The sustainability of our food supply is a growing concern for many especially those in urban areas looking for easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables. While getting fruits and vegetables from the local grocery store is a great option for those striving to maintain a healthy diet, it can also often be a costly one. Additionally, those concerned with eating more or all organic versus GMO fruits and vegetables may also find it challenging to do so since these food items are generally more expensive and in some cases scarce in local grocery stores. But there is an alternative to traditional rural area farming that is popping up in urban areas around the country. The concept is known as urban farming.
Urban farming involves the planting, growing, and harvesting of crops in areas not typically utilized for farming such as empty lots and even the rooftops of buildings in urban areas. Urban Harvest STL has set out to do just that in downtown St. Louis. With the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles through the establishment of urban gardens, Urban Harvest STL aims to educate city residents on how they can take part in the sustainability of their food supply by growing their own nutritious, organic crops.
In the coming weeks, please come back to check out my posts and pictures from my visits to the gardens being grown by Urban Harvest STL and to see how this initiative is getting city residents educated about and involved in the sustainability of their food supply.
Here are a few other notes on what Urban Harvest STL has already done and what they have in the works:
Urban Harvest STL began with the idea of growing foods locally making fruits and veggies more readily available to STL city dwellers and nearby area. Benefits include:
~ community involvement in sustainability of food supply
~ more access to healthier foods that are likely fresher than fruits and veggies brought in from rural areas that may be miles away
~ can teach families to grow their own food leading to healthier lifestyles and money savings
~ great idea especially during a time of increasing questions on how to know whether or not food labeled as organic truly is
What has been done so far:
~ a community garden in the heart of downtown St. Louis where almost 3000 lbs of food was grown and a portion donated to charity
~ a Haunted Harvest Festival was held at a pumpkin patch created at the garden where the community was invited in to harvest their own pumpkins with over 100 people attending, children and adults alike
~ a FOOD ROOF farm where crops will be grown on unused rooftops in downtown St. Louis leveraging this additional space available as a benefit to the surrounding community
For more on what Urban Harvest STL is doing, check out their website at www.urbanharveststl.org, “Like” them on Facebook at Urban Harvest STL, and follow them on Twitter at @urbanharveststl.