Community Gardens

This Thanksgiving, Celebrate Traditional Food Production

Sassamanash, batata, misihew: the American Indian names for cranberry, potato, and turkey will likely not be a part of most Thanksgiving dinners in Sierra Vista this year. But Native communities cultivated these Thanksgiving staples, and many other foods, long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. This year, we can try to give thanks by honoring the wisdom of the world’s first agrarians: Indigenous Peoples in the United States and around the world.

PolicyLink Release Growing Urban Agriculture Report

Growing Urban Agriculture:Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Food and Revitalizing Communities

A vibrant movement is changing the landscape, economic outlook, and vitality of cities across the country. The recent recession affected many low income communities—taking with it manufacturing centers, jobs, and people while leaving behind abandoned homes and vacant lots. Now a new crop of urban farmers, along with activists, and community organizations are turning that land into productive use and turning around their communities.

Full Report

The Farm on Top of the City

On a rooftop farm in Brooklyn one sunny afternoon, dozens of tomato plants heavy with fruit swayed in the wind, a farmer stooped over rows of dandelion greens and the customers kept coming. They climbed through the door to the 65,000-sq.-foot roof of the Brooklyn Grange Farm, in the city’s navy yards, across the water from Manhattan, and without fail they exclaimed with delight. “I love it. This is beautiful!” said Giovanni Cipolla, a grey-haired man who bought a bunch of dandelion and remarked that the only other place he could buy greens this fresh was Italy.

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Taking root: Growing number of Ann Arbor elementary schools planting gardens

Inspired by first lady Michelle Obama and used as an innovative way to introduce curriculum and healthy food to school children, elementary schools around Ann Arbor are sowing and expanding schoolyard gardens, from vegetable gardens to wildflower gardens to rain gardens.

At least 11 elementary schools in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district have vegetable gardens, said Elissa Trumbull, a founder of The Agrarian Adventure, an Ann Arbor nonprofit that promotes school gardens. More…

A Blueprint for a Profitable Urban Farm

For cities littered with vacant properties, urban agriculture has become the “why not?” option. The land is just sitting there, so it might as well be used for something. The urban farms and community gardens that have sprouted on some of these sites have become community projects and some have even turned into businesses. Most, though, are small-scale efforts. But they may not have to be. A new report [PDF] from the environmental nonprofit Global Green USA argues that even a modest plot of land could potentially become a job creator and profit maker.  More…

Health, Food Safety Has Families Going Organic

From food safety fears, to perceived health benefits, or just the peace of knowing where their meals come from, more Hoosiers are turning to food grown and raised in the ways of generations past.

According to the Organic Trade Association, Americans spent $31.5 billion on organic food last year, or just more than 4 percent of all U.S. food sales, RTV6’s Chris Proffitt reported.

It’s a movement that’s taken hold in central Indiana, where small farms, community gardens and farmers markets can be found in communities large and small.  More…

With their city shrinking, many Detroiters use empty lots to grow gardens

In the Old Redford neighborhood in northwest Detroit, community gardener Kofi Royal, 64, has been busy planning what to grow this spring.

The community plot he tends covers just a couple of vacant lots. But he and John George, the local activist and founder of the Motor City Blight Busters community group, hope to expand soon to cover several more vacant lots, making theirs one of the larger community gardens in the city. More…