Aggregated Urban Micro-Farms

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= urban farmers who aggregate multiple small parcels of privately owned land into quantities that are cost-effective to farm. The food production is either provided for a fee or for a share of the produce, which is in some cases distributed through a CSA model.

Description

Nevin Cohen:

"Cities have significant amounts of land suitable for growing food, divided into yards of varying size and shape. Some entrepreneurial gardeners have created businesses turning backyards into intensive vegetable patches, often for a simple fee for service. In other cases the business model involves aggregating a number of intensively planted micro- farms into a scale that produces sufficient food to operate a viable CSA subscription service (Your Backyard Farmer). To the participating land owners, who provide the property to grow food and get a weekly box of produce in return, this system offers a greater variety of food than can be grown on one’s own particular parcel. Moreover, depending on their level of interest, skills, and time, households may also participate in some or much of the planting, tending, and harvesting.

The distributed farming models offer the possibility of increasing food production in cities and suburbs through networks of small-scale efforts powered by social media and innovative apps. While each project contributes a very small percentage of a city’s food supply, in the aggregate a significant amount of food can be produced if intensive farming techniques are used. Indeed, a distributed farming system may be the most suited to fitting food production into the existing urban landscape, which is a patchwork of vacant land, yards, and rooftops owned by individuals, businesses and government agencies." (http://www.foodandtechconnect.com/site/2011/09/25/nevin-cohen-on-hacking-the-food-system-the-networked-future-of-urban-agriculture/)