Posts Tagged ‘food security’

Meals on (Bicycle) Wheels: One part of a smart sustainable community system

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 27th, 2012

Source: Nourishing the Planet: Worldwatch Institute

From “Santropol Roulant: A Leaner, Greener Meals on Wheels” by Phillip Newell:

Santropol Roulant (Santropol is community, roulant means rolling in French) is an [intergenerational] organization providing healthy, sustainable meals to homebound Montreal citizens. Instead of relying on fossil-fuel powered cars like traditional Meals-on-Wheels, this group delivers with a more carbon-friendly option—bicycles.

But eliminating petrochemicals from their delivery routes wasn’t enough for the organization, so the group hired Natural Step (a non-profit sustainability research and education group) to help them further reduce their environmental impact. This is accomplished through Eco-Challenge, which is an action plan designed by Natural Step to help Santropol Roulant become even more sustainable.

Taking their organization’s sustainability two steps further than biking to deliver meals to the disadvantaged, Santropol Roulant grows a variety of fruits and vegetables on an organic rooftop garden, and recycle their food waste in the basement through vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is using worms to help decompose food waste for compost. That compost can be distributed to urban farmers who are starting their own backyard or roof-top gardens.

In addition to using a low-emission transportation source, Santropol Roulant also sponsors a community bike shop, where it educates local residents about maintenance and repairs.

[…]

Read the original article by Phillip Newell for Nourishing the Planet.

 


Urban Agriculture: Designing for growing food

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 12th, 2012


Photo © Eagle Street Farm

From “Urban Agriculture Part II: Designing Out the Distance” by Vanessa Quirk on ArchDaily:

All over the world, citizens are taking the Food Revolution into their own hands, becoming urban bee-keepers, guerilla planters, rooftop gardeners, foodie activists. While community engagement and political lobbying are vital to these grassroots movements, so too could be design. By designing our cities – our public and civic spaces, our hospitals and schools – with food in mind, we can facilitate this Revolution by making food a visible part of urban life, thus allowing us to take that crucial first step: eliminating the physical/conceptual distance between us and our food.

What does it look like to design with food in mind?

[…]

Read the full article by Vanessa Quirk to get the bigger picture and follow the embedded links to a wide range of urban agriculture projects.


Solutions for a Hungry World: AlertNet

Posted in Opinion, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 14th, 2012

AlertNet have released a special report “Hungry World“.  We heard about it via Nourishing the Planet, who featured the article “Top 10 Food Trailblazers”  in their newsletter recently.  The report includes articles on a range of issues to be considered when we think of feeding the world in 2050, such as Africa feeding the world; Growing food in cities; Land grabbing for food security, and food commodities speculation.  As well as the articles, the report also features a “package” of videos and a series of blogs.  It’s all too much to try and include here, so follow the links and explore!

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/multimedia/in-focus/hungry-world/

 

 

 


FeedToronto: A vision for growing food in public spaces

Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 7th, 2012


© Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Karen May, Denise Pinto, Jameson Skaife

FEED TORONTO: GROWING THE HYDROFIELDS is a prize-winning design proposal by students in the Masters of Architecture and Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Awards:

  • 2011 Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence
  • Finalist, ONE PRIZE Mowing to Growing Competition, 2010

Designers: Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Karen May, Denise Pinto and Jameson Skaife

“The hydro corridors of Toronto are sprawling lengths of continuous, mostly vacant land. They are unusual terrain: both physically sparse but culturally intense. Stippled with electrical towers, planted in acres of mowed grass, they hold the promise of light, energy, and power. They have immense cultural equity, but with an underwhelming physical existence. Rather than pursuing the transformation of a complex network of privatized lawn landscape to create productive greenspace, this project takes on the proposition of finding the greatest and most immediate place for urban agriculture by using public lands. Growing hydro corridors can be done across North America, as they are a staple of most cities. If made into a standard this practice would not only circumvent the need for the buy-in of countless individual land owners, it would also also align the ground of the site with its significance as a place of energy production—this time through food. FeedToronto is proposed as a force of fiscal, ecological and social productivity. It re-imagines over 6,000 acres of mowed lawn as an abundant urban green that generates affordable, nutritious, local food.” From the submission

Read about the project and see more images on the Adams-Masoud site:

http://www.adams-masoud.com/index.php?/projects/feed-toronto-growing-the-hydro-fields/


The Foodprint Challenge: Sydney Workshops

Posted in Events, Movements by Jessica Bird on March 29th, 2012

From The Nature Conservation Council of NSW via What’s On: City of Sydney.

The Nature Conservation Council strongly believes in access to fresh, nutritious, safe and sustainable food for all. Supported by the City of Sydney, the ‘Foodprint Challenge’ aims to work within, promote and help develop the thriving sustainable food industry and growing green food movement that is developing across Sydney.

