Vertical Garden Exhibit at Chicago MSI

Green roof design is becoming popular all over the world, but this vertical garden conceptual model – part of the Fast Forward exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) – takes the concepts of aquaponics, locally-grown produce, and urban farming to new heights by stuffing all those things into a single, “green” skyscraper. Vertical farming, which some experts claim uses just 1/6 of the resources required by conventional “flat” farming to produce a given quantity of produce, is…

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detroit urban farm

Detroit to Build Massive, 150 Acre Urban Farm

Nine million dollars, per square mile, per year. That’s what it costs the city of Detroit to simply maintain the vacant property they ended up with when the city’s economy dried up and the population bailed. That adds up to more than $360 million, total, that the recently bankrupt city of Detroit needs to pony up- and it’s $360 million the city simply does not have. That’s where Hantz Farms comes in. Hantz Farms proposed a plan to take several…

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Hugelkulturb infographic how-to

Hugelkultur Offers Benefits to Urban Gardeners

Hugelkultur is wood, buried in soil. That’s the extra-condensed version of the story, anyway- the slightly longer version explains that the techniques behind Hugelkultur allow more plants and crops to be grown in a given horizontal space, giving each plant more sun and more nutrients with less labor and, in some cases, without digging at all. That’s good news for places like Florida, where, if you start digging, you’ll hit a lot limestone sooner than you think. Basically, Hugelkultur encourages…

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rooftop farm UK urban renewal project

Aquaponic Rooftop Farm = New Age Fish and Chips

Green roofs and rooftop farming are some of the latest buzzwords of green architecture, but the guys behind Something & Son in Folkestone, England are taking it a step further. They’ve set up an advanced aquaponic system on the roof of their building, and they’re using the fish to help raise potatoes. In other words: it’s a fish and chips restaurant. Something & Son have literally built a Fish & Chips style storefront on the roof of their building, and…

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Chicago Urban Renewal

Chicago is Selling Vacant Lots for $1 Each

Despite the city’s thriving neighborhoods and generally climbing real estate values, certain areas of Chicago look more like most people’s conception of Detroit than Lake Shore Drive. Indeed, shuttered homes and vacant lots overgrown with grass and weeds are pretty common in areas like Englewood – but the city has come up with a new way to fight that deterioration and give back to the community at the same time: Chicago is selling those vacant and abandoned lots, for as…

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Ten Tasty & Easy to Grow Perennial Vegetables

My favorite vegetables in the garden are the ones that require very little work. This handpicked selection of tasty perennial vegetables showcases plants that will consistently come back year after year, whether you give them much care and attention or not.

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Delicious, Nutritious Kale: Guide to Different Varieties

Kale is a beautiful dark leafy green that is packed with nutrition and cancer fighting properties. High in manganese, as well as vitamins A, C and K, this vegetable is often referred to as a superfood. Gaining quickly in popularity for its ease to grow, hardiness and wonderful taste, kale is becoming a staple in home gardens everywhere.

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Saving Seeds: Become Your Own Seed Bank

Preventing the extinction of a wide variety of food plants is not just romantic and historically interesting, it’s a matter of ensuring a healthy future for humanity. As industrial agriculture becomes increasingly focused on growing fewer and fewer varieties of food plants, home gardeners play an unexpected important role in propagating and saving old varieties of vegetables, fruit, and herbs by continuing to grow them, sharing the seeds, and providing the seeds to organizations such as Seed Savers Exchange.

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Starting Seedlings with a Soil Blocker

When August arrives it’s time to get our cool season veggies started for fall. This year I’m getting a head start on planting seeds by using a soil blocker. The soil blocker is an easy to use and eco-friendly way to set up seedlings for your garden projects, any time of year.

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More Useful Tips for Avoiding Jail Time While Vegetable Gardening Your Front Yard

Last week I wrote in reference to the post on our sister blog, Eat Drink Better, about the Michigan woman who is being threatened with financial penalties and jail time for daring to grow vegetables in her own front yard. Editor Becky Striepe recently posted an update, and apparently urban gardener Julie Bass is still not off the hook while the prosecutor reviews the ordinance.

Therefore, I think more useful tips are called for to help those stubborn gardeners who insist on growing vegetables where impressionable small children risk being exposed to them, namely, in their front yards. But why is growing your own food a criminal enterprise?

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