Nate Storey’s greenhouse in west Laramie, Wyoming, is packed with vegetables growing in long, upright plastic towers.
Storey’s set-up is an urban farmer’s dream: the waste from fish tanks fertilizes the crops through plastic tubing that drips water onto the vertical garden. The greenhouse is small, but produces a lot of food. Read more
Paul Quinn College was in a serious state of deterioration when Michael J. Sorrell took the reins as president. The Historically Black College in Dallas, Texas, was millions of dollars in debt, facing dwindling student enrollment, and contending with some serious cultural issues. From the moment that Sorrell took his post, things quickly started to change.
In 2012, the city of Richmond, California, garnered national attention when its residents voted down a ballot measure to impose a tax on sugary beverages. Groups like Dunk the Junk hoped the measure would significantly hamper the city’s growing obesity problem. Doria Robinson, executive director of Urban Tilth, saw the tax as an opportunity to invest in the health of her community. Read more
With nearly 80,000 people crammed into four square miles, the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, is easily the most densely populated in New England. But in spite of spatial constraints—or perhaps because of them—the Somerville community has prioritized supporting urban agriculture. With limited space and a hankering for homegrown food, residents are squeezing gardens and greenery into as many places as possible. Read more
Thirty-year-old Roxanne Adair is a trailblazer. In 2010, she and a friend started Flint River Farm in Flint, Michigan, a city where urban farming isn’t the norm. Adair’s background was in fisheries, wildlife, and biology, and she used the knowledge gained working at the Genesee County Land bank to buy and rent city lots, totaling nearly three acres, in the heart of Flint. Read more
A 24-acre site formerly occupied by the National Tobacco Company will soon become home to a local food hub in Louisville, Kentucky.
While Louisville has emerged as a new foodie destination in the past few years, this project is aimed more at supporting small farmers—and building a local food economy—than serving artisan sandwiches. But there will likely be plenty of those too. Read more
Urban farmers in New York City face many obstacles—from high winds, to lack of space, extreme temperatures, and more. But now, there’s a line of seeds made just for them. Zach Pickens of Rooftop Ready Seeds, a small NYC start-up, has been cultivating, packaging, and selling seeds bred specifically for New York urban farms for the past four years. Read more
A sustainable food initiative in Orlando, Florida is aiming to prove that as long as there are bikes and suburban lawns, supplying produce for a city doesn’t have to leave a carbon footprint.
Fleet Farming uses volunteers to tend organic vegetable gardens in private yards. The produce is then collected and brought to local farmers’ markets and restaurants via pedal-power and the entirety of this mini food system is located within a 10-mile roundtrip bike path near downtown Orlando. Read more
New York’s Gotham Greens rooftop farming operation recently announced that it would be expanding and building the nation’s largest rooftop farm in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. It’s a boon for both rooftop agriculture and for the Windy City’s mission to become an urban farming hub. Read more
In the early 1990s, after years of working as a physical therapist, Karen Washington noticed that many of her patients were steadily gaining weight and struggling with diabetes. She realized the people seeking treatment shared something else in common—a lack of fresh produce in their diets. The connection hit home when Washington saw her own son experience the same ailments she heard from her patients. The lifelong New Yorker and dedicated mother vowed to do better for her family and her community. Read more