The Foodprint Challenge invites residents of the City of Sydney local government area to take part in our FREE workshop series. Aspiring locavores should come along to our next workshop: Food miles and growing your own produce. And if you’re keen to find out more about where to buy your food, the workshop on 3 May is for you, where we will launch our ‘Green Food Shopping Guide’ for the central Sydney region.

WORKSHOP 2
FOOD MILES AND GROWING YOUR OWN PRODUCE
Wednesday 4 April 6.30 – 8.30pm
Redfern Community Centre
Guest speaker Jared Ingersoll, Danks Street Depot and author of Slow Food
Discover more about how you can reduce your impact on the environment and climate change, and meet others who are trying to do the same.

WORKSHOP 3
SUSTAINABLE FOOD SHOPPING IN THE CITY OF SYDNEY
Thursday 3 May 6.30 – 8.30pm
Redfern Community Centre
Guest speaker Adam Taylor, Alfalfa House
Gain an overview of the ever expanding network of environmentally conscious food suppliers and providers in the city of Sydney, and be the one of the first to own the Sydney ‘Green Food Guide’.

Bookings are essential and can be made at http://www.nccnsw.org.au/foodprint_register


Goulburn Valley Food Hub: Food sovereignty film night

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 20th, 2012


Photo via Studio Osk

You are invited to a film / discussion evening in Sydney on 30 March, hosted by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.

We’ll be showing two short films. One is called Growing Change, and is about food sovereignty movements in Venezuela. For more info see: http://www.simoncunich.com.au/

The second is Food Fight and tells the story of workers in small-town Victoria trying to collectivise their closed-down tomato factory. For more info see Friends of Goulburn Valley Food Hub on facebook or check out the proposed Food Hub design by Studio Osk.

It’s going to be a great night. After the films we’ll have a group discussion with a few people there to answer questions including the makers of the films and some other folks involved in food sovereignty campaigns in Sydney and elsewhere.

A facebook event has been created: https://www.facebook.com/events/259945067424956/.  Please RSVP to the event at this email growingchangesydney@gmail.com

March 30, 6:30pm
AMWU office, 136 Chalmers Street (near Central), Sydney

Entry: By donation; some food will be available


Smart Low-Tech Designs: Improving harvest yield and storage

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on January 11th, 2012

This week Nourishing the Planet TV showcases some of the work that Compatible Technology International is doing to help farmers preserve or process their crops to reduce loss:

“In its effort to alleviate poverty and hunger in the developing world, Compatible Technology International (CTI) designs, builds, and distributes affordable post-harvest tools—such as a cool storage shed and food processing grinder—for rural farmers in the developing world. CTI’s devices can help farmers process, store, and sell their crops.

While many organizations are focused on improved seeds, access to fertilizers, and irrigation to improve crop yields, relatively few are focused on post-harvest improvements. But many poor farmers live on yields from a hectare or less of land and getting the maximum benefit from those yields can make up the difference between abject poverty and a livable income.

CTI’s technologies are scaled to fit the needs of small villages, families, coops, and micro-businesses. Extra attention is paid to developing safe, affordable, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and culturally compatible devices in the hope that they will be more widely adopted and facilitate lasting change in poor farming communities. CTI encourages craftsmen and entrepreneurs in and around these communities to build and sell their devices, reducing dependence on outside assistance once the technology has been adopted.” Matt Styslinger

The episode is essentially taken from an article published by Matt Styslinger for NtP in June last year, so you can choose between reading the full article or watching the synopsis.


FoodPool: Re-distribution at the neighbourhood scale

Posted in Models, Movements, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on November 18th, 2011

Via  City Harvest


Photo by T Gibbison via flickr CC

About FoodPool:

Our backyards are home to a wealth of gardens and fruit trees, many of which bear more produce than the gardener can consume, or more at one time than is desired. Often people end up with piles of unwanted zucchini, plums falling off trees to rot on the ground, peas that grow old and hard before they can be picked and shelled, and other garden produce that goes to waste. At FoodPool, we see the “problem” of excess garden abundance as an opportunity! It is an opportunity to help provide those in need with fresh, ripe, homegrown produce. The only obstacle lies in linking growers with their hungry neighbors.

Our answer is FoodPooling. Our mission is to create small, local groups to gather backyard garden produce and deliver it to food banks and food pantries. These “FoodPools” are modeled on carpools – neighborhood based, easy to set up, and a big win for everyone involved! By creating numerous small, local groups, we feed our neighbors while strengthening our communities.

