One of the critical hurdles that farmers in urban areas face is access to affordable land for growing food. The concept of a multi-locational or decentralized farm is an elegant solution to growing food in diverse urban and suburban settings. It seems that more and more farms are using the multi-locational model. We found quite a few successful operations in Canada in particular.
For people who work late hours and have families to manage or long commutes, finding the time to shop at farmer’s markets or pick up a CSA box is often not feasible. So a lot of people who otherwise would love to have easy access to local fresh food get left out of the equation. A growing number of organizations are trying to bridge this gap by bringing CSAs directly to workplaces, which is a boon to all involved: workers, employers, and local farmers.
Whether you want to take a day trip to learn how lavender is farmed or stay a few days on a working farm to learn about organic agricultural methods, there are a multitude of agritourism experiences available right here in America.
Last spring, the city of Seattle announced plans for the nation’s first food forest, and people around the country immediately took notice. News of the 7-acre public park to be converted into a free, open, public food forest spread through blogs and other news publications and before long others decided to embrace the idea for their own community.
The second-annual Locavore Index, which ranks states in terms of access to locally produced food, was released recently by Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group. The rankings compare the number of farmers markets, CSAs and food hubs on a per capita basis. Like last year, Vermont came out on top by a landslide, which shows that it is possible for a state to build a thriving local food system. Also, like last year, we used the data to make an infographic. How does your state stack up?
Oprah is known for starting contagious trends, and some hope that her decision to grow food on 16 acres of her Maui estate will spark a trend in local food production nationwide.
Ron Finley wants everyone to understand “growing your own food is like printing your own money.” The group he founded is LA Green Grounds. Their mission: “Growing, working, teaching: changing turf into edible gardens in South Los Angeles.”
Now that the five winners of the Mayors Challenge have been announced, we would like to check in on some of the runners-up. Hillsboro, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Knoxville, Tennessee all proposed programs addressing fuel and food issues in their communities.
In the continued effort to find more efficient ways to feed a growing global population that is increasingly concentrated in urban areas, many individuals and businesses are turning to aquaponics as a super-efficient urban farming solution. And who doesn’t want to make our food system more efficient?