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20.05.2014 admin
Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables.
Sole Food’s mission is to encourage small farms in every urban neighborhood so that good food can be accessible to all, and to do so in a manner that allows everyone to participate in the process. Anaheim is teaming up with Renewable Farms to raise money for an aquaponics farm that would grow food for low-income families and create jobs in the city. Meanwhile, the city of Anaheim heard about Renewable Farms and wanted its own aquaponics farm. Story Content The Maryland State Highway Administration is helping grow food and jobs in rural Maryland. MSHA this month announced that it had donated more than 5,000 linear feet of old road signs to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to build a complex of greenhouses, a native tree nursery, and a 5,000-gallon water storage unit in Frostburg. Supporting Frostburg State University's Frostburg Grows Program, the donated material was used to build a 5-acre complex of greenhouses, including a shade house and a composting facility. Additional project partners include Frostburg University, George's Creek Watershed Association, and the University Of Maryland College Of Agriculture And Natural Resources. Nestled on four acres in New Orleans’ beautiful City Park is Grow Dat Youth Farm, an urban farm that provides fresh food to inner city New Orleans and job opportunities in for high school students.
Follow MeBook Leon Kaye Contact Leon Kaye to invite him as a speaker or moderator to your event. Joining the numerous environmental-activist vendors displaying their wares are (from left) Jonathan Collazo of Bronx Community College, Florence Jackson of the Department of Education, former public school teacher Stephen Ritz of the Green Bronx Machine, UFT Vice President Sterling Roberson, UFT Safety and Health staffer Miriam Vega and Dante Francis of Discovery HS in the Bronx. Ensuring that high school students are both job- and college-ready is not just a mantra for Stephen Ritz, the former South Bronx science teacher who now heads the nonprofit Green Bronx Machine. Still only a few years old, the Green Bronx Machine has already grown 25,000 pounds of organic vegetables that were then sold to local markets. Ritz thinks it’s a template for job growth for young people, a boon for the environment, better health for consumers and a model that’s already been exported to both Boston and Washington, D.C.

Standing amid the Earth Day displays, Ritz introduced me to his former students Dante Francis and Jonathan Collazo, who were busily explaining to passersby how their project works.
The two are just a few of Ritz’s former students who not only run a farmers’ market after school but are skilled in building what they call vertical and edible “Green Walls” gardens and cold frames, or stainless steel structures affixed to the outsides of buildings. Besides being a food producer, the Green Bronx Machine reduces air pollution, deters graffiti and minimizes storm water runoff, the young men told me. Projects like the Bronx Green Machine are what Career and Technical Education is all about. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.
In Street Farm, author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman chronicles the challenges, growth, and success of this groundbreaking project and presents compelling portraits of the neighborhood residents-turned-farmers whose lives have been touched by it. The water from the ponds gets recycled into planters, where bacteria from fish waste puts nutrients in the soil. Additionally, SHA crews helped excavate the land where the greenhouses now stand on the Frostburg State University campus.
According to the MSHA, the facility will provide job training and will serve as a research center to optimize growing methods for food production and native plants for reforestation, permaculture, and traditional Appalachian cultural uses. Additionally, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers awarded a $300,000 grant to the program in spring 2012.
Working with students who have already taken gardening and cooking classes, the Grow Dat Program creates a supportive, healthy and inspiring environment for New Orleans youth who still face daunting job prospects several years after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.
He’s doing it in a new and creative way by teaching the sort of career skills that can land students decent-paying jobs. Turning urban youth, including many students housed in homeless shelters, into urban farmers. Ritz insisted that a project like this “gets the temperature in the classroom down.” After he introduced the Green Bronx Machine, his classroom attendance rates jumped to 93 percent almost immediately.

Ritz’s former school, Discovery HS on the former Walton HS campus, is within walking distance of blocks of public housing.
This is a bold initiative that gets people to understand that an environmental project like this is in everyone’s common interest — it’s what I call “green literacy.” And for people in some of the city’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, it allows them to make a decent living. We know that quality CTE programs prepare students with the academic, technical and employability skills that are needed in a rapidly changing technological world. Throughout, he also weaves his philosophy and insights about food and farming, as well as the fundamentals that are the underpinnings of success for both rural farms and urban farms.
The farm is a leading urban agriculture project that emphasizes social enterprise, environmental stewardship and leadership through a collaborative effort to grow fresh food. And by selling to Whole Foods, they get to know other neighborhoods and to mix with different kinds of people.
Above all else, we ignite a love of learning in our students and a zest for success in life.
Street Farm will inspire individuals and communities everywhere by providing a clear vision for combining innovative farming methods with concrete social goals, all of which aim to create healthier and more resilient communities. Urban farming is on the upswing in cities like Detroit, and more programs like Grow Dat are needed. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company.

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