The concrete jungles of urban living are seeing a growing number of actual gardens and farms cropping up in vacant lots and a rooftops. And increasingly the fruits of urban farming aren’t limited to just neighborhood purposes or even local farmers markets. In fact, 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in an urban setting.
What is an Urban Farm?
Broadly defined it refers to agriculture in an urban setting. Urban farming makes use of space in a more densely populated area (as opposed to a rural area) to grow produce and other food products, including raising chickens and beekeeping, in order to contribute local food sources. As opposed to pirate gardens, urban farms are generally created with the proper authorization from governing bodies.
Restaurants across the globe and particularly in the U.S. are making use of urban-grown ingredients in their kitchens, sometimes starting their own kitchen gardens and farms.
Who’s Getting in on the Urban Farming Trend?
New York City is home to hundreds of urban farms in lots, in buildings, on houseboats, and climbing walls. Riverpark Farm in Manhattan started as a mobile farm on a halted building site before it was relocated one milk crate at a time to a new spot. The farm directly feeds into Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark restaurant, which bases its menu on whatever crops are available each day at the farm.
Marathon Restaurants in Philadelphia has started an organic produce farm to supply its six city locations. Over in Minneapolis, popular restaurant The Bachelor Farmer gets about a quarter of its menu’s herbs and vegetables from the rooftop garden above the restaurant.
In Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, a rooftop urban farm called Dakakkers started up in 2012. It provides produce to local restaurants, raises bees and also sells its vegetables and food made from its produce directly to customers and from its teahouse.
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