A growing movement is spreading throughout U.S. cities that is feeding people, providing jobs, and helping the environment—urban farming.
This is a lot bigger than putting some tomato and zucchini plants in your backyard. These are local efforts, city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, to convert vacant land in America’s cities into small farms.
Sometimes it’s not even vacant land. In New York City, for instance, there are plans this summer for a floating food forest on a barge going up and down the Hudson River that will let people come and pick produce—for free.
Other urban farms are on rooftops. Some are along traffic median strips. Some are indoor vertical farms. Some are mobile farms that go from vacant lot to vacant lot, moving when land is developed and the garden must move to another open spot. Others are intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations. And some stretch over acres of urban land, like a project in Seattle that invites residents to work together to plant and harvest—all for free.
At the same time, the food grown in these urban food forests and farms helps residents regenerate the land and improve the area’s ecosystem.
All of this takes “eating local” to a whole new level. read more