenston

The Bronx currently has about 175 community gardens administered by Operation Green Thumb, as well as a number of community gardens operated by nonprofit entities, such as the Parks Council, and community gardens on private property.


By Michelle M. Althaus Ottman, Dr. Juliana A. Maantay, Kristen Grady, Nério Cardoso, and Nilce Nazareno da Fonte
Cities Environ.
2010 March 5


Results: For the Community Gardens that have been visited so far in the Bronx (n=19): 53% of them grow predominantly vegetables, 32% cultivate mainly flowers, 11% grow flowers and vegetables in approximately the same amounts, and 5% have mostly trees in the garden. Just two of the 19 Community Gardens visited sell their produce in farmers markets located in the community. Most of the 32 gardeners interviewed (62%) share out less than half of their harvest, and 31% of the interviewed gardeners shared more than half.


A new garden on the UA campus for the community to grow fresh produce (Google / News 13)

Read at : Google Alert – desert gardening


UA has a green thumb

By David Gonzalez

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – The University of Arizona is planting the seed of gardening in the minds of students and Tucson residents.

A new garden is set to open on the UA campus for the community to grow fresh produce.

The plot of land next to the Highland Avenue Parking Garage will be one of two community gardens.

The Garden in the Desert student group wants the Tucson community to get involved in growing their own fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The goal is to teach people about gardening and local food production.

This new garden space covers an area of about 1,600 square feet and will have 40 beds.

Some of the benefits of growing your own fruits and vegetables include lowering family food cost, exercise and economic development.

Urban agriculture and community gardening bring food, jobs and money to local communities (Google / MNN)

Read at : Google Alert – vertical gardening


Making a case for the urban garden

In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, urban agriculture and community gardening can bring jobs and money to local communities.

Around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the figures for the U.S. are much lower. The city of Cleveland, for instance, produces just 1.7 percent of its food in urban farms and community gardens—and Cleveland is actually more progressive than most American cities, says Parwinder Grewal, PhD, professor of entomology and director of the Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development at Ohio State University.

Compare those numbers to a place like Cuba, where nearly 100 percent of the country’s fresh fruit and produce are grown within the country’s borders, and the food is almost entirely organically grown. “Cuba has devoted a lot of space to urban agriculture and made an effort for many, many years to grow food locally,” says Grewal, because trade embargoes prevented the nation from importing food, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left its citizens unable to import oil for fertilizers and pesticides. Despite the problems Cuba has with a dictatorial government, its citizens enjoy abundant access to fresh, organic, local food.

Even beyond access to fresh food, “urban agriculture can bring lots of jobs and money to local communities,” says Grewal. He’s has just published a study in the journal Cities showing how economically beneficial urban farms can really be.



Bottom-up view on effective, long-term solutions to combat desertification, drought, hunger, malnutrition and famine (Willem Van Cotthem)

Reading every day a number of publications on drought, desertification, hunger, malnutrition, famine, poverty and conflicts, I noticed that more and more voices are raised about the urgent need for a drastic change in strategies : from short-term to long-term solutions.

That is why I have read with great interest yesterday’s AlertNet article of Laurie GOERING : “Q&A: Preparedness key as climate shifts threaten more drought – UN” (see my former posting on this blog).

Let me highlight some paragraphs :

  1. Finding solutions is particularly urgent as climate change brings more extreme and unpredictable weather, including more “slow-onset” disasters like droughts, warns Luc Gnacadja, executive director of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, …
  2. Q. You’re calling for “effective, long-term solutions” to famine, including drought management and measures to stop desertification. What are those?A. Drought has been plaguing many areas of the world – Australia, West Africa, East Africa. But it’s only in places where there has been a breakdown of governance that drought becomes famine.In drought-prone areas where early warning systems are not operating to help populations prepare for drought, where safety nets and infrastructure are not in place to assist them, then of course drought will turn to famine and lead to the loss of thousands of lives. And who does drought kill? The children and most vulnerable.

