WHY IS URBAN FARMING BECOMING POPULAR? 

Urban farming is simply growing food and raising animals in towns, cities, and urban environments. Mostly urban farming is for business and to earn money. Urban farming is a profitable farming activity that has many benefits. The benefits are not just for the farmers. They also help large communities and the environment. 

Let’s learn more about urban farming together. This article will teach more about what urban farming is and the top 5 benefits of urban farming.

Let’s get started.

Farming seems like something that will always happen in the county. It seems most people feel this way since there seems to be less space available in cities.

However, The Greenspace Information For Greater London CIC found some interesting information.  It found that around 47% of land in London is vegetated green space. Now other large cities around the world are also finding ways to increase farming.

WHAT IS URBAN FARMING?

Urban agriculture includes farming practices in city and suburban locations. These farms take several forms.  Some examples include backyard, roof-top, and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks, roadside agriculture, and livestock grazing in open space. 

Overall, urban agriculture is simply growing food and raising animals in towns, cities, and urban environments.  People mostly get involved with this type of farming for money.  However, city and suburban farming doesn’t stop at growing and processing food. These types of farming include marketing and delivering the foods.  For example, the producers need to learn how to both advertise and deliver food to their buyers.

To sum it up, urban farming doesn’t have to be large-scale. It can be small, medium scale, or large scale. Furthermore, it can be run by a group of people or set up by an individual.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF URBAN FARMING?

Most urban farming is done to earn money. However, not all urban agriculture is set up to make profits. Some urban farms are run by charity organizations, community and resident groups.  Together these groups hope to share food among the poorer sections of the community.

City and suburban farming can be done in many ways. Examples include greenhouses, tactical gardens, street landscaping, backyard gardens, animal keeping, beekeeping, rooftop gardens, forest gardening, and many others. It is flexible and can be however you make it.

Economic Benefits

  • Provides Job Opportunities: Urban farming involves many activities such as production, processing, marketing, and delivery that need a team of people. Due to this, there is a need to hire a lot of people to help fill these roles. So, urban farming helps to create jobs for people in the community.
  • Provides Money for Local Government: Lands set aside for urban farming by the government are a source of money for local governments. Then community organizations can use the money earned for the smooth running of community activities.

Environmental Benefits

Urban farming has a big impact on the environment. Below are some of the different benefits of urban farming on the environment.

environmental benefits of urban farming
  • Put Wasted Lands to Good Use: Unused land in cities can become dumping grounds for waste and cause environmental problems. Crime can also be a problem in these areas as well. So, lands changed into edible landscapes through urban farming can help reduce environmental pollution and crime.
  • Reduces Local Carbon Footprint: Local carbon footprints are the total amount of bad gas, carbon dioxide, created from transportation and production. Since urban farming is usually done right in the cities where people live, there is a smaller local carbon footprint. Not having to drive the vegetables and fruits to other locations helps to make the environment safer to live in.

Educational Benefits

The educational benefits of urban farming are also important.

Provides Training and Skill Development: Urban farming helps people to learn new farming skills. These skills go beyond just growing to beekeeping, snail raising, poultry farming, and many other money-making farming practices.

Improves Innovation: Farmers learn new skills. From their new experiences in urban farming, they can create new ways to improve existing farming systems.  They can also improve other farms.

education benefits of urban farming

Health and Nutrition Benefits

Urban farming provides many benefits to the health and nutrition of people living in cities.  Below are some of the benefits of urban farming on health and nutrition.

benefits of local food
  • Provides Easy Access to Fresh Food: Ico.uk found that the UK imports 84% of its fruits and 46% of vegetables. With urban farming, people don’t need as much processed, or canned food. Therefore, urban farms make it easier to get fresh food.  Overall, food produced by urban farmers in their communities helps promote healthy living.
  • Provides Food Security: Getting food from other locations lessens food security. When people move food it can pick up germs or diseases. Urban farming can help reduce the need to transport food.  Making food available in the communities where it is grown is key.  Since it helps ensure there will always be enough food.  Additionally, not needing to pay to truck food around also reduces costs. This makes food cheaper for everyone.
  • Prevents Food Damage: People living within a community are the ones making the farm goods. Then the food is sold within the same community. Overall, this helps food get to customers and ensure food doesn’t get damaged from transporting.

Social Benefits

benefits of urban farms

Urban farming has many social benefits.

Promotes Social Interaction: Through urban farming, many people come together. For this reason, they are able to achieve a sustainable environment. Additionally, people form good relationships among members of the community.

Promotes Unity: When people learn to work together a lot happens.  For example, community members that make positive relationships.  These relationships help promote peaceful living.

Reduced Crime Rate: Urban farming creates jobs for youths and other age groups in the community. This is important, when more people have good jobs crime drops. For instance, theft, robbery, and other social crime in the community decrease.

Promotes Community Service: Charity organizations and community groups are running urban farms. They hope to provide food for poor people in the community.  Overall, this encourages members of the community to volunteer and helps those in need.

HOW MANY URBAN FARMS ARE THERE?

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found urban farming is growing.  They found that  800 million people in the world practice some kind of urban farming.  That’s nearly one-tenth of the world’s population!  Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture reports over 300 urban agriculture projects across the United States alone.

Urban farming is one of the fastest-growing farming practices in the world.

What do you think? How could your community change unused space into centers for urban farming?

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