Urban farming is becoming more and more talked about. Not only is it often discussed as a sustainable way to provide food for local communities, but it also may lead to greater community engagement and therefore to the overall well being of society. The first video that got me excited was a Ted talk by Ron Finley, known as a guerrilla gardener in South Central LA. Finley shows viewers a part of the city that completely lacks regular grocery stores, leaving the community to shop mostly at convenient stores. This community had no convenient access to fresh produce. Finley discusses his vision for urban farming as a way to not just provide healthy, fresh foods to the community, but also to involve at-risk youth in something positive. Urban farming can create a greater sense of pride and ownership in communities. In this Ted talk Finely gives an entertaining account of his rebellious determination in implementing his plan and the roadblocks he has experienced along the way. In just 11 minutes of video you will learn quite a bit about the living situation in South Central LA and the potential urban farming has for positive impact in the area.
I just recently have stumbled upon a website for a group called the Urban Farming Guys. The group strives to create sustainable aquaponic fish and vegetable farms. The website offers an opensource database on techniques for implementing your own off-grid, small space, sustainable farm. One amazing example is their attempt at growing 2,000 lbs of tilapia fish in a space they say is smaller than a living room. In this brief 6 minute video called ‘Farmin in the Hood’ they discuss their groups mission, some amazingly innovative goals and ideas, and their experience in trying to revitalize a neighborhood in Kansas City.
You can also check out their full website here:
I believe this really ties in with our community discussion on thinking of new ways for economies to operate on the local level. These ideas seem to really be plausible for increasing social capital, while decreasing environmental impact.