I might recommend that some of you utilize these suggestions within your market or grassroots food community efforts. Often, these type of collaborative public space efforts can extend the food community vibe into new arenas and into becoming a “beloved institution” beyond the hours of the bell or the garden fence.
Goats for grazing is a super idea for the many open, untended sites we have in New Orleans and throughout the U.S. This is a simple fundraising idea for an New Orleans entrepreneur that wants to use goats to graze public and private green space. She has already been contracted to use goats on a park in the city (Brechtel Park) starting in 2014 and needs support to get her business prepared for the work ahead.
I see she also sees this as public art, which I’d have to hear more about to understand I guess, but the goat grazing is by itself an idea that I can certainly support. Maybe you can too?
…To comment further on the public art point, I’d rather this be seen chiefly as a serious farming and open space issue that helps urban people see that livestock can safely serve many roles in the larger natural survival loop, even in our ordered urban environment.
Article 89 of the zoning code will create clarity and predictability for anyone interested in growing commercial food and creating farms in Boston. The development of Article 89 was made possible through the exploration of six research modules which were studied and discussed in depth throughout 2012 during monthly public Working Group meetings:
Soil safety, pesticides and fertilizers, and composting
Growing of produce and accessory structures
Rooftop and vertical agriculture
Hydroponics and aquaculture
Keeping of animals and bees
Farmers markets, winter markets, farm stands, and sales
The existing Boston zoning code does not address many types of agricultural activities. If an activity is not identified, it is considered a forbidden use and requires an appeal process through the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Article 89 will identify urban agricultural activities to improve Boston’s direct access to locally produced fresh food.
Why Urban Agriculture is Good for Boston:
Community based farms can bring people together, increasing cooperation, collaboration, and neighborhood building.
Urban agriculture improves access to affordable, fresh, and healthy food.
Urban farming provides an opportunity for Bostonians to learn how to grow food and empowers entrepreneurs to operate a farm right in the City.
Local farming can be an effective tool for empowering youth by teaching young people how to grow food and run a business.
Urban farming teaches us about using land wisely, which helps us grow our neighborhoods and communities in a positive and healthy way.
Farming in the city is good for the environment because it can reduce transportation costs and carbon emissions on the buyer and grower’s end.
Urban farming is a great way to get Bostonians excited about sustainability and “greenovation,” so that we can make this a cleaner, healthier city.
Urban Agriculture – Article 89 Quick Facts_tcm3-38477
One of the activities that the group has done at the Sustainability Conference in Cleveland is to tell the story of both personal and municipal transformation through moments lived and remembered. This is the earliest time period (1969-1989) on the personal transformation wall. This is another idea that food organizers may want to use when working with communities. How wonderful to ask them to think about how and and when healthy regional food became important to them.
The first of three public markets that I will be visiting this week across Ohio.http://www.findlaymarket.org/
An excellent piece on cities that are unsure of how to handle the explosion in the number of farmers markets, and by extension, small-scaled agriculture within city limits. There may be some correlation between cities that still operate markets themselves and how restrictive their rules are for other markets, but I’d hazard a guess that it has more to do with how they handle small business and open space as a whole. And how they view their relationship to the entire region.
In any case, it shows the need for markets and for all food organizers to realize early on that policy work is an essential part of their work. And for more legal and municipal templates for markets to be written and shared across the US. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the need to gather information on a market’s economic, social, intellectual and natural benefits to be able to make the case to cities about the positive impact of markets.
“Dallas is one city that has historically owned its own farmers’ market,” Sarah Perry, founder of White Rock Local Market, writes in an email. “This is important because it makes Dallas’ interests in ‘farmers’ markets’ a bit different than other cities.”
At first, residents at private markets believed that as long as they kept sites clean and orderly, they had no reason to think they were doing anything wrong. That held true for a while, but once officials realized that some of these markets were a going concern, they started hassling market organizers about permits. Dallas had no provision for a farmers’ market permit, however, and general “special events” permits were expensive and required police presence.
