Cultivating Paths

 

Cultivating Paths

If you could have a bird’s eye view of Manhattan, you’d probably notice streams of yellow taxis flowing up and down the avenues, crowds of people walking along the streets, countless old and new buildings sandwiched together and of course the bright lights of Times Square.  In addition, if you look closely past the intoxicating energy of the Big Apple’s hustle and bustle, you’ll find something else entering your scope of vision — a one acre farm.

 

 

 

Ask and Receive

Eight local students from Millennium High School’s Environmental Club inspired the creation of the Battery Urban Farm when they visited the Battery Conservatory, located in downtown NYC, in November of 2010 and asked if they could grow a vegetable garden in the park.  Now, the farm produces approximately 100 types of organic fruits, vegetables, grains and flowers; serves and educates almost 2000 students from 30 schools and organizations; and, has recruited over 600 community volunteers.

The farm organizers’ goals are to “Empower NYC children and the community to make healthier eating choices through garden education; inspire and encourage the creation of edible gardens in communities throughout NYC and globally; and, cultivate a broader awareness of sustainability through responsible waste management and gardening practices” www.thebattery.org/projects/battery-urban-farm.

For example, many of the garden’s produce go to two downtown school cafeterias.  Organizers believe “In a world where obesity and other diet-related illnesses run rampant and many children cannot identify common vegetables in their whole, natural state, there is a growing and pressing need for garden education.”

 

 

 

Sowing the Seeds

From the east coast to the west coast, urban gardens are sprouting in local communities.

Ron Finley, Founder of The Ron Finley Project, wants kids “to grow up with the option of healthy food, instead of fried, fattening staples.”  During his Keynote presentation titled “Food in the City: Designing a Healthy Food Future” at this year’s South by Southwest Eco Conference www.SXSWECO.com he declared “People have other opportunities than the ones that were designed for them by someone else!”

Describing how he was compelled to start a movement of urban gardening and education in his South Central L.A. food desert community, he advised “We’ve gotten too far away from the food system….we need to take our food system back into our hands; there are over 25 million Americans living in ‘Food Deserts’, which means they lack access to healthy foods (i.e., fresh fruits and vegetables) in their communities…it’s time for Americans to learn to transform food deserts into food forests.”   To view the changes he’s inspired around his community, click here www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzZzZ_qpZ4w.

In addition to his accomplishments thus far and according to his website, Ron is planning to build an urban garden called “HQ” in South Central L.A. “that will serve as an example of a well-balanced, fruit-and-veggie oasis.  Inspired by the idea of turning unused space such as parkways and vacant lots into fruitful endeavors, this garden and gathering place will be a community hub, where people learn about nutrition and join together to plant, work and unwind.  HQ will create a myriad of jobs for local residents, and this plot of land will be a self-sufficient ecosystem of gardening, education, cooking, business learning and management.  The community will get their hands dirty together, shovel together, work together and be healthy together” www.ronfinley.com.

Questioning society’s current priority of investment in technology instead of nutrition, he stated “All technology is useless, unless there are healthy kids eating nutritious food and developing minds/brains that can function well enough to use the technology.”  Accordingly, Ron travels around the country to educate students, “Kids need to know the difference between ‘food’ and ‘un-food products’…children are being poisoned with products presented as edible, while containing many chemicals that are unhealthy.”   He educates students on the importance of gardening, telling them “Gardening is the gateway….we need to get back to the soil because power is in the soil; we are all nature…we are soil…we are all connected.”

Concluding his presentation, he advised “We have to heal the planet, heal ourselves…we can design our own lives; we are all artists…we are all gardeners.”

 

Food goes to Waste

When society is faced with the challenge of millions of Americans living in food desert communities, one may wonder how high percentages of food could be treated as disposable.

“Over 40% of food produced in the US goes directly to waste facilities” explained Hana Dansky, during her Keynote presentation titled “The Food We Waste” at the Lifestyles of Heath and Sustainability (LOHAS) 2013 Forum www.lohas.com.  To assist in solving this imbalance, her group, Boulder Food Rescue, created a movement to transfer local excess food, which would have been sent to landfills, to people in the community.  To view her presentation, click here www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS1Pf5YHjXE.

