Modular micro farms, a new approach to urban food production?

One key tenet of the “urban resilience” idea is local food production. If fruits, veggies and herbs are grown in cities, they’ll reduce the runoff, emissions, perishability and transport costs of produce. They’ll also make cities more self-sustaining, rather than having to fully rely on food grown elsewhere. 

The problem is that urban agriculture doesn’t always seem like a practical concept. Urban land is expensive, and the prospect of making it farmland - even in distressed cities - could present long-term opportunity costs if these cities later revive. Furthermore, the vertical farming idea - where structures are built to grow produce at large scales - seems premature, since this brick-and-mortar infrastructure must compete with cheap, horizontal farmland. As Forbes writer Erik Kobayashi-Solomon writes, vertical farming is still a largely untested concept that receives limited capital compared to standard farming. 

An urban agriculture technique that seems more practical, though, is micro-farming, which involves fitting small farms into tight spaces, sometimes ad hoc. The website Lexicon of Food defines micro-farming as “small-scale farming that takes place in urban or suburban areas, usually on less than 5 acres of land.”

Read the full article at Forbes (Scott Beyer)


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