From backyard farmers making a real living on less than an acre to large-scale urban aquaponics, the urban agriculture movement is rapidly proving that cities can and will help feed our future, and can generate jobs, economic stimulus and community well-being in the process.
At least that's what one crew of North Carolina urban agriculturalists are hoping as they launch a Kickstarter campaign to purchase a derelict lot and convert it into a diverse, integrated and permanent farm. Much like this crowdfunded alternative to mainstream banks, this isn't just about setting up a community garden or a youth development project. Bountiful Backyards clearly see their work as building viable, scalable alternatives to business-as-usual:
Our goal is to present a different kind of development model in Northeast Central Durham, connectig those who are passionate about food, plants and community. Through these efforts we will build an abundant and beautiful community farm that is self-sufficient and not dependent on grants or other subsidies. A half-acre site like this can be a real economic stimulus that folks can touch and taste. We'll create a place where people can come together to meet their own needs, not ones created for us on TV and shipped half way across the world.
In the interests of transparency, I should note that since posting on Bountiful Backyards, an edible agriculture collective in Durham, NC, I've gotten to know the team, I have done some work on their branding (that carrot leaf icon in the video was created by my team of changelings), and I would consider them friends and heroes.
But I'd be writing about them even if I didn't know them. Because rethinking our food system, and doing so while building real jobs and growing real community, is one of the most urgent tasks there is.