Urban farming grows in bunches

Urban farming, urban architecture, sustainability, what’s happening in New York, Five Borough Farm, indoor farms, vertical farming,

Big fan of urban farming here. To utilize urban spaces and develop them to house locally-grown vegetables is a gift to city dwellers. Since I last posted about urban farming, the industry has expanded and innovated exponentially.

Five Borough Farm offers a roadmap to both farmers and gardeners, City officials, and other stakeholders to understand and weigh the benefits of urban agriculture. It’s booming in New York City.

Urban farming, urban architecture, sustainability, what’s happening in New York, Five Borough Farm, indoor farms, vertical farming,

More than 700 food-producing urban farms and gardens occupy the five boroughs. New Yorkers have turned vacant lots, rooftops, schoolyards and gardens into places to grow food. Job opportunities are also abundant. Participants earn income at farmers markets, capture stormwater, compost food waste, and gain leadership and skills while creating safe, attractive and productive public spaces.

Urban farming has blossomed in large cities across the nation and internationally. After Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, food – specifically locally-grown – was sparse. Japan’s Mirai Co. turned massive abandoned buildings into indoor vertical farms.

thecuriousg-japan-indoor-farming

Shigeharu Shimamura helped create the world’s largest indoor farm. Statistics are astounding: A 25,000 square-foot building produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per day, with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields. With specially designed GE LED lighting, vegetation grows more than twice as fast.

Shimamura’s urban farming model is now being duplicated in Hong Kong with Mongolia and Russia on deck in the future.

Repurposing what appears at first glance as waste, and applying brain power, technology and innovative thinking has revitalized the landscape and industries in many cities around the world: Opening up new businesses and job opportunities, sustainability, feeding the hungry, changing the foodscape with local ingredients, and shining a new light on environmental infrastructure.

That’s growth we can all benefit from and be proud of.

Photos: Poster and rooftop farm © Five Borough Farms; Japan’s vertical farms © Mirai Co.

Leave a Reply