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Food news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Produce at the market
by Roxanne Christensen
on September 15, 2011 at 6:36 AM
Planners are to be commended for recognizing the potential of urban agriculture, but what is needed is an understanding of the distinction between commercial and noncommercial. Most don’t recognize that urban food production can produce significant economic activity because there have not been any economically viable models for commercial crop production that were appropriately scaled for cities. But in the last few years new farmers in the US and Canada have been having success with SPIN-Farming, which is an organic-based, small plot farming system that outlines how to make money growing in backyards, front lawns and neighborhood lots.The next important step in building the capacity of local food systems is to convert some of the energy and enthusiasm surrounding local food into viable farming businesses. This will require training a large and diverse number of residents in appropriately scaled farming methods and microenterprise development and getting them up and operational quickly. Policymakers should be encouraging more citizens to begin farming careers right in their own backyards.
by Rose Hayden-Smith
on September 15, 2011 at 6:53 PM
Thank you for your comments. I'm familiar with the SPIN-Farming model. Our ideas about the commercial viability being under-potentiated align. One of the things we talked about was that these projects create jobs where they are embraced. Education is key. Thanks for writing.
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