As a non-profit organization, which started in Boulder, Colorado and has quickly branched out across the U.S., Boulder Food Rescue’s mission is to support in the re-routing of excess food so it can be delivered to organizations that serve the homeless and the hungry.  Many volunteers around the country are joining the effort and there are local chapters mushrooming in many cities from New York to California.  As outlined on their website, the group is “focused on direct rescue and redistribution of fresh and healthy food that would be discarded otherwise. The flexibility of our model, and the direct ‘just in time’ delivery mechanism, allows us to focus on small gaps left behind by larger food rescue organizations and food banks.  We work hard to accomplish our task with minimal environmental impact and right now more than 80% of our food transportation is accomplished via human-powered means (bicycles and trailers)” www.BoulderFoodRescue.org.

Hana advised “What we need to realize, as a society, is that access to nutritious food is a fundamental human right.”  Successfully designing new paths for excess food, to date, her organization has delivered almost 500,000 pounds of food to people in need.

 

Written by Professor Shireen Musa,

Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York

 

 

 

27 thoughts on “Cultivating Paths

  1. What a great idea! I think urban farming is a great way to get healthy foods to places where organic food is so expensive. It’s also a great way to promote jobs in the communities in the places where these farms exist. I also love the idea of sending out excess food to people in the communities. It’s amazing how many people Hana has been able to help just by recycling the food. I think that it is a great way to be sustainable and not only provide for people in need, but to provide ways in which we can lower the harmful chemical pollution.

  2. What a wonderful cause and mission inspired by a high school club! I had no idea that a farm existed in Battery Park, nevertheless, an organic farm that serves students and schools with produce. I’m very passionate about organic food and nutrition (I have a certificate in Nutrition for Health and Disease Prevention), so this topic is important to me. People, especially growing kids and teens, need to eat more fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. This will not only improve the health and physical well being of future generations but will also help prevent chronic disease (the leading cause of death in our country). The global controversy of genetically modified foods is a huge political, public health, environmental and safety issue, so it’s refreshing to hear that students are aware of how important organic food is. I feel that student’s should learn more about nutrition in school so they’re aware of the food industry and so they can make healthy lifestyle choices.
    It’s so great to hear that theres such a powerful and sustainable movement with urban and neighborhood gardens, especially in the busy and not very eco-friendly city.

  3. Its an interesting topic, “urban garden” is something that I didnt think was possible in the busiest city on the planet. I think this is a good start for people to learn what gardening even is. This is something that seems archaic and that contributes to the obesity, and malnutrition that we as Americans endure. I have traveled overseas quite a bit and we are the only culture that believes in SUPER SIZE, or DEEP FRIED, etc. Every culture believes in eating fresh food. Its an a good habit that we all need to contribute to. I have recently started a new lifestyle change making healthier choices and having these little urban gardens shows that I can also be organic and healthy.

  4. “We have to heal the planet, heal ourselves…we can design our own lives; we are all artists…we are all gardeners.” This quote can not describe any closer the type of messages that need to be sent out to the public all over the world today. As much as this article is about a good, sustainable cause for communities applicable universally, the bottom line goes back to empowering the people to take charge of their food, their planet, their lives. Paying attention and assigning value of importance to the right causes, must be the key point lacking in the lives of so many individuals that might feel oppressed and helpless at times to take matter into their own hands and provide a better life for themselves and emerging generation. It is time to heal our planet indeed and there is not better way of doing it than rethinking and rerouting our wasteful consumption habits.

  5. This is a great step in the right direction concerning sustainability, and healthy eating, in New York City. As one of the world’s global leaders, New York City has a great platform to inspire and I hope we continue on this path so we can encourage many across the world to do the same. Ron Finley was right to question “society’s current priorities”. But something we all should become increasingly aware of is that we are the society and we have the power to change the path we are currently on in order to “heal the planet, [and] heal ourselves”. As consumers we should be demanding more organic food, and locally produced food, by buying more of it so there is no other choice but for more urban gardens to open. We are all apart of the process to get where we need to become sustainable. A initiative such as urban gardening can increasingly solve issues we are facing today including health, sustainability, and jobs. As an International Trade and Marketing student at FIT I have become passionately aware of the effects on our Earth of sourcing and mass production of consumer products. As consumers we should support local production for food and for products to continue on the path of sustainability. We all need to be conscious consumers by limiting wastes, and understanding the “less is more approach” when it comes to buying consumer products we do not necessarily need. For everyone who is interested in this topic as much as I am you should check out Discovery Channel’s “Earth 2050: The Future of Energy”. It is a great video that showcases New York as leader in sustainability by having “urban gardens” all around the city, and a sharing electric car system (similar to Citi Bike but with cars!). Really inspiring!

