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San Francisco, Slow Food Nation began working on a large victory garden in front of City Hall.
As more and more people grow concerned over what is happening with our food supply—from harmful chemical exposure to under ripe harvesting—urban farms are cropping up in cities around the world.
Not since the end of World War II and the swapping of Victory Gardens for supermarkets in the 1950s has there been such interest in urban farming. In one version of Utopia, healthy food would be available to all—not only to those with the means to pay more and the ability to travel in order to buy it.
Along comes urban farming—where people are reclaiming private and public space and using the land to feed themselves and their communities.  Neighbours are working together to maintain these spaces, sharing in the harvest and most importantly, introducing a sense of community. Critics of urban farming cite pollution, lack of profitability, and health concerns as reasons the urban landscape is unsuitable for farming.
Urban farming addresses many of the issues causing our food crisis and it’s something that each of us can participate in.
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Text available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, unless otherwise noted. Growing Wholesome Neighborhoods– Melissa Kastner compares community gardens to chicken soup by explaining how gardens nurture neighborhoods to create stronger and healthier communities.
Weed Your Way to Weight Loss– Kaitlyn Krueger explains how the act of gardening can benefit both personal health and community health. Sowing Seeds of Happiness, Unity, and Healthiness– Sarah Strang argues in favor of the creation of a community garden in Easton.
Check out Lafayette Organic Gardening to learn about a community gardening effort spearheaded by Lafayette!
Food deserts are areas in industrialized nations in which citizens have minimal access to affordable, healthy food caused by a lack of access to adequate retail grocery options and urban sprawl.
Since price is the major factor in determining food purchasing decisions, grocers have tended to set up shop in higher income areas for better profit potential, lower crime rates, and easier access to transportation, a shift that started in the 60s and 70s when supermarket chains fled inner cities during the civil disturbances of the time.
Residents in poor neighbourhoods are stuck having to purchase from small community grocery stores and convenience stores, which are filled with processed food options that tend to be high in fat, sugar, salt and artificial ingredients.
With the growth in food deserts people have been looking to community gardens as a way to grow their own food.
These gardens are generally managed by either a non-profit, city parks and recreation department, community association, school or other land owner. Depending on the particular arrangement, community gardeners can choose to work on a garden plot alone, with others, or work on their own plot but share some of the gardening work in common areas.
Intensifying climate change is expected to cause a decrease in agricultural output in the future. Community gardens are so important for the local people that get involved, there should be more scope to have gardens everywhere. Healthy green Dinosaur Kale and Bright Lights Swiss Chard mix with peonies and irises, alongside deep red rhubarb and bushes bursting with fresh blueberries, in the heart of the city; while carrots and potatoes send leafy shoots toward the sun. Steve Mann, with Food Not Lawns Kansas City (part of Food Not Lawns International), says that traditional lawns are a huge resource problem, which must be addressed. The organization wants to change unproductive lawns into productive gardens and be a resource for information on how to practice this work. Increasingly, fruit-bearing trees are more compact or have several varieties growing simultaneously, so urban gardeners don’t have to have an orchard to grow their own apples. Roeland Park resident, Duane Daugherty, learned to garden from his grandmother, who had a small farm in Lowry, MO and a home in Liberty. He has expanded in areas where grass wouldn’t grow and started putting in raised beds with a soil blend that incorporates good topsoil with compost and peat moss. He uses plenty of hybrid plants but no GMOs because hybrids can be more tolerant of our extreme weather and have a better yield and longer growing season.
Daugherty’s now-grown daughters both helped in the garden through their years at home, and still help out occasionally, while his wife puts primary focus on flowering plants. While interest in backyard food gardens has definitely grown, incorporating edibles into front gardens is less common. Ami Freeberg, Community Outreach Coordinator for Cultivate Kansas City, is also bucking convention. Greens, spinach, arugula, herbs, and carrots fill Freeberg’s front yard, while tomatoes, peppers, and perennial herbs grow in back. If you’ve been saving your pennies for a chance to dine at Per Se, Daniel or Gramercy Tavern, it might be disheartening to learn that a group of NYC chickens has been eating fare from those fine restaurants, and others, daily! The Green Circle scheme was originally conceived by Ariane Daguin, the French-born founder and chief executive of D’Artagnan, the gourmet supplier that famously helped to bring foie gras and Berkshire pork into the American marketplace.

