Cleveland and other ‘post-industrial’ North American cities have the potential to produce all of the fresh produce and other food items they need, and taking steps to realize that goal would bring numerous and substantial benefits, according to research conducted by Ohio State University’s Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development (CUEED).
Aiming to determine just how much food could be produced in Cleveland, Wooster professor of entomology and the director of the CUEED, Parwinder Grewal, worked with the Cleveland City Planning Commission to obtain information on the amount of vacant land and the total rooftop surface area of industrial and commercial buildings. He also searched for published data on the productivity of fruits and vegetables in urban settings.
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.
Creating something out of nothing. Isn’t that the magic of farming? Taking things that don’t seem to mean much by themselves – dirt and seeds and water – and creating sustenance. Lately, skyfarmers like those at Sky Vegetables are trying to do that with even less. They’re taking the soil and even some of the water out of the equation, and substituting in an underused resource – roofs. In doing so, they hope to create value, jobs and local produce where before there was nothing.
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.
On the borderline between the affluent Gold Coast section of Chicago, IL and the neighborhood that was once home to Cabrini-Green, one of America’s most infamous housing projects sits a sustainable urban vegetable farm called City Farm.
The farm occupies one acre of land surrounded by a fence latticed with six-foot tall sunflowers. City Farm is run by the Resource Center, a Chicago-based non-profit environmental education organization that develops and demonstrates innovative techniques for recycling and reusing materials.