Farming in the City
Their mission statement says that “Urban Farming intends to eradicate hunger while increasing diversity, motivating youth and seniors and optimizing the production of unused land for food and alternative energy“. The goal of sustainable development is to integrate issues of environment, economics, and social justice in a way that current needs can be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Urban Farming is an organization that lives that definition. They work with volunteers and donors to farm unused urban land, making it productive and feeding the poor of their neighborhoods. They provide work for offenders on county jail rehabilitation programs, allowing them to develop new skills and a sense of self-worth.
If our cities are ever going to approach true sustainability, raising food locally is going to be a piece of the equation that integrates environment, economics, and social justice. A video on Urban Farming’s website notes that during World War II, many Americans planted “victory gardens” to support the war effort. They ended up raising 40% of the produce grown in the US during that time. We are in a situation no less dire now. As the earth’s climate warms and gas and oil and food prices rise, we are needing to re-evaluate how we feed ourselves. Raising more of our foods locally, either within the city itself, or more closely within the urban region, will become a greater necessity. Urban Farming is one organization recognizing this necessity and working to shift paradigms in the right direction.