  6. What a great step towards a healthier future. This is exactly what the younger generation needs. It’s amazing that today kids don’t even recognize or eat vegetables but can recite the contents of a happy meal. The farm in battery park is such a great idea. Not only will it attract a lot of attention but it will bring people together. It will aim conversation towards healthy eating tips and other initiatives in the community to help keep people in shape. The percentage of food that goes to waste is a sad truth. There are people around the world starving while Americans are disposing of perfectly edible food. Making conscious decisions to conserve and reroute that food to less fortunate will help the poverty rate. It will help to eliminate sickness and malnutrition. It is also a better alternative for the earth. Having a healthy eating image could also increase U.S popularity among other countries. We won’t only be associated with obese citizens and fried foods. Overall this initiative will help the health of those fortunate and less fortunate and give back to our Earth.

  7. I love this idea. People sometimes forget that America was originally a nation of farmers. Thomas Jefferson’s dream was that every American would have a plot of land on which to grow his own food. Jefferson believed that only farmers could be independent, because they were the only men who did not depend on others for food. Everyone else was a slave to the food producers, just as we have become. We let them dictate our food choices to us, because we cannot grow our own. Jefferson hated the cities, because everyone in them was a food-slave. Every city dweller depended on someone else for survival. How could America be the land of the free if every man was a slave to the food producers? By growing our own food, we city-dwellers can take back our independence and fulfill Jefferson’s dream.

  8. Over the course of the semester I’ve learned more about sustainability and how bettering the environment can be beneficial for our health. The environment is disrupted by littering, polluting and over population. The health of New York City has been a strong debate over the past year, with the new rules and regulations by the Mayor. This article is a prime example! The mission of both organizations is remarkable. The idea of growing a vegetable garden in the confined, cramped and busy city of new York is a struggle in its self, but also growing the produce how inner city schools is also a positive image for the younger generation to become exposed to.
    The LOHAS organization’s idea is the step needed; very often people throw away untouched food and food not sold at the end of work days. When there is hungry people amongst your city there should never be an opened mouth. I think the direction of growing your own vegetables and recycling what you don’t eat is empowering.

  9. We live in the world of mass production and over-production. It is absolutely true that we are disconnected with the food we eat. We let corporations decide what is good and what choices we have. Education of children is a first step toward getting back in touch with nature and empowering them to make better food choices in the future. Being originally from Belarus I had the privilege of enjoying the fresh vegetables grown by my grandparents. There is nothing like a fresh carrot pulled from the ground. My school also had an extra activity to attend a botanical garden in the middle of the city where we learned how to grow lemons, different flowers and plants. It was educational and fun: a place to make new friends and grow existing friendships. It is wonderful to know that the city of New York can allocate the land for a little farm for educational purposes. And we should know about what we eat and how it is grown and how it tastes fresh. Access to better food should not be the privilege.
    Redistribution of food is a great example of how inefficiencies in food industry are being addressed by entrepreneurs. Businesses often are limited by the regulations to what they can actually do with the waste food. The enthusiasm of activists creates the bridge between those in need and access food. Attention to the cause and the source of the problem builds the foundation for a change in the way food industry functions.
    Using side roads for farming is a common practice in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, etc. The country roads are surrounded by fields of crops. Why not give a piece of land to the local community to grow produce instead of spending money to maintain the lawn along the road.
    The article is a great summary of the initiatives that are happening now and need the attention of the public. Being educated about the process of how things are made and how food is grown helps us to make better decisions for us and the planet, support causes that matter most, and to be responsible citizen.

