Hey folks, last week we talked about what urban agriculture is. I hope it was a good start to learn more about this amazing process of growing. Today, let’s tackle the benefits of urban agriculture.
When you start to search for the top cities associated with Urban Agriculture you see some mind-blowing things. A majority the top 10 cities do not even have a climate conducive to growing food year-round. What is amazing is that all these cities have legislature passed to benefit urban agriculture. They have developed city zoning codes that benefit urban agriculture. We can learn a lot from these places:
- Detroit, Michigan
- Portland, Oregon
- Austin, Texas
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Chicago, Illinois
- Seattle, Washington
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Have you ever been to Minnesota? Man, it gets to –20F out there! Can someone please explain to me how Minneapolis is a top city for urban gardening over Houston? Lol, you cannot even go outside during some of the months. I’m not trying to pick on Minnesota, I’m just saying make it make sense to me. In my mind the top cities should all be in warm climates where you can garden year-round.
Why is Houston not the mecca?
I am not sure, but I am on a mission to change that. I am going to show the world how dope Houston’s Agriculture scene. We have people like Ivy, from Ivy Leaf Farms, Jeremy Peaches, from Fresh Life Organics and me, Big City Gardener, making farming and urban agriculture dope again. One of the goals of Big City Gardener is to help make Houston the greatest urban agriculture scene in the world. I have some work ahead of me, but I don’t mind.
Problems of Urban Agriculture
WhiIe love the way urban agriculture sounds, I don’t know how much urban gardening and farming is going on. In my city alone I often hear about it on the news or read about it in the paper, but I don’t see it. Well, not as much as I want to see. There are people doing it, but it seems they get the least amount of support. When I do see urban agriculture taking place it usually happens in areas that don’t necessarily need it, I don’t know how impactful that is. Why not use it in food desserts and other similar areas as a solution to provide families with the freshest food possible right near their homes. Oftentimes the communities that would be best served by these urban gardens and urban farms are often forgotten or neglected.
Benefits of Urban Agriculture
- Proximity. With urban agriculture, we can grow the food closer to the people. Which means depending on who grows it, you can harvest fresher more nutrient dense food. This also helps to cut down on pollution associated with shipping food.
- Accessibility. Urban agriculture has the potential to have a big impact in low-income areas. We could begin to address the problems of fresh food access associated with food desserts.
- Community. Urban agriculture strengthens the idea of community. Imagine growing up knowing you live in an area that produces food for the city. That can be empowering!
- Jobs. More farms, more urban agriculture means there are opportunities for more jobs. Also, by showing kids that this could be a career path, you could spark an idea in a child’s head. Maybe they don’t become an urban farmer but maybe they still do something in the urban agriculture industry.
- Efficiency. This can be where modern science meets agriculture. Urban agriculture can aid in feeding the booming populations of the cities. With limited space more ingenious ways of growing will have to take place. This allows for technological innovation with things such as vertical gardening, hydroponics, and aquaponics. All three of these methods are said to be 50 times more productive than common row farming.
- Save space. If land is limited forcing ourselves to become more efficient can help save space.
- Recycling. When growing in an urban area you must be resourceful, this is due to the lack of space. Recycling things like old shipping containers into growing chambers can help alleviate some of the stress placed on the landfills.
- Setting a good example. We know that humans in general are copycats. They see something trendy and then everyone wants to be a part of it. That’s how styles and crazes happen. What if we set an example of showing things like composting, gardening, or soil remediation? Imagine influencing numerous amounts of people to begin doing the same. This could drastically change the world.
These here, my friends, are just a few of the amazing benefits of urban agriculture. Do you know any other benefits I have not mentioned above? Please share it with us and our readers in the comments below!