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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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food access

Eight Acre Urban Farm in Baltimore Provides Foundation for Self-supporting Local Food System

September 19, 2016 |
real-food-farm-hoop-house-growing-inside-hoop-house

A hoop house that is part of the eight acre Real Food Farm urban farming operation in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of Civic Works.

To combat food access challenges and build community, eight acres in and around Baltimore’s Clifton Park have been transformed into Real Food Farm.

After two years of research and fund development, the farm harvested its first crop in 2010. Since then, the farm has produced thousands of pounds of food for distribution across Baltimore’s food deserts.

Chrissy Goldberg, Food and Farm Director for Civic Works, the nonprofit that oversees Real Food Farm, said more than 13,000 pounds of food have been distributed between January and August 2016. One of the primary methods of distribution is the Mobile Farmers Market program.

“The goal is to strengthen Baltimore communities,” Goldberg said. “We’re a little more nuanced, we believe in local and sustainable. We’re promoting a local food system that can support itself.” Read More

LAST DAY to Purchase Discounted Early Bird Tickets for Seedstock’s ‘Future of Urban Food Systems’ Conference

September 16, 2016 |

early bird registrationToday is the LAST DAY to obtain Early Bird discounted registration tickets for the upcoming Grow Local OC: Future of Urban Food Systems Conference presented by Seedstock in partnership with the OC Food Access Coalition. Scheduled for Nov. 10 – 11, 2016, at California State University, Fullerton (Hosted by U-ACRE), the conference will explore the community and economic development potential of fostering local food systems in cities. Read More

Library Seeks to Establish Generations of Seed Shepherds

September 13, 2016 |
David King, founder and chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA). Photo Credit: Karen Briner.

David King, founder and chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA). Photo Credit: Karen Briner.

David King grew up in Kansas where, despite being very poor, his family ate very well because they grew their own food on his grandfather’s three acres. This was where David got his first taste of seed saving.

As founder and chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA), David’s been committed to teaching others how to save seeds. He says he was spurred into action to start the library in 2010, when the Obama administration approved GMO sugar beets.

“It was just too much,” he says. “I lost it.”

So on a cold, drizzly day in December of 2010, he held the first meeting of SLOLA. About 45 people showed up, more than he had expected, and 15 of the people who attended that first meeting are still active members today. As stated on their website, SLOLA was founded with the idea of enabling all who live in the Los Angeles area to have access to nutritious, pesticide-free, non-GMO food. Read More

Urban Farming and Food Access Org Grows Hope and Food in Ypsilanti, Michigan

August 24, 2016 |
Growing Hope trainees receiving wisdom from community gardeners. Photo courtesy of Growing Hope.

Growing Hope trainees receiving wisdom from community gardeners. Photo courtesy of Growing Hope.

Unbeknownst to the tens of thousands of students and professionals who pour into Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan yearly is that many of the citizens who call Ypsilanti home live in food desert — approximately one in three lives below the poverty line, and car ownership is low. Yet hope has come to this community in the guise of a seemingly unassuming converted 1930s farmhouse that harbors an educational powerhouse for the community in its backyard.

From its 1.4-acre site, the 501(c)3 organization Growing Hope operates hoop houses, a number of farmers’ markets, organizes more than 700 volunteers annually, works with state-run organizations and advocates on a national level to support and strengthen farmers’ markets. Read More

Vacant Lot Turned Urban Farm Transforms Community, Increases Food Access

August 24, 2016 |
The Growing Experience Photo Credit: Maria Hsin

The Growing Experience (TGE) is a seven-acre urban farm in North Long Beach that is located on a previously vacant lot. Photo Credit: Maria Hsin

On a recent Friday morning, eggs, figs and other vegetables and fruits were being placed on the back of a small truck destined to be sold at a farm stand in the parking lot outside of the Senior housing block in the Carmelitos Public Housing Community in Long Beach, CA. The produce was grown on site at The Growing Experience (TGE), a seven-acre urban farm in North Long Beach that is located on a previously vacant lot that is part of the same housing complex.  

The TGE urban farm is unique in that it is owned and operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), which manages 3,229 units of public and other affordable housing for the county’s Public Housing program. Read More