Boulud jumped on the idea almost instantly and now about a half a dozen other chefs have also jumped aboard the crazy chicken coop too. Some of the chefs participating in the program seem to have their own theories about how to enhance the flavors of the birds.
Meanwhile, Daguin intends to take the experiment a step further by creating specific-tasting chickens based on what restaurant they are getting their food scraps from.
Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 11: A sign is posted near a row of Kale at the City Hall Victory Garden August 11, 2008 at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, California.
The use and discovery of kale as a superfood has helped weight-conscious individuals to manage their weight, eat healthy and most importantly, get all the vitamins and minerals they need. However, The Daily Meal reports that a study has claimed that kale can be toxic and can lead to several side effects like fatigue, neurological disorder and digestive disorders. With both reports coming to mind, the bottomline is too much of something is never good for you. According to NCBI, low intake of vitamin K can increase the risk of women getting hip fracture, so a diet high in vitamin K can actually promote bone development and blood coagulation. Huffington Post states it is the latest craze in New Orleans to roast, ground and brew chicory roots but has been the practice in France for over a century ago. The Journal of Nutrition adds that chicory is high in polyphenols that help in reducing a person's mortality rate just by simply consuming 650 milligrams a day of this nutritious vegetable. According to Medical Daily, spinach has high amounts of folate which is extremely good for pregnant and lactating women. LA Weekly adds that it can also be a good substitute for meat, as it has been the most popular dish in a trendy LA restaurant called Zinc Café for nearly a decade now.
NDTV writes that "bokchoy," as it is often called internationally, is rich in potassium, which is essential for the maintenance of heart health, promotion of good kidney function and overall body improvement. Washington Post states it has an anti-aging effect due to its beta carotene and vitamin K content.
This garden is being planted on the same site as the post-World War II gardens 60 years ago. Backyards, rooftops, balconies and even the sides of buildings are fertile ground on which to plant, not only healthy fruit and vegetables, but a revolution.
The world has reached a critical point with people starving from not just a lack of food, but from inadequate nutrients.
One could walk through Central Park in New York City and pick an apple from a tree and enjoy it.
Urban farms are not limited to growing produce—some raise chickens, fish, rabbits—possibilities are limited only by regulation and zoning laws. First, fresh produce becomes available in areas where previously there were none or only small amounts; healthy people become happy people—the evidence of this is too obvious to ignore.
The proximity to exhaust fumes from motor vehicles, lack of extensive space as well as soil and groundwater contamination in urban areas are the major issues raised against urban farming.
Instead of planting solely for aesthetic purposes, we can plant edible fruit and vegetables in and around our homes.
The Mindful Word invites you to reprint, copy, distribute, and alter CC-licensed text as long as you provide a clickable link back to The Mindful Word and share-alike. As cities mow down ever larger chunks of greenery, farms—and other local food purchasing options: farm stands and CSAs (community supported agriculture)—are getting pushed farther away from cities, disconnecting inner city residents even more from healthy food unless they turn to urban community gardens.
Community gardens are either publicly or privately held plots of land divided up for use by community members wanting to grow their own vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Community members don’t have to rely on transportation to travel to far away supermarkets or buy poor-quality, overpriced food from sub-standard grocery retailers.
They’re sometimes pieces of urban wasteland reclaimed by community gardening activists, natural area preservation projects of local non-profits or even government-sponsored street corner beautification projects.
Community gardening benefits people tangibly through improved access to healthy food, grown at a low cost as compared to buying at the grocery story. As cities continue to sprawl, they’ll push farms farther out from inner city residents, heightening the importance of community gardens. With regards to food deserts my mum grows her own rhubarb so she can make rhubarb crumble, people should make more of an effort to grow their own food, even if it only helps the environment a little. People are realizing that, if they want healthy food, they have to be responsible for it themselves.
