Farming Settles into the City

The idea of urban farming has gone from fringe to functional, with backyards plots and small infill operations teeming across North America. Lloyd Alter takes a look at the trend.
April 7, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Writing for Azure Magazine, Alter looks at how urban farming has brought new life to barren plots within cities, and how this new form of farming is providing an economic boost to locals and local economies.

"The relocalization of agriculture can be as simple as a backyard garden for those who have the space, and the allotment or community garden for those who don't. In the Rust Belt of the United States, community gardens are converting abandoned land into productive gardens; Detroit alone has dozens, aimed not only at producing food, but also at creating jobs.

Detroit and other shrinking cities have hectares of land covered with derelict houses where the soil is relatively free of the contaminants found in brownfield sites. Detroit was built on high-quality farmland, and now 27 per cent of the land within municipal boundaries is considered vacant. In 2007, the city's community and family gardens yielded 108 tonnes of produce, funnelled to restaurants, food banks and farmers' markets."

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Published on Monday, April 5, 2010 in Azure Magazine
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