Backyard veggie farmers

20 good reasons for turning your backyard into an Urban Farm and to grow your own food

1. Urban farming prevents produce from having to be cold-stored or transported hundreds of kilometers; hence it is healthier, more vitamin-dense and fresher. The carbon footprint is also lower.

2. In urban food production, less fertilizer and significantly less pesticides ensure a healthier and less costly vegetable supply.

3. City-farms are a fertile ground for community building, as it brings people together in a positive purposeful manner and creates a sense of belonging

4. It also offers opportunity for learning and skills development, as farming is a hands-on activity with specific processes, sequenced actions, and applied principles. City-farm workers can learn and apply the skill on smaller scale at their own homes to feed their families

5. Urban farming is more productive. With vertical farming – which is possible in urban areas – up to a 100 times higher production can be achieved per square meter, as food can be grown in levels.

6. City-farms are more accessible than rural farms and could serve an educational purpose, offering workshops for citizens and school groups on how to produce food at home.

7. Good food can be produced with significantly less risk, as it is not dependant on the weather conditions and far less exposed to pests and plagues. Food can be produced organically.

8. Urban farming requires less water and less energy.

9. Farming in unused building structures overcome the seasonality of vegetables and fruit, so it can be produced all year round provided there is enough sunlight.

10. Urban farming could be a small-business growth engine. The product will always be in demand, it requires little infrastructure, and the skills are teachable to all; thus, a strong initiative for enterprise development.

11. Indoor farming can give consumers access to fresh produce year-round – even those who live in dense, urban areas. In addition to greatly reducing carbon emissions, indoor farming also uses less water than traditional farming and doesn’t require pesticides. Each farming unit is its own individual ecosystem, creating the exact environment plants need to flourish in.

12. Setting up urban farms, specifically on unutilized plots of land, are great projects to assist section 26 of our constitution on Food Security to become a reality

13. Less packaging is required in a fresh-food market.

14. Less food is wasted, as city farming is a system of harvest-and-eat. Consumer self-help systems are ideal for urban farms, hence there is no disconnect between produce supply and the amount needed. No middleman, and a shorter supply cycle, allow for a harvest what you eat

15. City-farms, whether on open land, in warehouses, or on rooftops, are aesthetically pleasing and can be integrated into the architecture of the city.

16. City-farms offer air-purification and breathing benefits, as plants purify air and cool down cities.

17. Towns that promote urban farming on open spaces and in citizen gardens, have healthier towns. Apart from the healthy food supply, research indicated that in environments with lots of plants, humans focus better, are calmer, and less stressed.

18. Unused land in urban areas that are turned into city-farms, provide valuable habitats for bees and other pollinators.

19. Urban farming offers a productive use for rugged/unused industrial buildings and sheds that could be turned into green areas.

20. Urban produce is a good option for brands that are serious about reducing their carbon footprint, to tackle climate change. They will ultimately attract more consumers looking for fresh, high-quality, ethical food.

John

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