  10. I think one of the most important aspects of urban farming, and why it works so well, is that it has multiple purposes. Throughout my studies of sustainable companies and green marketing, I have learned that the product or service must have a primary use, and the eco-friendliness must be secondary. These gardens are a fun, worthy education tool. They also provide food, and if the garden is volunteer run and supported by grants, then the food is essentially free too. These are two huge selling points for an urban garden. Then the sustainability of it is seen as a “bonus.” I think it is great that the food is then being served in the cafeterias; the students get to see the process all the way through. I have heard of other urban gardens where the students then sell the produce at the local farmer’s market, which is another way they can be introduced to the business world.
    I was also very interested in Ron Finley’s thoughts on healthy eating for kids. I have 3 nephews, and throughout their lives, my sister has always introduced new foods for them to try. Some of their favorites are swiss chard, edamame, mussels and clams, pomegranate, and sardines. Although they have been exposed to many healthy options, when given the choice (usually at a restaurant) they will still choose french fries or chicken fingers. I think as a society we try to shelter children from thoughts of obesity, and I don’t think this is wrong (with reports of low self esteem and body image issues in young girls, you don’t want to send the wrong message). But someone needs to explain to children in a way they will understand that fried and processed foods are not only fattening, but they are unhealthy. It seems like Ron Finley has the right approach.
    I am glad to see that people are taking an interest in farming again, especially on a small, local scale. If kids can get involved in projects like these, they will be more apt to plant their own garden as an adult, or buy the parsnips at the store, because they know what they look like.

  11. Growing up in Eugene, Oregon highschool students were required to do 120 hours of community service in order to graduate. Many of my peers would work in the community garden mornings before school, lunch hours and after school. It was a great place to spend time and to learn about food. When we would plant fruits and vegtables we made an effort to make it creative and fun. I remember specifically one year each person was able to plant a row of whatever they wanted. So, I plated a “rainbow garden” filled with strawberries, blueberries, eggplants, etc. I think these community gardens allow people to realize how “fake” some of the food they eat is. I know when I shop in the grocery store I rarely go up and down the aisles, I stick to the border because that is where they keep the “real” food (produce, meats, dairy). Additionally, I do my best to buy foods that are closest to their natural state.

    I really enjoyed learning about food rescue and I think it is a great idea(although I like crunchy green bananas). I am studying international trade and marketing. Besides helping people who are hungry and in need(which is very important, food rescue can be a great marketing tool for grocery stores and businesses that are involved. People find it attractive when companies are 1)involved in the community, 2)supporting sustainability and 3)NOT wasting food. Food rescue is an easy way for companies to earn these marketing “brownie points”.

  12. I had never heard of urban farms before but after reading about this, I think this is something very positive, beneficial, and worthwhile for society. The fact that there is a farm that grows fruits and vegetables right in New York City is great and this will definitely inspire other cities because New York is so prominent. This is a great way to not only support healthy eating, but also healthy living. In urban cities, so much emphasis is put on fast food and people depend on fast food with their fast and busy lives. But this project will inspire people to invest in healthier eating choices and organically grown foods. It’s also interesting to learn that so many Americans lack access to healthy foods. This was surprising to me because America is one of the world’s largest economies and we have great living standards and the best of so many things, yet we can’t support something simple as access to healthy foods.

    I also agree completely that society has put a priority of investment in technology instead of nutrition and there is no point to it unless there are healthy people with developing minds to use and even produce it. But technology is still important and can be used in a positive way to influence healthy eating and living. There can be apps created to make people aware of urban farms such as the one in New York and what kinds of produce is available. I think these farms can also make communities stronger as people come together to grow food that is local. People will also get educated and kids will know exactly what kinds of vegetables and fruits are available to eat.

    The fact that “Over 40% of food produced in the US goes directly to waste facilities” is shocking. There are so many people in the world who go without food and work in horrible conditions to get cents for food and society is throwing it out. I think this is unacceptable and this food can and should be distributed all over the world. Even in times of disaster like Typhoon Haiyan, people lose everything and scramble for resources to survive. Food is one thing that is needed immediately so excess food should definitely be used in these times. Corporate companies who are producing food that is not sold can distribute it to the people working in the factories in poor nations. There are so many ways that it can be used so I think there is no excuse for throwing so much out. We learn so much about being environmentally friendly and going green, and I think urban farms will play a huge role in that in the future.

