Growing food

Growing food

Food production starts with growing the food, in farms, orchards, gardens, pastures, or even non-cultivated spaces. While agriculture now is often extractive and exploitive, it need not be. Indigenous methods of cultivation were often sustainable over centuries and many farmers are moving to regenerative and sustainable practices that increase biodiversity and soil health, conserve water, and reduce or eliminate pesticides. Project Drawdown estimates that moving to conservation agriculture and even further to regenerative annual cropping techniques such as crop rotation, cover crops, and no-till methods could save 14.5-22.3 gigatons of CO2 through sequestration. These methods are also more resilient against climate-related events such as drought and flooding.

These conservation techniques are being adopted by more and more farms, especially those that are smaller and do not depend on large-scale operations to turn a profit.

Urban gardening, whether in private yards, in containers on a balcony, or through a community garden, can offer city-dwellers food security and resilience as well as connecting people with the process of growing food and the seasonality of local produce. It is important to recognize that urban gardening will not produce enough food for a family to subsist on, and that expecting disadvantaged communities to cultivate their own food is unreasonable and unjust. However, community gardens, in particular, can provide access to fresh produce to more people and can contribute to the resilience and stability of neighborhoods.

Story

Tangletown Farms uses many different regerative and sustainable methods in growing all the food and plants for WiseAcre Eatery, Tangletown Gardens, and members of their CSA.

Actions

  • Connect directly with farmers and food producers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs or farmers markers.
    • Visit the farms and speak with the farm workers about their agricultural methods
  • Look for local labels, such as the Minnesota Grown label, which let’s you know where the food was grown, or use the directory to find locally produced food.
  • Join or support a community gardens that build resilience and community in their neighborhoods by reflecting the character of those neighborhoods and prioritizing access to disadvantaged populations.
  • Support local policies that allow for agriculture in public spaces, protect land set aside for urban agriculture, and incentivize urban agriculture around affordable and multi-family developments.

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References