Episode Five: Growing food in the city


Urban farms, or, farming in the city,  on rooftops, vacant lots, front yards. I’ve alway been intrigued with farming in the city and the potential there to feed its people.

A couple years ago I read  Jennifer Cockrall King’s book “Food and The City: Urban Agriculture and The New Food Revolution,” and that’s when ideas and the light bulb went off. In her book, Jennifer (and the guest in this episode) offers real-world examples of cities (well, it’s people) growing food on a large-scale. And, I learned of Paris in the 19th Century, leading the way in urban ag (before it was called urban ag – back then it was just called “surviving,” or being frugal as our grandparents called it).

True, urban gardening might get lumped in with other hipster, foodie trends (cough artisanal mustard cough), but I think it goes beyond that. It has the potential to feed us. And it looks cool.

Photo courtesy: Relish.com

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, urban farms supply food to about 700 million city dwellers. And nearly all of the world’s population growth between now and 2030 will be concentrated in urban areas in developing countries. By then almost 60% of people in developing countries will live in cities. Farming in and around urban areas is going to play a huge role in feeding city populations.

Here are some links you might find interesting:

Jennifer Cockrall King’s website

Urban farming practices developed in France in 1850 still are used in cities today

Top 10 cities in the U.S. for urban farming

Not Far From The Tree (Toronto based)

Enjoy the show and thanks for listening.


Music for this episode was provided by Iron Flowers From Sirius by Olga Scotland (Ольга Шотландия)


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