In this time of news stories about rising food prices and global food shortages, there’s almost nothing so inspiring than reading about people who are taking vacant lots strewn with garbage and turning them into urban gardens, coaxing food from land that has been neglected. And when they then take that produce and feed their family and neighbors—folks who might not have access to fresh veggies in their neighborhoods—it’s all the better. The New York Times has an article about urban farming that’s a bright spot amidst the doom and gloom of food news these days.
From New York to Oakland, Milwaukee, and Detroit, the greens are growing, in areas that “have low-income residents, high rates of obesity and diabetes, limited sources of fresh produce and available, undeveloped land.” Kids are even getting into the act: One farm in Brooklyn supplied arugula, Asian greens, and heirloom tomatoes to local restaurants, farmers’ markets, and a CSA.
Beyond the food itself, there’s also an education to be had. As one urban farmer says, “[T]he next time we ask a kid where a tomato comes from, he won’t have to say a supermarket. He can say, Here’s an urban farm, and here is where I’m growing that tomato that you’re talking about. How great is that?”