    Since January it’s been forecast drought would come to the Horn of Africa. In drought-prone areas, droughts should not be a surprise.

  3. Q. What do governments need to do differently?A. Governments should mainstream drought preparedness into policies and institutions, and build resilience.
  4. Q. So, good governance is a prerequisite for dealing effectively with drought?A. What is making the shocks so extreme in Somalia is because of governance breakdown.

    Good governance is crucial to implement and scale up solutions, help populations build their resilience and protect ecosystems.

  5. Q. You argue countries prone to slow-onset disasters like droughts should have the same kind of preparedness plans as countries vulnerable to hurricanes or earthquakes?

    A. …………………

    I hope world leaders will come to see that this is not just about the Horn of Africa. What I hope is that we will invest as much as we are spending now on relief on preparedness for drought. Drought is going to become more frequent and severe. It should not a surprise anymore.


With all respect due to the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, but my personal views on effective, long-term solutions for the problems listed above are somewhat different.

I can imagine that in some drought-affected countries, but not in all, the possibility exists that

“Governments should mainstream drought preparedness into policies and institutions, and build resilience”

and that

“Good governance is crucial to implement and scale up solutions, help populations build their resilience and protect ecosystems”

and that

“we should invest as much as we are spending now on relief on preparedness for drought”.

However, the real change we need in the combat of desertification, hunger, malnutrition and poverty, is not so much the development of new top-down strategies for the governments, new policies, new institutions, new layers in decision-making.

On the contrary, what the billion affected people need is a number of effective, long-term measures in the field, a bottom-up approach leading not only to preparedness, but to an effective reversal of the actual situation.

Those billion people have heard since June 17, 1994 that “song of hope” of the UNCCD, that song about a bottom-up approach that would bring sustainable development.

For almost 20 years, all the desertification experts have been showing that a world-wide application of the “best practices” and “success stories in the field” is the best strategy for drought preparedness, resilience building, ecosystem protection, alleviation of hunger and malnutrition, eradication of poverty.

We all know the benefits of a number of methods, technologies and techniques in different domains ; to name just a few : water conservation and water harvesting, water saving irrigation techniques, soil conditioning methods, permaculture, agroforestry, container gardening, vertical gardening, allotments, community gardens, kitchen gardens, …

Vertical gardening with a minimum of water : Fresh food production in plastic bottles and pots, a simple, cheap and effective method that can be applied all over the world in rural and urban areas (Photo WVC)

Denying that these methods signify a real change for the drought-affected people, is throwing all our practical knowledge and skills away.

Time has come to show those suffering people that we really want “to invest in drought preparedness“, not with new policies and institutions, but by investing in “effective, long-term solutions” realized in a bottom-up approach.

I’m Dancing and Singing in the Drought (Willem Van Cotthem)

You probably know I’m not the actor Gene KELLY, that’s why I’m not dancing and singing in the rain, but in the drought.

The reason for my optimistic mood today is quite simple :  there are so many remarkable reports published on successful, sustainable, cheap, efficient methods and techniques to grow fresh food in containers, in family gardens, in allotments, in community gardens, in vertical gardens etc., that I get the strongest believe that everyone, every family, every community living in the most harsh environments in Africa, Asia and South America, can definitely ban hunger and malnutrition, with a little bit of help, of course.

That’s why “I’m dancing and singing“, just like Gene KELLY, not in the rain, but in the drought.  And I hope that one day those one billion hungry people will dance with us.

The title song for that celebrated film musical Singin’ in The Rain (1952) was originally created by lyricist Arthur Freed and composer Nacio Herb Brown for MGM’s Hollywood Revue of 1929.

I couldn’t resist changing a few words to express “my glorious feelin’ ” about all those opportunities we have to offer hungry and malnourished children and adults a better life.  So, here I go :

“I’m singing in the drought
Just singing in the drought
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy in thought
I’m laughing at skies
So bright up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the drought
I’ve a smile on my face
I walk down the ford
With a happy thought
Just singin’,
Singin’ in the drought”


You get me ? Let’s dance and sing together, because “with a little help of my friends” (Ringo STARR) we can make this world better.

