community building / culture and farming / Reflections / Urban agriculture

Urbanity and the Agricultural Ideal

By Ethan Johns America is the land of self-determination, self-sufficiency, liberalism, rugged individualism. Founded on the ideals of the yeoman farmer and grown by concepts of frontier-oriented manifest destiny, land ownership and stewardship was the original marker of a citizen in America. While the nation has accepted that land-owners are not the only citizens entitled … Continue reading

culture and farming / Food industry / Politics / Reflections / Urban agriculture

Urban Agriculture: Need for a focusing event

I am a Social Research and Public Policy major taking “Introduction to Urban Agriculture” class. Although these two subjects in one sentence might sound odd at first, one will eventually understand that the two are in fact not mutually exclusive. Recently, a couple of policy recommendations to encourage urban agriculture and the provision of healthy … Continue reading

community building / culture and farming / Farms / Food industry / food movements / hydroponics / Reflections / Uncategorized / Urban agriculture

What’s Dirt Got to Do With It?

I love dirt. Dirt is important to me. When I was six my sister refused to let me sit on her bed because apparently there was dirt in my hair (there was). It didn’t really bother me though because the time I spent outside, investigating each blade of grass and each creepy crawler, was worth … Continue reading

Biodiversity / community building / culture and farming / family / Farms / Food industry / food movements / innovations / Politics / Reflections / Sustainable Farming / Travel

From Communes to Cabs

When I first arrived at the NYU Urban Farm, I was quickly struck by one thing in particular- how orderly everything seemed to be. My only previous experience in agriculture had been at a permaculture-style farm community called Gaia Yoga Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii. Needless to say, the farming practices and were … Continue reading

Organic Farming Could Get Even Easier
culture and farming / Farms / innovations / Planting / science / Sustainable Farming / Travel / Uncategorized / Urban agriculture

Organic Farming Could Get Even Easier

Urban agriculture is hard work— I found that out first hand the first time I wielded a pitchfork to turn compost as farm manager of the NYU Farm Lab— so one can imagine why conventional farming practices involve the use of pesticides to make a farmer’s life easier. As you may know, pesticides are substances used … Continue reading

Artists on the Farm? Musings on art’s place in urban agriculture
community building / culture and farming / innovations / Reflections / Urban agriculture

Artists on the Farm? Musings on art’s place in urban agriculture

For the past few years, my focus has see-sawed between visual art and a concern for the natural environment (two painfully general, but hopefully generative foci). This isn’t to suggest that these lenses are mutually exclusive. In fact, they overlap in fundamental places. Artists and environmentalists share a broad interest in effecting the way people … Continue reading