J500 Media and the Environment


Fresh Food is Not a Privilege of Rural Life Anymore by sachikom

The field trip to a farm in Kansas City, Mo. made me hungry. I smelled the soil, learned about material to grow vegetables and talked to farmers. I almost said, “Can I have a bite of this romaine? Look, so fresh!”

 

     

Photo Credits: Sachiko Miyakawa These are inside the green house of the farm.

 

The farm is a certified organic farm in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Daniel Dermitzel operates the firm. He also serves as the associate director of Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture to promote fresh and healthy food in the city.

Along with the increasing awareness of food safety and environmentalism, urban agriculture like Dermitzel’s farm is gaining attention across the country. Urban agriculture is the practice of raising food locally, especially within or around cities. It reduces consumption of fossil fuels and pollution from shipping and provides fresh vegetables, fruits and meat to city residents. According to the Urban Agriculture Conference,urban agriculture supports food security, provides employment and income to cities, and offers a learning experience for school children. Also, products are often sold in farmers’ markets, encouraging communications between consumers and producers. Urban agriculture activates community.

But not all cities can afford land for farming. In some places, landowners can make more money lending the land for other businesses. Increasing efficiency and profits of farms is necessary to develop urban agriculture.

BBC reports scientists at Columbia University proposed a future of urban agriculture in New York City. The “vertical farm,” a 30-story skyscraper with glass walls would feature farms for varieties of crops and livestock. Energy would come from a solar panel and fuel made from the farm’s waste would provide energy. Wastewater would be recycled in the complex.

TreeHugger features an underground farming in downtown Tokyo. Although the farm’s purpose is rather a display and experiment, the underground farming is an example of unlimited possibilities for the future of urban agriculture.

By Sachiko Miyakawa

 

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