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Urban Homesteading

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Self-sufficiency in the city.

Homesteading is broadly defined as a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency. The sustainable, back-to-the-land movement is gaining popularity in urban areas, where applicable rural homesteading elements are being applied to city living. In theory, most people are into the idea of producing everything needed for survival on one's own land. While this isn't realistic for most of......read more

Hungry for Change

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Can foodies save the environmental movement?

It seems like one step forward, two steps back for the environmental movement these days. The once-high hopes of achieving national and/or international action on climate change have faded to a mere memory. Backward-thinking Republicans are attacking the Environmental Protection Agency in Congress. Eco-minded folks are getting bummed. But another movement, one that shares a common ethos with......read more

Urban Gardening: Best Backyard Chicken Breeds

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Which feathered friends make great garden helpers?

Getting your first backyard chicken is a big step, one of life's key milestones rivaled only by losing your virginity and getting your first car. So you better go in prepared. With spring around the corner, fuzzy chicks are showing up at pet and feed stores, waiting for someone to take them to their new backyard homes. With amazing names like Black Austrolorps and Buff Orpingtons, how do you know......read more

Plants Conquer Vacant Lots

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596 Acres aims to transform unused public space, in Brooklyn and beyond

In Brooklyn alone, there are 596 acres of vacant land just sitting there gathering garbage and gravel. Imagine if that was all green space, growing plants for food and providing parks for BK denizens. That's precisely the vision of 596 Acres, a public project which encourages people to connect with empty lots in the city. The group's actions range from guerrilla seed bombing to pushing for......read more

BrightFarms Brings Rooftop Produce to Supermarkets

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NYC company wants grocery stores to raise on the roof

By standard definition, "local food" is that which is produced within 100 miles of where it's sold. BrightFarms wants you to forget that. The New York-based greenhouse company aims to shift our understanding of local-ness by bringing rooftop gardens to the place where consumers buy food: the supermarket. Launched in January 2011, BrightFarms' vision is to convince grocery retailers to grow......read more

In London, a Farm in a Shop

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FARM:shop is a radical experiment in retail and urban farming

At an empty storefront in East London, a group of designers led by the crew from Something & Son have opened what must be the world's first farm in a shop. The disused shop has been transformed into productive urban farm with hydroponic and aquaponic plants, a backyard garden, a rooftop chicken coop, and tilapia in the front room. Meanwhile, the bottom floor dishes out......read more

Hell's Kitchen Farm Project

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NYC farming program uses church roof to grow fresh produce

Hallelujah! A baptist church in a neglected Manhattan neighbourhood has entered the urban farming game, with a 1,000 square foot rooftop garden that's producing abundant fruit and veg for the church's busy food pantry. Located in Hell's Kitchen between the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Lincoln Tunnel, the Metro Baptist Church is as far removed from rural farm life as it gets. But with......read more

Authors Ignite Debate About Local Food

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Does the locavore movement do more harm than good? A new book sows seeds of discontent

Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu say they know what’s wrong with the food system: local food purists. In their new book, The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet, the husband-and-wife team (a University of Toronto geography professor and an economist) argue that the excitement over this movement is misguided to the point of having “utterly disastrous”......read more

Brooklyn Grange Celebrates First Rooftop Harvest

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Take a first look at the massive, 43,000 square-foot farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Brooklyn Grange, the rooftop farming operation that launched in Long Island City a couple years ago, celebrated its first harvest at its new site, a 43,000 square-foot rooftop farm in Brooklyn -- now the largest such farm in NYC.   Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the rooftop farm was financed in part by a $592,730 grant from the DEP's Green Infrastructure Grant Program. Mayor......read more

Orbiting Garden by Garden Fresh Farms

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City bus-sized urban farming contraption can produce 50 pounds of basil a day

Imagine a sustainable farm that is about the size of a city bus and is capable of producing fifty pounds of basil per day. Not only is that possible, you could help make it a reality in your community. Garden Fresh Farms is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based sustainable agriculture company that is trying to raise funds to build more of their Orbiting Gardens. Their Kickstarter......read more

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