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Oh, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.”

Forget the billions of dollars for long-term food aid.  Keep those for emergency cases.

And with a little help of our friends, let’s teach those people in need how to grow vegetables and fruits in containers, buckets, used barrels, pots, whatever can contain some potting soil.

Because we will really help them towards sustainable development !

Reforestation and community gardens in Ivory Coast (Willem Van Cotthem)

In 1993, the FIFTY ONE Service Clubs of Belgium and Ivory Coast decided to sponsor one of the projects of the Botany Department of the University of Ghent (Belgium) : “Reforestation and community gardens in drought affected Northern Ivory Coast”.  Within this project the efficiency of the soil conditioner TerraCottem for stocking water and fertilizer was demonstrated.

In July 1993, a community garden was installed in Sokoro II, the village that had be removed for the installation of a sugarcane plantation at its original location.  Therefore, a part of the Savannah had to be cleared.

1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKORO : Local women clearing a part of the savannah to install a community garden for a project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) - (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKORO : Project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : After clearing the site, the soil conditioner TerraCottem is applied at the contour lines (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKORO : Project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : the soil conditioner TerraCottem is mixed with the soil in raised beds (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKORO : Project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : the soil conditioner TerraCottem is mixed with the soil in raised beds (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKORO : Project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : on top of the raised beds different vegetables are sown or planted (Photo WVC)


In the same period (July 1993), hundreds of saplings were planted with TerraCottem.

1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : Clearing a part of the Savannah before plantation (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : Sapling of Acacia bivenosa (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : planting saplings of Tectona grandis (Photo WVC)
1993-07 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : The Vice-Mayor of Ferkessedougou City and members of FIFTY ONE Ivory Coast and Belgium (Bernard DENEWETH) planting saplings (Photo WVC)
1993-12 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : Five months after planting with the TerraCottem soil conditioner the saplings are doing very well; here an Anacardium sapling (Photo WVC)
1993-12 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium) : A Cassia sapling (Photo WVC)
1993-12 : IVORY COAST/FERKESSEDOUGOU/SOKOROII : Reforestation project of FIFTY ONE Service Club and the University of Ghent (Belgium): Five months after planting with the TerraCottem soil conditioner the saplings continue their growth in the dry season; here some Gmelina saplings (Photo WVC)


Kenya and the MDGs (Google / The Global Herald)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification



Kenya: Desertification Presents Challenge to Millenium Development Goals

Desertification is Kenya’s major challenge in achieving the Millennium Development Goals as well as fulfilling its economic blueprint, Vision 2030.

Kenya’s Permanent Secretary (PS), at the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ali D. Mohammed, says that the Government is committed to combating desertification and the mitigation of the effects of drought as a central strategy in its efforts to eradicate poverty since it affects the poorest of population groups who entirely depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.

Kenya, Mr Mohammed says, is signatory to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and was thus obliged to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17th June – in line with the requirements of the national implementation of the convention.

The UNCCD defines desertification as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas (also referred to as drylands) resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.

At the national level, he says the UNCCD calls for the implementation of activities aimed at prevention and/or reduction of land degradation, rehabilitation of partly degraded lands and reclamation of degraded lands through National Action Programmes to be developed by all parties.

“It also calls for the development of contingency plans for mitigating the effects of drought in areas degraded by desertification and/or drought,” he adds.

In Kenya, the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) host about 13 million people. These areas have the lowest development indicators and the highest incidence of poverty.



Agriculture must be harnessed to improve nutrition and health in Guinea (IRINNews)

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GUINEA: Nutrition finds a place in agriculture plan

DAKAR, 7 July 2011 (IRIN) – The quality of a baby’s first solid food and teaching families about proper nutrition and hygiene are now part of Guinea’s agricultural investment strategy. Experts working on the 2011-2015 agriculture plan, to be finalized in the coming weeks, say the first-ever nutrition component stems from an increasing recognition that agriculture must be harnessed to improve nutrition and health.

