How we grow, deliver, and consume food around the world is built on a broken and ideologically incompatible system. Farms exist to make a limited number of individuals obscenely rich. Thus, everything that goes into the production of our food is built on a foundation of what makes them the most money, not what makes food more nutritious, accessible, and fresh for the public.
Urban farms are the answer to the agriculture industry’s inadequate and unsustainable hold on the world. By taking control of how we grow our food and what is grown, we will have a say as to what the future will bring for the people of this planet, not the men sitting in their ivory towers.
Through the Cracks of Concrete
While there is no one source of the beginning of this revolution of urban farming, one can point to major examples of how it fills the needs of the most desperate places. Detroit is a place that has been abandoned by its representative government, and so the people have taken it upon themselves to feed the community through urban agriculture.
This is no recreational project that was founded on pure convenience or the enhancement of flavors, Detroit’s urban gardens have sprouted out of a fundamental need for fresh produce that is as affordable as it is accessible. There’s rows of abandoned lots, which were once associated with death and despair, which are now being used to grow food, jobs.
Investing for the Future
Unless you are an ultra-pessimist, one can’t help but look at a city like Detroit and see the potential for a rebirth. The only way that is going to happen is to create new industry while strengthening the economy. There’s nowhere else to go but up, which is also how the Michigan Agricultural Department sees it. They estimate that tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in taxes could be created off of urban farming related ventures.
Not only that, urban farming can help reverse some of the damage that has been done to the communities of Detroit, with so much of the population that has been lost due to economic turmoil. It’s certainly a long way before the city can even begin to speak about returning to normal, but rebuilding includes new growth, which urban agriculture can be the key ingredient for the future.
Promising Growth in the Field
The job potential for urban farming isn’t just limited to the labor and management positions, there’s a lot to be excited about in the technology industry. Aquaponics are going to be in huge demand in the future for urban settings. The oceans are becoming fished out at an alarming rate, so the ability to raise seafood in warehouses or rooftops is nothing short of a miracle.
Big agriculture may claim that many jobs will be lost that are tied to harvesting, transporting food across the country, however, those low-skill, low pay jobs will be replaced by skilled jobs that are more fulfilling and sustainable for the individual and society. Lowered cost of living means less people on welfare and less people in danger of becoming food insecure. Urban farmers know all about waste and how little resources are actually needed to produce extremely nutritious and bountiful yields. Maybe, in a distant future, economies will no longer be dependent on private companies for feeding the populace.