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The Necessity Of Urban Farming Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

Backyard gardening has always been popular to obtain fresh and nearly free produce in the urban landscape. However with the concerns over GMO (genetically modified foods) as well as pesticide use, and simply the cost of fresh produce in these hard economic times backyard gardening is giving way to a trend towards urban farming. This trend is not as carefree as the traditional backyard garden and begs that more organic means of pest and weed control be used in lieu of more hazardous chemicals. However, despite the sometimes staggering effort required the benefits of urban farming are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.
Urban farming is not a new idea. During World War II a message was sent out to our communities as well as the allies to start Victory Gardens. (Putnam, Cosper) The premise was to avoid a shortage of fresh food and relieve some the pressure on the nation to feed its citizens, by supplying yourself and others in your community from your own backyard. Citizens were encouraged to arm themselves with health from their self-provided produce. They were also encouraged to use the money that had been earmarked for buying those pricey vegetables, and now homegrown and virtually free, to buy war bonds to further demonstrate their patriotism. It was an idea that caught on in a big way and was widely practiced both here in the U. S. as well as in England. (1942)
Today when you can walk into any grocery and see aisles full of colorful produce it doesn’t seem possible that there could be a shortage of food. However, when you consider that California, where a major amount of our fresh produce comes from, is currently experiencing a major drought we may quickly find ourselves without the choices we have grown accustomed to. (Office of the Governor of California) In fact Governor Edmund G Brown, Jr. has declared a drought emergency in the state of California. He indicated that California is facing the worst drought that California has ever seen since record keeping began. (2014). This along with many other states also experiencing drought could lead to a severe shortage in fresh foods that had been previously readily available. Aside from the lowered diversity in fresh foods the scarcity of those still available will send the prices on these items through the roof. This may force many people with lower incomes to have no accessibility of fresh produce simply because it is priced out of range for those individuals. Locally grown foods avoid the need to be transported. It does not need to be preserved in large expensive refrigerated trucks that invariably suck down huge amounts of fuel adding to the cost. Neither does it require huge expensive irrigation set-ups, nor does it require expensive pesticides and herbicides. It requires only one person or small group that concentrates on keeping their food output maximized and its costs low. Often time’s pests and weeds are simply removed by hand or treated with lower cost...

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