Urban Farming

Farming is said to be one of the pivotal technologies that allowed humans to develop and establish civilization. When we started to cultivate crops in a controlled manner rather than relying on the hunting and gathering approach to food acquisition that we traditionally utilized, it allowed us to concentrate on other pursuits that lead to the formation of communities and societies.

In this new community context where many people lived together and shared resources in the one geographical area, farming was closely located to and associated with the core of the community. As our communities evolved however, space more central to the community's location was allocated to other needs of the society, such as housing and public trading places. This meant that farming and crop production was moved to more outlying regions. Today, that relocation of farming with relation to our communities has evolved to a point where farms usually occupy land resources that are quite remote to the community center.

The remoteness of farming to the center of our communities means that farming is also less understood now by the general population and many people in modern society have a degree of dissociation with farming and modern farming practices. However, in the last 20 years or so, a proportion of people living in modern cities have started to place a higher emphasis on understanding who grows the food they eat, how that food is grown, the perceived health status of that food and how it is delivered to them.

The interest in understanding these particulars of the food we eat has also lead to an interest in trying to move a proportion of our food production closer to the places where we live. Growing or farming food in or close to the areas where we reside is often referred to as urban farming. This approach to growing food closer to where we live allows the consumer to satisfy some or all of the requirements they may now place on the food they eat; requirements such as knowing who grows the food, how the food is grown, the age or freshness of the food, whether chemicals have been used to treat the food and how far the food has been transported.

Urban farming is now a burgeoning industry in many western cities and an increasing number of people are utilizing the advantages they associate with it.

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