Southern SAWG, What is urban farming, 2014


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Southern SAWG, What is urban farming, 2014

  1. 1. Introduction to Urban Farming Edwin Marty
  2. 2. Outline What is an Urban Farm History of Urban Farms Current State of Urban Farms Urban Farm techniques      Start-up Funding Techniques Marketing Evaluation Resources
  3. 3. EAT South Downtown Farm
  4. 4. EAT South’s Hampstead Farm
  5. 5. What is Urban Farming?     Growing plants in or near city Both ‘for-profit’ and ‘not-for profit’ Individuals, community groups, schools, or companies These often have a social or public health agenda
  6. 6. Breaking Through Concrete
  7. 7. Why Urban Farming?  Re-localize the Food System   A safe food system is a local food system A local food system supports a local economy
  8. 8. Why Urban Farming?    Food is supposed to taste like something! Food is supposed to taste like some WHERE! Children don’t want food that doesn’t taste!
  9. 9. Why Urban Farming?  Reduce the environmental impact of our food system   Reduce transportation costs and dependence on non-renewable resources Close nutrient cycles to reduce environmental impact – waste doesn’t exist in natural systems!
  10. 10. Why Urban Farming?  Economic Impact    Wealth generation for individuals Wealth generation for communities Turning liabilities into assets
  11. 11. Why Urban Farming?  A New Generation of Farmers   Appeals to a different demographic Reduces the barriers to getting started
  12. 12. A Brief History of Urban Farming     Urban farms have been in existence since the advent of the city Cities perhaps wouldn’t have existed without urban farms Urban farms throughout the world contributed substantially to cites food access – especially perishable fruits and vegetables Improvements in transportation changed the relationship of farms to cities
  13. 13. Urban Farms in the Modern World    As railroads and refrigeration became more popular, farms moved away from cities to better cheaper farm land Coupled with these technologies, ‘Suburbanization’ drove farms far from cities By the mid-20th century, there were virtually no more urban farms. Fairview Gardens the ‘last’ farm in Santa Barbara
  14. 14. Urban Farms address Social Issues    Urban Farms in America have had multiple growth periods and retractions. 1890’s urban farming exploded out of Detroit in response to a recession – driven by the Mayor as a Social Project Other cities adopted similar projects but all were abandoned after recession
  15. 15. Victory Gardens    During both WW1 and WWII, government pushed the public towards urban farming with great success – to support the war effort After the wars, however, the gardens were largely abandoned. In the 1970’s, urban farming was again looked to as the ‘cure’ for urban blight.
  16. 16. Contemporary Urban Farms     Today Urban Farms are being embraced as the ‘cure’ for numerous social issues, such as childhood obesity and urban blight All major cities have urban farm projects, ranging widely in size and scope In Europe and Asia, however, urban farming has been integrated into the social fabric – not used as a response to crisis. In developing countries, urban farming is primarily driven by a need for ‘food security’
  17. 17. The Future of Urban Farms   Will the current interest in urban farming sustain itself after the current public health ‘issues’ are resolved? The current interest in Local Food Systems perhaps points at a longer term shift in the way America thinks about urban farming?
  18. 18. Modern Urban Successes      Growing Power – Milwaukee, WS The Food Project – Boston, MA Pea Patches – Seattle, WA Greens Grow – Philadelphia, PA Truly Living Well – Atlanta, GA Growing Power’s Aqua-ponics Greenhouse
  19. 19. Techniques for Urban Farming     Getting Started Find Your Partners Resources and Funding Issues and Challenges School garden at the Alabama School of Fine Arts
  20. 20. Getting Started  Develop a plan   Business plan – just as important for not-forprofits! How will the world be different as a result of your work?   Developing a mission, vision and strategic plan Logic Models  Resources, objectives, outcomes, evaluations
  21. 21. Find your partners  Who will you be serving?    Who are your resources   Customers Community Possible volunteers/ collaborators Who is your competition?   Other farms? Food Retailers
  22. 22. Resources - Funding  Public Funding  Local municipalities and counties  USDA  SARE, NRCS  Community Food Projects –  Full project and Planning grants
  23. 23. Resources - Funding  Private Funding        Local Community Foundations Local corporations (health insurance companies) Kellogg Foundation Wallace Center Heifer International Why Hunger Private Investors  Kick Starter, etc…
  24. 24. Issues and Challenges Environmental Quality  Soil test - Before putting a seed in the ground!  County Extension  Private  Air and Water quality EAT South’s Downtown Farm rubber mat below production area
  25. 25. Issues and Challenges  Zoning laws    Security    Very few places have urban ag codes Sustainable Cities Institute Fences don’t keep people out – only alienate Shipping containers are fun and effective! Community Support  Neighbors fear smells and sights of farms
  26. 26. Production Techniques  Starting small   Developing markets   Tremendous amounts of vacant urban space Tremendous opportunities in niche markets Farming in urban soils  A system to match any soils
  27. 27. Cinderblock raised beds  Advantages    Excellent drainage, aeration and concentration of fertility Much easier harvest and maintenance Challenges   Time consuming/ expensive to build w/o proper equipment Lose some planting area to width of cinder block
  28. 28. In-ground Raised beds  Advantages    Low cost and easy to build w/ correct equipment Improve drainage, aeration and concentration of fertility Challenges    Time consuming to build w/o proper equipment Lose some planting area to pathways and bed shoulder Soil must be tested!
