There are a lot of popular food terms that you have probably heard. Such as natural, organic, or allergen-free. A term you may not have heard of is Urban Farming. This is a term that you need to learn. Almost 70% of the world’s population is predicted to live in urban areas by 2050.
Due to the increase of the population moving to urban areas. There needs to be a better way to provide these areas with fresh produce. So today we are going to discuss:
- What are Urban Farms
- Urban Farms Community Engagement
- Urban Farms Innovations
Urban Farms – What are They
Urban farming is also known as urban agriculture or urban gardening. They produce and sell local farm produce to urban areas. These farms can be located directly in an urban area, such as a rooftop garden. They can also be located right outside of an urban area. Like we are here, at Amadio Ranch. Even though we are not directly in an urban area, we provide food for urban areas.
The goal of urban farms is to provide those that are living in an urban area with fresh produce. Even though the community may be far from any farming communities.
Urban Farms – Community Engagement
Not only do urban farms provide farm-fresh produce to the local urban residence. They also provide community benefits such as job creation, easy access to food the farm sells, and food education.
Jobs are important to any community. To maintain a working farm you need employees. Based on the size of the urban farm and if they have a store set-up. There are numerous jobs that are created for the local community. As well as other needs by the business such as marketing, or retail space that will also help local businesses.
Easy Access for Businesses
Being in close proximity to restaurants and grocery stores. Businesses that work with urban farms, do not have to worry about produce shipments arriving late due to shipping issues. Since the farm is nearby. Businesses may also save money, cutting out the middle man in purchasing directly from the farm.
Easy Access for Consumers
Many of these farms sell directly to consumers. This makes it easier and more affordable for those in the community to buy direct from the farm. This reduces the consumer’s need to buy so many processed foods. Since there are healthy options available at a comparable price.
Since the urban farms are community-based this gives them outreach potential in the community. Here at Amadio Ranch and many other urban farms. The goal is to educate those on what they are eating. Knowing for example what fruits and vegetables grow during each season.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season are fresher and more nutritious than food consumed that are out of season. In addition, produce that is transported, due to transportation time, loses nutrients. Whereas buying direct you can purchase closer to the picking date. Therefore benefiting from the more nutrient-rich produce.
Urban Farms – Innovation
With many located in urban areas which means not a lot of lands available. There have been many innovative solutions that have come out of this farming method. In order to be able to start-up and evolve their farm. Some of these innovations include hydroponics. Which in layman’s terms is growing produce without soil and can be grown inside.
Many of these innovations have trickled over and are starting to be used by other people or industries that do not own a farm. For example, there are now even smaller hydroponic set-ups available. For those who want to grow things like herbs in the comfort of their apartment.
Since these farms are there to supply produce for the local community. Innovation also has to occur to allow for those in the community to shop. For example, due to the coronavirus and the need for social distance at Amadio Ranch, we added a contactless shopping and checkout at our Ranch. Which is located outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Also, have online shopping available.
If starting an urban farm in your community is of interest to you. There are numerous resources available to help with your business planning. And at the end of the day, all the work will be worth it for providing such a great resource for your community.
To learn more about Amadion Ranch and our urban farm. Our website provides a lot of information including commonly asked questions. If you are social media savvy, follow us on our Facebook page. For updates about the ranch and interactive videos to show you how to cook up your local produce.