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FROM THE SHED
LATEST NEWS & HAPPENINGS
Gardens & Farms
WRITER PUTS THE SPADE TO THE PAGE
Ballard urban farmer Joshua McNichols recently co-authored a book on the craft called, “The Urban Farm Handbook: City-Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat.” He is passionate about procuring foods from local sources such as community oriented urban gardens and farms, not from commercial supermarkets.
02 / 16 / 12
NEW URBAN FARMING STRUCTURE BREAKS GROUND
Developers of a new concept in urban farming, the Plantagon Greenhouse, broke ground for the first structure in Sweden this week. The new type of greenhouse for vertical farming in cities provides a way to use excess heat and CO2 from industries while growing crops.
02 / 13 / 12
More Gardens & Farms
Livestock & Poultry
WHY CHICKENS ARE THE PERFECT PETS
You have chickens? That's what nearly everyone asks next, after they find out about our family pets. They just need to make sure they heard me correctly. Perhaps it's because I don't come across to most as a rural loving farm girl. But you don't have to live on a farm to have chickens, in some places, you just need a little bit of green space and a tidy chicken coop.
02 / 13 / 12
GROW IT YOURSELF: DIVING INTO AQUAPONICS
Aquaponics is the idea of producing vegetables and fish in the same closed system. It combines aquaculture, or fish farming, with hydroponics, a way to grow plants without soil. Supporters see aquaponics as a way to increase world food supplies and reduce climate change, groundwater pollution and overfishing.
01 / 31 / 12
More Livestock & Poultry
Policies & Progress
ROOFTOP HYDROPONIC FARMS IN EGYPT SCRUB THE AIR AND UPLIFT URBAN POOR
Two Egyptian brothers have received enough donations to set up three rooftop farms in Maadi – a once wealthy suburb of Cairo. Due for full installation by April, these won’t be any old farms. Sherif and Tarek Hosny have developed closed-loop, vertical hydroponic systems that use recycled water and mineral nutrient solutions to grow cheaper, healthier produce.
02 / 21 / 12
PLANTING SEEDS FOR ROOFTOP FARMING IN HUB
Plans are under way to get Boston’s first commercial rooftop farm off the ground. Would-be farmers John Stoddard and Courtney Bissonnette are in negotiations to plant the farm atop buildings in the South End’s Newmarket Square area or Charlestown.
02 / 13 / 12
More Policies & Progress
Square Foot Gardening
A great introduction to square foot gardening.
Building The Perfect Coop
A simple introduction to great coop construction!
How To Grow Basil
Growing basil is practical and easy.
FROM THE BLOG
This Green House
Submitted February 13 2012 by Roy Peckham
Chicken Coop For The Soul
Submitted January 30 2012 by Jeff Paul
Made In Americana: The Amazing Easter Egg Chicken
Submitted January 28 2012 by Jeff Paul
Salem, UT | February 16 2012
Scott And Kami Jensen
Houston TX, USA | January 25 2012
URBAN FARMER SPOTLIGHT
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started with urban farming?
I was born in a small rural town, the 5th generation of a farming family who emigrated from Denmark. Most of our neighbors remember seeing me at a few months age riding on the tractor with my dad, or riding in front of him in the saddle on his horse. The value of hard work was instilled early in me, along with an appreciation for the agricultural lifestyle. When I was four years old, my father was killed in a farming accident. We moved to a small city in Eastern Oregon, and I immediately learned the differences in urban and rural lifestyles. From restrictive toiletry requirements (farm boys go when, where, and how they may), to the complicated interactions with people (animals are wonderful friends), to the loss of available garden food, I was in turmoil. However, proximity to schools, churches, stores, and paved roads was appealing.
Can you talk about some of your goals with urban farming?
Appreciation and quality of food. The majority of most of our meals comes from food that we have grown. We raise our own beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. We have fresh eggs from our chickens, vegetables from our garden, and fruit from our orchard. There is pride in growing food, but also a distinct quality. I know the health records of our animals, and know that our vegetables and fruits are free of insecticides and herbicides because our chickens do a wonderful job keeping bugs out of our garden and away from our trees. We allow them to roam, and they love bugs. I don’t have ticks on animals, worms in fruit, or bugs killing plants, only a bunch of full and happy chickens! I have torn out shrubs and planted raspberries, blackberries, josta berries, elder berries, mulberries, currant berries, and strawberries. They’re colorful from a landscape perspective, and they keep my kids playing outside instead of coming in the house for a snack and sitting down to watch TV. I’ve removed many trees, and replaced them with fruit trees. On our 1 acre, we have 28 fruit trees. They shade playhouses and picnic tables, but provide fruit throughout the summer. My kids have picked out the varieties we have, and are proud of them. They also dislike the taste of fast foods, having grown to appreciate the difference in fresh vs. fast food.