Economic Development: Urban Farming

One group in Chicago is demonstrating that urban farming can be a viable economic development strategy in low income areas.
August 27, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
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"The two-thirds-acre City Farm, a Resource Center project, with 1,500 tomato plants and nearly year-round growth of carrots, beets and other root crops, has added some green to the otherwise concrete environment of Cabrini-Green. More plants will take root in the area as the city announced Monday that the urban farm will expand to a nearby one-acre vacant lot." The group suggests urban farming as a viable community and economic development strategy that not only enriches communities with nutrition and education, but beautifies vacant lots. "A one-acre farm would employ three people from the neighborhood, each making $20,000 to $23,000 a year. The farms are only temporary, though, because as the city comes up with uses for the land, the farms have to move. The lots near Cabrini-Green will likely become mixed-income housing within two years....Food grown in the Resource Center's farms is sold to expensive local restaurants...and the income pays the farmers...."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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