Posts By Kelly Hatton
The 150 gardens that Los Angeles, CA-based urban farming startup, Farmscape, LLC has installed at residences, senior centers, schools and in communities since 2009 do more than provide yearlong bounty to customers – collectively, the small gardens represent a movement to bring food production back to the city.
“We were inspired by the number of people who were excited about growing food themselves but don’t have the time or knowledge to do so successfully,” said Rachel Bailin, Marketing Manager at Farmscape. “They were looking for someone who could guide them through the growing process, circumventing years of learning through trial-and-error frustration.”
In New York’s Albany region, FarmieMarket customers are filling virtual shopping baskets with locally grown goods. The online market offers a variety of in season products, from heirloom tomatoes to certified organic pork, to honey and maple syrup, and delivers them to homes once weekly. It’s a model that founder Sarah Avery Gordon hopes will rid consumers of the excuse that shopping locally is too hard.
“If we’re going to sustain the real food economy for future generations, then we need systems in place to provide local food,” said Gordon. “If we can inform customers about the benefits of eating locally, and bring food to their door, we can really provide an alternative to factory farms.”
Participants in the Trinity Avenue Farm Design Competition are vying to change the view from Atlanta’s City Hall. The competition, open to Georgia residents, calls for design entries to transform a 0.8 acre lot on Trinity Avenue in downtown Atlanta from a patchy lawn to a working urban farm, and offers a $25,000 award for the winning design team.
Andrew Chew, of Atlifield Design, is on one of about thirty design teams thus far registered for the competition. Chew’s design will draw on his experience in organic agriculture, small-scale urban food production, and community gardening.
Urban farms and community gardens located within an hour’s drive of Nashville, TN will soon have a new outlet to garner revenue from their produce in the guise of a nonprofit food hub called Nashville Grown. The hub, which is set to launch in Spring 2012, will collect produce from these small and often underfunded urban farmers and help them achieve economically viability by marketing and distributing their products as part of a larger aggregated offering, rather than individually, to a consortium of wholesale buyers including restaurants, universities and various retail outlets throughout the city.
“For urban agriculture to be more than a novelty, or an educational tool, there has to be an effective, profitable way to collect and sell food from a large number of tiny farms across a city,” said Sarah Johnson, Co-Founder of Nashville Grown.
Finding fresh, high-quality produce in Montreal is a challenge. The long and winding road that produce typically travels from farm to market in this city means that it must be harvested far before it’s ripe in order to survive long shipping distances. The downfalls of the current supply chain – heavy fuel use, food safety risks, and the lack of personal connection between farmer and consumer – inspired Mohamed Hage, president and founder of Lufa Farms, to develop a model urban farm that would provide local, sustainable food to city dwellers.