News: Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture via LA Weekly

This story was recently discovered by one of our CTG board members. This new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Initiative could be a great benefit to many neighborhoods in providing fresh produce. — Douglas

Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture

Imperfect produce up close smallerjpg

Most recently, they worked with L.A. City Councilmember Curren Price to pass a new initiative that aims to connect land owners in possession of vacant lots with residents ready and able to grow produce. The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Initiative, approved by the City Council at the end of June and slated to take effect August 6, is an attempt to encourage farming while also addressing the demoralizing eyesores of overgrown and underused lots.

The initiative dictates that property owners who lease their “vacant or unimproved property” to food growers can in return receive state tax benefits. The lot being leased must be between 0.10 acres and three acres in size and be dedicated entirely to agriculture. The property owner also has to sign an agreement with the city to maintain operations for at least five years.

“An initiative like this is exciting because it gives individuals a chance to really be more proactive,” Price says.

Read the entire article: Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture

News: Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

A great combination of art, science, nature and community garden. Perhaps you could adopt something similar for your own garden? — Douglas

News: Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

Two bat boxes have been installed at the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden in conjunction with the Black Mountain Center for the Arts “The Beauty of Bats” awareness event. The boxes were donated by Sue Cameron, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

            Bat houses offer a safe environment for hundreds of bats. Due to habitat loss, bats need safe places to roost during the day and to raise their young. Most bats have only one pup a year, which means populations are slow to grow. These two houses at the community garden mean neighborhood bats will remain safe and warm.

As with last year’s chimney swift towers, the arts center, the town of Black Mountain and its Recreation and Parks Department were instrumental in the construction and placement of the boxes.

Read the entire article

News: Springfield community garden provides lessons for amateur gardeners via Springfield News-Sun

One community garden’s story…

News: Springfield community garden provides lessons for amateur gardeners

Springfield community garden provides lessons for amateur gardeners

As Labor Day arrives, the plots are not thickening at the Jefferson Street Oasis Garden.

They are thinning as gardeners reap their final harvests of beets, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens; cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers and green beans; kohlrabi and okra; and potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini.

And so the sixth season of the acre-and-a-quarter community garden behind the Gopher Dome at the former site of St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Springfield’s West Side will conclude like the first five.

That means it was yet another year of growth for the gardeners, who are allotted free plots to work, and their plants.

Adriel Jones, a 33-year-old whose run-in with cancer “made me choosy about what I put in my body,” was “all in” earlier this year when she heard about the free garden space from her sister Courtney, who works at the Clark County Public Library.

Read the entire article