US Universities leading urban farming

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

University of Maine Cooperative Extension can provide you with practical, how-to solutions based on university research.

UMaine Cooperative Extension is your doorway to University of Maine expertise. For over 100 years, we’ve been putting university research to work in homes, businesses, farms, and communities — in every corner of Maine. Our educational efforts focus on the Maine Food System and Positive Youth Development through 4-H programs with a focus on the STEM disciplines.

We are part of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System, which works through the land-grant universities in each U.S. state. Maine’s land-grant university is in Orono at The University of Maine. In addition to our state offices in Orono, we have a network of county-based offices staffed by experts who provide practical, locally-based solutions for farmers, small business owners, kids, parents, consumers, and others.

University of Houston: Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS)

The vision of the CUAS is that Houston citizens will apply their knowledge and resources to create sustainable neighborhoods throughout the city.

“The new UHD Sustainability Garden was initiated in the fall of 2015 when the previous garden was swept away by flooding. The new garden is bigger and on higher ground (next to the police station at the west end of the bridge). The garden is being built under the supervision of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability. The UHD Garden Club is organizing student labor to assemble the raised garden beds and Engineering Technology students under the direction of Dr. Tzouanas are putting in solar panels. The solar panels will run the irrigation system and future lighting according to sensors so the garden will be water efficient and carbon neutral. Once completed, the Garden will support education and research projects at UHD and the greater Houston area. In addition, the Garden will produce food for those in need and serve as a model for other community gardens in Houston.” Read more

Virginia State University: College of Agriculture

VSU’s Sustainable and Urban Agriculture Program provides a comprehensive educational program for Virginians to adopt sustainable and urban agriculture practices.

“The program holistically addresses production, harvesting, marketing and the distribution of vegetables and small fruits within the conceptual framework of sustainability and within an urban or suburban environment. The program provides educational programming in community and institutional gardening, urban farming, container gardening, and backyard gardening and livestock rearing.Githinji Participants receive training on high tunnel (hoophouse) production, low tunnel production, container gardening, raised bed and rooftop gardening, indoor gardening, and the use of hydroponics and aquaponics systems. Outreach efforts include workshops, field days, on-farm demonstrations and hands-on training. The long-term outcome of the program is to increase the adoption of sustainable urban agriculture practices in the Commonwealth of Virginia leading to enhanced environmental, economic, and social sustainability.” Read more

Loyola’s University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES)

Loyola’s University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) is engaged in advancing skills and knowledge in sustainable agriculture and developing local food systems through the Urban Agriculture Program.

There are three main objectives of the Urban Agriculture program:

  • Educate—Provide hands on experiences and educational opportunities for Loyola students and faculty to support the IES curriculum through class projects, internships, research, and outreach.
  • Provide—Harvest and distribute campus-grown food products to the Loyola Farmers Market, local restaurants, and donate to local food pantries that serve those in need.
  • Engage—Provide opportunities to engage the local community through visits, tours, workshops, and demonstrations of our urban agriculture production spaces.

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