Building stronger community relationships through agriculture in cities is a great idea to improve environmental, health, societal & economical advancements. We show you some of the direct benefits of urban farms!
Traditionally, people would consider farms to be those big fields in rural areas, spread across acres of land, growing all kinds of crops. While the history of agriculture started with rural fields, agriculture has expanded over the past years to include farms and gardens in urban areas.
Although there’s no set definition of urban agriculture, it encompasses community gardens, small farms, vertical gardens, rooftop gardens, and other vegetable-, fruit- or herb-producing areas within cities and towns. For an urban agricultural center to be considered a farm, though, it has to yield at least $1,000 per year in farm products, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, or meat.
Small, urban community gardens have been expanding to generate more produce, turning them into farms. These farms are garnering the attention of all different people within those communities, and more people are devoting their time to volunteer or watch the transformation.
Here’s a look at how urban farms build community and how they’ve been benefiting those living far from rural areas.
Bringing People Together
Gardens bring people together. In cities filled with concrete sidewalks and metal skyscrapers, having a bit of green in the area reminds people of nature and brings them closer to the natural environment. People of all ages and walks of life come together to work in harmony toward a common goal of providing food for themselves and others.
Community coalesces through group harvesting, developing a farm plan, sharing in the bounty of crops, and improving health and strengthening neighborhoods. People get the chance to share stories and learn from one another through farming in their communities.
Often, people who live in urban areas may feel isolated, especially over the last couple of years. While quarantining was necessary for people to remain safe and healthy during the pandemic, isolation led to severe consequences, like mental health issues and even suicide.
That’s why urban centers need to add more opportunities for people to get together with common interests. Agriculture amid a bustling metropolis heals people and the planet. It unites members of a larger community, all while adding to and preserving green spaces in cities.
People in cities flock to green areas to get away from the artificial materials surrounding them all day. Plus, these farms can offer opportunities for cross-cultural learning.
The Benefits of Urban Farming
Besides building community, there are plenty of other benefits of urban farming. Below are a few of those benefits:
- Environmental: Urban agriculture improves overall environmental health. Food doesn’t have to travel as far, which reduces carbon emissions from trucks, known as “food miles.” Plus, green spaces absorb greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Also, the farms attract pollinators, absorb rainfall to prevent flooding, and offer added resilience to the community from the climate.
- Economical: Having gardens in cities provides more job opportunities. Organizations can hire people to work the land, harvest crops, and maintain the garden throughout the growing season. It also cuts down on food costs for local families.
- Nutritional: When food is grown in the same city it is consumed, it offers more nutritional value. The farther food travels, the more nutritional value is lost. Urban farming also provides access to healthier foods for underprivileged families.
- Health: As people work in urban farms, they’re getting a health boost beyond a better diet. Working with plants can relieve stress and provide physical activity, and induces relaxation.
- Societal: Urban farming improves food security in communities, too. By the year 2050, the global population is expected to reach 10 billion people. Although current industrial agriculture can provide enough food to feed the world, the food cannot reach all of the corners of the earth. Urban farming enables communities everywhere to grow food that thrives in their region and distribute it to those in the community.
Urban farming is one of the greatest advancements in the agricultural sector. It builds community and improves the health and well-being of individuals and the environment.
Building Stronger Community Relationships Through Agriculture
By integrating an urban farm into your community, you can strengthen the relationships between community members. It enables people of all backgrounds to come together to work towards a similar cause.