Urban Agriculture: Tonic or Toxic?

Ever since I was child, I have been mother’s little helper in the garden. Organic, fresh, vegetables were always the preference in our household. Then, with maturity came my acceptance to college and my big move to New York City. To no surprise, there is only a limited number of organic produce available in most…

Broccoli: Do You Know How It Grows?

If you are a beginner at gardening like I am, you might not be familiar with the appearance of certain vegetable plants. You may be able to identify a large variety of them, but if you live in a city like I do, it is unlikely that you are able to grow your own produce and…

Aquaponics in New York City

Urban agriculture combines both urban and agrarian cultures. Agriculture built farmlands; industrialization built cities. The industrialization of agriculture led to monoculture, chemically-intensive food, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones, and output was valued more than nutrition, generating profit rather than solving the hunger crisis. Urban agriculture has emerged as a rapidly growing movement to help solve the…

Can Urban Farms Be Sanctuaries for Bees?

By Rachel Nehemiah Of all pollinators, bees account for the greatest amount of pollination: about 80-90 percent worldwide. And we can thank bees for about one third of our crops too – things like onions, broccoli, chilli peppers, watermelons and pumpkins rely on bees for pollination. Being so important, not only to the world as…

Proctor Academy & Educational Urban Farms

Seoul, Vancouver, Boston, New York: I spent the majority my life in cities. I feel more comfortable around grey skyscrapers and speeding taxi cabs, than bugs, wild animals, and evergreen trees. Perhaps you can imagine my surprise when I started at Proctor Academy, a small, experiential boarding school in Andover, New Hampshire — out of…

The Difference Between Urban Agriculture and Gardening

A friend of mine recently commented in a discussion about gardening that “It’s interesting, I’ve always thought that farming as a practice is somewhat like gardening. There are similar aspects to both don’t you think?” To the layperson that comment from my friend would have gone without much thought, it sounds reasonable so why not…

Hands On For New Experiences

In certain parts of South Africa, you can find an abundance of family maintained fruit and vegetable gardens. My father grew up in a mountainous rural area where his family cultivated fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Although we now live in the city with only a lemon tree and an herb garden, my aunts have…

From the Farm to the Can

By: Maricruz Iniguez Coming from Ecuador, a small country, where I saw food being grown countryside farms, seeing food being grown in urban space has been an eye opening experience. My grandmother back home in Ecuador is kind of the “farmer” of the house. She loves her garden and her plants. She has lemon and…

Urbanity and the Agricultural Ideal

By Ethan Johns America is the land of self-determination, self-sufficiency, liberalism, rugged individualism. Founded on the ideals of the yeoman farmer and grown by concepts of frontier-oriented manifest destiny, land ownership and stewardship was the original marker of a citizen in America. While the nation has accepted that land-owners are not the only citizens entitled…

Urban Agriculture: Need for a focusing event

I am a Social Research and Public Policy major taking “Introduction to Urban Agriculture” class. Although these two subjects in one sentence might sound odd at first, one will eventually understand that the two are in fact not mutually exclusive. Recently, a couple of policy recommendations to encourage urban agriculture and the provision of healthy…

What’s Dirt Got to Do With It?

I love dirt. Dirt is important to me. When I was six my sister refused to let me sit on her bed because apparently there was dirt in my hair (there was). It didn’t really bother me though because the time I spent outside, investigating each blade of grass and each creepy crawler, was worth…

Organic Farming Could Get Even Easier

Urban agriculture is hard work— I found that out first hand the first time I wielded a pitchfork to turn compost as farm manager of the NYU Farm Lab— so one can imagine why conventional farming practices involve the use of pesticides to make a farmer’s life easier. As you may know, pesticides are substances used…