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

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: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday February 14 2019, @02:43AM (2 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 14 2019, @02:43AM (#800843)

    You seem to have forgotten a key aspect of all this, which is that if the garden does not exist, one of two things happens:
    1. The city leaves the condemned crackhouses that were there standing.
    2. The acreage sits vacant, and the city has to pay someone to come in and mow the grass.

    It's already a loss. The gardening program makes it less of a loss. Which would you rather have next door to you, a crackhouse or a garden?

    The economics of Cleveland real estate are very very different from, say, San Francisco: Most land isn't very valuable in Cleveland. There's tons of empty land in fairly good locations which in a more prosperous city would have been snapped up and developed a long time ago. Between doing nothing with it, and employing otherwise unemployed people to work it and grow crops, I'd say that's a pretty good decision.

    There's also efforts to set up farmer's markets and fresh food imports into this area, so it's not like they're neglecting the prospect of bringing in vegetables.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 14 2019, @03:15PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 14 2019, @03:15PM (#801007) Journal

    There was a time when a Farmer's Market excited me. Fresh, wholesome food, at less than wholesale prices - beautiful! In recent years, farmer's markets seem to be mostly ripoffs. The fresh food is sold at grocery store prices, no bulk sales or bulk discounts. There are mostly craft items available, at exorbitant prices, whether they be woolen goods, soaps, lotions, maybe cotton goods. And, baked goods. True, the baked goods are mostly better than anything the grocers sell, but they are priced right up there with the best of a grocer's offerings.

    The livestock auctions today meet my expectations of a farmer's market, more than a farmer's market does.

    Maybe that's just a local phenomenon. I can't really say, since I don't travel much anymore.

    We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday February 15 2019, @04:17AM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 15 2019, @04:17AM (#801393)

      The main advantage of farmer's markets is that because the farmer is the retailer, they get to keep much more of what you pay. Also, in really busy farmer's markets where there a whole bunch of farms selling the same stuff, you get market competition (sometimes even in real-time) keeping quality up and prices down.

      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.