“There is a realization that agriculture is not production alone,” said Kaba Camara of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. “We need to ensure people are educated about proper feeding habits and monitor people’s nutritional status.”

The new section of the investment plan covers nutrition education, improving access to nutrient-rich foods, treatment of malnutrition, and complementary feeding for children aged 6-24 months, according to Mamady Daffé, head of nutrition in the Health Ministry.

“Of course the important thing will be implementation,” he told IRIN. “But it’s already a quite important step that we have integrated nutrition into the agriculture scheme.”

Camara said the move stems in part from a 2010 forum of the Economic Community of West African States, at which experts said it was time to do away with the institutional walls between the health and agriculture sectors and incorporate nutrition into overall development.

Quantity, quality

 Global: The vital statistics of hunger
 Aid Policy: Call for local manufacture of nutrient-rich foods
 Pakistan: Chickpea replaces peanut in supplementary food recipe
 Political will can solve malnutrition

For decades agricultural research and development focused on maximizing production, with nutrition policy and monitoring on a separate track; but in recent years there has been more of a focus on agriculture’s role in improving health and nutrition, especially of poorer populations. In February policymakers, donors and agriculture and nutrition experts met in New Delhi to discuss the interconnections.



2009 : Algeria/refugee camps in the Sahara : If small kitchen gardens can be created in the Sahara, it should be possible to copy these “best practices” at the largest scale in Guinea too (Photo Taleb BRAHIM)

Once upon a time UNICEF launched a project in the refugee camps in S.W. Algeria (Willem Van Cotthem)

With great attention I have read the former posting on this blog :


This UN-message informed us that :


The refugee situation is growing with some 10,000 arriving every week in Dadaab on the border between Somalia and Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp.

“The threat of disease on already weakened young children is of particular concern and UNICEF is urgently setting up child immunization campaigns. UNICEF, government agencies, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and other UN agencies will be working in the vital areas of water, food and sanitation in the coming days to ward off a massive emergency,” said the agency.

“However funding shortfalls, and in some areas the denial of access, threaten to disrupt these essential services. UNICEF is asking for $31.9 million for the coming three months to provide life-saving support to the millions of affected children and women.”


2007 : A nice family garden in one of the refugee camps in the Algerian Sahara desert (Photo WVC)

In 2005, UNICEF ALGERIA launched the project : “Family gardens in the refugee camps of the Saharawis in S.W. Algeria”, for which I had the honour to be chosen as the scientific consultant.

2007 : Evaluation mission of a Unicef delegation to the family gardens project (Photo WVC)

Between 2005 and 2007, some 1500 small family gardens were successfully installed in these refugee camps in the Sahara desert (see  photos).  The RASD government was extremely happy with the results obtained in only a few months by this UNICEF-project and strongly requested UNICEF ALGERIA to continue its efforts to enhance gradually the number of kitchen gardens, through which the refugee families are enabled to produce their own fresh food (carrots, onions, tomatoes, red beetroots, zucchinis, garlic, beans, peas, herbs, turnips, radishes, lettuce …).

2007 : Massive production of fresh food in one of the family gardens of the UNICEF project (Photo WVC)

Plans were developed to create a large seed production center to provide the necessary seeds to all the families, and to revalidate a large date palm plantation to distribute date saplings to the refugees.

To the greatest surprise of all people involved, this remarkable project (fresh food production in the desert !) was suddenly stopped by UNICEF at the end of 2007.

2007 = Red beetroots, carrots, garlic, zucchinis growing in the desert and irrigated with a minimum of brackish water (Photo WVC)

Up to now, even their own scientific consultant was never informed about the reasons why.  Even if UNICEF had possibly its good reasons not to continue that beautiful and very efficient project, a more decent attitude for correctly informing the people involved in the project could be expected.  It left those people with bitter memories.

It goes without saying that the Saharawis refugees, without the help of UNICEF, continued to create new family gardens with the support of some friends and NGOs.

