The rise of urban agriculture and local farming can be seen in cities across America. GOOD's Allison Arieff looks at how that trend is making its way into the residential developments of suburban U.S.A.
"Look at Google Maps images of any platted but unbuilt or unfinished subdivision-all remaining evidence of what stood before erased, replaced with flattened house lots with nothing on them, paved streets including curvy cul-de-sacs, and even street signs, but no signs of life-and you'll understand the impulse to do things differently. According the American Farmland Trust, more than 6 million acres of agricultural land in the United States were lost to development between 1992 and 1997 alone. Consider that many of those acres were lost to developments that never saw the light of day. Is it too late to restore that acreage? And is it possible that agriculture could be suburbia's best hope?
Well, sort of. It's not as if Orange County, California, despite its dire decline in home values, is going to revert back to acres of orange groves. But around the country, there's a growing interest in looking at the ways agriculture might help retrofit ailing suburbs and cities, and offer an alternative way of thinking about new developments."