photo: Sara Novak
If you were to choose a city on the map known for the best food in the U.S., especially farm-to-fork dining, San Francisco would likely make your list. But in a city where dining on local eats is so sacred, why has the business of urban farming been so difficult for the past 50 years? Small time farmers in the city have been forced to jump through hoops and buy pricey permits in order to use their small city plots to sell food for cash. In fact, getting a permit to grow medical marijuana is easier than growing cash crops. But a recent story in the New York Times, reports that this could all change very soon. When Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway wanted to start a small urban farm called Little City Gardens, they found that current Bay area law made getting the appropriate permits difficult and costly. And according to a story in the New York Times-Bay Citizen they decided rather than paying for the permit, they would fight to update the archaic laws. It's not that you can't grow food in the city, it's that you can't make money growing food.
"It's actually easier in Berkeley to have a pot collective than to have a vegetable collective," said Sophie Hahn, a former candidate for City Council who is putting together a legislative solution she plans to take to the Council.
But that could all change thanks to new policy drafted for the fall. The policy would allow small urban gardens less than one acre to farm without restrictions (except marijuana in this case). Farms like Little City Gardens would only have to pay $300 versus the former $3,000 to farm.
Read the whole story in the New York Times.
More on Urban Farming:
Rooftop Farm Produces 30 Different Vegetables, Takes Urban Agriculture to New Heights
Boatanic: Urban Farming Aboard Tourist Boats
Grown in Detroit: New Documentary Shows Teen Moms Becoming Urban Farmers