He was traveling constantly for about 10 years but wanted to cook on weekends, so he created a small backyard garden plot.
Daugherty won’t use treated wood around vegetables and herbs, favoring pine rubbed with linseed oil (pricier cedar or redwood also works very well).

As summer approached, Daugherty was also considering planting a mix of pretty and edible flowers and herbs along the north side of the house. Hermes Landscaping recently installed an edible landscape in front of their Lenexa headquarters, after the city disrupted existing landscape when burying an open creek bed. Raised in Fairfield IA, with two big gardens, she watched her Mom plant food amid flowers, all along. The latest NY food trend is apparently going to the birds and involves chickens being fed leftover scraps from four star restaurants in an attempt to recreate the taste of the old farm chickens. After acquiring a distaste for commonly overfed and caged up American birds, Daguin approached celebrity chef Daniel Boulud with her idea to recreate the taste of more naturally-raised hens. According to The New York Times, Daguin poured more than $250,000 into research and cross breeding just the right bird from a rare French breed that’s usually seen in Gascony, a southwestern region of France. For example, David Burke believes you can start marinating your chicken while it’s alive by feeding it ginger and lemon to make it taste gingery and lemony. So, Per Se chickens will eat only Per Se peelings and bread and the diet of the Gramercy Tavern chickens will come only from Gramercy Tavern. Slow Food Nation and City Slickers Farms in West Oakland have planted a quarter acre edible 'Victory Garden' in the Civic Center Plaza across from San Francisco City Hall. News writes that according to another study, it can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer because of its flavonol kaempfero content that can actually stop the cancer cells from growing.
It is better to have a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet to avoid getting adverse side effects.
Furthermore, spinach is also a good source of magnesium and iron that are essential for healthy body functioning. News reports that a study conducted by the University of Leeds has discovered that 7 grams of this vegetable can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. News states that chard can be your best defense against type 2 diabetes due to its high polyphenols content.
In numerous major industrialized cities around the world, more and more areas known as “food deserts” have begun appearing—places where healthy food simply isn’t convenient or available. Pollution is reduced, as there are fewer emissions from trucks bringing food into urban centres, and increased plant life helps clean and cool the air. In some urban centeres, these arguments have won and regulations have been enacted that prevent farming in these areas. True to their name, they encourage community involvement in an inclusive, diverse and democratic fashion.
It benefits people intangibly since community gardeners get to share a hobby they love with others who share the same interest. More people who are concerned about the quality and source of their food are digging in the dirt, reviving old-fashioned pest-control methods, and reaping the satisfaction of plucking dinner ingredients from their yards. It typically takes about 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of food in the grocery store, which is often shipped 1,000-1,500 miles to local stores. We use fossil fuels, herbicides and pesticides on lawns because they’re not a stable system.
Eight years ago, the 4 x 10 garden featured tomatoes and peppers as well as snow peas, butter lettuce, spinach, kale and chard. The garden will be harvested in mid-September with all of the vegetables donated to local food banks and food programs. Urban farming works to reverse this trend by converting under or poorly utilized city space into fruit and vegetable gardens.
Retailers charge exorbitant fees for local and organic produce, for multiple reasons: there are higher costs related to the production of fruit and vegetables on a smaller scale without pesticides. Urban farming is also revitalizing neighbourhoods; in cities such as Detroit, Beijing and Mumbai, farms are bringing communities together and creating a sense of pride, while teaching farming skills to youth. Community gardens can play a profound role in feeding citizens the way farms have in the past millennium, greatly improving access to healthy food for even the most inner city urbanites. Today Daugherty’s garden plots cover approximately 575 square feet and 15-20 percent of the backyard. At the height of growing season Daugherty spends 15-20 minutes a day watering and weeding and 1-2 hours, average, on Saturdays. We can all be a part of the food revolution.  So roll up your sleeves and grab a shovel, our time is now!

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