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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-05-07, 02:21 PM   #1
fixedmonkey
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OT: Just for pwned by my professor

In the form of a C- on my essay about urban farming as a way of sustaining impoverished communities. Man do I feel like an ass.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:28 PM   #2
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post the essay? i'm curious.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:29 PM   #3
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Sounds plausible to me. I personally think that I could sustain myself with a roof garden, should it come to that. Why not on a larger scale? What was the premise of your paper, and how did you support it? What were his comments? Did he criticize your idea, or the formulation of your argument?

Perhaps the topic of this thread should have "OT" in front of it...
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Old 11-05-07, 02:32 PM   #4
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Perhaps the topic of this thread should have "OT" in front of it...

That's a good convention that I never see used here. Maybe we should start. If the OP is cool with it I'll edit the thread title.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:35 PM   #5
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The premise was that intensive subsistence agriculture on small plots of land could sustain a large population. His view was that most abandoned urban areas can not sustain agriculture because the soil is corrupted by pollutants. There really is not acedemic studies on community gardens--most books are written by people who want to idealize city spaces and really really like the people that visit their gardens-- thats where i failed, heh.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:37 PM   #6
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That's a good convention that I never see used here. Maybe we should start. If the OP is cool with it I'll edit the thread title.
do it
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Old 11-05-07, 02:40 PM   #7
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Yea you have to go in cold and analytical like. Just the facts. Now hydroponic and greenhouse/rooftop gardens all have incredible possibilities in the urban landscape. Abandoned areas I could see as having some pretty nasty crap in the soil. I like the idea , but to secure an urban farm would require some serious planning as well. WE could learn from busted grow op runners.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:43 PM   #8
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I give you a D for this thread.
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Old 11-05-07, 02:43 PM   #9
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you mean like what's found in this article, right?

http://nymag.com/news/features/30020/

i don't think it's all that far-fetched. honestly, i think more designers and engineers are trying to find ways of incorporating urban farming into their buildings and structures. even more so with the increase in buildings that are, essentially, there own little cities. i don't know how he could refute the idea, but i didn't really see your essay giving the argument.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:01 PM   #10
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post the essay!
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Old 11-05-07, 03:15 PM   #11
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According to wikipedia, 20M Americans planted victory gardens accounting for 40% of all fresh produce consumed in the US during WW II (doesn't say which year, but possibly 1944).

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Victory gardens were planted in backyards and on apartment-building rooftops, with the occasional vacant lot "commandeered for the war effort!" and put to use as a cornfield or a squash patch. During World War II, sections of lawn were publicly plowed for plots in Hyde Park, London to publicize the movement. In New York City, the lawns around vacant "Riverside" were devoted to victory gardens, as were portions of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:15 PM   #12
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His view was that most abandoned urban areas can not sustain agriculture because the soil is corrupted by pollutants. .
Hmm, any indication of what pollutants in particular would be the most common? There's a collective down here using Sunflowers to leach lead out of soil in areas flooded by K.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:23 PM   #13
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No serious person believes that a major city could grow enough food to support itself, within its borders. Cities have always existed to bring in raw materials (food) from the surrounding areas and turn those raw materials into work, allowing people to specialize in blacksmithing, pornography, literature, and drug dealing. Civilization at it's best. Why do you want your cities to be self-sufficient anyway?

But there are definitely arguments to be made that the availability of healthy food in major American cities is extremely poor. Low-income areas have <i>maybe</i> one grocery store near them, sometimes very far away. Many people (in Chicago at least) rely on corner stores (bodegas and their ilk) for all of their food. And getting fresh food into these stores is expensive and takes some investment. You should have made the case for buying refrigerators and refrigerated trucks for corner stores and their distributors, rather than some pie-in-the-sky plan to abolish both cities and farms in one fell swoop.

