Urban Agriculture is Growing

<p>Allison Arieff reports on the latest happenings in urban agriculture, including the planting of a full-scale edible landscape in her own backyard.</p>
July 30, 2008, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Two months ago, I learned about My Farm, run by mortgage-broker-turned-farmer Trevor Paque. My Farm is essentially an urban take on community-sponsored agriculture (CSAs). With CSAs, individuals essentially invest in rural farms to help support their operations and are given a weekly box of fresh produce in return. With My Farm (and similar operations found in cities including New York and Portland, Ore.), you can grow food in your own backyard with the assistance of urban farmers like Paque. In one day, he created our 120-square-foot backyard farm - landscaping with found materials from the yard, installing a drip-irrigation system and planting heirloom seeds. Now he comes once a week to harvest a box of organic and ridiculously local produce for us - plus an additional box, which he sells to another family in our neighborhood.

This costs us about $100 a month, and has allowed us to replace our water-dependent grass patch with an edible landscape. After just three months in business, Paque has a waiting list of over 200 people and is scrambling to keep up with demand.

Urban agriculture has been around since at least the 18th century, but it's an idea whose time has truly come - now - in the United States."

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Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 in The New York Times
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