One of my favorite parts of my internship with Sustainable America this summer was that I was encouraged to explore new ideas I was interested in. While I was researching the green roofing trend, I stumbled upon a rooftop farm in New York City called Brooklyn Grange and signed up for a tour. Learning about the farm inspired me to visit some restaurants that are growing their own food in the city. Here are a few interesting eateries I found.
Farming may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City, but some of its residents have solved the challenge of restricted space by utilizing the city’s most underused space: rooftops. A recent visit to Brooklyn Grange demonstrated how creative farmers today can produce local food no matter where they live.
Today, we’re featuring a guest post from our friend Dan Susman, director and producer of Growing Cities, a documentary about America’s urban farming movement. Right now, he’s raising money to help get the film featured on PBS through a Kickstarter campaign that ends tomorrow, July 9. Let’s help him reach his goal!
This month, Sustainable America will welcome the arrival of its new Omega Garden, an innovative rotary hydroponic system, which will serve as one of three indoor, urban agriculture demonstration units showcased in our new Stamford office. Its innovative design gets up to 3.5 times more in harvest per plant, without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Now that’s impressive.
The urban farming movement is going strong, with organizers worldwide working to bring food production into urban areas. Urban food production improves city dwellers’ access to fresh food, promotes food justice, and reduces transportation costs. Check out three up-and-coming urban farming projects tailor-made to suit the needs of their communities.
Recently we had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Susman, director and producer of the new documentary Growing Cities. The film follows Dan and his co-producer Andrew Monbouquette across the United States as they examine the growing urban farming movement. The Nebraska natives visited a total of 80 farms in vacant lots, rooftops, and backyards and interviewed the passionate people from all walks of life who tend them. Along the way, they learned a lot about community, food justice, and eating urban squirrels (spoiler: try at your own risk).
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.
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.”
The future of farming may be urban. At the very least, the notion of Agri-tecture asks us to look at ways that buildings and agriculture can be integrated quite seamlessly.