Urban Farming News

US Army Takes The Heartland To Afghanistan

Posted in food security, global hunger, urban farming by Urban Farming News on January 7, 2010

Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime: teach a man to farm…you get the gist. (Pardon my use of the masculine.)

As reported by good ‘ole NPR: the US Military Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan Farmers. Due to the tumultuous and dangerous climate of the past few years, few farmers remain. Fortunately, many soldiers right from America’s heartland are fighting the good fight to end hunger. Troops from California, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas are presently in Afghanistan. There are plans for more on the way.

The endeavor began in 2008, currently the agribusiness units are in 14 out of 34 of the provinces. These Agribusiness Development Teams are equipped with agricultural knowledge and supplies. For the first time, many Afghani wheat farmers have hand-cranked seed spreading machines. Previously, all sowing was done by hand. The military is also providing supplies and soil testing, thus providing a scientific method to fertilizer use. In turn, the food yield will be highly increased. The vast majority of the farming is sustenance based; this food will feed families.

Of course, there are many facets of the Agribusiness development in Afghanistan. A major goal is to decrease the export of Opium poppies in lieu of other crops. The farmers hope to lead by example with the success of their wheat, nut and fruit crops. Don’t forget that there is also the constant threat of attack on these lands. Food security has a new meaning.

I have to say, this warms my heart. We all have someone near and dear who has served in this current conflict. As Urban Farmer’s we are battling to end food security domestically. I’ll take this bite of jingoism with a side of idealism; we can indeed rally together and end hunger.

Fresh Food for Good Health

Posted in Uncategorized by Urban Farming News on January 7, 2010

I love food. Growing, cooking and above all eating. Who doesn’t? However it’s no secret that many Americans have issues with food. We’re over-weight, consume on average over 200 lbs of sugar a year and just don’t eat enough veggies. Worse, some people don’t even have access to fresh produce! What is going on here?

Michael Pollan, acclaimed food author of In Defense of Food and recent Food Rules made a lovely appearance on the Daily Show on Monday night. I found this to be very interesting with a direct correlation to our goals at Urban Farming. Pollen raises the point that we eat far to many by-products and not enough real food, “the food industry creates patients for the health care industry” Thus, our lack of nutrition tends to create more chronic conditions, leading to more life long dependencies on prescription medications.

This note struck a chord in my heart. At 15 years old, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I control my “chronic condition” with diet, exercise, topical meds and herbal remedies. My family’s rural lifestyle and connection to the earth has everything to do with my holistic approach. Fresh food and good nutrition are essential to life.

This is where gardens come into play. Every person who has access to fresh food is a stride forward. Of course, it’s not really so simple. We can’t dictate what other people will eat or how they will get their food, however we can educate others and share our passion. Just a bit of food for thought.

Check out Michael Pollan’s blog on Huffington Post. Look forward to a review and discussion of Food Rules as well.

Salutations and Seedlings

Posted in Uncategorized by Urban Farming News on January 7, 2010

Welcome! I’m delighted to present Urban Farming’s official blog. Here we join together, sow seeds, share our triumphs and harvest food as a community.

Urban Farming’s mission is to end hunger in our generation. We plant food gardens on unused green space, cement lots, rooftops and walls. In addition, we are committed to stabilizing climate change. We are aware of our environmental impact. The non-profit was founded in Detroit in 2005. Those 3 original gardens have branched out into 18 cities across the nation and abroad. We’ve got limbs spreading in every direction, building communities and expanding.

Why should you read this blog?
· This is an open forum. Let’s discuss current food security and environmental impact issues.

· What’s happening in your neck of the woods? We’ve all encountered successes and challenges. We need to communicate with each other.

· Who inspires you? It’s time to acknowledge pioneers of the Urban Agriculture movement. We can all learn from thoughtful interviews and informative posts.

With our eyes on the same page our hands can work in unison. We can indeed achieve our goal to end hunger. Let’s share our passion, present our challenges, revel in our success and speak our minds. Stop over each week and see what’s happening in the gardens. I hope to hear from all the Urban Farmer’s out there soon!
Cheers,

Karleen
San Francisco