  13. Boulder Food Rescue
    A non-profit organization that has taken the initiative of bringing back a food system that has been forgotten by many, it’s a great idea.
    I am very impressed by their motto, because they are saving the planet in various ways, just for the fact that 80% of fresh water is wasted in food production, 10% of the budget is consume in product production, in which 40% will be sadly wasted in the land field.
    The Boulder Food Rescue is saving resources and controlling the emission of carbon dioxide to the planet by using bicycles instead of cars, as a form of transportation, although what I like the most is the human aspect, they are feeding those in need.
    I just hope that more people could integrate and be part of the organization in order to reach out more of those in need

  14. “What we need to realize, as a society, is that access to nutritious food is a fundamental human right.” 
    This quote can be seen/ used in many other aspects around the world such as product sourcing, manufacturing, recycling etc.
    “In a world where obesity and other diet-related illnesses run rampant and many children cannot identify common vegetables in their whole, natural state, there is a growing and pressing need for garden education.”
    Society today has become so main stream and companies are so quick to outsource that we no longer know where the products we consume come from. Whether the product is a garment, a food product, electronic etc it has been composed and assembled from more countries can most humans have stamps on their passports! I think it was a great idea to take elementary and high school students start these programs because they are the new generation that will develop the skills needed to make a difference in the world. They hold the innovation, ingenuity and willpower of the future. They are who these changes will influence the most.
    Getting back to the roots of where our products come from can greatly help the obesity and health related crisis’ that plague our country today. If we get children to be more conscious of where their products come from and how it can not only benefit them as a consumer, but how it can benefit the world as a whole we will begin to see a shift in the international trade world.
    “Urban Gardening” was not something I never thought really existed. Like, i know of small community gardens in boroughs such as Brooklyn and Queens. But to think of an urban garden in Battery Park, Manhattan was far-fetched when the topic was first introduced. I think it will show people that you don’t need acres upon acres of land to make a difference or to have access to fresh food. I feel that if people were to adopt this type of ingenuity and start to try it out for themselves people could then have mini gardens all over New York City that could supply local neighborhoods and end the “Food Deserts” that have been emerging in the past few decades. Now is the time to shape our minds and promote a more sustainable life.

  15. I was not aware of the existence of the urban farms until this article. I think it is a wonderful idea and approach to allow people to have a better understanding regarding to not just the food but gardening as well. It is also fascinating to acknowledge that there’s a one acre farm located in downtown, New York. I believe it is time that people start having more understanding regarding to the food that they eat, and where they are from or what benefits their body the most. Not only should we become more aware of what we eat, and try to become healthier, being sustainable is also important. For it says 40% of food goes to waste, that is a big number. I think urban farms will provide more healthy and sustainable lifestyle!

  16. This is a great idea that can make a large impact on the eating patterns of younger generations. As the reading states, young generations are used to “un-food products” that are filled with unhealthy, unnatural chemicals that ultimately harm us. The need to understand the benefits of eating organic fruits and vegetable is at a all time high. I think our taste buds are so used to these unnatural products that we can’t even comprehend the greatness of natural flavors. When I studied abroad I had to depend only on the natural flavors of the vegetables I was using. There were little spices available and honestly the need to use them became obsolete. I forgot how tasteful plain vegetables were since I was so used to eating chemically engineered products or overloading natural substances with unneeded seasonings. This is why I think the new “urban garden” will help the communities in locations where these fresh products are not handy understand the benefits of eating organic. Then it is amazing that these organizations are finding solutions to use the large amount of the food we waste to help other in need. All around this is a great effort to help Americans take full advantage of the food available to them.

  17. I’m an FIT ITM student and I love the idea of urban agriculture. It consists of four types: institutional gardens, commercial farms, community gardens, and community farms. And we have all of them in NYC! I didn’t know before that we had 289 NYC schools with active gardens, 117 of which grow food! I think it’s amazing. The U.S. has been fighting obesity for a while now. Some of the reasons of it is the food we eat: processed food and fast food. Organic food tends to be too expensive for most Americans and it is the reason why we turn to fast food. It’s very affordable and you can get it on every corner. Well, it’s not only affordable but also dangerous and can cause different life threatening diseases. And that’s the food that’s served to kids at many U.S. schools. I think it’s time to make a change and I’m glad to hear there are people out there working on it already. I think it would be great if FIT took part in helping the community to grow healthy food and making change towards the healthier living for all New Yorkers Americans!

