Yesterday Will posted a video about children farm workers who face hard working conditions, including exposure to toxic pesticides sprayed on our produce. For a consious consumer who does not want to support such practices, here is a great (but unfortunately much less accessible) alternative- urban farms. These small scale farms have been popping up in cities across the U.S. and range from community gardens to public school gardens to privately operated gardens for restaurants.
- Urban farming often greatly reduces the shipping distance for the produce (the Riverpark Farm shown above is 100 feet from the Riverpark Restaurant) which cuts down on harmful emissions from trucks, as well as packaging.
- They make agriculture accessible to those living in cities who would not otherwise have access to farms.
- Small-scale farms do not require (not that any farm really requires) chemical treatment. Individual care can go into individual plots, so there is no need to spray toxic pesticides from crop-dusters, making the food safer for consumers and the job safer for farmers.
- Urban farms beautify our cities. They can take up the space of otherwise abandoned lots, and offer something pretty as well as tasty!
And maybe, just maybe, the urban farming movement will apply pressure on giant agribusiness to improve working conditions on their farms.