Through the influence of people like Michelle Obama, Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and many others, more and more people are returning to growing fruits and vegetables in their yards. At the same time, due to a host of factors, there is an ever increasing number of Americans going hungry, eating food of questionable nutritional value, and without access to quality produce. Now more than ever there is a real need for a garden produce donation program on a national scale – hence, FoodPool.

There are already groups gleaning produce in various places – groups whose work we heartily applaud. What makes FoodPool different from existing organizations that gather and donate fruit and/or vegetables is our goal of actively building a network of new gleaning groups in places where they don’t already exist. We seek to spread the notion of assisting the hungry with backyard produce through promotion of this FoodPool “brand” on a national scale.

Find out more on the FoodPool website.


Planting a Stormwater-Fed Food Forest in the City

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 24th, 2011


The site in May 2009.


Two years later.

From “Suburban Dryland Forest Garden” on Permacultureglobal:

I love the forest, but I live in the city. Since I don’t get to the wildlands nearly enough, my goal has been to create an edible forest throughout the city where I live.  To me, it only makes sense to grow food where people live, and since a gargantuan number of people live in cities, it’s due time to get urban food systems established. Having worked in large scale annual agriculture I’m much more inclined to grow food in the semblance of a perennial forest. […]

There were many challenges to contend with for this garden. First was a mature black walnut that succumbed to thousand canker disease.  The city required that the tree be taken down as soon as possible to stem the spread of the disease.[…]

We sheet mulched this area heavily, up to 18 inches in places, as adding organic matter is reportedly the best way to lock-up and break down allelopathic chemicals [from the black walnut]. We used cardboard from the local bike shop to smother the bluegrass lawn, cow manure from a local ranch for fertility, leaves the client had collected over the years, and cast-off strawbales. The soil is now a nicely assimilated, dark and crumbly consistency. We harvested the runoff from nearly half of the house roof surface to gravity feed through four infiltration basins as the sole irrigation source. While most landscapes in Boulder are over-irrigated with municipally treated water, this garden harvests almost 10,000 gallons of rainwater annually to passively infiltrate into the soil, requiring zero municipal water post establishment. […]

We mulched the basins heavily with woodchips from a local tree trimmer to absorb the rainwater, reduce evaporation, and to prevent creating mosquito breeding habitat. Previously the water ran down the driveway and into the street only to evaporate in summer or ice up in winter. After three months of hand irrigation for plant establishment this garden now thrives strictly on harvested rainwater. After first digging the water harvesting earthworks, then planting the trees and shrubs, and following with sheet mulch, we planted various other useful plant species for nitrogen fixation, nutrient accumulation, pest confusion, and beneficial insect attraction. Most of the species have edible or medicinal qualities as well. […]

The growth in this garden is fantastic, and even better the homeowner has become a sincere advocate for rainwater harvesting and forest gardening. It has been two years since the garden was installed and it is encouraging to see the abundant results of needing no irrigation, producing food, creating wildlife habitat, being a great place to bring students, and simply being beautiful. This garden is an awesome place to eat, observe, and be! The scale of the garden is only 750 sq. ft. and is therefore easily and affordably replicated. With extremely low maintenance and no continuous irrigation cost, this garden has attracted other city dwellers to extend the edible forest ecosystem to other yards and neighborhoods. Perhaps the greatest yield from this garden is the food forest revolution that it has inspired!

Read the full article (including plant details) on Permacultureglobal.com


Capital Bee: Supporting Beekeeping in London

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on September 15th, 2011

Capital Bee promotes community-run beekeeping in London and campaigns for a bee-friendly city.

The heart of Capital Bee is its seven training sites across the capital, offering 75 new beekeepers one year’s training from some of London’s most experienced beekeepers. These communities will then receive a hive and bees in 2012. The community sites, throughout the capital, are in schools, colleges, housing estates, businesses, and allotments. A full list of sites is available here.

Capital Bee is asking Londoners to support their local beekeepers and honey bees by growing plants that bees like, finding alternatives to garden pesticides, and opting for organic choices where possible. Solitary bees and bumble bees also need a suitable habitat in gardens, in much the same way as we put up bird boxes. A honey bee will fly up to three miles, so with over 2,500 hives already in London in London, you are never far from a bee!

The 50 new community apiaries are part of the Capital Growth campaign, which aims to support 2,012 new community food-growing spaces in London by the end of 2,012. Capital Growth is a partnership between London Food Link, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund.

In August this year, Capital Bee ran the London Honey Festival – “a celebration of London Honey, from across the capital as far as Croydon to Bexley, Tottenham to Ruislip, King’s Cross to the Royal Festival Hall. [People could] participate in the festival at selected restaurants, local shops and at the Honey Festival itself.”

http://www.capitalgrowth.org/bees/