Growth in City Farms for Locavores

Urban Farming-A sustainable, organic food solution:

There is a nationwide uptick in Urban Farming. From rooftops to old factory lots… to- at times –  unclaimed land bits and patches-what was once considered an odd, hipster thing to do, has now become just a little more mainstream.

An example is a new farm and open air market growing an a former industrial area. It sits on an old “brownfield” in Philadelphia and, yes that brownfield was previously a EPA superfund site (now very clean!).

The veggies sold in the market are all local, and some that are sold are grown under controlled greenhouse conditions on site:

Greensgrow Farm in Philadelphia

Learn more about Greensgrow by visiting here.

Even more promising, albeit a little less likely, is the idea that Urban farming can change a cityscape. Quite recently, Michigan State suggested a $100 Million program to jumpstart an urban agriculture industry in Detroit:

The goal, said Rick Foster, director of MSU’s Greening Michigan Institute, is to make Detroit the center of a worldwide research effort devoted to growing food inside cities as a way to get fresh food to urban residents and to put vacant urban land back into productive use

A laudible goal-  a great program managed by a university- but perhaps a formal, top down way of going about things. Currently, the most successful Urban Farms have been all about small, local,  grassroots. There is a recognition that things must start small:

…any effort would likely start small, probably no more than about 10 acres. But Foster said he envisions the research effort growing over time into an entire Detroit campus, possibly including a business incubator devoted to food-producing businesses.

For some perspective, read an overview at Fortune Magazine. It features a LARGE farm, commercial in size and scale, which aims to do a lot, simultaneously. The article may be is a few years old, but the idea of farm as urban renewal seems fresher than ever.

Future farm

Future Urban Farm

 

 

Some content originally published on our prior blog, The Work-Bench.

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