Rise of urban farming?

Farming in town — providing food for your family just steps away from the kitchen — has become a widespread social phenomenon. You know a movement has arrived when the Smithsonian magazine features urban farming in its 40th anniversary edition.

According to article, “The rise of urban farming,” Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Oakland have many of their citizens widely enthusiastic about growing their own food. I’m sure that Canada’s largest cities – Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) — have equally enthusiastic gardeners, eager and willing to grow their own food. But you won’t know this movement was going on if you were on the Toronto Botanical Garden’s The Beach garden tour this year.

There wasn’t even a smidgen of a vegetable patch in all of the 26 gardens in this relatively expensive and trendy neighbourhood. Don’t get me wrong, the gardens were gorgeous, and many had very clever ways of maximizing space. Steep slopes were no object and neither were space limitations. Marvelous gardens, but not one had a vegetable patch. I’m not sure why.

What do think? Has urban farming arrived in your town/city? Or are gardens in your area predominantly the ornamental non-edible variety?


Written by Cristina da Silva
Friday, July 2, 2010 in Plants & Soils

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