Documentary highlights the global evolution and impact of urban farming

Plant This Movie
© Plant This Movie

From vacant lots to rooftops to front yards, urban agriculture is growing, and this documentary explores the challenges and successes of farming in the city.

We cover a lot of urban agriculture stories here on Treehugger, from small backyard and vacant lot farms to countertop growing units to shipping container farms, and we'd like to think that those stories can help inspire people to plant more food near where they live, and to buy more locally grown produce in support of the movement.

However, there's also a fair amount of skeptics and naysayers of the concept, who maintain that even though urban ag seems really cool, it's never going to produce enough to even come close to meeting the needs of our growing population, and that it's a waste of resources, considering the small scale and relative inefficiencies of urban ag operations, when compared with the large-scale 'industrial' agriculture system. There may be some truth to that, in the sense that urban farming only accounts for a small percentage of produce at the moment, but in other aspects, such as community empowerment and local food system resiliency, urban agriculture has a very real role to play in the future of food.

Offering glimpse into the international urban farming movement, the documentary Plant This Movie, which is narrated by Daryl Hannah, takes a good long look at urban ag in a variety of global locations, including Cuba, Shanghai, Lima, Calcutta, and Addis Ababa, as well as several urban farming hotspots in the US, like New York City, LA, Portland, and New Orleans.

Directed by filmmaker Karney Hatch, whose first documentary Overdrawn examined the predatory lending practices of big banks, Plant This Movie was successfully crowdfunded in 2011, and is now available for streaming ($2.99) or download ($5.99).

Here's the trailer:

More info: Plant This Movie

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