  18. This is great idea and I love it very much! I didn’t know about the battery urban farm in NYC before I read this article. This is great idea to promote green like in metropolitan city. This is a fascinating approach to acknowledge not only food but also gardening. This farm is a great approach to give understanding regarding healthy foods where organic food are expensive.
    This will also give a chance to expand awareness of agriculture industries.

    I am taking CSR class with Prof Yanez this semester and I realize that people are very conscious about product that they have, and where they are from or what the cost it emerged ( This case, it food so such as what the benefit for eating it, where they r from….).
    This is about sustainably and communication between people and environment.
    I believe this is very crucial and great challenge in the city to gradually shift more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

  19. By encouraging people to participate in urban gardens will gather and combine a large amount of knowledge in productive ways and experiences, because there are usually no agricultural knowledge among the people, everyone depends on whatever knowledge is available and everyone is open to learning. They might follow the maximum that everybody benefits from sharing knowledge. After all, they can learn from each other, share skills they had lost and contribute to bringing about something better. Therefore, the creative processes in a garden will never reach an end. The gardening in urban is a great idea that things are reinterpreted creatively and placed in new relationships among urban people.

  20. An alarming statistic according to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that approximately one-third of adults in the United States are obese, with one out of every children being obese. To a country that is facing the threat of an obesity epidemic, the more education on nutrition and availability of resources the better chance we have of reestablishing a healthy lifestyle for the future generation. This initiative is a brilliant way for New York to combat obesity, by turning a wasted space into an opportunity and creating access to education – teaching people about sustainability.

    I was shocked to read that “there are over 25 million Americans living in ‘Food Deserts’”. It is no wonder people resort to the unhealthy food in their proximity, creating an unhealthy lifestyle. Living in NYC, one forgets the opportunity and availability of resources, with access to every type of food imaginable. It is so important to teach people that lack access to healthy foods about sustainability and how to conduct healthy lives.

    So many places could benefit like New York has by creating an “Urban Farm”. I love the idea of turning a useless space into something beautiful and unique, creating something out of nothing, which people can actually learn from. One excellent example is the High Line in NYC, which creates community space, bringing people together to enjoy the combination of nature and design.

    I think more places should create more sustainability initiatives like the farm in the middle of New York City. Not only does this create a beautiful space, it educates people on sustainability and health, provides food for people, and helps combats obesity – a win, win situation! What a brilliant idea!

  21. I think Urban farming is an amazing start to making NYC more sustainable. It is also a good way to make people aware of sustainability. i work for starbuck’s, which i feel is a company that is starting to become sustainable. when i started working there we were not recycling, which we already started doing. we also throw away alot of food at night, but we are cutting down and donating some of it to a nearby shelter.
    this idea of Urban farming however, makes us appreciate having healthy farming and food in such a big city. People would want to participate and get involve for a good cause, as the article mentioned already. it’s a good way of having the access to fresh produce and being able to afford it.

  22. I never realize there is a urban farm in Battery Park, it is such a great idea to have in a prosperous city. I love the urban farm idea so much,it is more like a rest area for people to breathe fresh air and experience the joy of planting in New York City. Ron Finley connected “food desert” with food prison, because people are basically captured with your food system (factory food system). All of the genetically modified, fast food, pesticide food are surrounding you. The society is not allowing people to eat healthy.

    Ron stated, “All technology is useless, unless there are healthy kids eating nutritious food and developing minds/brains that can function well enough to use the technology.” He wonders why America just focus on technology and not the next generation’s health. He hopes the next generation can know more about garden, soil and how to plant their vegetable. It is so important to educate the children who live in this industrialization and technology world.

    In Nowadays, people will ask where are the products come from? People don’t want to hear any of the products that they are purchasing which are come from low wage of the factory workers, deprivation of human right or child labors. Consumers’ awareness of the more general social responsibility levels are found in current society, they are willing to pay more for the green product.

