What is Urban Agriculture?
Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating food in a city for consumption and/or distribution to various markets within the urban area. Urban farming uses small plots such as vacant lots, community owned gardens or roof tops for growing fruit, vegetables, herbs, and livestock (if allowable within city-limits).
What Are the Benefits of Urban Agriculture?
- Increases access to fresh foods and improves food security
- Improves the aesthetics of the city by increasing the green spaces
- Increases biodiversity of plants and animals living in a city
- By reducing impervious surfaces, water infiltration increases
- Adds green spaces to reduce greenhouse gases
Examples of Urban Agricultural Practices
Community Garden – is a shared space in a neighborhood where many families grow food. This practice can include school and church gardens.
Street Landscaping – is a landscaped street that includes space for food production. For example, a portable raised bed can replace a parking spot on a street for garden space.
Riparian Forest Garden – is the corridor along an urban stream where a diverse selection of crops can be grown. Good examples of products grown in these areas include fruit or nut trees, small fruit bushes, herbs, and perennial vegetables (including rhubarb or asparagus).
Rooftop Garden – is using space on a roof to grow food. Green roofs may help reduce urban heat islands and improve air quality.
Vertical Garden – is grown up a wall on a trellis or out of a wall using attached containers. This type of gardening is often done due to limited growing space.
Urban Beekeeping– is a way to produce an agricultural product – honey! This urban ag practice also helps support pollinator insects and may have benefits for local gardens.
A 10 sq. ft. garden can produce 40 pounds of food per year.
In the United States, food travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate.
54% of land in THE United States is in agricultural production.