J500 Media and the Environment

Reconnect With The Land by matthewtb

Reconnect with the Land…

Supplementing you diet with homegrown produce can make a difference.

My grandparents were in their 20s when FDR asked them and the rest of the nation to pick up the food slack through Victory Gardens. WWII had started, and while our troops received the fruits of our commercial farms, my grandparents and their peers were at home, learning the ways of self-sustainability and conservation as they went. Ordinary citizens reconnected with the land and filled every city green space with gardens. They were the first generation of urban farmers in this country and the project was a major success.

Today, half of the world lives in urban areas. We are relying more than ever on the rural half to produce the majority of food for not just those in the cities but for themselves also. We have some of our food shipped thousands of miles to reach our plates, when a wide variety of that food can be grown only feet from our back porch. As our society continues to grow, we will have to find new ways of feeding the planet. Overpopulation is inevitable and this will lead to food shortages unless we, as individuals, change how we interact with the land that grows our food.

Urban farms are once again starting to sprout up across the country. Citizens like Sherri Harvel, are reclaiming vacant lots and turning them into lush farms.  Aye Aye Nu is reconnecting with her Burmese heritage by farming the land with Catholic Charities, in Kansas City, Kansas.  Pov Huns is continuing his personal relationship with the earth, by giving back what he takes from it. They are all waging this new war.  It is a battle for food security, where victory is a thriving environment for all of us and a better relationship with the land.  These farmers have taken positions on the front line and now it’s our turn to join the fight.

Eating food comes naturally, so should growing it. By reconnecting with the land, we will have a greater understanding of what it takes to produce what we eat. It is a culture change, away from fast foods and frozen dinners, to give us a fresh start, where we respect our food and the land it is grown on.  In return, the food will nourish us.

-Matt Bristow / Group 2

Photo by Matt Bristow / Video by Group 2 courtesy of youtube

Urban Agriculture: It’s What’s For Dinner by lindsaycr

A topic that has come under discussion recently is urban agriculture. The Web site Collective Roots defines urban agriculture as “the production of food within the boundaries of a city. Urban agriculture can be a pot of herbs grown on a balcony, backyard gardening, rooftop gardening, greenhouses, market and community gardens, edible landscaping, and even beekeeping.”

In today’s world with the constantly increasing food and gas prices, urban agriculture sounds like a great idea!

According to the Collective Roots Web site, the idea of urban agriculture is not a new one. During World War II, it was common for Americans to grow victory gardens in support of the troops. The idea was for people to eat their own crops so that more agricultural goods could be sent to the soldiers abroad.

And since WWII, as city populations have increased, so has the amount of city farming. According to the Web site City Farms: Journey to Forever, “it was estimated in 1993 that city farms were contributing 15% to world food production and it was expected to grow to 33% by 2005.”

Regarding population increases, the City Farms Web site also says that, “Cities cover only 2% of the Earth’s surface but consume 75% of its resources. Cities are black holes, they’re swallowing our planet. But, more and more, they’re turning green.”

An example of an urban farm in busy West Chicago. Picture courtesy of newfarm.org.

In conclusion, urban agriculture is a great solution. As the world’s population continues to grow and more people move into cities, we have a huge opportunity to take advantage of. Why not feed more people in a more economical and environmentally friendly way? People will save money by not having to pay for the transportation of food and local farmers would thrive because they could sell their goods to their own neighbors. Overall, this is a win-win situation for everyone.

Lindsay Crupper

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