    I am taking a CSR class in this semester, I think it is quiet relate to Ron’s concepts. People need to be awareness of what they purchase and eat. Organic and Non-GMO food become a hot topic. American are trying to avoid fast food and adopt a healthier eating habit. If we can plant our own food or source most of them locally, it will also able to reduce food miles and CO2. “Food mile” is the distance food travels from the farm to the store where you purchase, and those miles are costly to the environment. In the future, I hope we can have more “urban farms” in NYC!

  23. Like most individuals raised in a consumer-driven society, we are taught to over consume, to always want more. So many people in the world are completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in what they buy. If we had to grow our own food or sew our own clothes, we wouldn’t waste half of what we waste today.

    This article is really fantastic — I am so excited to see the growth of urban farms in New York City. This is a very controversial topic, but with the rise of GMOs and pesticide use at such an alarming rate in our public food source today, it would be in our best interest for us to learn to be self sustainable in controlling how we grow our food and knowing what we are putting in our bodies. If people were given the choice between fresh, local, organic produce vs. genetically modified and pesticide ridden ones shipped from halfway across the world — I’m sure the choice would be obvious.

    I am currently fascinated over the idea of rooftop gardens. With the amount of space and resources that FIT has spanning our one block radius, I think it would be a great idea to create an urban farm on our very own rooftops. I know FIT has begun experimenting with the green roof on top of the D building, but it seems like such a huge waste having it filled with sedum. If we had the ability to supply our cafeteria and surrounding community with fresh, organically grown herbs and vegetables, wouldn’t that be amazing? Instead of having to go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, I would certainly love the idea of being able to buy fresh veggies from the cafeteria, or even student organized FIT farmers market!

  24. It is amazing how many vacant lots are in the USA that can be used for a good cause or a life style change. As in Los Angeles, New York has a lot vacant lots that can be put to use. A garden in the park is a terrific idea. Nutritious food is what we all need, especially children. I have a daughter that once tried growing carrots and strawberries in a pot. At first I thought that her idea was one of that was inspired by what she saw navigating in the internet, but she surprised me when she gave me one of the only two strawberries that came out of the plant. That is when I realized the urgency of having at least a back yard, so we can grow our own food. The Battery urban farm and the Ron Finely project are initiatives that we, including the government, needs to support. “Sustainability needs sustain” that will reduce the creation of dialysis centers, Children Hospitals for cancer treatments etc.
    The way Ron Finley makes the approach in this video couldn’t be clearer; we need to start planting healthy food for the generations to come. “We have to feel the joy, pride and honor of growing our own food”. The truth is that our children are being poisoned with all kind of junk food in front on our eyes without doing anything. It is time to take control of what we eat, a not let someone else take control of what our children eat.

  25. Healthy eating is one of the things in my life that I am so freaking passionate about, which is also the reason why bad food is one of the things I hate the most! I have a 7 month old baby girl and it is my absolute priority to eat as much organic foods and to feed her as much raw organic fruits and vegetables as I can. I am so disgusted with the food offered out there. I cringe when I see parents feed their kids fast food,candy, and especially formula. It is so devastating how the majority of the world think that the processed and preserved food is actually healthy. Where do people think disease comes from? It is so sad that people do not value health until it is taken away from them. It is such a paradox that people will eat foods, clearly reading the labeling that contains chemicals in them. If they were to see that food being made right in front of them, I doubt they would even touch it. I hope the world becomes more aware of the disease that is being put into their food.

  26. I find urban farming to be very great. Not only is it great for the community because its gathering a group of people together, but it’s also teaching young children the importance of food and having a great proper health. Unlike other areas where farming is very common, farming in an urban area such as NYC is very unique and interesting. I believe people today simply forget the importance of where exactly food comes from. We are constantly surrounded by fast food wherever we go that it has slowly become part of our lives. However, I believe we now live with a different mindset in which we are trying to do things in a better sustainable manner and eating healthier such as organic foods is now a trend and lifestyle. Even though organic food can be quite expensive, urban farming teaches us that no matter where exactly one lives in that it is easy to farm our own vegetables and fruits. After all nothing compares to the real taste of all natural foods. I can definitely see this growing in the years to come not only because it’s great but also because it benefits us in the long run.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>