Urban Farming is a trend that is here to stay. It has to be, with the nation's immense population growth juxtaposed with the decline of farms and farmers. According to the USDA's most recent agricultural census, most of the nation's food is grown in rural areas by relatively few growers and producers.Of the 2 million farms in the U.S., half of them are part time (people do not make a living our of farming), and 75% are considered very small farms between 1-5 acres. In other words, approximately 140,000 farms produce 80% of the nation's food.
In "Urban Farming Yields Fresh Foods, Land Reuse," published in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic, Dean O'Hara explains the strides which CAUSES has undertaken to address how to grow food in urban areas, and how to teach people how to cook and eat fresh food.
Here's an excerpt:
"We grow food that is high in quality and high in nutrient density," said O'Hara, who has a doctorate in environmental economics and a master's in agricultural economics.
UDC is also trying to bring healthy, fresh food to consumers who may not have had access to it. Two chefs on staff can provide recipes and samples of how to prepare the fresh offerings at the city's farmers markets. And UDC has received a grant from the District's Sustainable D.C. initiative to help finance a food truck, which O'Hara says would be another way to fertilize food deserts.
Another goal is creating jobs, perhaps in growing specialty crops for Washington's many ethnic communities—one of the concepts UDC is demonstrating at its Beltsville farm.
Read the full article. And thanks to National Geographic for reaching out!