City farming

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The Urban Farm at the University of Oregon

City farming, also called urban farming, is growing a kitchen garden (French: potager) in a city.[1] This has been practiced as long as there have been cities. Other names include "pea-patching", victory gardening and foodscaping.[1]

City "farms"[change | change source]

Food is grown in a city setting for the use of an individual or family as well as for the community. This is not the same as the back-to-the-land movements of the 1970s.[1] It is mainly about the little family farm inside the city.[1] Land use in cities is subject to local land laws. Where permitted city farms may be anything from small window boxes to shared community gardens.[2] Urban farmers can grow food for their own use. They can also sell excess crops directly to stores or at a farmers' market. City farms can also be nonprofit operations that grow food for poor and homeless people.[2]

Many city farms grow organic foods. These are from plants that do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.[3] City farming also includes food growing cooperatives. They provide the opportunity to get involved in agriculture in their own city.[4] In Brisbane, Australia a community group took a 4 hectares (9.9 acres) city park that flooded regularly and changed it to an organic city farm.[4] Called Northey Street City Farm, people of all ages and backgrounds work together to grow food.[4] Fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown. Ponds were introduced to attract beneficial insects, frogs and birds which help in pest control.[4]

Economics[change | change source]

City farming allows people to save money growing and harvesting their own food.[5] It allows many individuals and families to make an income selling the food they grow.[5] It helps the cities by recycling organic waste into compost and soil.[5] It takes vacant lots and turns them into green spaces.[5]

Community[change | change source]

Shared garden space or community gardens provide a sense of working together. People, especially children, learn stewardship (planning and managing resources).[6] Kids learn responsiblity and work ethics. They are also eager to try new foods when they see them grown in their own gardens.[6] In some countries, gardens are grown on rooftops or on pavement. In some places land around public schools is made available for gardens.[7] This benefits the school by providing food for school lunches. It also allows children to learn about growing their own food.[7]

WW2 Victory Garden Poster

Victory gardens[change | change source]

Victory gardens were city farms that sprang up during World War I and World War II.[8] There were food shortages in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany. In the US alone, victory gardens provided 40% of the produce used during World War II.[8] In addition to farms, gardens were grown in window boxes, rooftops, back yards and vacant yards.[9] Victory gardens gave the people at home a sense of doing their part for the war effort.[9] Women in England tended to grow ornamental gardens. This made for an easy shift towards food gardening. Women in the US had a cultural identity with the British and also grew ornamental gardens. But there were stereotypes to working in agricultural jobs in the US.[9] But these were quickly overcome. Victory gardens were not uncommon even among upper classes in America.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lisa Taylor; et al., Your Farm in the City: An Urban-Dweller's Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2011), p. 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robin Morris Collin, Encyclopedia of Sustainability (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2009), p. 222
  3. Lewis Hom. "About Organic Produce". University of California at Berkeley. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Peter Newman; Isabella Jennings, Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems: Principles and Practices (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2008), p. 180
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Cities Farming for the Future: Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities, ed. Rene ́ van Veenhuizen (Silang, Philippines: RUAF Foundation, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction; Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 2006.), p. ix
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lisa Taylor; et al., Your Farm in the City: An Urban-Dweller's Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2011), p. 13
  7. 7.0 7.1 African Indigenous Vegetables in Urban Agriculture, eds. Charlie M Shackleton; Margaret W Pasquini; Axel W Drescher (London; Sterling, VA: Earthscan, 2009), p. 41
  8. 8.0 8.1 Environmental Impact, eds. C. A. Brebbia; Tae Soo Chon (Southampton, UK; Boston: Wit Press, 2012), p. 415
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Cecilia Gowdy-Wygant, "Cultivating Victory: The Women's Land Army and the Victory Garden Movement" (Pittsburgh: The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), pp. 1-2

Other websites[change | change source]

Further reading[change | change source]