EDIT: except for the purpose of reducing the distance from farm to plate, and reducing emissions. Which is a valid concern.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:25 PM   #14
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essay essay essay
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Old 11-05-07, 03:26 PM   #15
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His view was that most abandoned urban areas can not sustain agriculture because the soil is corrupted by pollutants.
This is somewhat true, but not all unused urban space is brownfield land. Rooftops, residential lots, backyards, and greenhouses are all good candidates for what you're talking about. I met a guy who grows 80% of what he eats on a 1/4 acre. This is in Utah where the growing season is shorter than other places. I'm not sure that it's possible to sustain a large population entirely with this type of agriculture, but it's a good start.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:28 PM   #16
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The premise was that intensive subsistence agriculture on small plots of land could sustain a large population. His view was that most abandoned urban areas can not sustain agriculture because the soil is corrupted by pollutants. There really is not acedemic studies on community gardens--most books are written by people who want to idealize city spaces and really really like the people that visit their gardens-- thats where i failed, heh.
really? that's kind of interesting. your professor fails to consider bioremediating current toxins, developing new soil, and isolating toxins - growing things in bathtubs in the yard. or on the roof. or by a big ass set of windows. closed systems.

i think you're wrong, though, about there not being any academic studies on community gardens. i went to a lecture on community gardening in Cuba and its use as a grassroots food-delivery system that helped buffer against food shortages in the (i think) 80s and 90s.

also, www.rhizomecollective.org
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Old 11-05-07, 03:30 PM   #17
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No serious person believes that a major city could grow enough food to support itself, within its borders. Cities have always existed to bring in raw materials (food) from the surrounding areas and turn those raw materials into work, allowing people to specialize in blacksmithing, pornography, literature, and drug dealing. Civilization at it's best. Why do you want your cities to be self-sufficient anyway?
could, or would?

you'd have to change what a city looks like you. of course, i imagine block plots and rooftop gardens all over the damn place - which, incidentally, would also make it a hell of a lot cooler in the summer.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:40 PM   #18
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I want to say some big news-outfit recently did a story on locally grown urban produce, NPR, the BBC, or the times I'd guess... they were focused on the issue of the lack of availability of reasonably fresh produce in innercity areas; I'll try to take a look for that.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:44 PM   #19
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Shouldn't your teacher only give you a bad grade if there were more technical issues with your paper? Lack of supporting facts? Poor composition? I don't understand. What kind of class is this?
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Old 11-05-07, 03:54 PM   #20
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Not if his sources were of hearts and flowers "isn't it just so hippy and cool to garden" books about urban gardens as opposed to an more analytical source. Blow your source, and your whole piece is moot.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:54 PM   #21
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http://www.localburger.com/index.php

This is a locally-owned restaurant in the community in which I live. Most of their food is sourced within about a 20-25 mile radius of the location.

They serve locally-raised buffalo, elk, and lamb burgers as well as grass-fed beef. Produce is mostly organic. It's not EXACTLY on the topic of this thread, but it's closer to the topic of this thread than this thread is to the topic of the board.

Lawrence, KS is not an urban community, of course. But a creative entrepreneur has figured out a way to package locally-produced foods and give people a model for something that could potentially be pretty self-sustaining.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:57 PM   #22
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^^ that's cool^^
We have a burger place near us doing the local sourcing and organic beefs as well.
I think more urban food outlets (groceries) should do the 100mile thing.
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Old 11-05-07, 03:57 PM   #23
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How are you going to teach those in improvished areas how to garden intensively? How are you going to motivate them to do so? Toxicity in the land can be overcome with technology - but teaching people the technology and preserving it from being stolen is a challenge. Especially since the same technology does a great job in growing more profitable crops (though illegal).

If you researched why they failed in the past and then tried to figure out if their were solutions, it might have been better. Just my opinion.

Many of the urban gardens faced problems in vandalism and of course, being evicted by those who wished to build something where there are. Acquistion of land for farming means that the land (or space) must be cheap. If 100 feet by 100 feet costs a million dollars, your ROI is going to be awful. As romantic as it may seem to use land for gardens - the land use has to compete with housing, etc.

There is lots of stories of community gardens which ended because someone wanted to build on top of that site.
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Old 11-05-07, 04:01 PM   #24
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think of somthing like expo 67. Relatively inexpensive housing where each "module" has a rooftop garden

granted they have all been turned into patios now

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Old 11-05-07, 04:11 PM   #25
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In the form of a C- on my essay about urban farming as a way of sustaining impoverished communities. Man do I feel like an ass.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...arming_new.php
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