Archive for January, 2010

January 29, 2010

It’s CSA time…

Urban Edge Farm's greenhouse is getting ready...

Support your local farm and sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share! The CSA model is one where individuals and families invest financially in their local farm in exchange for a share of that farm’s seasonal harvest.

Benefits of CSA include: supporting your local economy, supporting your farming neighbor, eating hyper-fresh produce of nutritionally-dense proportions for a fraction of the cost found in a given “organic” supermarket (produce that’s oftentimes bussed in from California factory farms), new opportunities to pal-around in the kitchen with crazy experimental crops (purple cauliflower? bitter melons?), CSA pick-up tailgaters (‘Otter Summer Ale incl.) and much, much more.

If the aforementioned sounds like your kind of mind/body/soul party, check out Providence Journal’s article, “Now’s the time to sign up for farm-fresh food,” which includes a list of all the farms in Rhode Island currently offering CSAs. SCLT’s Urban Edge farmers also made the list – hooray!

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January 23, 2010

Plant Sale Dates Announced!

SCLT’s 18th Annual

Rare and Unusual Plant Sale

May 15 & 16, 2010

City Farm Steward Rich Pederson is already pouring through seed catalogs to plan for the most spectacular event of the spring!

Stay tuned for announcements of what plants to expect this year. Your vast selection of tomato starts included….

January 20, 2010

Investing in Urban Agriculture – What’s Up in Detroit?

Many folks on SCLT’s staff are enthusiastic about the exciting programs going on in Detroit, Michigan, around urban agriculture. A few of us have even visited to see the community gardens and agricultural education programs, and have been greatly impressed by all the green headway.

Recently at SCLT, there’s been some interesting lunchtime discussion around a Fortune article highlighting a new and somewhat controversial investment in Detroit’s urban agriculture .

A gentleman named John Hantz recently announced his intention to buy over 70 acres of land inside the city of Detroit, MI, for urban agriculture use. That’s right: $30 million invested in an urban agriculture enterprise.

While it’s exciting to see so much funding going into urban agriculture, there seem to be some big questions about this new enterprise. Some think that the investment is a compelling way to revitalize Detroit and explore new technologies that could increase urban food production. Others see the venture as oblivious to promoting food security and the current work being done by Detroit community organizers.

Folks over at Treehugger.com, weighing in on the subject, say:

“Perhaps I spent too much time with developers and real estate people in my architectural career, but Hantz has said it all in Fortune, from his first comment about sopping up excess land and creating scarcity to his last quote about buying a penthouse in New York. This sure sounds like a classic real estate play to me. But if it takes unused land in a temperate part of the country with lots of water and people who need jobs, and grows local and healthy food, go for it. That’s the American way and it works.”

What are your thoughts?

January 8, 2010

Happy New Year!

SCLT is making big plans for the coming season – we invite you to stay posted for more green house and office updates in the weeks ahead!

Until then, time to start planning for a maximum food (or flower!) yield in your garden plot. Here are some favorite sites for high quality seed purchasing:

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
SCLT Youth Garden Club loves Johnny’s Selected Seeds Fall Green Manure mix in learning about cover crop.

High Mowing Seeds
Awesome northern Vermonters with a real passion for their craft, and their community.

FEDCO Seeds
Some of the hippest illustrations for a seed catalogue around: total must-have for aspiring urban agriculturists and farmers alike.

Seeds of Change
Check out their section on urban food growing!

(photo credit to Lucas Foglia)

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