Urban dwellers of the Western World are continuously demonstrating their will to eat local-sustainable foods. This is a positive trend overall but to meet such demands, communities should be investing some of their time into developing creative solutions for an obvious and inevitable obstacle: where will all this food grow?
Some of the most popular solutions that have trended in the past couple of years include rooftop gardening, indoor hydroponic and aeroponic units (IKEA’s indoor gardening kits), and vertical farming solutions. All of these innovative technologies are important for city planners and developers to consider as the majority of the world’s rural populations continue to migrate to cities for professional opportunities and lifestyle enhancement. However, most of them require a significant amount of startup capital due to insulation requirements for ceilings, infrastructure, etc. One of the most practical and feasible solutions to date may be right in you or your neighbor’s backyard, literally.
That’s why Inner City Farms, a Vancouver based initiative started by a group of friends with a love for the holistic practices of growing and sharing food, looked to the support of their community to increase the production of food. With land being at a premium in Canada’s Western metropolis, Inner City Farms utilizes the front and back yards of homeowners to cultivate vegetable patches. Home owners receive a portion of the harvest as a “thank-you” and the remaining amount gets dispersed to various stakeholders in the Vancouver community including families, restaurants, and local food-security initiatives.
Inner City Farms is an inspiration for cities around the world. The world’s population is scheduled to surpass 9 billion by 2050 and the majority of people are not aspiring to lead their livelihoods in rural areas. Looking to start a community garden of your own? Here are some quick tips to get you started
Several soil scientists and agroecology experts have idealistically advocated the abolition of monocultures (growing one type of crop in a field as opposed to growing several types of crops) for food production because arable land is a finite resource and soil should be considered one of our most precious resources – at least until we are 3-D printing food and the general organic food paradigm is shifted back to efficiency over the holistic practice.
Regardless of where you place yourself on the stakeholder range when it comes to the food system, there is no denying food is a sacred component of culture, ecology, and interaction. So, if you ever think you lack the “green thumb”, skills, knowledge, or experience needed to make a positive impact in your own local food system or community, think outside of the box and start knocking on the doors of your neighbors!