The USDA has announced a low-interest microloan program intended to support small-scale local U.S. farmers that may not qualify for bank loans.Read More:New USDA Loan Program Focuses on ‘Local’ Farmers
Chicago has announced plans that would make it home to the country’s largest urban farm in the city’s poverty-stricken South Side district.Read More:Chicago Announces Nation’s Largest Urban Farm Project in City’s Poorest Area
Farmers have been planting rows of crops for thousands of years, but the future of farming may be a bit less spread out as a recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports on the ever-increasing vertical farming movement.Read More:Vertical Farming Movement is Growing (Straight Up, That is)
Make some room on the subway, New Yorkers: A 15,000 square foot mobile urban farm is now roaming the streets of Manhattan, sort of.Read More:Manhattan’s Newest Resident: 15,000 Square Foot ‘Mobile’ Urban Farm
The demand for local food is exceeding the infrastructure says a new report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service, titled Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States.Read More:Is Demand for Local Food Growing Too Fast?
The urban farm movement has been quickly gaining ground from the increasing presence of community gardens and local farmers markets cropping up all across the nation to restaurants growing their own herbs and hotels getting into the beekeeping business. But it’s about to take a few giant leaps—or rather, yards—as Germany is planning to become home to the world’s largest urban garden: a rooftop garden that will be as large as a regulation size soccer field.Read More:Goal! Soccer Field Sized Urban Garden to Be World’s Largest
Last week we reported on the eviction of the nation’s largest urban farm in South Central LA. Unfortunately a full fledged eviction started Tuesday morning June 13th.The bulldozers moved in, trees are being cut down and the tree sitters are being removed. It’s sad to see resident farmers and families lose the fight for their beloved farm, but when you don’t own the land, unfortunately you can’t make the rules.
The community is holding nightly candle light vigils to show their strength and support for the preservation of their farm but I am not sure how long this can go on with the destruction of the farm. It’s sad that the land owner Developer Ralph Horowitz and the farmers could not come to a common ground and accept a last ditch offer $16 million from the Annenberg Foundation (which is probably well above what the property is worth).
Initially Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office was able to raise $6 million in donations to purchase the property. Horowitz however wanted $16.3 million to sell the site.
The Annenberg Foundation announced last week that it would offer $10 million in cash with an agreement to finance the remainder of the $6 million. Horowitz rejected the offer. Upset at the way he’s been vilified by the farmers and their supporters, he demanded the farmers removal at 5am on Tuesday morning.
In a phone call by Mayor Villaraigosa to Horowitz, the Mayor stressed his support for the Annenberg Foundation’s offer. Horowitz said that the land was worth even more now and that he wouldn’t sell to the farmers because of their ungrateful attitude.
The Mayor said to reporters, “I told him that from my vantage point, this is a more than fair offer. This is an opportunity for us to have an urban garden in the city that wants to be the greenest big city in America,” Villaraigosa said. “And he said, well, that was nice but he wasn’t accepting.”
The Mayor went on to say, “I understand a businessman’s need to invest and make a profit. I also have a high respect for and will defend property rights, but I also believe that we are called upon by a sense of community and civic duty to do the just and right thing. I had hoped that the landowner would have heeded that call.”
It’s sad to say but I think the farmers are going to lose this fight.Read More:LA’s South Central Farmers Continue to Fight For Their Life