Seedstock “Grow Riverside” Conference to Provide Template for Cities Developing Urban Sustainable AgricultureDecember 11, 2013 | seedstock
If you are an elected official, county supervisor, council member, city manager, planning director, community development director or finance director looking to bring the budding concept of local sustainable agriculture to your community, “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” is the conference to attend!
The event, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, 2014, will feature keynote speakers Dr. Glenda Humiston, California director for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and Val Dolcini, California executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
When Ross Cordio and Elias Kolsun started Bloombrick Urban Agriculture in Cambridge, Massachusetts six months ago they shared a common vision.
“We both really wanted to do something that was going to help the community and, at the same time, something that was new and cutting edge,” says Cordio.
Cordio and Kolsun became enamored with urban agriculture models like rooftop gardening and vertical farming, but wanted to approach their journey into urban agriculture gradually.
While many large cities are successfully implementing urban agriculture initiatives, smaller towns often lack the knowledge, direction and financial resources they need to get started. The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative aims to remedy this issue.
The program was launched in 2012 by community tourism and development firm Advent GX to help spur economic and community development in the small, historic town of Bryan, Texas. The program seeks to achieve this goal by converting vacant space into urban farms and gardens, operating in partnership with the Downtown Bryan Association.
How can cities leverage unused agricultural land to increase the supply of locally available and create new jobs and farmers? What small scale urban agriculture solutions are bearing fruit? Is it possible to create an economically viable farming business on one or two acres of land? How can the USDA help? What are innovators in the sustainable urban agriculture space doing? What policy needs to be put into place to facilitate an active agricultural economy in a city and on its fringes?
These and other questions will be the focus of Seedstock’s upcoming Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond! conference, which is set to take place on March 19 – 20 at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, CA. The event will feature urban agriculture innovators, key policy makers, nutrition experts, and investors, who will partake in a two-day, outcomes-based conference to examine solutions to help cities, Riverside in this particular case, to galvanize their citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders around the economic opportunities that can result from employing sustainable urban agriculture.
Seedstock “Grow Riverside” Conference to Examine Economic, Community Benefits of Local Urban AgricultureNovember 21, 2013 | seedstock
News Release: Riverside, CA – November 21, 2013 – Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!, slated for Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, 2014, will reconnect the City of Riverside to its agricultural roots as well as provide a template for other cities interested in identifying the economic and community advantages of local sustainable farming.
The objectives of the conference, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will define opportunities for food production within Riverside’s environs, explore solutions to sustainably increase local food in an economically viable manner, and develop practical next steps to leverage the area’s rich agricultural assets.
“One of society’s burgeoning challenges is the need to establish local, sustainable food sources,” said Seedstock co-founder and Grow Riverside event organizer, Robert Puro. “The conference seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture by uniting citizens, growers, advocates, government officials, and other major stakeholders to forge new partnerships and, ultimately, develop creative solutions to building and expanding local urban agriculture.”
Global competition in the automotive industry that began in the 1970s has resulted in catastrophic job loss, economic decline, depopulation, and elevated crime for Flint, Michigan over the past several decades. So now, the once thriving company town is looking to redefine itself by utilizing the city’s vacant land as an asset to support a new, sustainable economy based on urban agriculture.
What was once a vacant lot in the heart of San Francisco is now a 3/4-acre urban farm bridging the gap between production and consumption.
“I think making sustainable agriculture visible and accessible within city limits is an important tool for education and awareness about the larger movement of small scale farming,” says Little City Gardens co-founder and head farmer Caitlyn Galloway.
Galloway’s fellow co-founder Brooke Budner first decided to start an urban garden in 2007 after spotting an overgrown abandoned lot from her rooftop. By the time Galloway and Budner met in 2008, Budner had already created a thriving garden on the spot. The two women began gardening together and eventually developed the vision and business plan for Little City Gardens.
Hydroponic Urban Farm Provides Year-Round Supply of Healthy, Organic Produce to Massachusetts Mill TownOctober 15, 2013 | Jenny Smiechowski
Hidden within Durfee Union Mills Building, a historic textile mill complex in Fall River, Massachusetts, lies a hydroponic haven dedicated to providing fresh, organic produce to the local community.
S&S’s Urban Acres is a family-run operation which formed around the notion that people should have access to safe, healthy, pesticide-free food. More specifically, the Squillante family started the farm because they realized that the nutrient-void, chemical-laden food they were eating was making them and millions of other people sick.
“There was a sickness in the family that led us to look into what is really in our food,” said Brad Dean, Urban Acres’ President and Operations Manager, “We soon realized that many vegetables we were eating could cause health problems.” Dean is the son of Greg Squillante, the owner of the Durfee Mills Union Building. The Squillante family owns about 30 small businesses in the building including Urban Acres.