  29. 29. Container gardening  Advantages     Excellent drainage and concentration of fertility Easy to harvest and maintain Can get pots for free Challenges   Need greenhouse or covering Must be watered frequently
  30. 30. Wood/ Metal raised beds  Advantages     Improve drainage, aeration and concentration of fertility Easy to harvest Match aesthetics of site Challenges  Time consuming/ expensive to build.
  31. 31. Greenhouses/ Hothouses  Advantages    Increases season Control moisture level in soil Challenges   Expensive to build and maintain Must be watered frequently
  32. 32. Crop Planning for Success     Research the market for your products Match the scale of your operation to the available market What can you grow better than others? Grow high-yield crops   Leafy greens Root crops
  33. 33. Markets for Urban Farm Products  Direct Marketing     CSA Farmers Markets Farm Stands Whole Sale   Grocery stores Corner stores
  34. 34. Evaluating the Impact      Design Trust for Public Space Economic Environmental Health Community
  35. 35. Web Resources  Design Trust for Public Space    Policy Link’s toolkit for urban farming _and_Community_Gardens.htm Sustainable Cities Institute   WHY Hunger’s Food Security Learning Center   The American Community Garden Association’s toolkit for starting community gardens.   oning_Urb_Ag The Community Food Security Coalition’s Urban Farm Committee   City Farmer’s Urban Agriculture Notes 
  36. 36. Further Reading     Agropolis; The Social, Political and Environmental Dimensions of Urban Agriculture. Luc Mougeot. London: Earthscan and IDRC, 2005  A collection of academic papers addressing issues and opportunities for urban agriculture around the world.   A Patch of Eden; America’s Inner City Gardens. H. Patricia Hynes. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1996  The story of numerous community gardens around American inner-cities and how they are rebuilding communities and restoring ecological systems. City Bountiful, A Century of Community Gardening in America. Laura J. Lawson. Berkley; University of California Press, 2005  A comprehensive history of urban food projects in America in the 20 th century with a focus on quantifying their impact.   Continuously Productive Urban Landscapes, Designing Agriculture for Sustainable Cities. Andre Viljoen. Burlington, MA: Architectural Press, 2005  A collection of articles focused on how food production fits into urban planning. 
  37. 37. Further Reading      Creating Sustainable Cities. Herbert Girardet. Devon: Green Book, 1999  A manifesto on why we must transform how cities function in order to create a sustainable future. Examples offered from around the world.  Ecocities; Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature. Richard Register. Vancouver: New Society Publishers, 2006  A manual on how to build cities for people, not cars. Register puts our modern city into an ecological historical context and then proposes strategies for reducing sprawl. Urban food production is mentioned throughout the book.   Farm City. Novella Carpenter. New York: the Penguin Press, 2009  The tale of an urban farmer in Oakland, CA converting her next door vacant lot into a production farm, complete with vegetables, chickens, bees, and pigs.  Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community. H.C. Flores. White River Junction, VT: Green Publishing, 2006  Methods for changing urban landscapes into edible gardens and developing a healthy community  For Hunger-proof Cities; Sustainable Urban Food Systems. Luc Mougeot. Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Center, 1999  A collection of essays about international food systems and food insecurity. 
  38. 38. Further Reading      Metrofarm: the Guide to Growing for Big Profit on a Small Parcel of Land. Michael Oldon. Santa Cruz, CA: TS Books, 1994  On Good Land. Michael Ableman. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998  The story of how the last 26 acres of farmland in Santa Barbara was saved.  Public Produce, the New Urban Agriculture. Darrin Nordahl. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2009.  An academic look at the opportunities for municipalities to support urban food production on public land The Urban Farmer’s Handbook. Paul Peacock. Preston, UK: The Good Life Press, 2008  Technical guide to producing food and raising livestock in the city.  Toolbox for Sustainable City Living. Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2008  A technical manual for how to redirect urban resources to create a sustainable society, specifically on water, waste, and energy  Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Places. Hodgson, K., Campbell, M.C., Bailkey, M. American Planning Association. (2011).
  39. 39. Training resources     ATTRA – How to Start a Farm in the City Food Project Institute Growing Power Apprenticeship Food Corps