Urban farming and gardening

What we like - and don't like - about our cities

American city dwellers place a high value on restaurants and farmers’ markets, historic buildings and good public spaces. Traffic, not so much.

The interdependence of successful towns and the rural landscape

A successful rural landscape – working farms and forests, and natural areas that last – is utterly dependent on successful town centers, and vice-versa.

Backyard chickens: WWI-Era solution to almost everything

Making a living at your home has become increasingly restricted — contrast that with the self-sufficient attitude expressed in a USDA poster from a century ago.

Urban farm grows more than food as kids gain work, leadership skills

Grow Dat Youth Farm is developing a sense of responsibility, community, and environmental stewardship among New Orleans high school kids through the collaborative work of growing food.

Prototype cottage built in Southlands

A cottage has been built in the Southlands, an "agrarian urbanism" development on a 538-acre tract near Vancouver, British Columbia. The unit is a prototype for pocket neighborhoods — or "cottage courtyards" — clusters of homes gathered around a landscaped common area, designed by Cotter Architects. The 1,190 square foot cottage is geared towards more affordable housing "that meets the shrinking family household size and lifestyle needs of both starter families and aging empty-nesters," according to Smallworks Studios, the builder. "Fruit trees and a vegetable garden are featured in the common areas in the cottage courtyard, which links with the Southlands' theme of local food and agriculture, connecting the residential community to the integrated small farms that will occupy much of the Southlands preserved farmland."  Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co did a plan in 2008 that developed an agrarian urbanism vision for the site.

Where subdivisions were rising, now farms appear

At the Garrett's Chance subdivision in southern Prince George's County, Maryland, only two lots ended up being developed. The housing bust is for real. The subdivision is now being used to store hay, not exactly what the developer intended. The Washington Post says that since the end of the housing boom, an emerging generation of farmers has been buying, at cheap prices, some of the land that once seemed destined to hold new houses. Last year, one unharvested piece of land became Prince George's only dairy farm. People at the suburban-rural edge may have to get used to the sounds of roosters and pigs.

Get your garden room right

Susan Henderson provides some helpful hints on how to spruce up the backyard as summer draws near.

Greenhouse on a parking garage? Who knew?

A 6,000 sq. ft. greenhouse is starting construction this January on the roof of a parking garage in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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