Urban agriculture, urban farming or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town, or city. It is gaining a lot of popularity in 2016 and it’s easy to see how! With the integration of the internet into our everyday lives there has never been an easier time to access massive amounts of information. One avenue people have used the internet to research more than ever is farming! Now first generation “farmers” who were never raised in rural areas can easily go to sites like DirtDoctor.com to learn about natural organic gardening and living. This makes it possible to grow all kinds of plants on the deck of a townhouse, balcony of an apartment, stacked vertically, and even in the back yard! With more people living in city and suburban areas than ever, space is limited so growing techniques have to adapt accordingly. Amazingly enough some families have reported growing 3000 pounds of food per year on a plot of land the size of a basketball court!
While targeting the “how” of urban farming’s rise in popularity we must also address the “why”. As any individual in the modern market would know, terms like “organic”, “non-GMO” and “gluten-free” have gained a massive following. Buyers now prefer to know where their food comes from, how it’s produced and what kind of effect it has on their body. This is where urban farming comes in! A new philosophy is developing where individuals would rather go through the toil and expenses of growing their own fruits and vegetables rather than take the risk of buying ones that could potentially be genetically modified and raised with harmful pesticides.
The importance of urban farming to our bodies, earth and society is paramount! Let’s face it, in today’s economy there is not a lot of local neighbor-to-neighbor commerce. In a community where urban farming is abundant, the illegal practice of buying food from individuals wouldn’t even be necessary. Families could specialize and grow certain crops and then trade with each other. Not only does this encourage community commerce, but it also would build a stronger sense of camaraderie! Industrial agriculture is one of the biggest perpetrators of fossil fuel pollution. If each individual or family managed their own growth of food in natural and organic ways it is not difficult to see how the entire world community could significantly decrease its carbon footprint! It is simply a fact that locally grown food has more freshness, flavor and nutrient retention than those bought from industrial food chain. This is thanks to cutting out the middle man, and eliminating all the transportation and processing that goes into putting the fruits and vegetables into your local supermarket/grocer. Obviously these benefits of growing locally lead to a better source of food for your body and can improve your health.
With the countless beneficial reasons and ways to get started, consider starting an urban farm today!