Failing Urban Cities Look To Urban Farming

I really hate to say, “I TOLD you so,” but Time just wrote a story about Detroit becoming the model for other failing American cities. From Cleveland, Ohio to Oakland, California, mayors and city councils facing bankruptcy are accepting sad truths: “We simply cannot afford to continue down this road.” Detroit mayor, Dave Bing made that said that last month at a podium in a downtown Detroit theatre.

One of the keys to success is to jump on an opportunity BEFORE everyone else seizes it. 
Everyone has to eat. Monsanto (the huge multinational herbicide company that gave us “Agent Orange” and “RoundUp”) are feeding us toxins through major shopping chains like Safeway, Kroger, and Wal-Mart. Perhaps a mixed-blessings because those major stores no longer exist major rust belt cities. Residents  depend on corner grocery stores and gas station convenience stores for their vegetables and proteins.

The Obama Administration and the Federal Government can’t solve the problems of all the troubled cities and the predominately black, Hispanic and poor whites who remain within those cities.

Two months ago, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the ambitious “Let’s Move” campaign, aiming to eliminate food deserts, especially in urban communities, in the next seven years. The administration has committed $400 million to “Let’s Move.” –Full Time story here.

Food, Education, and Land

Detroit may well turn out to be the city other Rust Belt and decaying cities copy. Remember, corporations and the mega-rich have all but closed shop on American manufacturing. Even though Mayor Bing and the feds are attempting to sell cheap land to large business that resettle in these areas once abandoned buildings and homes are torn down, the thinking is that it’s going to take investing in schools and promoting urban farming to again create stability.

All across the country, small urban farms and garden projects are being setup by people like Ph.D. graduates from UC Berkeley and UC Davis. “Follow the money” is the tried and true thinking. When the media announced there was a shortage of nurses, people began enrolling in nursing programs by the droves. That was 10 years ago. Nursing grads are currently finding it difficult to impossible to obtain work after graduation. So if you want a prosperous, decent life, STOP following that same old carrot. Try a different line to stand in … one with far fewer people ahead of you.

Those people obtaining urban farming and organic gardening certificates will be the winners. Wait, you don’t even need education to put a seed in the ground. But it’s one thing to grow food, and it’s another to sell it. Volunteering or becoming an AmeriCorps worker for one of the many current urban farming projects teaches everything anyone will need. Just Google, “Urban Farming” in your area and find what comes up. (There’s also a host of information on my blogs.) Here are just a couple of links:

City Slicker Farms, Oakland, CA

Full Circle Farms, Sunnyvale, CA

Green Fred Blog

Black Solutions Blog