From Supermarket Rooftops to a Storied Ball Park, an Urban Farming Co. Increases Access to Local FoodSeptember 12, 2017 | Charli Engelhorn
Since its inception in 2008, Green City Growers (GCG), a Certified B Corporation that installs and maintains vegetable gardens and farms within the greater Boston area, has assisted in the production of more than 175,000 pounds of organic produce, donated more than 12,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, and engaged more than 7,500 people through their efforts.
“The mission is to grow food in unused spaces and provide people access to fresh produce,” says Jessie Banhazl, CEO and co-founder of GCG. “Having that mission as the core of our trajectory has led us into so many different spaces, which has been really fun and interesting and made us realize that there are so many possibilities for this kind of work.”
The Growing Club / Sarvodaya Farms and Seedstock are offering an intimate 3-day Regenerative Urban Farming Intensive workshop in Southern California for professionals on October 20, 21, 22 (Fri-Sun). Only 10 spots are available for the workshop, which is aimed at urban farming professionals who are working towards starting a commercial urban farm as a private for-profit or non-profit business.
The goal of the workshop will be to provide a base of relevant knowledge, basic skills, and local resources to start and operate a regenerative soil-based small-scale or urban farm. Workshop will include both hands-on and lecture portions on the Sarvodaya Farms property where attendees will be able to see, experience, and participate in a working regenerative urban farm.
The American urban farm comes in many guises but come it does. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 800 million people worldwide practice urban agriculture. That accounts for between 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food supply. As urban ag continues to build momentum across all 50 states, the influence and scope of the urban farm is growing. Most of us think of less than a couple of acres when we think urban farm, yet urban farms are getting bigger. And some are getting really big.
News Release: BALTIMORE, MD. (June 9, 2017) — Teams of local architects, engineers, real estate developers, Baltimore city officials, urban farmers, and others will compete this June to design and devise the best plan for sustainably growing food in Baltimore. These crowdsourced ideas will contribute to an actual urban agriculture community center to be constructed in Baltimore in the coming years.
Careful planning, adequate startup capital and experience working on a traditional rural farm are just three of the elements that veteran urban farmer, and co-founder of Vancouver’s Sole Food Street Farms, Michael Ableman feels are necessary to be successful in the new urban agriculture movement. Founded in 2008, Sole Food Street Farms would be considered by many growers as established and successful, but for Ableman there is still much work to be done both at Street Farms and in the development of the city farm movement.
“The skill level required to be a farmer is not something you get just by wearing the right clothes, having the right tools and having started last year. It takes five to ten years to develop that skill level,” says Ableman. “What we’re trying to do is demonstrate that it is in fact possible to have a credible model of agriculture in the city, so the scale and production levels, the volume we produce, the number of people we employ is significant.”