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Urban farming project in New York

August 30, 2012

When I think about farming I know my first concept is an image of rolling hills (hey! we are in Appalachia!), maybe a pasture with sheep or cows, or fields of some crop.

However, we have towns and cities also and access to fresh healthy food is not easy. In fact, there are places that are considered “deserts” because access is difficult. When the location for the Wild Ramp Market was discussed earlier this year the organizers had to consider this factor. By placing the market in downtown Huntington, access to anyone who could use the public bus system was assured access; it was restricted only by knowledge the market exists and their own desire to participate. I personally know several of the regular shoppers at Wild Ramp who use the bus or even walk from their homes in Southside to shop. They tell me that their desire for fresh food is enhanced by the exercise!

As the desire for fresh food is growing throughout the country, many groups are proving that this is not a suburban upper elite movement by making amazing efforts to overcome their urban location. I have reported on the 4 acre farm, Truly Living Well, I visited in Atlanta in February. Located within view of the downtown business district in the Sweet Auburn  neighborhood, the gardens are in raised beds midst concrete slabs of some earlier construction.

On a trip to New York City in May I visited one of the city’s large Green Markets at 14th Street. There I saw evidence that people were growing things in the plants for sale. I also spoke to one of the guys selling honey and learned he had apiaries on several rooftops throughout Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Real Times Farm, a blog I read, reported on the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project and I want to share that with you. Hell’s Kitchen is one of Manhattan’s notorious poor neighborhoods where disadvantages outweigh any benefits for most fo the residents. Yet there, on top of a church roof, is a project to grow food. Please click on the link and read about their efforts.

The local food movement may have started with the suburban upper elite, people with more expendable income than the average person, but as knowledge spreads, access to healthier food choices is growing across the country in all segments of society. While the shopping budget may be pretty equivalent (see my blog post for comparison shopping), some adjustment to spending habits may be needed. For those who understand that local food tastes better, is healthier and want to support the local economy, it is a change worth making.

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