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Community Gardening Mania hits Singapore (It’s a family activity)

PocketFarms

Touch the Soil News #748 (feature photo – Children learn to grow food at Pocket Greens – photo courtesy of Pocket Greens) Singapore is a City-State (its own little country) on the far Southern tip of the Asian Continent. Surprisingly its primary language is English and the small nation has a land area of only 178,000 acres and a population of 5.6 million people. Singapore has one of the highest standards of living in the world – ranked 3rd globally. In 2005, the nation through its National Parks department launched a “Community in Bloom” initiative. The goal was to turn much of the city into a garden. Fast forward to today…

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Community Food – An Emerging Economic Model

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Touch the Soil News #726 (feature photo – CC SA 4.0) In Brazil, the term “favela” stands for slum. Our feature photo shows U.S. President Obama a few years back visiting a favela within the city of Rio de Janeiro called “Cidade de Deus (City of God). Rio is a city of 6.5 million people nestled within a larger metro area of 12.5 million people. Even though Rio ranks among the world’s top metropolises, over 40 percent of the people there live in poverty. The economic blight in Rio is not restricted to cities in Brazil – but the whole world to varying degrees. Over the past few years, the…

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On the Edge – Re-inventing Food

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Touch the Soil News #692 (photo courtesy of Lawrence Community Garden) Federal Government finances seem to always be a few months away from shutdown. But economic shuttering in many areas of the U.S. has become a stark reality. The small town of Lawrence, Indiana, which is on the edge of the Indianapolis metropolitan area of some 2.5 million people, just happens have some of the largest food deserts in America. A food desert is an area where robust finances, food stores and many jobs have left the scene. In response to the situation, the Lawrence Community Gardens was born. It is not your typical community garden in that there are…

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The Emerging Concept of “Civic Food”

ToledoGrows

Touch the Soil News #684 (feature photo by Vicki Johnson – Rita Wienken checks over new greenhouse plants with assistant farmer Aaron Lucius) Civic Food is trend which has emerged out of our modern culture – a culture riddled with issues. Civic Food is a trend that was born out of necessity to address: Erosion of peoples’ connection with food and adequate nutrition. Economic needs that the financial world can’t reach. Food insecurity. Erosion of community cohesiveness. Youth at risk. Inadequate access to learning job skills.   The list could go on, but the reality is that the idea of “civic food” (working together as a group to feed ourselves and…

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Farm Lot 59 – What’s the Message?

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Touch the Soil News #643 (feature photo courtesy of Farm Lot 59) In 1881, in what is now known as Long Beach, California, the city’s early founders identified a 4,000 acre area to create a new town. Of this land, 300 acres was carved out for the city portion and the other 3,700 acres were divided into 20 acre small farms numbered from 1 through 185. Farm Lot #59 is the last remaining plot that has not been urbanized. Owned by the city of Long Beach, Farm Lot 59 has been leased to Long Beach Local – a nonprofit that now oversees the operations of Farm Lot 59 as a…

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A 400-Year Agriculture Cycle?

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Touch the Soil News #560 (Feature photo – early Americans harvesting peaches in Delaware) Native Americans in the early 1600s – in what is now called the State of Delaware – planted corn, beans and squash before the first Dutch settlers arrived in 1631. Swedish settlers who arrived in 1638 established the raising of food as the cornerstone of survival and economics. They raised wheat, barley, Indian corn, peas, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle for meat and milk. Delaware is technically the first state of America’s original 13 states. It was the first to ratify the Constitution of the United States. As the colonies evolved and a new nation was…

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