2007 : A television team, attracted by the UNICEF successes, visited the extraordinary gardens (Photo WVC)

In the light of this situation, please read the last paragraphs of the UN News-message mentioned above :

“WFP, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the British-based Oxfam agency today issued a <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/81662/icode/”&gt; joint appeal for a more resilient and longer-lasting response to the drought and other “slow-onset” humanitarian crises.

The three agencies asked the international community to commit to longer-term, longer-lasting solutions, such as sustainable food assistance, support for small farmers, and support for policies and investments that address core challenges such as climate change adaptation, preparedness and disaster risk reduction and management, rural livelihoods, productive infrastructure, production and marketing, institutions and governance, conflict resolution, pastoralist issues and access to essential health and education. “


If I may suggest a longer-term, longer-lasting solution for the malnutrition problem of children, wherever they live, even in the desert, then evaluate the successes of UNICEF’s project in the Algerian refugee camps and opt for the creation of family gardens or community gardens.


The irrefutable evidence of the FAO : decisive victory for city gardening in the war on hunger and poverty (Willem Van Cotthem)

Citizens of Ghent/Belgium (here in the allotments Slotenkouter) produce enough vegetables for the family all year long (Photo WVC)
Neighbours in allotments all over the world are motivating each other to improve their yield (Photo WVC)


For many years already we have been promoting family (kitchen) gardens and allotment gardens (the “VICTORY GARDENS” of World War I and WW. II) as the most efficient tool to combat hunger, malnutrition and poverty (see a short list of former postings below).

It goes without saying that the voice of individuals or small groups, e.g. NGOs, is barely heard.  Nevertheless, the number of publications on successes booked with community gardens, urban gardening, allotments, family gardening and many other aspects of food production in urban areas is more than impressive. Even “guerilla gardening” can be seen as the expression of an urgent need to give urban gardening the chances it deserves.

And now the day has come ! Will it be a D-Day ?

In a message of June 10, 2011 the UNNews announces :


With great pleasure we read :

“A five-year United Nations urban horticulture programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has more than doubled its output of vegetables, turned profits, increased nutrition and employed thousands – some at four and five times the income they made previously, according to a report issued today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The $10.4 million FAO plan, financed by Belgium and implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development since 2000, has assisted urban growers in five cities – Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Mbanza-Ngungu, Kisangani and Likasi – to produce 330,000 tons of vegetables annually, up from 148,000 in 2005-2006, FAO said in a <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79813/icode/“>press release.

Less than 10 per cent of the vegetables produced by the project are consumed by beneficiaries. The remainder, constituting more than 250,000 tons of produce, is sold in urban markets and supermarkets, for up to $4 a kilo for the major vegetables produced: tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions, for a surplus value of about $400 million, FAO said.

“This programme has increased per capita daily intake of micronutrients: different types of greens, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, and as such is enormous help in the fight against malnutrition, especially amongst children and breast-feeding women in cities,” said Remi Nono-Womdim, an agricultural officer for FAO.

An estimated half of children in the DRC are chronically undernourished.

The FAO said the programme has also helped provide employment for 16,000 small-scale market gardeners, and to 60,000 people more in jobs linked to the horticulture business.

Farmers have seen their incomes increase dramatically,” FAO said. “On average, in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi for example, [the] annual income of each farmer has increased from around $500 in 2004 to $2,000 in 2010 and in Likasi it rose from $700 to $3,500. There have been similar increases in other cities.”

“It helped that many of the new city dwellers were rural immigrants who already had basic knowledge of crop production,” said Mr. Nono-Womdim. There were also sizeable areas of fertile land available, especially around Lubumbashi.

The FAO said the project in the DRC “is a flagship model of how to help cities grow their own nutrients and micro-nutrients to keep pace with growing demand.”

“The global number of urban dwellers is now higher than those living in rural areas. With the fastest growing cities situated in the developing world, vegetable growing in towns, cities, suburbs and shanty towns is essential to improving nutrition and food security in poor countries,” FAO said.

