Growing Green with Urban Farms
The urban farm movement is growing. 🙂 Thankfully, we have a strong network of farmers, markets, non-profits and citizens involved in creating a better supply of regional food. I love how many schools, homes and businesses are adding gardens, not just for show, but for food, adaptability and helping cultivators like bees and birds. Here is a natural homes article that shows some inspiring projects from around the world. Our city and regional planners are involved, which makes a huge difference. And the beauty of urban farms is anyone can grow their own food.
Here’s a look at some of the green goodness happening in Northwest Arkansas.
We have a pretty wonderful farmer’s market here in Fayetteville. In fact, it is one of the larger, more vibrant markets in the region. I’ve developed friendships with some of the growers. I’m amazed at the dedication of these farmers. Many of them get up in the wee hours to harvest, load their trucks, drive to market, sell, pack up, drive back, unpack, take care of home life, sleep, get up and do it again. In other words, they work around the clock to grow and share food because they love what they do and believe in organic foods.
Feed Fayetteville. Their mission is Creating community food security by cultivating a sustainable local food network. Surprisingly, 41% of Fayetteville District school children are enrolled or eligible for reduced lunch program. That stat is shocking to me. No wonder they feel a need to create a network for food security!
Seeds that Feed. I love their mission. They are working to close the loop between food that is usually thrown away and people that are hungry and needy. Far too much food is wasted in the US. Most estimates show we throw away about 40% of the food produced! Thankfully, many people and groups are working to refine our systems to reduce the waste, better distribute the food and provide healthy food for families. Kudos to Alyssa Snyder and Aaron Shelton for starting and growing this organization.
Cobblestone Project. Their mission is to create a community without need. They work to restore dignity, purpose and opportunity. Their farm is a place of growing good, education for children to see how farms work and sometimes just fun like the seedling soiree.
ATRA/ NCAT. NCAT is an organization that manages projects (like ATRA) to promote self-reliance and sustainable lifestyles through the wise use of appropriate technology. They are dedicated to sustainable agriculture, and have an amazing collection of resources to help farmers and individual grow food in sustainable ways that are healthy for people and the planet. They were focused on “green” and sustainable way before it was popular. I’ve had several friends who work there. Everyone seems very dedicated to helping create more sustainable food production systems in the US.
What’s happening with sustainable food production in your area?
See what you can find, and then support them by volunteering, donating or purchasing. Mother earth will thank us. One of the most basic things we can do is buy organic foods and products grown in a sustainable way. Every purchase is a vote for what we want to help promote and support. Go Green!