Urban farming brings individuals and communities together to reclaim green space so they can grow produce. Using this method means avoiding commercial logistics – food is sold where it is grown. This revolution in agriculture is helping consumers shift from being mindless eaters to active participants in the food production process.
Food connection through practical education
Most of us don’t understand our connection with our food. We don’t often think about how the basic ingredients arrived in our soups, stir-fries and salads. This dissociation has resulted in more people wanting to understand and get involved in food production. The most obvious way is by growing produce ourselves. Farming in cities is one way to learn about the process. Through reclaiming rooftops and abandoned spaces, communities can create an educational platform.
People are becoming aware that the food they eat impacts the environment directly. The urban farming initiative joins environmental activists and communities to grow produce that is then sold. The aim is not so much about making money, but about bringing back local and seasonal produce, reducing the distance food travels before landing on your plate.
By creating an urban farm, co-ops can provide your favourite restaurants with vegetables sourced locally, thus lowering harmful CO2 emissions. Urban farming also holds educational value, in that it supports volunteering while learning. By living near urban gardens, community members may observe the food production process year-round, from seeds to fully edible greens.
Healthy communities through healthy food
Urban farming also helps families earn extra income. Additionally, co-op members can take home products at a fraction of the price they would pay at a supermarket chain. Through urban farming initiatives, whether the agricultural space is inner-city or peri-urban, people can learn about how to grow essential and seasonal produce. They can eat healthily and be assured that their food is free from the pesticides often used by large outer-city farms.
More importantly, urban agriculture creates green spaces that reduce the stress associated with city living. In community efforts such as urban agriculture, everyone’s role is important. People can learn new skills and keep active while advocating for local produce, which prevents environmental deterioration. Furthermore, it puts otherwise unused land to work, making our cities more beautiful and livable.
In congested cities, urban farming offers people the opportunity to grow native produce. It’s a win-win situation, as it creates jobs while teaching people how they can do their bit for the environment. Consumers can feel confident that the produce they are eating is locally sourced.
Besides offering food, urban farming alleviates some major problems common to cities, such as flooding and air pollution. Plants are natural air purifiers and can reduce pollutants that cause many respiratory ailments.
Urban agriculture also improves ecological biodiversity. Having different species of plants and crops attracts diverse wildlife. Urban agriculture also focuses on sustainability. Rotation farming and mulch from vegetable scraps can be used to maintain and fertilise soil.