What is urban farming?
Urban farming is a topic that is on everyone’s radar, but what does it actually mean? The answer, as it turns out, is quite dependent on who (and where) you are.
For some, the term urban farming means conducting farming practices inside a major city, like New York City, while others still consider themselves urban farmers when they are growing things in a suburban area. Whether you are thriving in the heart of the city, or living in the suburbs, everyone can benefit from some form of urban farming.
Using the term loosely, urban agriculture is farming that takes place within city boundaries rather than rural areas. These farming practices can be in the form of rooftop greenhouses, deck gardens, small backyard farms, and community-managed garden plots. Some urban farms are built exclusively for education, training or re-entry programs at prisons. Some are built to improve the access to food in a community, or as a community building exercise, and some are smaller backyard projects. The wonderful thing is that every urban farm is different, just like every rural farm is different.
SO what’s the big deal?
Why is it gaining attention?
Lately, more people have started taking an interest in where their food is coming from, and how it is processed. There is an increased desire to eat pesticide-free, nutritious food. By growing and taking care of your own food, it’s clear how the animals and vegetables were treated and where they came from. There is no more grey area. Urban farming gives you the chance to eat food that is grown locally inside your community instead of thousands of miles away.
Types of urban farming:
Urban farming can encompass many different types.
- Institutional farms and gardens
- An Institutional farm is one that is associated with and maintained by a specific institution such as a school, hospital, prison, or church. While their primary goal may not be food production, their mission is still strong.
- Community managed gardens
- Communities will often come together and manage a community garden on a piece of land that is provided by an individual, city, or non-profit organization. They work together to manage and maintain the garden throughout the year.
- Household gardens
- On a roof, on your deck, or in your backyard, any garden counts when it comes to urban farming!