Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Urban Farming - series of free lectures and events with CMU

Starting on Thursday, January 18, 2007, series of talks at Carnegie Mellon University focus on topics related to urban farming (permaculture, local economies, youth development, and technologies), endocrine disruption, and environmental justice.

The lectures are gratis (no charge). These talks make great food for thought and seeds for discussion and local action.
Reconnecting Our Farms, Food, and Community

A Partnership with the Urban Farming Initiative of Pittsburgh Urban Farming talks are all from 5:30 - 7 pm in Rangos 1 & 2, University Center at CMU.

Thursday January 18, 2007 -- Pittsburgh: Urban Food Forest of the Future?
David Jacke, Author and Ecological Designer, Dynamics Ecological Design, Greenfield, MA

Healthy forests are self-maintaining, self-fertilizing, and self-renewing. Edible forest gardens mimic such natural forests, but can grow food and other products, provide meaningful jobs, and improve people¹s health and the quality of urban life. Since cities are ecosystems like any other, food forests can also teach us how to redesign urban communities for greater abundance, health, and integration. The lessons are simple and practical, yet profound, the possible results astonishing.

Tuesday February 13, 2007 - Creating Livelihoods from Greenhouses and Forest Gardens
Jerome Osentowski, Director of the Central, Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Basalt, CO -

I will show from my own experience how we have created a viable commercial culinary and medicinal herb and salad green business within the understory of a forest garden and in greenhouses. The other business we have created and will be talked about is the edible landscape nursery which includes our heritage fruit tree collection.

These will all be presented within the framework of permaculture ethics and principles.

Tuesday March 20, 2007 - Urban Farming with Youth
Patricia Gray, Executive Director, The Food Project of Boston, Lincoln, MA -

The Food Project has been farming with young people for more than 15 years. For ten of those fifteen years, we have farmed in Dorchester and Roxbury, two low-income neighborhoods in Boston, MA. We now farm on two and a half acres, including a rooftop site. The food we grow on our urban farms is distributed through three streams: farmers’ markets, donations to hunger relief organizations, and our kitchen and culinary businesses. This workshop will focus on The Food Project’s work in the City of Boston—finding and procuring usable land, distributing local, fresh food to those who have little access to it, working in a community, running successful farmers’ markets and involving youth in all aspects of this work.

Tuesday April 24, 2007 - High Tunnel Technology: A Tool for Economic Development, Job Creation, and Increased Quality of Life through Urban Agriculture
Dr. William James Lamont, Jr. Professor of Vegetable Crops, Department of Horticulture, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA -

High tunnels are one of the components of season extension technology. They are not conventional greenhouses, but like plastic-covered greenhouses, they are generally quonset-shaped, constructed of metal bows that are attached to metal posts which have been driven into the ground about two feet deep. They are covered with one layer of 6-mil greenhouse-grade polyethylene, and are ventilated by manually rolling up the sides each morning and rolling them down in early evening. There is no permanent heating system although it is advisable to have a standby portable propane unit to protect against unexpected below-freezing temperatures. There are no electrical connections. The only external connection is a water supply for trickle irrigation. They are used to extend the growing season and a high tunnel without any supplemental heat in Pennsylvania can produce crops from March until early December. Since 1998, and the founding of the High Tunnel Research and Education Facility at Penn State, a wide variety of vegetables, small fruits and cut flowers have been successfully grown
in high tunnels. Crops are either grown in permanent raised wood framed beds or in ground using plastic mulch to warm the soil and help control the weeds. In the urban environment, due to the high levels of heavy metals in the soils the use of raised beds with new soil is practiced.

High tunnels offer the opportunity to take vacant land in urban environments and create jobs while ensuring a continuous supply of nutritious vegetables and small fruits and cut flowers that can be marketed to the local communities or to restaurants, farmer markets and other retail outlets. These activities will increase the quality of life in those communities and offer entrepreneurial opportunities and
careers in all phases of urban agriculture.

Endocrine Disruption:
Extending Rachel Carson's Legacy
Distinguished Lecture Series in Environmental Science, Technology, and
These talks take place from 4:30 - 6PM in the Adamson Wing, Baker Hall

Monday February 5, 2007 - A Revolution in Environmental Health Sciences:

New Opportunities to Prevent Genetic Diseases, John Peterson Myers, CEO and Founder, Environmental Health Sciences

Monday February 12, 2007 - From Silent Spring to Silent Night: Hermaphroditic Frogs, Breast Cancer, and Pesticides

Tyrone Hayes, Associate Professor, Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley

Monday March 5, 2007 - Environmental Challenges to Human Fertility: Three Case Studies

Shanna Helen Swan, Professor, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dept. of Environmental Medicine, and Dept. of Community and Preventive Medicine School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester

Thursday April 12, 2007 - Lessons from the Swamp: Contaminants, Alligators, & Your Reproductive Health

Lou Guillette, Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Associate Dean for Research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida

Environmental Justice
The LaPaglia Ethics Lecture
4:30 - 6PM Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Friday March 30, 2007 - Nanotechnology, Environmental Ethics and Environmental Justice

Ronald Sandler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Senior Researcher in the Nanotechnology and Society Research Group, Northeastern University

Getting to the talks:
Free parking is available on campus after hours (very simply, in the lot at Forbes & Morewood, and with gates and card-machines in the parking garage a bit closer to the University Center -- but the open lot is not far, either, just drive in off Forbes on the west side of the intersection and go left through the open gates). Many city buses stop at that intersection, as well; check out

To find the U.C., look at the tall sculpture accurately named "Walking To the Sky" from Forbes avenue, and the U.C. will be on your left. Inside the building, look up and you'll likely see signs above the corridors; the Rangos rooms are on the second floor. Google map. Click on "hybrid" in the upper right-hand corner of the map to see the campus up close and personal (yes, you can even see people. The current image appears to predate Walking To the Sky, though.).

Baker Hall, where the non-farming talks will be held, is on Frew Street near the Hunt Library.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Dr. Maren Leyla Cooke
6745 Forest Glen Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Home: 412-251-5814 Cell: 412-418-4943

Urban Farming Initiative (UFI),
Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP),
and Putting Down Roots:
Science & Environmental Education, Consulting, Graphics
and Communications for Sustainable Communities...
Local food systems, urban agriculture, green building, green business.