Urban Agriculture: Frequently Asked Questions
How many members are on the Committee, and what do they do outside
of the Committee?
There are currently over 200 individuals on the email list.
The membership is as diverse as
that of the CFSC itself: urban farmers, grassroots activists,
public health, anti-hunger and sustainable/organic agriculture
professionals, staff and directors of related non-profit
organizations (many focused on youth development), community
development specialists, academicians and college students.
Members of the CFSC Board of Directors have traditionally
been active Committee members and a new staff liaison has
been working with the Committee, thus ensuring communication
and collaboration with the Coalition at various levels.
Is Urban Agriculture strictly "urban?"
Although the community gardens with which many are familiar
are most commonly found on vacant or otherwise underused
land in the central areas of cities and towns, urban agriculture
operations can also be found on larger sites in suburban
and suburban fringe. Regardless of the site, a key attribute
of urban agriculture is that it shortens the distance between
producer and consumer; thus the modest yield of the small
urban farm of less than an acre that distributes its harvest
within its surrounding neighborhood is balanced in value
by the greater product of a farmer on the metropolitan fringe
whose consumers may live within a 60-minute drive.
How "new" is Urban Agriculture?
Fresh food has been grown in cities for as long as cities
have existed. In the United States, "potato patch" farms
were established on urban vacant sites in the late nineteenth-
and early twentieth centuries a early form of social welfare.
These were followed by the victory gardens created during
World War I and World War II, and more recently by the community
gardens created through the social activism of the 1970s.
What is "new" about today's urban agriculture is the identification
of its practitioners and advocates with the larger community
food security movement.
How can I learn more about Urban Agriculture?
In 2002 the Committee developed an urban agriculture "primer",
Agriculture and Community Food Security in the United States:
Farming from the City Center to the Urban Fringe (pdf download). This
document gives an overview of urban agriculture and its
connection to community security.
There are many organizations in North America working on
issues related to urban agriculture and the Coalition's
links page indicates
Websites of particular note are: