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Stepping Up Urban Food in South Korea

Touch the Soil News #1122 (Feature photo – Many parks in Korea are used for urban farming – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) Gyeonggi Province in South Korea is upping the game when it comes to urban farming. According to the Korea Bizwire, there were 552,000 people engaged in urban farming. It is interesting to see where these city people are growing food. About 48 percent farmed community spaces. 33 percent farmed in parks, 9 percent farmed at schools and 5 percent farmed at senior centers. One of the big concerns in Asia is the safety of industrial food. Has food in America strayed too far from its roots? Want More?…

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Go Marcy Kaptur

Touch the Soil News #799 (Feature photo courtesy of Marcy Kaptur) Never heard of Marcy Kaptur? Well, most folks have not. However, Marcy holds the distinction of being the longest running woman representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. In office since 1983 (34 years), Marcy is introducing a new kind of agricultural bill. Called the Urban Agriculture Production Act of 2017 (H.R. Bill #3699), the Bill intends to help create the next generation of local, urban farmers and food producers. At the heart of the legislation is to attack the food-security erosion in much of America – often found in what is termed “food deserts”. As a preface to…

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Urban Agriculture – It’s Big

Touch the Soil News #766 (feature photo – courtesy of FAO) According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FA0), a division of the United Nations, 800 million people worldwide practice urban agriculture. These urban agriculture efforts account for roughly 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food supply. The FAO sees urban agriculture as reaching far beyond just vegetables to include small animal agriculture (rabbits, goats, sheep, dwarf cattle, pigs, guinea pigs and fish). Urban agriculture includes trees for fruit and fuel wood. Small garden plots can be up to 15 times more productive than rural holdings. The FAO is working to expand the recognition of urban agriculture as an…

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Seeds of Change

Touch the Soil News #760 (feature photo – Downtown New York – Alex Proimos CC SA 2.0) The history of New York City is the epitome of paving and urbanizing farmland. Since its founding in 1624, New York City and its surrounding metro areas have grown. Today, New York City proper has a population of 8.5 million people. The larger New York City metropolitan area has 23.7 million people. Originally, New York was the lands of the Algonquain Indians, which sold the island of Manhattan in 1626 to Peter Minuit. Minuit was charged with building of the New Netherland for the Dutch. A few days ago, New York councilman -…

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Developing New Farmers

Touch the Soil News #724 (Feature Photo – Kimball Musk – cofounder of Square Roots, and brother of Elon Musk of Tesla – CC SA 3.0 GNU Free Doc License) For years, the USDA has been publishing statistics that farmers are getting older and the children are not coming home to the farm. Many young people, who are not farmers, do want to come home to the farm, just not the industrial farm in the hinterlands. Welcome to Square Roots. It’s a company dedicated to cultivating new farmers. Only these new farmers do not have a farming background, they are staying in the city and their getting set up into…

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Is Shipping Container Farming for You?

Touch the Soil News #711 (photo courtesy of Alescalife) Chinese startup Alescalife is promoting shipping container farming. Their business model is to create and sell what they call the EDN (Every Day Nutrition). They refer to the EDN as the all-in-one solution optimized for growers of every size. Alescalife boasts that its shipping container farms can be operated by one person working about 2 hours a day. The farm comes with a one-year guarantee. The company does not publish a price. Alescalife recently came into the news because of the enormous agricultural problems China has. Estimates are that one fifth of farmland in China is compromised by chemicals and toxins.…

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Kelp4Less News – Discovering the Mega-Trends for You

Touch the Soil News #707 (photo – Kelp4Less News Editor Benjamin Gisin) For those of you familiar with our news postings, you know we cut a broad swath as relates to happenings in the food chain. We are now well into our third year of publishing the “News” page. During this time, we are keen to discover trends. Following are three (3) mega-trends we see unfolding that may have relevance to what you are doing: Food tremors (when things go wrong in the food chain) are increasing in size and number. There are two main reasons for this. 1) The financial world has pushed the industrial food chain into a…

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Urban Agriculture is Getting More Popular

Touch the Soil News #606 (feature photo courtesy of Groundwork Sommerville) The state of Massachusetts today announced $108,266 in grants to five projects through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Urban Agriculture Program to support growing the emerging urban agriculture sector and provide city residents access to fresh food. Last year the state awarded more than $160,000 for urban agriculture projects. Following are the 2017 recipients. It gives you an idea of what the State of Massachusetts wants to bring to its cities:   City of Boston, – $ 40,000 To increase the capacity of Boston’s urban farming network, the City of Boston will utilize funds to transform five…

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Walk Away from Wall Street?

Touch the Soil News #573 (Feature photo – courtesy of Oakland Avenue Urban Farm – Detroit) While much of the steam over Occupy Wall Street has diminished, one wonders: Why we should occupy Wall Street? Wall Street is where the debts of the world are traded and where stock traders try to extract as much as they can from the employees of the world’s largest companies. While it has no official name, there are many trends emerging that – in practice – are definitely in the realm of “Walk Away from Wall Street.” Take for example the recent surge in residents – connected to the New York City Housing Authority…

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Urban Farming News Round Up

Touch the Soil News #503 Urban U-Pick Orchard:     Core Orchards Detroit has a vision to create an 11-acre urban U-Pick apple orchard. The state of Michigan is home to hundreds of apple orchards, but not one in Detroit. The non-profit has raised more than $400,000 for the community-oriented project. While there are a number of hoops to still jump through, other area organizations are joining forces to make it happen. An artist’s rendering of the planned U-Pick apple orchard in Detroit (photo courtesy of Wolverine Human Services). Growing Community Gardens:     Washington D.C. is celebrating the growth of community gardens within its municipal boundaries. From barely a few gardens 10 years ago,…

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