- Five Canadian Books Put ‘Urban Agriculture’ on the Map
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- Urban agriculture : ideas and designs for the new food revolution / David Tracey - Details - Trove
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Look Inside Table of contents Introduction or preface. Taking the local food movement to its next logical step, this fully-illustrated, design-rich guide presents a cornucopia of proven ideas for: Windowsill and balcony growing Edible landscaping Farming the commons Community gardening, from allotments to orchards Taking urban agriculture to the next level with creative spaces, bigger lots and higher yields.
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- Urban Agriculture?
Typically urban soil has had the topsoil stripped away and has led to soil with low aeration, porosity, and drainage. Typical measures of soil health are microbial biomass and activity, enzymes, soil organic matter SOM , total nitrogen, available nutrients, porosity, aggregate stability, and compaction. A new measurement is active carbon AC , which is the most usable portion of the total organic carbon TOC in the soil. This contributes greatly to the functionality of the soil food web. Using common crops, which are generally well-studied, as bioindicators an be used to effectively test the quality of an urban farming plot before beginning planting.
Large amounts of noise pollution not only lead to lower property values and high frustration, they can be damaging to human hearing and health. Daily intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Urban agriculture is associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables  which decreases risk for disease and can be a cost-effective way to provide citizens with quality, fresh produce in urban settings.
A Flint, Michigan study found that those participating in community gardens consumed fruits and vegetables 1. An Idaho study reported a positive association between school gardens and increased intake of fruit, vegetables, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber among sixth graders. Urban agriculture also provides quality nutrition for low-income households.
The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children WIC as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP have partnered with several urban gardens nationwide to improve the accessibility to produce in exchange for a few hours of volunteer gardening work. Urban farming has been shown to increase health outcomes.
Gardeners consume twice as much fruit and vegetables than non-gardeners. Levels of physical activity are also positively associated with urban farming. These results are seen indirectly and can be supported by the social involvement in an individual's community as a member of the community farm. This social involvement helped raised the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood, boosting the motivation or efficacy of the community as a whole.
This increased efficacy was shown to increase neighborhood attachment.
Five Canadian Books Put ‘Urban Agriculture’ on the Map
Therefore, the positive health outcomes of urban farming can be explained in part due to the interpersonal and social factors that boost health. Focusing on improving the aesthetics and community relationships and not only on the plant yield, is the best way to maximize the positive effect of urban farms on a neighborhood. Using high-density urban farming, as for instance with vertical farms or stacked greenhouses, many environmental benefits can be achieved on a citywide scale that would be impossible otherwise.
These systems do not only provide food, but also produce potable water from waste water, and can recycle organic waste back to energy and nutrients. A report by the USDA, determined that "Evidence is both abundant and robust enough for us to conclude that Americans living in low-income and minority areas tend to have poor access to healthy food", and that the "structural inequalities" in these neighborhoods "contribute to inequalities in diet and diet-related outcomes".
Not only can urban agriculture provide healthy, fresh food options, but also can contribute to a sense of community, aesthetic improvement, crime reduction, minority empowerment and autonomy, and even preserve culture through the use of farming methods and heirloom seeds preserved from areas of origin. Urban agriculture may advance environmental justice and food justice for communities living in food deserts.
When urban agriculture leads to locally grown fresh produce sold at affordable prices in food deserts, access to healthy food is not just available for those who live in wealthy areas, thereby leading to greater equity in rich and poor neighborhoods. Improved access to food through urban agriculture can also help alleviate psychosocial stresses in poor communities.
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Community members engaged in urban agriculture improve local knowledge about healthy ways to fulfill dietary needs. Urban agriculture can also better the mental health of community members. Buying and selling quality products to local producers and consumers allows community members to support one another, which may reduce stress. Thus, urban agriculture can help improve conditions in poor communities, where residents experience higher levels of stress due to a perceived lack of control over the quality of their lives.
Urban agriculture may improve the livability and built environment in communities that lack supermarkets and other infrastructure due to the presence of high unemployment caused by deindustrialization. Urban farmers who follow sustainable agriculture methods can not only help to build local food system infrastructure, but can also contribute to improving local air, and water and soil quality.
Sustainable urban agriculture can also promote worker protection and consumer rights. However, urban agriculture can also present urban growers with health risks if the soil used for urban farming is contaminated. Although local produce is often believed to be clean and healthy, many urban farmers ranging from New York urban farmer Frank Meushke  to Presidential First Lady Michelle Obama  have found their products contained high levels of lead , due to soil contamination , which is harmful to human health when consumed.
The soil contaminated with high lead levels often originates from old house paint which contained lead, vehicle exhaust , or atmospheric deposition.
Without proper education on the risks of urban farming and safe practices, urban consumers of urban agricultural produce may face additional health-related issues . Creating a community-based infrastructure for urban agriculture means establishing local systems to grow and process food and transfer it from farmer producer to consumer. To facilitate food production, cities have established community-based farming projects. Some projects have collectively tended community farms on common land , much like that of eighteenth-century Boston Common.
Other community garden projects use the allotment garden model, in which gardeners care for individual plots in a larger gardening area, often sharing a tool shed and other amenities. Independent urban gardeners also grow food in individual yards and on roofs. Garden sharing projects seek to pair producers with the land, typically, residential yard space. Roof gardens allow for urban dwellers to maintain green spaces in the city without having to set aside a tract of undeveloped land.
Rooftop farms allow otherwise unused industrial roofspace to be used productively, creating work and profit. Food processing on a community level has been accommodated by centralizing resources in community tool sheds and processing facilities for farmers to share. Different areas of the city have tool banks where resources like tools, compost , mulch, tomato stakes, seeds, and education can be shared and distributed with the gardeners in that cluster.
Detroit's Garden Resource Program Collaborative also strengthens their gardening community by providing to their member's transplants; education on gardening, policy, and food issues; and by building connectivity between gardeners through workgroups, potlucks, tours, field trips, and cluster workdays.
In Brazil, "Cities Without Hunger" has generated a public policy for the reconstruction of abandoned areas with food production and has improved the green areas of the community. Farmers' markets , such as the farmers' market in Los Angeles , provide a common land where farmers can sell their product to consumers.
Urban agriculture : ideas and designs for the new food revolution / David Tracey - Details - Trove
Large cities tend to open their farmer's markets on the weekends and one day in the middle of the week. However, to create a consumer dependency on urban agriculture and to introduce local food production as a sustainable career for farmers, markets would have to be open regularly. For example, the Los Angeles Farmers' Market is open seven days a week and has linked several local grocers together to provide different food products. The market's central location in downtown Los Angeles provides the perfect interaction for a diverse group of sellers to access their consumers.
In Queensland many people have started a trend of urban farming both utilizing Aquaponics and self-watering containers. In Egypt, development of rooftop gardens began in the s. In the early s at Ain Shams University , a group of agriculture professors developed an initiative focused on growing organic vegetables to suit densely populated cities of Egypt. The initiative was applied on a small scale; until it was officially adopted in , by the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc , Cuba faced severe shortages of fuel and agrochemical inputs. These products had previously been imported from the Soviet Union in exchange for Cuban sugar.
By the Book: Urban farming made easy
As a result, Cubans experienced an acute food crisis in the early s, which in part was met with a popular movement of urban agriculture. Urban farmers employed — and still employ — agroecological techniques, allowing food production to take place largely without petroleum-based inputs. In , more than , Cubans worked in the expanding urban agriculture sector.