Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

There’s been a couple of new developments in the urban farming aspects in the Chicago area, and I’d thought they needed some attention called to them.

The first is the nation’s first certified organic rooftop farm, right here on Devon Avenue! Uncommon Ground has built it, and also offers a weekly farmer’s market during the summer and is trying to set up community orchards in Logan Square.

The second stride forward is a proposed aquaponics vertical farm in the south loop. Here’s a related video.


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E-Coli in the Lettuce. Again.

This kind of thing comes up about twice a year. Any wonder why I prefer growing lettuce in the backyard?

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Fresh The Movie/Documentary

Looks like another good one. Glad to see Will Allen featured. I’m hoping these kind of movie indicate a groundswell of people rethinking how Americans eat.

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Student Melanie Christion, 17, tends to the fish farm at Chicago High School of Agricultural Science, which is raising 1,000 tilapia. The school’s farm operates at commercial grade, but not on a commercial scale. (Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago TribuneApril 11, 2010)

Urban fish farming: Will it catch on in Chicago? – chicagotribune.com

Next week, I’m planning on taking a journey to Milwaukee with a friend to tour Growing Power, an urban aquaponics operation that is becoming more and more well known. But, there are things happening right here in our little Chicago, as well! I may have to add the Chicago High School of Agricultural Science to my tour itinerary, to see how they’re doing things. I wonder if Alderman Bernie Stone will be as receptive to such endeavors.

The Bareford aquaponics project has no official start date yet, but it will happen. Oh yes, it will happen.

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Bryan Welch is a writer who Rancho Cappuccino blog appears as a regular column in the Mother Earth News. Over the course of the last couple of months, he has turned his attention away from negative touchstones of how to combat global warming or the impending doom promised to us by the scientific community, and instead turned in a more positive direction. He asks the question: what does a sustainable world look like? To further break down that question, he focuses on four sub-questions for a sustainable society (each question below links to Welch’s relevant post).

  1. Is it fair?
  2. Is it repeatable?
  3. Is it beautiful?
  4. Does it create abundance?

The last question piqued my interest, because I believe that every human advance in culture, science, technology, or the arts has come from a society that enjoys abundance. After all, if your main concern is how to make your last $2 buy enough to feed your family of four today, you are much less likely to care about the Eigenvalues inherent to a rational canonical form in linear algebra!

Give him a read. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

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Talking Farms is in negotiations with Skokie to build an urban organic farm about FOUR BLOCKS FROM MY HOUSE! They are planning a vegetable garden (obviously), a greenhouse, composting, and a range of educational workshops and classes.

I’m a little excited at the potential. Here’s the full article. Anyone else interested in the prospect of volunteering?

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Window Farm

When I talked about gardening at the Mom’s group last week, several people lamented their lack of growing spaces. When you live in a condo or apartment, often you can’t just till up the common space to plant lettuce.

Many people in New York City have the same problem, and they’ve come up with a clever solution: window farms. That link will take you to a pdf file that will explain everything you need to know about setting up a vertical hydroponic garden right in a sunny window, with no soil, no mess, no weeds, and no condo association curtailing your urge to grow fresh produce.
The basic component of this system is only empty water bottles! If your window isn’t sunny enough, you can add CFL bulbs to supplement the natural light. It would be a great project for your kids, too.
Let me know if you want to start this, ’cause I’d love to help!

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