In an article today, Nate Berg from The Atlantic talked with Dan Allen about Farmscape and the urban farming movement. The piece explores the crucial but often overlooked ingredient for an urban farm project's success: a diligent farmer.
They're growing like weeds, but often growing only weeds. Urban gardens and farms are appearing in backyards, schools and empty lots in cities all over the country. But people with the actual know-how and willingness to tend them – in other words, farmers – are far less abundant.
Read the full article here.
At Farmscape, we are big fans of NPR’s new food blog The Salt and the quality reporting it has produced over the past few months. Yesterday, Dan Charles reports on the troubling environmental impact of food safety efforts in Northern California.
We'd probably like to think that clean, safe food goes hand in hand with pristine nature, with lots of wildlife and clean water. But in the part of California that grows a lot of the country's lettuce and spinach, these two goals have come into conflict.
Environmental advocates say a single-minded focus on food safety has forced growers of salad greens to strip vegetation from around their fields, harming wildlife and polluting streams and rivers.
Farmscape's own Dan Allen published an article today on Seedstock, identifying one of the most common problems with urban farming attempts. Dan writes:
Urban farming has a dirty secret: the vast majority of garden plots in backyards, schoolyards, community gardens, rooftops and vacant lots are in a state of disrepair. Weeds outnumber thriving vegetables, soil nutrient levels are depleted, and irrigation is irregular at best.
What's missing is the patient, diligent farmer. Read the whole article here.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to [eat well],
The wretched [compost] of your teeming shore.
Send these, the home[stead]less, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my [trowel] beside the golden door!"
Two recent pieces of news have me wondering: what is the good life in 2012?
Farmscape is seeking a part-time urban farmer for the Western San Fernando Valley. We anticipate the position will grow to full-time work within a year.