Nitty Gritty Department: Challenges and Opportunities of Urban Farming

This article presents a wide-ranging and hard-headed analysis of the challenges and opportunities in urban farming, including lots of links to existing experiments all over the U.S — many of which are located — surprise surprise! — in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Camden, NJ which cities function then, as both canaries in the mine and pioneers for a liveable future.

In fact, I’m going to study this article and send it to all my podmates here in the Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage and Garden — to glean more ideas for value-added products, “loss leaders,” microgreens in winter for profit, agritourism, education, and so on. We’ve thought about a lot of this, but haven’t implemented much, yet. All, of course, with the intent of transforming our little corner of the world into an ever-diversifying, expanding, and deepening physical, emotional, mental and spiritual home that is centered in the endless possibilities of the gifting economy of mutual indebtedness and gratitude while participating as much as necessary in the transactional economies of trade and money.

Did you know that, as it stands now, urban farmers grow 15-20% of the world’s food?

I find that statistic astonishing — and very very heartening, since we in the U.S. have only barely begun to tap into the passion for reconnecting with our own bodies, with each other, with the plants and animals and the Earth — this vivid aliveness that has been locked inside us for centuries, buried under layer upon layer of machine-like cultural and religious beliefs.

That’s done. Over and done. Okay? Let’s go.

Start where YOU are. Learn from others. Keep going. Make mistakes. Learn from them! Laugh! Contribute to the real common-sense, our common-sensing with Earth of HER almighty passion that can and will yield abundance on every level, for everyone.

The benefits of city-based agriculture go far beyond nutrition.

Carolyn Leadly outside greenhouse at Rising Pheasant Farms
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