Urban farming is a large movement to integrate the raising of crops and animals into our urban city settings. This can happen directly in these areas, or nearby at the edges of our cities. Urban farming is also a specific organization that is dedicated to encouraging people to get involved in urban environments to help create more food.
At nearly every food conference these days you will find people who are speaking out about converting unused space into productive agricultural areas that can help provide more food and nutritional education for people living in the cities. There are literally thousands of sites that are dedicated to the idea of urban agriculture. Gardeners aren’t the only people interested in this movement, city planners, environmentalists, community groups, and individuals are focuses on the initiative.
How Does It Help?
We have all heard the stories about how eating healthy costs more than running out for fast food. This makes getting the right amount of fresh vegetables and fruits costly and impossible for some people. Urban agriculture is different from commercial agriculture in the spirit of its purpose. As a society who is largely made up of capitalism ventures are undertaken many times expressly for gain and profit.
Urban agriculture differs drastically in this aspect. While the tasks, produce, and other products are similar to what is produced by commercial agriculture, urban farming focuses on the production to support our own families and share with those in need.
How To Get Started
One of the greatest things about urban agriculture is that you don’t have to be a corporation to get started. It can be as simple as a group of friends, a community, or even a neighborhood group can get a urban farm started and care for it.
Picking A Site
If there is unused land or under used land in your area, petitions can be made to local government. The areas that are popular for starting urban agriculture can be places where housing has been demolished, retail areas that are no longer in use, landfills, or even rooftops. Some areas are even sectioning of some of their park areas for the growing of food for the community to use instead of relying entirely on commercial growers.
Choosing What To Do With The Crops
If it is a individual or group of friends it is common for the fruits of these labors to be consumed directly by the urban farmers. If the project is big enough and zoning allows the produce can be sold at local farmers markets or local restaurants. With the money that is made improvements can be made to the farm, better tools can be purchased, or the funds can be donated to charities in your local area. Many urban farming projects choose to donate some or all of their work to local soup kitchens, shelters, or church organizations that will use the food for the support of the needy.
Deciding On What To Grow
This is where democracy is preferable. Depending on how big and who is involved a list of common vegetables and fruits that grow well in your area should be discussed. Based on interest and nutritional value area should be sectioned off to grow the proportionate amount of the most important items.
If zoning allows urban farmers can also choose to discuss which types of animals will be raised as part of the project. Many people like having chickens to supplement their need for eggs. Not only are they a good source of protein but if done right many eggs can be produced with a modest amount of laying hens.
Urban Farming Supply Nurseries
A&P Nursery has all the tools, knowledge, seeds, and plants your urban farming project might need. We can help you get your project started with expert advice and friendly service. Stop by one of our 4 locations in the east valley or give us a call to get started.