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The Boiling Point

Featured Farm: Fledging Crow Vegetables Rooted in FUN

Featured Farm: Fledging Crow Vegetables Rooted in FUN

Are you someone who believes that food should be fun and even a bit quirky?  If so, you have a lot in common with Ian Ater. His farm, Fledging Crow...

RealEats + Geneva, NY: A Rich Past, a Glowing Future Together

RealEats + Geneva, NY: A Rich Past, a Glowing Future Together

Let us tell you about a love story between RealEats and a little town in Upstate New York. This love story started with a community of dedicated fa...

After Two Decades, a Philadelphia Urban Farm Grapples with Growing Pains

After Two Decades, a Philadelphia Urban Farm Grapples with Growing Pains. As Philadelphia’s good-food landscape has expanded, Greensgrow faces competitors ranging from supermarkets stocking more local and organic foods to other urban farms in Philly to meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron or Purple Carrot. Now, the farmers are faced with issues that could impact its long-term survival, such as how should Greensgrow carry on Corboy’s vision, support its changing neighborhood and evolve into more of a year-round operation. And a year later, Corboy still looms large over daily operations for the farm and its 40 employees—a poster-sized photo of her hangs in Kuck’s office, with the caption: “WWMD” (What Would Mary Do?). “I knew how impossible it would be to fill Mary’s shoes. In late 2016, Greensgrow created Mary’s Community Fund, which gives $1,000 grants to individuals and organizations for neighborhood greening, a cause also dear to Kuck. Greensgrow raises some hydroponic lettuces on-site, as well as a line of organic veggie starts, and it produces its own “Honey from the Hood” from nearly a dozen beehives. Greensgrow isn’t the first urban farm in Philadelphia, and many others have taken root over the past 20 years, including the farm at Bartram’s Garden, the nation’s oldest botanic garden; Nice Roots Farm, which started in 2009 as an project of the SHARE Food Program; and Heritage Farm, a four-acre plot that begin in 2011 to provide food and food-growing training to Methodist Service’s clients. Some of these urban peers also offer direct-to-neighborhood sales and/or CSA programs, helping to spur Greensgrow’s need to expand its offerings. “We’re trying to offer a more consistent experience for our customers and for our staff.” Hosting events offers one avenue for growth—the farm held nine weddings last year—but doing so would probably require an investment in more covered spaces on the property.

Innovative Approaches Bringing Urban Farming To Cities Across The Globe

Across the globe, innovators are working to make fresh, locally grown food more accessible to city dwellers via urban farming. Agricool, a French startup, is hoping to dot the country’s landscape with shipping containers that are retrofitted to grow plump, juicy strawberries. What separates this startup from others in the urban farming space is the care it takes in developing custom LED grow lights and precise temperature control. The short-term plan for Agricool, explains co-founder Guillaume Fourdinier, is to have five custom containers in the Paris area selling strawberries, “Our mission is global and we have to go where fruit and vegetable prices are “an anomaly”. Once the Paris rollout is successful, the company plans to outsource manufacturing of its container gardens and sell the units globally. Ok, only two, but still, real and delicious strawberries! Agricool is but one of several urban farms operating outside the U.S., each deploying a different market approach. Twice a week is harvest time and customers can buy fresh basil grown in this 10-foot-high tech-driven agricultural marvel. In Singapore, Panasonic developed an indoor farm that produced leafy greens which were sold to local grocers and restaurants. Clean Air Nurseries in South Africa has patented what it calls a “closed-loop water system” called EGGS to grow greens indoors in a short time frame with less water.

On Cleveland’s Largest Urban Farm, Refugees Gain Language and Job Skills

On Cleveland’s Largest Urban Farm, Refugees Gain Language and Job Skills

Across the Cuyahoga River from downtown Cleveland, men and women dressed in brightly colored clothing harvest vegetables from tidy rows of plantings. Multilingual conversations take place in Hindi, Nepali, Somali and English. With the Cleveland skyline as their backdrop, these refugee farmers nurture their connection to the land and to their new...

Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement

Trend Alert: the Urban Farm-to-Table Movement


Vertical aeroponic gardening at Tower Gardens.

Farms aren’t just in the country anymore. Rooftop gardens supply dozens of Chicago restaurants with just-picked veggies. In the lobby of Vin de Set restaurant in St. Louis, diners are greeted by tall white towers growing kale for salads thatnight. At New York’s...

How Change Happens: Inspiring Examples from Urban Food Policy

Many of us in the world of food policy are excited by what is happening in cities. Hundreds of municipalities are developing and delivering policies to improve the food system. Fortunately, extensive efforts to document them means we know a considerable amount about whatthey are doing—a whole host of activities, including improving public procurement, building...

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