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Dealer's Choice: Food blogs of note this week (Kerstin's Chocolates)

OK, a bit of a break from urban agriculture today...because there are a few good blogs out there that I want to post about.

First, my friends Kerstin and Cyrus own a fantastic chocolate shop in Edmonton called Kerstin's Chocolates. The store is open (so buy your Christmas gifts, people) but Kerstin, Cyrus and their two kids are trekking around the globe visiting all sorts of chocolate at the source. Even better, they're blogging pocket option and posting fantastic photosets from their adventures that are taking them to chocolatier salons in Paris to exclusive cocoa plantations in Madagascar...yes, read Kerstin's report and see her photos from their visit to a cocoa plantation in Ambanja, in Madagascar, where some of the best COCOA IN THE WORLD comes from.


Greenroofs in Paris, via

Copyright: Nature Capitale – A creation by Gad Weil Photo credit : Nature Capitale/Resolute D.R.Paris surprised me last year when I visited to poke around looking for signs of urban agriculture. (Perhaps because I had no expectations, I was totally impressed by what I saw. In fact, it turned out to be the lead chapter of main part of my book on the various cities at the forefront of urban agriculture that I visited.)

First of all, Paris is where many of the elements that we use today in modern urban agriculture came the mid-19th century. (Paris' maraicher district was the primary urban gardening zone pocket option download for pc of the city...and it was so successful and productive that all over France, urban and peri-urban market gardeners are known as maraichers / maraicheres.)

Today, Paris has a very active urban beekeeping scene. The fact that pesticide use in the city limits has been illegal for over a decade might be a significant element of the success of Paris' urban bee hives. It's also not a city I associate with community gardens, but I found a fantastic one just around the corner from my friends' flat and met a wonderful community gardener, M. Griffault. Here's my post from last October about Paris' urban agriculture.

It's not just food that Parisians are growing...there are around 10 urban vineyards in right in the city, and 132 in the greater Paris metropolitain area.

Today, via a report by Alex Davies on, it seems that Paris is going to surge ahead with 80,000 square yards of green roofs and rooftop gardens by 2020.

Félicitations, Paris!



New Blog Alert: Grown in the City

As my book rushes to print soon, I can finally stick my head up above the "writing wall" that I had to surround myself with in order to hit those pesky deadlines. Every minute, every day I could be posting links to new and exciting websites, twitter feeds, books, and projects I find thanks to the very enthusiastic members of the global urban agriculture community who are online.

So here's one I found today: Grown in the City. I found it via its Twitter feed @GrownInTheCity.

It's a collaborative blog, based in the United States. It's part newsfeed, with some DIY guides, some video, food- and urban agriculture maps, and even a careers section.

The post that went pocket option philippines yesterday and today was the seasonally appropriate The Top 7 Gifts for the Urban Gardener in Your Life.




Sunday Garden Tour: Jasper, Alberta

Kudos to Jasper, a tiny town tucked in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, for the raging success of its new community garden. My parents alerted me to its existence, and took these photos for the blog.

According to a report in the local Jasper newspaper (where I found the background info on this garden), a 23-plot garden near the library began in 2010 as a pilot project. It proved successful enough that the town gave them a nice, new 51-plot space on some prime real estate: the grassy median on Connaught Drive, the main street in Jasper. Normally this space is covered with elk lolling around on the grass. Now with the community garden, it might be interesting to see how involved the fencing will need to be. (Elk are notorious garden shrub and food garden munchers, and the tall eight-to-nine foot fencing around the yards in the Jasper townsite is evidence of elk and deer's keen interest in raiding gardens.

Here are photos (taken by my parents) in Oct 2011. Given Jasper's northern and alpine climate, coupled with the miserably cold and wet summer we had in Alberta, I want to acknowledge how lush and lovely these gardens are looking, well past the "gardening" season in this part of Canada.

Kale and beets, so late-season crops doing well into October!

Flowers, grasses and herbs on a mound. Why not.

Cold frame to keep away pesky frostkill.


Playstation, old skool.Community supported!

Elk-high fencing is a must in Jasper.The very important compost pile.


Book Preview Review for Food and the City: Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is a major US weekly magazine aimed at booksellers, libraries, literary agents and publishers. My book was reviewed recently (from advance reading copies) and the comments are very positive. It's also interesting that the reviewer singled out the chapter on Cuba. I had a hunch that Cuba would be of particular interest to US readers, so this is a good sign. (I put Cuba as one of the last chapters for that reason.)

I am also getting good feedback from early readers on the Paris, London and Canadian chapters. (There's always a fear that US readers won't be too interested in "foreign" destinations, but I gambled that you would!!)

Read the review by clicking here.