Category: Urban agriculture

A Call for Seeds!—Introducing the Urbana Free Seed Lending Library

Via the Urbana Free Library.

The Urbana Free Library is now accepting saved seeds from your garden to get a new collection started!  As Library staff get the Seed Lending Library on its feet, we are only accepting seed this season for “super easy” seed saver plants: tomatoes, herbs, peas, beans, peppers, and lettuces.

If you’re unfamiliar with seed lending, the basic idea is that you plant the seeds, grow the plants, let some go to seed, and then return some of these next-generation seeds for others to borrow. You can get started by checking out books on seed saving from theLibrary’s collection!

To add seeds that you have saved or purchased to the collection, bring them to the Circulation Desk on the first floor. Please fill out as much of the information on the envelope as you can, put in enough seed to grow at least five plants, and return the envelope to Circulation staff. You do not need to have a library card to donate seeds or ‘borrow’ seeds in the spring.

Our intention is to grow more local seed for the benefit of the entire community. In the spring, the Seed Lending Library will be up and running for community members to be able to take seeds and grow their own plants. If you have ideas about how you’d like to see the Seed Lending Library develop, or have any questions, please email us at with the subject “Seed Lending Library.”

How Hydroponic School Gardens Can Cultivate Food Justice, Year-Round

Read the full story from NPR.

After a full day of school a few weeks ago, 12-year-old Rose Quigley donned gloves and quickly picked bunches of fresh lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, mint and oregano. But she didn’t have to leave her school in Brooklyn, N.Y., or even go outdoors to do it.

Quigley is one of dozens of students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School who in the past year built a high-tech, high-yield farm inside a third-floor classroom. They decided what to grow, then planted seeds and harvested dozens of pounds of produce weekly.

The vegetables never stop coming because the crops are grown hydroponically — indoors, on floor-to-ceiling shelves that hold seedlings and plants sprouting from fiber plugs stuck in trays, each fed by nutrient-enriched water and lit by LED lamps. The students provide weekly produce for their cafeteria’s salad bar and other dishes.

Good dill: University Library offers free herb seeds to patrons

Read the full story from Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis.

The latest University Library initiative will bring flavor to gardens, office window planters and tables citywide.

The library debuted its new seed library June 17 to an enthusiastic reception, with dozens of patrons taking advantage of free seed packets in the first few days. Through a Greening Grant from the IUPUI Office of Sustainability, the library’s “green team” acquired seven herb varieties from Baker Creek and made them available to students, staff, faculty and the community. Patrons simply fill out a survey before taking the small envelopes of seeds home or back to the office.

Each envelope contains three to five non-GMO seeds of Bouquet dill, broadleaf sage, common chives, Emily basil, Giant of Italy parsley, Rosy rosemary or vulgare oregano. Patrons can take one of each herb from the main desk.

Philly names first-ever farm czar

Read the full story at Plan Philly.

Philadelphia has named city planner Ashley Richards as its first-ever urban agriculture director. Richards will direct the creation and implementation of Philadelphia’s forthcoming urban agriculture plan.

How urban agriculture could improve food security in U.S. cities

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Many organizations see urban agriculture as a way to enhance food security. It also offers environmental, health and social benefits. Although the full potential of urban agriculture is still to be determined, based on my own research I believe that raising fresh fruits, vegetables and some animal products near consumers in urban areas can improve local food security and nutrition, especially for underserved communities.

‘Green Monster’ Is Taking On A Whole New Meaning At Fenway Park

Read the full story at WGBH.

On a hot summer day at Fenway Park there’s a different kind of team, hard at work, on a very different type of field. High above Yawkey Way, along the 3rd Base side of the stadium, you’ll find Fenway Farms, a 5,000-square-foot working farm that’s growing produce that is being served at Fenway and donated to a local food rescue. Instead of Wally or home runs, we’re talking about peas, kale, and scallions, to name just a few of the many varieties of produce growing here.

This teen-led food co-op is harvesting a healthier future

Read the full story from PBS.

In many urban areas across the country, the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a common problem. As part of the PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs, Kevin Broome reports that a cooperative of high school students in Washington, D.C., is aiming to change that.

St. Louis compost startup aims to support urban agriculture

Read the full story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Perennial City is a company that provides customers in St. Louis, Clayton and University City with a composting bucket to reduce their household waste. The company picks up customers’ buckets on a weekly or biweekly schedule and brings it to their urban farm for composing.

Getting Your Hands Dirty at The City Library

Read the full post from the Salt Lake City Public Library System.

Nestled between the Main Library’s curved north wall and 400 South is an oasis of green leaves, flowers, and ripening vegetables. This is The Plot, the Salt Lake City Public Library’s community garden. Stand in the The Plot and you’ll hear the expected sounds of downtown Salt Lake City: cars zooming up and down street, TRAX trains dropping off commuters, and children laughing and playing with their families or summer-camp groups. Take a deep breath and you’ll notice the unmistakable smell of a thriving garden. Come at the right time and you can say hello to Emma Wilson, the Library’s Community Garden Coordinator.

Rooftop Farming Is More Than a Green Thumb’s Urban Fantasy

Read the full story at the Daily Beast.

Gardens and farms on city roofs are a locavore’s dream—and they do everything from cool buildings to help prevent flooding.

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