What is Urban Agriculture?
Put simply, urban agriculture is the practice of growing food in an urban environment. But it is much more than that: urban agriculture is a way for people to reclaim their connections to nature, to the act of eating, and to each other through the act of growing food, all without leaving the city. It’s also a movement through which people are gaining more independence from the current industrial food system, which is expensive and inefficient and relies on petrochemicals.
Agriculture in the city is different from traditional farming. It often involves growing food within a limited space and sometimes, with limited resources. Ideally, urban agriculture represents the place where environmentally sustainable methods, the local economy, and relationships between people intersect, creating a thriving local food system and ensuring greater access to healthy food—community food security.
Why Should We Grow Our Own Food?
Our food supply right now is largely in the hands of others who are faceless and far away. By accepting this setup, we have made ourselves dependent and lost touch with natural seasonal cycles. Worse, we have given control of our food to people who for the most part are more interested in the bottom line than they are in meeting our nutritional needs. This system is unstable and unhealthy.
By reimagining our relationship to what makes us function at a core level—the nourishment we give our bodies—we can reconnect with the environment and one another. Growing food isn’t just about working in the garden: it’s about being outdoors, playing in the soil, chatting with neighbors, and enjoying super-local produce. Joining a community garden, or organizing your neighbors to start one, is a great way to save money, make new friends, and learn more about the natural world.
Urban agriculture has the potential to:
• increase self-reliance
• conserve financial resources
• connect us with the environment
• lower our carbon footprint and personal "food miles"
• connect us with food-growing neighbors
• dramatically improve our health
• educate children through exposure to nature
• transform previously toxic industrial areas into beautiful and practical green spaces