Another issue in Durham is minimum parking requirements. For smaller farmers, there’s only a requirement if the farmer wishes to set up any sort of permanent structure from which to sell their goods. In that case, they need to have at least one parking space. Which, more often than not, is going to require a curb cut, an expense most small farmers can’t afford.
This is a new Vietnamese-led growers initiative in New Orleans. I hope we begin to see more production cooperatives among farmers, especially urban and peri-urban farmers.
Why not adapt this style for current farmers market initiatives?
Jenga is the founder of Backyard Gardeners Network in Lower 9th Ward, raw food entrepreneur and in this video, is talking about her excellent work in the lower 9th ward section of New Orleans. Jenga’s garden will be on my Slow Food tour May 18th. If you believe in community food systems at their most collective and grassroots level, you may want to check her work out more and support her efforts:
This is one of my favorite pieces about New Orleans, written by Jenga as a response to a unworthy story by NYT about lower 9:
Jenga’s response to NYT
“Undoing racism in the food system requires more than good intentions. We must act, employing thoughtful strategies to attack polices and practices that uphold systemic racism. Additionally, and equally importantly, ridding ourselves of the internalized thinking associated with racism is a lifelong and intergenerational work. It requires a systematic process for learning about the social construct we call race, its history and various manifestations. Organizations in the food movement should hold mandatory, frequent, on-going anti-racism trainings. There are many good anti-racist trainers throughout the United States including DR Works, The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and Crossroads.
Finally, food movement organizations must do things differently. All organizations planning food security, food justice and food sovereignty conferences should include a track that addresses racism in the food system. Major national conferences should have several workshop offerings in the track.”
Vision is necessary for change.
We are very excited to invite you to participate in a Portland State University survey of organizations and businesses across the US and Canada involved in urban agriculture projects.
Urban agriculture is growing rapidly throughout North America, and we are interested to learn about the experiences of the organizations involved, as well as any obstacles they face. Municipalities have begun to craft new policies and regulations related to urban agriculture, and we hope that the information obtained from this study will help guide city planners and policymakers as they develop policies and programs that effectively meet the needs of practitioners.
This survey is intended for organizations and businesses, big or small, formal or informal, that are engaged in urban agriculture on any scale. The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete. Feel free to email us (email@example.com) or call Nathan McClintock at 503-725-4064 if you have any questions about the study.
We appreciate your time and interest. We’d also be grateful if you could forward this widely to your urban agriculture networks throughout the US and Canada – we know that there are many exciting urban agriculture initiatives that do not have a web presence, and we would like to hear from all the organizations that are doing this great work. Apologies in advance for cross-postings.
Follow this link to the Survey:
Good language in here for project proposals that involve taking student groups to farms and gardens. That the number of children involved in creative outdoor activities fell so quickly is shocking and can be addressed by activities that markets organize. Also, how access to nature can be a creative stimulant for later learning could also be the basis of your project for your targeted market day activities.
The remarkable collapse of children’s engagement with nature – which is even faster than the collapse of the natural world – is recorded in Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods, and in a report published recently by the National Trust. Since the 1970s the area in which children may roam without supervision has decreased by almost 90%. In one generation the proportion of children regularly playing in wild places in the UK has fallen from more than half to fewer than one in 10. In the US, in just six years (1997-2003) children with particular outdoor hobbies fell by half. Eleven- to 15-year-olds in Britain now spend, on average, half their waking day in front of a screen.
In her famous essay the Ecology of Imagination in Childhood, Edith Cobb proposed that contact with nature stimulates creativity. Reviewing the biographies of 300 “geniuses”, she exposed a common theme: intense experiences of the natural world in the middle age of childhood (between five and 12). Animals and plants, she contended, are among “the figures of speech in the rhetoric of play … which the genius in particular of later life seems to recall”.
Studies in several nations show that children’s games are more creative in green places than in concrete playgrounds. Natural spaces encourage fantasy and roleplay, reasoning and observation. The social standing of children there depends less on physical dominance, more on inventiveness and language skills. Perhaps forcing children to study so much, rather than running wild in the woods and fields, is counter-productive.