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Seattle City Council approves urban farm/garden legislation

SUBJECT: Seattle City Council approves urban farm and community garden legislation improving access to locally grown food

8/16/2010 2:45:00 PM

Laura Lockard (206) 684-8159

Council President Richard Conlin

Seattle City Council approves urban farm and community garden legislation improving access to locally grown food

SEATTLE � As part of the 2010 Year of Urban Agriculture, the Seattle City Council approved Council Bill 116907 that supports the rapidly growing local food movement. The ordinance updates the City�s Land Use code governing urban agriculture uses, including allowing “urban farms” and “community gardens” in all zones, with some limitations in industrial zones. Also, residents will now be able to sell food grown on their property.

“These code changes will strengthen our community food security,” said Council President Richard Conlin, sponsor of the ordinance. “This is one more action that supports the goals of the Local Food Action Initiative: increases opportunities for Seattle residents to purchase and grow healthy food in the city.”

“This is an exciting time to be an urban farmer,” said Nicole Jain Capizzi, owner of Amaranth Urban Farm in Rainier Beach. “I recently moved to Seattle to start an urban farm and am encouraged by the City�s on-going actions that strengthen Seattle’s food system.”

This legislation formally recognizes Farmer’s markets allowing them in more areas of Seattle. The ordinance also allows dedicated food production on rooftop greenhouses with a 15 foot exemption to height limits in a variety of higher density zones.

“The code changes related to rooftop greenhouses are a bold step toward high-yield food production in an urban environment,” stated Branden Born, Associate Professor of Urban Design and Planning at University of Washington. “The Seattle City Council is again on the forefront of initiatives that show a true commitment to improving access to healthy food.”

The legislation improves the number of chickens allowed per lot from three to eight, with additional chickens allowed for large lots associated with community gardens and urban farms. The legislation prohibits new roosters and sets boundaries for chicken coops, ten feet away from primary residential structures. Existing chicken coops built prior to the code changes will remain legal.

More information on raising chickens in the city can be found at:

via Seattle City Council News Release: Seattle City Council approves urban farm and community garden legislation improving access to locally grown food.

August 17, 2010   1 Comment

Yoga for Cyclists

On August 28th, People’s Yoga Detroit will offer its first-ever workshop, Yoga for Cyclists with Caitlin Brown!  During this three-hour class, students will explore asanas (postures) that can help open and release areas of the body often tight and tense among cyclists, such as the hips, quads, hamstrings, low back, and shoulders.  Participants will also learn about the benefits all cyclists stand to gain from a regular yoga practice focused not just on movement but on breath, meditation, and mind/body awareness as well.  The fee for the workshop is just $20 and it will be held at Spirit of Hope Church – be sure to RSVP soon if you’re interested, this one will fill up fast!

Detroit’s bicycle culture has been taking off of late – from our well-attended monthly Critical Mass rides to the success of the always-hopping Hub of Detroit bike shop, evidence is everywhere that Detroiters are opting for a mode of transit that is healthier and more sustainable than that other one for which this city is most well-known.  Cycling is indeed a fun and healthy way to get around, but any rider knows it can tax the body.  Our shoulders tighten from leaning forward over handlebars, our thighs get sore, and when we’re out of balance we overuse certain muscles to compensate for our weaknesses.  People’s Yoga instructor Caitlin Brown is well-versed in cycling’s joys and its potential bodily impacts, and she says applying yoga to her cycling has helped her avoid stress and injury.

In the summer of 2008, Caitlin went on a three-month bicycle tour, and since then she has become a dedicated, car-free cyclist.  She found that regular yoga practice not only helped her maintain flexibility, but deepened her awareness of her body’s needs, helping her avoid injury.  Additionally, deep yogic breathing helped her control her breath while pedaling up those steep hills some of us dread, and a yogic focus on meditation helped Caitlin stay patient on long, grueling days of non-stop cycling.

Participants in the Yoga for Cyclists workshop will certainly reap the benefits of Caitlin’s vast experience!  Be sure to join us at Spirit of Hope church on August 28, and don’t forget to RSVP today!

Doors open a half an hour before class. Enter on MLK and please lock your bike inside. We practice in the 2nd floor gym. Yoga Mats are available, but we encourage you to bring your own if you have one!

Spirit of Hope Church – 1519 Martin Luther King at Trumbull
To register please email caitlin@peoplesyogadetroit.org – Space is limited
More Info: http://peoplesyogadetroit.org/ – 313.355.2009

August 16, 2010   No Comments

Reverend Billy: Flying to Ask the Earth

Angela and I have been following Reverend Billy for quite some time. I first saw him out at Burning Man in 2004. It was great to finally meet him at the USSF. We spoke of his returning to Detroit with the entire Stop Shopping Choir! That will be exciting. Here’s Rev Billy’s most recent “sermon” from the Huffington Post. ~Gregg

Flying to Ask the Earth

Climb a mountain and stand way up there alone in the sky and ready your ultimate question about life. Naturally you want to unfurl your wings like an eagle and make the unknown horizon give up its answers.

Ask the question straight up into the wind, far into the quiet turbulence of a regular day. If you’re lucky, the confusion comes. You are confused because you sent your question as far as you could, and when the answer came back — did you know it already? It turns out the answer is not a glorious Universal Truth. In fact, you’re not addressing a great sky from a mountain. You’re standing on a street corner in your neighborhood and the answer seems to be this baby peeing on your hands. (read on: Reverend Billy: Flying to Ask the Earth.)

August 15, 2010   No Comments