Urban Farming Goes International
Urban farming is starting to make some headway internationally, plowing inroads into places like Cuba (where 90% of fresh produce is grown in the city) and Tokyo (where former bank vaults have been converted into veggie hothouses, complete with grow lights).
There’s something poignant about this photo of a former bank vault in Tokyo that’s been converted into a semi-automated urban farm. In Japan, urban agriculture is not only making good use of spaces where money used to be, it’s also compensating for the traditional farmers that its shrinking population is shedding.
From Mumbai to Manila, cities in emerging economies are looking to urban farming to bolster job growth, improve food security and make more productive use of organic waste. The surprising role model for off-farm farming is Havana, Cuba where 90% of fresh produce supply is grown in the city.
(Take note: in these cases, “urban” does not equal “organic.”)
Considering the dysfunction of U.S. Big Agro, you might want to begin your own experiment in urban farming, even if you don’t have a huge plot of soil in the backyard—or a backyard, for that matter.
You can grow organic, low-carbon produce in your own tiny space. The trick is farming smarter, not bigger. Using reflected light, terracing, cold frames, and other low-tech, DIY set-ups, you can supplement your and/or your family’s nutrition with potatoes, blueberries, sprouts, mushrooms, fresh eggs—even honey. Follow the “Related Articles” links below for more information.
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