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The rise of ultra-urban farming

5th Jul, 2022

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What is urban farming?

Cities might not sound like an obvious place to grow crops, but in recent years the practice has become increasingly popular. Urban farming crops up everywhere; including rooftop gardens, community gardens, schools, parks. 

 

How do people grow crops in cities?

Without acres of fertile land, urban folk have to be pretty inventive to grow anything edible.

Urban farming sometimes, but not always, refers to vertical farming, where crops are grown, usually indoors, in vertical layers, in a controlled environment. 

Other methods of urban farming include hydroponics – growing crops with just nutrient-fortified water and no soil. 

Harvest London, for example, uses hydroponic vertical farming to grow edible plants. Their work has allowed many restaurants in the city to dramatically improve their supply chains by sourcing ingredients so locally. 

What is ultra-urban farming?

Ultra-urban farming brings urban farms and their produce even closer to people. This could mean growing crops in their homes, in their places of work, or local supermarkets. 

This allows communities to enjoy ultra-fresh food, on a regular basis. One example of this is a Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, where there is a greenhouse atop the store that provides the store with herbs and salad greens.

 

What problems can ultra-urban farming solve? 

Urban areas can often be food deserts – where there’s little or no access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Growing crops in this hyper local way means fresh, healthy food to people on a regular basis, where before, they may have had to rely on processed foods. 

It can also lead to reduced waste and emissions, and is a great opportunity to educate local communities, especially children, on the importance of healthy, sustainable eating.

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