“The great thing is we have shown this goal can be reached, what we need to do now is scale-up production in the DRC and in other parts of Africa,” said Mr. Nono-Womdim.

It goes without saying that all this is clearly the best news about combating hunger, malnutrition and poverty we heard in years.

It has been so frustrating to read continuously that billions (trillions ?) of dollars were needed to alleviate the children’s malnutrition and the hunger of a billion people every year.

It was so “illogical” that aid organizations continued to impose views on “the necessity to deliver commercial food packages or food baskets at a regular base” and to ship these loads of food continuously from North to South and from West to East, without considering the proven possibilities to grow fresh food locally, e.g. in community gardens, allotments, family gardens and the like.

Today, the UN-organization FAO has delivered the irrefutable evidence that the earthships’s course has to be changed as soon as possible : our food aid strategy should be heading to a new CAPE OF HOPE in the SEA OF FAMILY GARDENING with its capital the CITY GARDENS.

Even the blind should hear this message !

May God  bless the FAO and my country Belgium for that wonderful “City Garden Programme” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the stepping stone project towards a world without hunger.  I couldn’t dream of a nicer present for “Father’s Day”.

by Willem Van Cotthem


Please read also :









Women can play a very important role in the management and sustainability of a city garden (Photo WVC)
Benefits of a city garden: increased vegetable production, improved nutrition,, enhanced profits, employment of jobless people, an healthy occupation, social events (Photo WVC)
Some even participate in university research work on soil conditioning and fertilizing (Photo WVC)


Read at :


Free Tomato Give-Away to Get Growing

Bonnie Alter, London
Part of a photo by Bonnie Alter

The Mayor of London was in Trafalgar Square, giving away free tomato plants. There were 100,000 little seedlings in paper cups, available for the taking by anyone who wandered by.

It was all part of Capital Growth, a scheme to get Londoners growing fruits and vegetables. Their aim is to create 2012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012.

Capital Growth is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund. It offers practical help, grants, training and support to groups wanting to establish community food growing projects as well as advice to landowners.

Capital Growth is working with four different communities on creating allotment gardens and community led food growing projects. They offer resources to the local communities so that they can develop their sites. All the projects are in very urban areas where land is at a premium and they are working with the local community in each case.

One scheme in east London has been at it for ten years. They run a local organic vegetable box scheme, farmers market and have organic market gardens.

Another group of volunteers in Regent’s Park have developed a garden from scratch, working with a horticultural school.

In the west, they have two sites with a farm and greenhouses. In the south they run the London Wildlife Trust where there are classrooms, meeting spaces and gardens where demonstrations are held.



COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem)

Remarkable observation : in difficult periods of food insecurity for a significant part of their population, countries switch to allotments and community gardening in cities and villages. In World War One the “Victory Gardens” (allotments) were created. In World War Two that was done again in Europe and the USA. Nowadays urban gardening, guerilla gardening, vertical gardening, container gardening, etc. are real hits in developed countries. Aren’t these the best tools to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in developing countries too ? Ring the bell !

There’s a waiting list at every community garden (City Farmer News / The Vancouver Sun)

Read at :


Sharing Backyards takes root with the landless

Linked by Michael Levenston

Avid gardeners work their neighbours’ lifeless yards and make them thrive

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
March 25, 2011


Sharing Backyards was founded four years ago in Victoria by the LifeCycles Project Society and has proliferated around the globe since then, with 41 websites covering 400 municipalities from Vancouver Island to New Zealand.

LifeCycles partners with local organizations such as Vancouver’s City Farmer to help build, host and maintain the websites.

A “Craigslist for urban agriculture” is a natural extension of the work they have been doing in Vancouver for 33 years, said City Farmer executive director Mike Levenston.


http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Sharing+Backyards+takes+root+with+landless/4501065/story.html Continue reading “There’s a waiting list at every community garden (City Farmer News / The Vancouver Sun)”

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