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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 13 2019, @08:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the Balconies-and-roofs dept.

Phys.org:

Urban farming has grown by more than 30 percent in the United States in the past 30 years. Although it has been estimated that urban agriculture can meet 15 to 20 percent of global food demand, it remains to be seen what level of food self-sufficiency it can realistically ensure for cities.

One recent survey found that 51 countries do not have enough urban area to meet a recommended nutritional target of 300 grams per person per day of fresh vegetables. Moreover, it estimated, urban agriculture would require 30 percent of the total urban area of those countries to meet global demand for vegetables. Land tenure issues and urban sprawl could make it hard to free up this much land for food production.

Is urban farming a pipe dream, or can appropriating vacant lots for traditional farming or employing hydroponics make it work?


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:02PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:02PM (#800731)

    We'd have to have a good reason why normal farming is no good. Given that, we might switch to artificial lighting with crops stacked up high, and that can be done with moderately-priced land.

    Invasive bugs and fungus could go it. We might decide to seal the crops indoors for protection. If we did this, then we might grow crops in buildings similar to warehouses. There might be 40-foot ceilings and forklifts to move plant boxes down for harvesting. It still won't make sense with land value like Manhattan or Tokyo or San Francisco, but it could be done in normal cities.

  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:14PM (4 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:14PM (#800734)

    We'd have to have a good reason why normal farming is no good.

    Exactly. Urban farming is an interesting idea, and for some crops might even be more efficient, but there would be lots of local variables and as long as we continue to have reliable transport from the rural areas I'm not sure what problem urban farming is trying to solve.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14 2019, @12:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14 2019, @12:27AM (#800799)

      Pesticides and fertilizers killing insects and thus threatening the rest of the land animals, man included, could be one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14 2019, @02:35AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14 2019, @02:35AM (#800841)

      The problem it's trying to solve is that city hipsters look down their noses at "country bumpkin" farmers and are desperate to prove that they don't need them. Embarrassingly (for the sneering cityfolk), they depend on the rural farmers much more than the rural farmers depend on them.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 14 2019, @10:58AM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday February 14 2019, @10:58AM (#800952) Homepage Journal

        My father was one such. At three months old, Dad's father and mother packed their pickup with what they could carry, abandoned all their other possessions, then baby daddy, Grandpa, Grandma and the toddler Uncle Herb drove from Santa Cruz California to Grass Valley as Grandpa had heard there was work for carpenters in the gold mines of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

        One day when I was six, two of his friends and fellow officers aboard his ship came to visit us. One said to me, "Your father is very intelligent. You should ask him questions."

        Uncle Herb went on to be the VP of Finance for Boswell Cotton Corporation, one of California's largest agribusinesses, perhaps one of the world's biggest actually.

        Grandpa Speelmon was from way out in the middle of nowhere in Montana. He hitch-hiked from their to Denver to study at the U of Colorado Medical School, where he paid his way by working part time jobs. During World War II, he was a Captain in the US Army Air Force Medical Corps. When he died by his own hand in 1948, he was the Chief Surgeon at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane Washington.

        I've met lots more City Bumpkins than those of the Country.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday February 18 2019, @12:37AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday February 18 2019, @12:37AM (#802688)

        ...city hipsters look down their noses at "country bumpkin" farmers...

        Not where I live they don't. The farmers here don't tend to be gap-toothed racist yokel arseholes though.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 14 2019, @10:50AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday February 14 2019, @10:50AM (#800947) Homepage Journal

    ... that were once completely covered with coffee plantations.

    It's become quite a serious problem in South America. There is no practical way to prevent or to treat it other than to plant trees that are bred to resist it, so Starbucks is handing out free rust-resistant trees to farmers.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]