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‘Asking For Permission Doesn’t Grow Gardens’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Tunnel houses fully skinned with plastic. Click on image for larger file.

Michael Ableman is a farmer, author, photographer and urban and local food systems advocate.

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016


Fulfilling endless municipal requirements absorbed staff resources and money, and delayed the real work of planting crops. It was useless to try to explain to city officials the realities of farming, the urgency of spring, that we had staff hired and plants waiting.

In a climate that only provides a seven-month window to crank out long-term crops such as tomatoes and peppers, losing a month or two can be disastrous. That first spring on this new site was vanishing and we desperately needed to plant the now leggy “past due” tomato, pepper, and eggplants that were becoming as stressed as we were, waiting for the wheels of the city bureaucracy to grant us permission to begin.

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January 10, 2017   No Comments