High-tech, indoor, urban agriculture is growing in places like New York, but so is controversy around them, according to FERN's latest story, produced in partnership with Edible Brooklyn magazine. The story, by Rene Ebersole, points to one indoor company that produces high-end specialty greens for restaurants called Farm.One. "In a town of eight million, Farm.One is part of a rising movement to cultivate produce where large numbers of people live by using high-tech systems and smart greenhouses placed at grocery stores, in basements and even inside cargo vessels."
In recent years, vacant land in cities across the country has been colonized by community gardens, giving the often-poor residents access to fresh produce. Now, though, developers of affordable housing are targeting those same empty lots, putting them at odds with the gardeners in communities that need both housing and fresh food, reports FERN's latest story, published with NPR's The Salt. No paywall
On a 47-0 vote, New York’s city council passed legislation to create a digital hub meant specifically for urban agriculture, said Metro Media.
Danielle Marvit, who could fairly be called the tomato maven of Pittsburgh, didn’t hesitate when asked to list her favorites among the dozens of tomato varieties sold as seedlings by Garden Dreams, an urban farm set between vacant Victorian-era houses in Wilkinsburg, Pa.
The USDA could spend more than $1 billion over five years to promote urban agriculture, farmers markets and regional food systems under legislation backed by a dozen House Democrats. Lead sponsor Marcy Kaptur filed the bill with an eye toward its inclusion in the 2018 farm bill, to be drafted soon.
City officials in Long Beach, California, are laying the framework for an Urban Agriculture Enterprise Zone program “that would encourage more urban farms to crop up in vacant lots across the city,” says the Press-Telegram.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed an amendment to the California Seed Law, exempting “non-commercial seed sharing activities from industrial labeling, testing, and permitting requirements,” says Shareable.
From small gardens to roof-top farms greenhouses, urban agriculture "is taking off and taking on new forms," says the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which released a 35-page assessment of the movement.
As the global population zooms toward an estimated 9.7 billion people at mid-century, a 34-percent increase in 35 years, more and more of them will live in cities. "By 2050, 66 percent of the world's people are expected to live in cities, fueling unprecedented demand for food," says a report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to reduce property taxes by up to $15,000 for owners who convert vacant lots in unincorporated parts of the county to agricultural use.