Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coming to a Yard Near You

The average plate of food travels over 1500 miles to get from the field to your plate. In the process it consumes copious amount of fossil fuels and ends up less than fresh the day it lands on your grocery store shelf.

What if there was a way to bring the growing of fresh fruits and vegetables closer to home? What if we were to take the dramatic step of moving the fields right into our own neighborhoods?

Consider Neighborhood Supported Agriculture.

By converting a small portion of the millions of acres of Kentucky Bluegrass that surround our homes with organic vegetable gardens and orchards we have the opportunity to greatly reduce our dependence on the fossil fuels required to plant, fertilize, harvest, process, pack and transport our food.

In Boulder, Colorado an innovative Neighborhood Supported Agriculture model is bringing local food production and distribution into urban settings. A 3 ½ year old urban farming project called Community Roots Farm was created by farmer Kipp Nash, who has successfully converted 13 front and back yards, and church lawns into vegetable gardens for neighbors and CSA shareholders, with surplus for the local Farmer’s Market and food for families in need - while creating increased community connections among neighbors at the same time.

This model which is being studied in order to help replicate it across the nation is at the forefront of the urban agriculture or locavore movement.

As the economic contraction continues and the cost of oil begin to go up again, the ability to eat locally produced organic food may become one of the most important aspects of sustainability.

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