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Thread: Metropolitan agriculture and sprawl

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
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    Tallahassee, FL
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    409

    Metropolitan agriculture and sprawl

    Lately there has been considerable discussion within the planning community and media about organic vs locally produced food. Agribusiness demands large farms that are intensivly worked with major inputs of chemicals so that yields can be maximized. In some places, such as on some Florida sands, this is essentially outdoor hydroponics. This might still be necessary for economic production for gorn, small grains, soybeens, etc.

    However, how much sense does it make to ship a tomato 2,000 miles?

    I'm seeing a move to more local production of some foods around Tallahassee. We have a cheese producer (organic) within 40 miles of downtown that makes several very high quality cheeses. I get organic grass fed beef from a guy near Thomasville, Ga. (still about 40 miles away) for about $3.00/ lb. Have to buy a 1/4 or 1/2 a cow, then go the the butcher to puck it up when it is ready. A half runs about 200 lb., by the way.

    Anyone else have experence with local or metro-farmers still preserving agriculture on the edge of the urban area?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    The Cheese State
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    After California, Wisconsin is the leader in organic crops. They can be found in the local farmers markets (especially Madison), stores like Whole Foods, and increasingly in conventional grocery stores. Many people also grow non-organic certified foods that can be purchased locally. Last fall I encountered a stack of locally-grown apples in a Wal-Mart.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tullinge Sweden
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    190

    urban agriculture

    Why stop at the edge of urban areas? There are lots of cities around the world that incorporate agriculture within the city. There are a couple threads on the subject on Cyburbia, or if you want more specific info look up cityfarmer.org.
    People have no problem keeping flowers in their homes .. why not productive plants? On their balconies, etc. I know people who have worm composts taking care of (non-meat) kitchen wastes, and using the compost to grow carrots, tomotoes, peppers, etc on their balcony. Huge areas of cities can be productive, if planners and other local authorities work together to encourage it and put it under the right kind of regulation for health and safety.

    Animals are another story, but if you can keep cats and dogs as pets, why not rabbits.... for food? Just make sure that issues of health and safety are attended to.

    In Europe urban agriculture has a long history. In most places, it must be done organically - no pesticides or agric chemicals are permitted because of the density of human habitation. Which means that all sorts of inter-cropping and crop rotations are used to minimise pests establishing themselves or spreading.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Tallahassee, FL
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    You are right on Monamogolo. Last summer we heard a rooster in Budapest. All over Hungary people have grapes and fruit trees in their yards. Gardens as well. Very little lawn except for public spaces. In single family house areas often the street trees are plums or almond trees. Wonderfull flowers in the spring then shade and in late summer the fruit is often picked and turned into leckvar (plum butter). Walnut trees are also common..

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