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Cities Grapple with Rise of Urban Agriculture

growpittsPhoto by growpittsburgh.

Pittsburgh plans for urban farmers

By Erika Beras
Ohio River Radio Consortium
2010-04-28

Excerpt:

PITTSBURG, PA (WEKU) – Urban agriculture is growing. And its not just city-dwellers frequenting farmer’s markets for their vegetables, eggs and honey – more of them are interested in growing or cultivating it themselves. That’s leaving officials scrambling for ways to regulate the new farmer that’s cropping up in American cities, farmers like Jana Thompson.

Thompson grew up on farms. Seven years ago she moved to Pittsburgh. Although she had a garden she missed having a connection to nature. So, first came the bees. (Nat Sound from the Hives) 70,000 of them, in open-bottomed hive boxes on her roof. Then came the chickens – three Salmon Bantams. (Nat Sound of Chickens) Next, she wants to raise rabbits for meat. But then she received an email with some troubling news.

“The first code the city proposed everything I’m doing here would have become illegal,” says Thompson.

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April 28, 2010   Comments Off

An Ode to Farming

saffronA Kashmiri farmer tills a saffron field in Pampore, a town south of Srinagar. Images of agriculture around the world. A slideshow. 27 beautiful images here. Lest we forget where our food comes from.

Attention Whole Foods Shoppers – Stop obsessing about arugula. Your “sustainable” mantra — organic, local, and slow — is no recipe for saving the world’s hungry millions.

By Robert Paarlberg
May/June 2010
Foreign Policy

Robert is B.F. Johnson professor of political science at Wellesley College, an associate at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and author of Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Excerpt:

From Whole Foods recyclable cloth bags to Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden, modern eco-foodies are full of good intentions. We want to save the planet. Help local farmers. Fight climate change — and childhood obesity, too. But though it’s certainly a good thing to be thinking about global welfare while chopping our certified organic onions, the hope that we can help others by changing our shopping and eating habits is being wildly oversold to Western consumers. Food has become an elite preoccupation in the West, ironically, just as the most effective ways to address hunger in poor countries have fallen out of fashion.

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April 28, 2010   1 Comment