Urban farming has become popular in the United States and city governments are making an effort to improve the infrastructure and help these farmers succeed. This is an innovative movement which gives hope for a better future.
Here are the 6 leading cities in urban farming:
1. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit was once the richest city in the U.S., but 60 years have passed since then and due to many reasons, including high crime rates, 60 percent of its earlier population has left the town or died. Behind them, they left lots of fertile soil (as Wall Street Journal reports – a quarter of the city’s land area). In 2009, the city officials started studying how farming could work in the city and created a Food Policy Council for those purposes. Currently, there are 1,350 community gardens in this city and urban farming has become a thing of interest for many of its citizens, who now have enough locally grown food that they don’t need to import it.
2. Portland, Oregon
Portland has become one of the leading urban farming cities, with 22 acres of community gardens and more than 170 food cart owners. This city has adopted an urban growth boundary in 1981, and in June of 2012 it passed an Urban Food Zoning Code, which is a new step towards establishing Portland as a leader in the world of urban farming.
3. Austin, Texas
Austin is the city where 100,000 pounds of local fresh food is produced in their own gardens each year. Urban farming has been successful in Austin since 1975, but it improved even more when they founded the Sustainable Food Center back in 1993. Austin has an excellent system for local food production and sales, and farmers have found ways to make their businesses sustainable and use energy in the most effective ways possible. For instance, they have a system for collecting storm water, reducing the use of energy and recycling waste.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston has 200 community gardens, but they also encourage farming in schools, so urban farming is very much present at local schools as well. This city has more than 40 food truck companies and this business is flourishing, but they are looking to improve their sustainability and focus more on developing urban agriculture so it could grow more successfully.
5. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland has become a leader in urban farming quite recently and gradually. It has been working towards establishing green space policies in 2005, and two years later they established a Food Policy Council. Since 2010, chicken and bee farms and farms for growing fruits and vegetables have been appearing all over the place. City officials are making constant efforts to improve the city’s conditions for agriculture and finding new ways to enhance the sustainability of local farming businesses.
6. Chicago, Illinois
Since 2011, the citizen’s of Chicago have been permitted to cultivate agricultural fields within the city. This involves starting farms, building facilities, opening farmer’s markets and starting to farm animals and plants. They tried to achieve this in order to make the citizens healthier and more satisfied. Immediately after opening their businesses, the residents made sure they are doing whatever it takes to keep them sustainable. Currently, there are 64 food truck owners and 62 urban farms and community gardens. There are also many other businesses working towards advertizing urban farming and locally grown produce. Chicago is a true example of people nourishing their local wealth and working together in order to achieve a common goal.