Posted on

Cuba – The World’s Leader in Small Urban Farming and Food

Touch the Soil News #1133 (Feature photo – Cuba Coat of Arms – public domain) Cuba has a national local food system called the Municipal Self-Supply Plan. The plan organizes the production and delivery of 30 pounds of grains, fruits and vegetables (per person) every month. The system received praise from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. You can read the full report here: https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=34260&SEO=cuba-world-s-largest-experience-in-urban-agriculture-fao-says Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

Read more

Posted on

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?…

Read more

Posted on

Is Urban Farming a Must for our Future?

Touch the Soil News #915 (Feature photo – MUFI Logo – CCA SA 4.0 International License) Lorraine Chow from EcoWatch just published an article that takes the importance of urban farming to the next level – it’s a cornerstone of the future of food. She quotes the Thompson Reuters Foundation which concludes that “urban farms” could supply almost the entire recommended consumption of vegetables for city dwellers, while cutting food waste and reducing emissions from the transportation of agricultural products. Chow also cites Dr. David Suzuki who explains the story of one patch of Detroit – where 12 vacant houses were removed to grow food. This plot has supplied almost…

Read more

Posted on

Seedling Farm – Quiet Social Revolution

Touch the Soil News #865 (Feature photo – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) The South Dallas area of Dallas, Texas is known for its poverty and lack of access to healthy food. It is considered one of the largest food deserts in the U.S. Folks in the South Dallas area are trying to lift themselves up by the bootstraps through an urban farming initiative. Called the Seedling Farm, here is how it works: Meet with a seedling farm manager to discuss your situation and resources. Select the best types of plants for your project. The selected seeds will be started at the seedling farm until they are ready to replant. You…

Read more

Posted on

New York City is Concerned About Raising Food?

Touch the Soil News #848 (Feature photo – Bernie Sanders (left) with Rafael Espinal – photo courtesy of Rafeal Espinal) The New York City Council is considering a bill – proposed by Rafael Espinal – to develop a comprehensive urban agriculture plan. Wow, a city of 8.5 million people where there is an average of one person every 1,000 square feet. While it sounds quite far out, the point is that there is a lot of sentiment that the industrial food system has too many problems to fix. People have to fix it from the ground up. In specifics, the law proposed by Rafael Espinal seeks to establish a comprehensive…

Read more

Posted on

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…

Read more

Posted on

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…

Read more

Posted on

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 -…

Read more

Posted on

Urban Food Systems – A New Cornerstone of Urban Infrastructure

Touch the Soil News #754 (feature photo – Joe Mabel – CC SA 3.0) As many of the stories we cover reveal, connecting with urban food (agriculture) is as much about other benefits as it is about the direct food benefit. We are all familiar with the policy directives of the national government through the USDA – ditto for other governments as well. This “centralized” policymaking approach to the world’s food systems is slowly being challenged by Municipal (city) efforts to establish their own food policies. Toronto, Canada has one of the most advanced and mature Food Policy Councils. The 30-member councils is free to be creative in bringing urban…

Read more

Posted on

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…

Read more