From Vancouver to Los Angeles, younger generations are hearing the call to arms or rather the call to swap stilettos and suits for muck boots and overalls — uniting in a movement to farm within the limits of their city.
A woman, Marcy Winograd, was quoted in a Santa Monica Daily Press article as having explained the reasoning behind her urban farm campaign. She said in the article, “our house isn’t big, but the front yard is large. It seemed like it would be a waste not to use it for food production and greening the environment.”
There are a number of reasons why waves of urbanites are picking up the pitchfork, and according to an August 2010 article in the Smithsonian magazine the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found that, “large parts of the developing world are facing shortages of water and arable land,” and this may be a large part of why people are taking matters into their own hands for the greater good of sustainable food production for themselves and others.
According to an article on BCBusiness, typical candidates for urban farming are “urban residents who are intellectually or emotionally connected to food and want to get back into primary production,” said Andrew Riseman in the article.
Even New York City has jumped on the bandwagon with an urban farm known as Riverpark Farm, which is a 15,000 square-foot farm “amidst the towering skyscrapers and bursting New York City traffic,” according to YourOliveBranch.org.
With a slew of information available to better understand urban farming (including a website a whole arsenal of books, articles and blogs), a community in Multnomah County, Oregon has even gone as far as to develop a program and apprenticeship (Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship) for those who want to fully embrace urban farming. The program includes 550 class hours over the course of eight months.
With the movement growing, it’s only a matter of time before it’s knocking at your doorstep.
-written by Katie Kelley, Social Media Intern, Winter 2011