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Regenerative Urban-Farming: Why Growing Your Food is the Way of the Future

Urban farming isn't just about having fresh, healthy food available regularly. It's also an opportunity to reconnect with nature and learn to appreciate the delicate cycle of life that occurs each day around us, even in the concrete jungle of the city. And when we care more about how our food is grown, we're better able to enjoy it in all its glory, with every bite and every sip.


Urban Farms are Resilient

We've all heard about the importance of being resilient. But what does that mean? Regarding food production, resilience refers to a farm's ability to withstand and recover from disruptions. And what could be more disruptive than a global pandemic? Fortunately, urban farms are uniquely positioned to weather the storm. Because they are small and often located near population centers, they can quickly adapt to changing conditions and rapidly respond to customer needs. Plus, growing food locally reduces our reliance on long supply chains, which are often disrupted during times of crisis. In other words, urban farms are the ultimate insurance policy when it comes to feeding our cities in the face of adversity.


Urban Farms Improve Community Health

Access to healthy food is a significant issue in many communities, especially those impacted from food apartheid or “a system of segregation that divides those with access to an abundance of nutritious food and those who have been denied that access due to systemic injustice”[1] these are often referred to as “food-deserts”. What if there was a way to bring fresh, nutritious produce right into the heart of these areas? Enter urban farming. The regenerative (soil building) and sustainable methods used by urban farmers provide more than just fresh produce; they help build stronger communities. Urban farms have been found to positively affect public health, community cohesion, and economic development. They can also serve as social spaces for community events like cooking classes or after-school programs for children and seniors. The positive impacts on all these aspects are crucial because they improve quality of life and help people live healthier lives while reducing healthcare costs associated with diet-related diseases.


Urban Farms Create New Jobs

Urban farms are creating new jobs and opportunities in cities across the country. By growing food in vacant lots, on rooftops, and in other underutilized spaces, urban farmers are revitalizing neighborhoods and providing healthy, affordable food to their communities. In addition to creating jobs, urban farms are also helping to fight climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. And because they use less water than traditional farms, they're an essential part of the solution to the global water crisis.


Urban Farmers are Part of the Solution

As the world population continues to grow, so makes the food demand. According to the United Nations, we will need to produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed everyone[4]. This can seem daunting, but urban farmers are part of the solution. Urban farming is one way to reduce dependence on big agriculture and preserve a healthy planet. Urban farms provide jobs and fresh produce in communities where access to both has been limited or non-existent due to a lack of resources and transportation options. Beyond providing economic opportunities, urban farming offers mental health benefits such as increased physical activity, socialization, and stress relief. By practicing what they preach, farm owners live according to their values while increasing their community's self-reliance with fresh vegetables grown locally.


The Numbers Speak for Themselves

With the current state of the economy, many people are struggling to make ends meet. According to a report by the USDA, over 13.8 million households were food insecure in 2020[3] , meaning they didn't have enough money to buy food. With minimum wage at $7.25/hour, it would take someone an egregious amount of time to earn enough money to buy one meal[2]. For many people, this is not possible. Not only that but what if you're unable to work because you're elderly or disabled? Is there no option for affordable housing near your job? What if you don't qualify for assistance programs because you don't have children? When these circumstances exist, urban farming becomes an invaluable option. Even with just a tiny amount of land available, people can grow their fruits and vegetables while reducing their grocery bills tremendously. They can also supplement those foods with nutritious plants grown in home gardens like edible herbs, fruit trees, or even berry bushes.


Start Growing Your Food

When it comes to food, we often think of it as fuel for our bodies. And while that's true, our food can also be medicine for our bodies. That's where regenerative farming comes in.

Regenerative farming is a type of agriculture that focuses on rebuilding and revitalizing the soil. This results in healthier plants, which in turn leads to healthier people. It also has many environmental benefits like slowing down climate change, sequestering carbon dioxide, and producing more nutritious foods. It's been said that by 2050, an estimated nine billion people will live on this planet[4]. Suppose all those people depend solely on conventional food production methods like meat production or factory farming. In that case, there won't be enough resources to go around (to feed them). But suppose they are supported by more sustainable approaches like urban farming or vertical farms. In that case, there will be enough food for everyone!




References:

  1. “Food Apartheid | Project Regeneration.” Regeneration.Org, regeneration.org, https://regeneration.org/nexus/food-apartheid#:~:text=Food%20apartheid%20is%20a%20system,access%20due%20to%20systemic%20injustice. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

  2. “Minimum Wage | Department of Labor & Employment.” Minimum Wage | Department of Labor & Employment, cdle.colorado.gov, https://cdle.colorado.gov/wage-and-hour-law/minimum-wage#:~:text=Federal%20minimum%20wage%20is%20currently,law%20beginning%20January%201%2C%202022. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

  3. “USDA ERS - Household Food Security in the United States in 2020.” USDA ERS - Household Food Security in the United States in 2020, www.ers.usda.gov, 1 Sept. 2021, https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=102075.

  4. “World Must Sustainably Produce 70 per Cent More Food by Mid-Century – UN Report | | UN News.” UN News, news.un.org, 3 Dec. 2013, https://news.un.org/en/story/2013/12/456912#:~:text=The%20world%20will%20need%2070,United%20Nations%20and%20its%20partners.


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