J500 Media and the Environment


Feeding the (urban) masses by marybethw

This season, I’m a CSA newbie. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d heard the wonders of having fresh produce at your doorstep throughout the summer, but this spring, for the first time, I am a participant. Over the last few years I’ve tried to be more conscientious of my food’s origin, trying to buy local and frequenting farmer’s markets as often as possible. I’ve also tried my own hand at growing herbs, tomatoes, and peppers, with very little in the way of success. And it is for people like myself, with black thumbs when it comes to food plants, and others, who have neither the time, money, nor inclination to garden or who have few choices when it comes to fresh produce, that urban agriculture is a boon. csashare

Working with KCCUA, I have learned more about this growing facet of food production. Whether the gardens are you pick operations, sell through farmer’s markets, sell to restaurants, or give their produce to food pantries, urban farmers provide a wide variety of options in areas that are often quite far from any food production. Reading the various farmer profiles, it struck me how often children and/or education is key to these farms. Not only do youth help on some farms, but the farms reconnect them to food — to the realization that peaches come from trees not tins and carrots grow underground. That feels the most heartening, not only because it is positive for the youths but also because it just may be very positive for society and for the planet.

In the present economy, it seems impossible that urban ag will do anything but grow, especially as it gets more publicity and has a growing support network, like that given by KCCUA. So, while I enjoy my CSA produce this spring, I’ll do so with a greater knowledge of local, small farmers, and with the knowledge that others in more urban areas will have the same opportunity.

~ Mary Beth

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2 Comments so far
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I agree, I have a feeling that the kids involved with the KCCUA will really be shaped by their experiences and carry this with them into adulthood. I hope these exposures are just the thing to combat the current of apathy in our society.

Comment by mackenzies09

I’d like to think that it has the best chance of having a bigger impact in the inner city areas, in those areas where the kids would, otherwise, have very little in the way of options. But, I also have to fight the inner pessimist, who is much less positive — mainly due to the “but can they keep up their healthy eating after leaving the farms?” question. However, I try to keep that pessimism at bay and hope that they’ll go out and become voices for the “cause.”

Comment by marybethw




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