Urban Farming: Reclaiming our land and taking control over our own food chain

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Have you heard? There’s a movement afoot of folks reclaiming unused urban land and converting it into working gardens, all the while providing food (delicious, healthy, naked food) for those in need.

The concept makes my heart sing. Such a perfect marriage of efficiency, education, closing the food gap, food security, and making real food accessible to those who need it most.

I recently learned of a fantastic organization doing brilliant work in this area called Urban Farming. Their mission:

… to create an a bundance of food for people in need by supporting and encouraging the establishment of gardens on unused land and space while increasing diversity, raising awareness for health and wellness, and inspiring and educating youth, adults and seniors to create an economically sustainable system to uplift communities around the globe.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a mission I can stand behind.

The environmental logic is indisputable. It makes good use of unused urban space to add what I call “working green” – it’s green and beautiful, but also highly functional in that it’s actually feeding people.

The educational value is tremendous. In a culture where many kids don’t know that a French fry was once a potato, we are in serious need of food education. Urban gardens are one more way we can educate our children (and ourselves) about where our food actually comes from.

It closes the gap between farmer and consumer. In many cases with urban farming, the ‘farmer’ is the consumer. One of the most empowering ways to take control of your diet is to grow some of the food yourself.

It brings our food production to our doorstep, which is where it should be. For most of human existence, we grew and made our own food. Only in the recent, industrial age have we become so divorced from our food supply. And this separation has only led to confusion, lack of responsibility for food producers, and a population that is entirely disconnected from its primary and most basic form of sustenance.

Last but most certainly not least, it provides the underprivileged with real food. Food banks, as important and vital as they are, always depress me. All that canned and processed food – some of the lowest quality. I do understand the logistical imperative for this format, but it still saddens me that those who need real, fresh food the most are often the ones who don’t have any access to it. With the urban farming model, everyone can have access to a fundamental birthright: true nourishment.

If this food movement gets you going as much as it does me, I have an exciting offer for you. Author Toni Profera has just released a cookbook of her own healthy family favorites in support of the fabulous work that Urban Farming is doing. In this first year of publication, 100% of the profits from cookbook sales go to this amazing organization.

Click here to read more about Toni’s initiative, to buy the book, and to support an important food movement!

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