Until even as recently as the late 70′s and early 80′s, it was still common in many countries to own a lot in a community garden or grow in-season produce in your backyard. Now cities are once again becoming more “green” and urban gardens and farms are providing people with nutrient-rich local foods.
Urban agriculture is a practical way of empowering everyday persons on a journey to regain some control over their food supply. From individuals using vacant lots, to neighborhood efforts to create shared gardens, to city-wide projects, urban farming is rightfully receiving attention around the world.
The following are inspiring examples of how everyday citizens are becoming involved in urban farming, reclaiming food independence and reconnecting with the earth.
1. Havana, Cuba
In Havana, the capital city of Cuba, a communal effort dubbed the Green Revolution has led to many people throughout this aging city growing pesticide free food for the benefit of the neighborhood. Local farms called “huertas” are creating jobs with little investment, resulting in fresh and nutritious produce grown and available locally.
2. Atlanta, Georgia
Several communities in Atlanta, Georgia have come together to create community gardens throughout the city to address important issues such as how far food travels to reach the plate, the need to have control over food safety, and the nutritious quality of food. Communities are keen to pursue an environmentally friendly way of living by reclaiming abandoned lots, making cities more beautiful, and providing high quality nutritious food to the immediate community.
3. Oakland, California
In this inspiring interview, Oakland, California resident and author Novella Carpenter answers frequently asked questions such as: What do your neighbors think? What to consider if you plan to raise animals? Does urban farming save you money? The interview also discusses the presence of lead in urban soil, natural predators in an urban environment, and ends with advice for aspiring urban farmers.
The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham
Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard by Jessi Bloom and Kate Baldwin
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