Is urban farming just a myth?

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A lot of people cannot really relate farms with skyscrapers. Urban farming surely is talked about a lot because of its proposed benefits but many people argue that it is some kind of a fad and has no real examples in the modern urban jungle. Well, the truth is that urban farming is very much real to say the least. It has been there for quite some while too so it is not accurately a modern invention.

Urban farming existed during the Second World War. The so called Victoria Gardens or War Gardens were basically crops growing in city soil during time of war where shortage of food was most probable. It is estimated that over 40% of the vegetables and fruit came from these urban gardens during that period of war. This not only proves the existence of urban farming more than half a century ago but also shows its massive impact.

But we are not in the 20th century, we are in the 21st century and urban farming is now seeing a rapid boom. The victory gardens may have been a result of the fight against war repercussions but today’s urban farming is the result of the efforts to eliminate poverty, ensure sustainability and create self reliability. However, there are a growing number of critics of this movement who deem it as a threat to the natural food chain. They consider someone as either a farmer or non-farmer i.e. in their view one can only grow crops if they are a farmer.

While farming is a proper job that requires skills and experience, however, that does not make it an exclusive job that only few can do. Some people with some learning can achieve farming tasks. Especially, now that the internet has a lot of information available for everyone, urban farming is now more than ever possible.

Some of these critics also consider it as a myth because they argue it does not have a real impact. A person growing a few tomatoes in his small garden cannot feed the entire world, they say. Well, it is true that these urban farmers cannot feed the entire world but they can feed a small community. And together many communities can feed each other. Besides urban farming is more about self sufficiency than it is about spreading food.

And there are real examples out there. Steven Ritz in the congested and heavily populated city of New York started an urban farming initiative with his students called Green Bronx Machine. What started as a small indoor activity has gone on to provide food for 450 of his students. And urban farming is getting innovative as well. In St. Paul, Urban Organics are using nutrient dense water from fishes to grow herbs.

Urban farming is no more just a hobby, it is becoming pervasive now. In major cities across America and Europe people are turning towards this productive activity as it has proven results. Many initiatives like one’s discussed above prove that urban farming is no myth.

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