Posts Tagged ‘Urban Harvest’

Summer/Fall CSA

Now that fall is finally here, I think I can rest a little! As far as I can tell we had a very successful Summer/Fall CSA with 7 subscribers. I can tell you, they are probably also relieved to not have to deal with several pounds of eggplants every single week! We also were successful with many kinds of sweet and hot peppers, okra, cucumbers, watermelons and winter squashes (pumpkins, spaghetti and butternut squash) in the hotter months. Despite the fact that hot weather lasted well into September, we were also able to provide broccoli raab and hakuri turnips, a gourmet salad mix with lettuces, arugula and early mustard greens.

This was our second CSA season, lasting 12 weeks (the spring CSA was 10 weeks) and we sure are learning a lot about growing, harvesting and sell food! In between our CSA seasons, we sold produce at a small farmer’s market. And as most farmer’s already know, the CSA brought in more money. I won’t necessarily say that it was more profitable, because we have a lot to learn in terms of efficiency (harvesting, washing and packing a gourmet salad mix is WAY more involved than harvesting eggplants and tossing them in the CSA crate). Continue reading

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Elon Students Volunteer at Community Garden

This summer, the Dunleith Community Garden has undergone some great advancements and renovations thanks to an upsurge of eager and interested volunteer groups! Most recently, a group of twenty incoming Elon Freshmen were chosen to experience a week of service learning to better their local community.

they were a group of ecstatic volunteers!

Urban Harvest’s  first major project, The Dunleith Community Garden was one of the sites chosen for the students to spend a proportion of their week-long commitment  to service. The students were informed about the ins-and-outs of urban food production and sustainable farming practices. The tasks spanned from learning the techniques of composting, the importance of pollinators, and the simplicity of lasagna gardening. Thanks to Elon for your enthusiasm and genuine work ethic in the garden, we look forward to hosting you again in the future!

LASAGNA GARDENING

the beginning layer of Dunleith's new pollinator bed

step 2 : add straw

step 3: add compost

almost done! step 4: add the pollinator plants

Pollinator bed completed, ready for enjoyment

Note: Making your own lasagna garden or bed is simple and very efficient in urban areas. For more information, I recommend reading this link http://garden2table.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-sheet-mulch.html about a woman who transformed her small backyard into a flourishing lasagna garden!

Urban Farms, the new solution

Urban planners have recently released statistics on the large-scale decrease in American farmland:  http://www.hobbyfarms.com/farm-industry-news/2010/05/20/2007-national-resources-inventory.aspx

Not surprisingly, as a growing number of Americans are living in and around city centers agricultural focus has shifted to populated urban areas . Residents in cities have made things clear : they have several innate needs … water, housing, parking, and food. We are Americans who are grouchy if we have to wait in lines, sweaty if our ac doesn’t work, and ticked off if our stomachs are empty.

In order to cater to these demands, urban planners have shifted focus to a diversify development in order to create diverse and rich micro-environment within industrial areas.  Nowadays, agriculture and businesses can be seen through a dual-focus lens rather than separate entities.

skyline of downtown Greensboro

Food production within a city locale is not only a viable option but perhaps a lasting solution as city’s increasingly fall to the category of  “food desert”.

The loss of American farmland is not synonymous with an end to American food production. It is simply a transition linked to our progression as a country. Just as we trade in Suvs for cars with better gas-mileage, we shift food production to better serve its target market or community (in this case, cities).

Food meets City: the Edible Schoolyard in downtown Greensboro.

Food meets City: the Edible Schoolyard in downtown Greensboro.

With that said, one may find that as the amount of rural farmland fades,  cities will be faced with the responsibility of providing food for the urban dwellers within it! How exciting!

To find out more about Urban Harvest and urban farming initiatives in North Carolina feel free to contact urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com

http://www.urbanharvest-gso.com/

Urban Farm Plan Amasses Media Attention

This month we have made notable headway in our plans to bring an urban farm to the people of Greensboro. This progress garnered the attention of Michelle Ferrier of Locally Grown News to submit a cover story about Urban Harvest’s work at the Dunleith Community Garden and our long-term vision for a progressive and educational micro farm in downtown Greensboro.

Check out the story here :

http://locallygrown.live.communityq.com/detail/26388.html

Spring CSA harvest overflowing at Dunleith Garden!

Nothing says good morning like turnips, radicchio, and red torpedo onions! These are just a few of the items that stocked the Urban Harvest CSA crates this week. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a weekly initiative that Urban Harvest provides to individuals or groups that have purchased a seasonal CSA membership. Every Tuesday afternoon, Spring members receive a hearty array of fresh herbs, greens, and colorful veggies that have been harvested, packaged, and distributed directly from the Dunleith Community Garden.

harvested produce waiting to be cleaned 🙂

CSA’s are a growing phenomenon (even in fisheries by the coast!) to increase the proximity of the food produced to the food consumed.  Swing by the Dunleith site on a Tuesday morning, and you will find the founder of Urban Harvest, Dawn Leonard and other Urban Harvest volunteers harvesting and cleaning vegetables straight from the Earth.

Dawn harvesting delicious veggies!

fresh raddichio

The harvest is then distributed based on share into hand-made wooden crates with a  personalized news-letter taped to the side.  Around five-o’clock an onlooker will find Leonard sitting with her crates awaiting pick-up, talking with neighbors, or pilfering around the garden making improvements. One thing for sure, when a CSA member arrives to pick up their crate that afternoon, they can rest assured that their produce was given the care and attention we should expect of all our food sources.

recyclable CSA crates, packed and ready to be delivered to their owners

To learn more about CSA, contact Urban Harvest at urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com . In the mean time check out this really neat video made by other urban farmers in New York City:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcR2J63_44c&feature=related

Lets go to Terra Madre

Check out this 10 minute video that we created. Urban Harvest and the Greensboro Children’s Museum teamed up to apply for a scholarship for the Terra Madre conference in Italy this fall.

Community Food Projects Grant

Sometimes I think Urban Harvest is starting to get lucky. But then Justin reminds me this “luck” is actually the meeting of our preparation with the right opportunities. And we’ve had several of these “lucky” opportunities in the last couple of weeks!

Mobile Market StandAs this point, Urban Harvest is funded by our blood, sweat and tears, and a few installation projects. But our vision for a Greensboro where all food consumed in Greensboro is grown in Greensboro, needs some real funding. Here is where we got lucky: At the Alice Waters’ breakfast for policy-makers in September, we had a conversation about a mobile market with Leslie Armenoix of Get Healthy Guilford, and she told us she knew how to get it funded! Continue reading