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The Utility in Urban Farming

Posted by Emily Frost, Communications & Programs Intern. Sustainable Food writer Jason Mark tries to unearth the real benefits of urban farming in his recent article “If Urban Farms Can’t Feed Us, What Are They Good For?” Acknowledging that urban farming is unlikely to ever fully sustain us, he counters that community farming provides us with important intangibles that, though not quantifiable, are nevertheless invaluable:

There’s no doubt in my mind that urban farming is important. We should, though, be thoughtful about what we can realistically expect urban food production to achieve. At its best, urban farming is an important avenue for environmental recreation, a way to help protect farmland threatened by sprawl, and a chance to bring together diverse groups of people.

Mark also points out that having urban agriculturalists aim to harvest just a third of their total veggies, fruits, and eggs would allow surrounding farms to diversify their own crops. This would in turn expand the availability and spread of locally grown foods available to city-dwellers from farms that, though not urban, still exist within their food shed area, creating a more sustainable system for all.