The past century has seen the greatest proliferation of industrial farming since the industrial revolution granted the ability to do the work of many with just one machine. More mouths to feed, more food to grow, it only made sense to grow in surplus in the beginning, but that power to grow more on a plot of land, coupled with the insatiable appetite of capitalism has resulted in a turning point in our society.
Profits ignore sustainability and even sustenance, the foundation of agriculture. We have the power to yield enough food for more than three times the population over, yet we are living in some of the most food insecure times of our lives. Between climate change, capitalism, and imperialism, the need for seizing the control of our own food supply has never been greater.
Urban farming is the rise of the people, embracing and promoting self-sustainability.
A Global Phenomenon
Where you see abandoned lots and concrete jungles, some people see a vision for the future. Urban farming has exploded all over the world in places like New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Germany. Rooftops, vacant lots, and even window sills are all highly efficient means of harvesting food, on a per-capita basis, when compared to the massive industrial farms.
For every ten acres of an urban farm planted, over 35,000 lbs of food can be yielded. These urban farms on a community-scale also create jobs, those jobs in-turn circulate more money into the community, enriching the neighborhoods within. It is because of these incentives of urban farming that every major city around the globe that has the same issues with inequality and food insecurity that urban farming has taken off so quickly.
Efficiency and Resiliency of Urban Farms
There are numerous ecological advantages of urban cultivating for urban areas, for example, more greenery, better control of spillover, better shading, and the balance of urban problem areas. Eliminating the quantity of miles produce needs to travel, either through plane, train, or diesel enhances air quality, too.
Urban horticulture is performed under particular conditions that require advancements diverse to those utilized as a part of the provincial setting. Such particular conditions experienced, among others: restricted accessibility of space and the high cost of urban land, located in vast quantities of individuals (and in this way a requirement for safe farming techniques), utilization of urban assets (natural waste and wastewater), and potential outcomes for direct farmer and buyer contacts.
Most accessible horticultural advancements require adjustment for use in these conditions while new innovations must be produced to react to particular urban needs (e.g. non-soil generation advances for use on rooftops and in basements; improvement of sheltered and financial practices for reuse of wastewater).
There’s a ton of ways that urban farming tech and local initiatives can further advance the promotion of self-sustainability, increase yields, protect urban farmers from unfair ordinances or being excluded from critical funding opportunities by local governments. The battle to make urban farming commonplace is a long and heartfelt road, as the agricultural industry has a lot at stake in keeping waste high and a dependence on outsourced food. But, we feel the tide is already turning, urban farming is the future.