urban farming

Your Call: How are urban farms changing cities?

Jun 17, 2015

  

On the June 17th edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about urban agriculture. Eighty percent of the US population lives in cities, further from farms than ever, but more and more city dwellers are growing their own food on empty lots or in their backyards. The film Growing Cities examines this trend from the Bay Area to Detroit.  How are urban farms revitalizing communities and changing the way we eat? It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

When you think of a farmer, you may picture an old curmudgeon in overalls and straw hat squinting out at a bucolic pasture, chewing a piece of grass as he slaps wildly at flying pests. Well, that was the old breed of farmer.
Novella Carpenter is one of the new breed, and she's raising her rabbits, chickens, and goats right in the middle of Oakland. She blogs about it at Ghost Town Farm, and she just published a book: "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer." KALW's Ben Trefny sat down with Novella Carpenter to ask her how exactly it all works.

More than 80 percent of Americans live in cities and suburbs, but that does not mean they have to be cut off from nature -- according to author Tai Moses. Her new book, Zooburbia, is a call for people to live alongside their furry and winged friends. KALW’s Holly Kernan spoke with Moses about a new trend to grow urban gardens that sustain wildlife.

Photo courtesy of flickr user fletcher oakes

A vibrant mural announces Happy Lot Farm and Garden to visitors and anyone passing by. A greenhouse stands in the middle of the lot, and an improvised chicken coop occupies one corner. The trees and raspberry beds that head farmer Andromeda Brooks and her volunteers planted here a few years ago are now bearing fruit. And anyone who chips in gets to take home some of the harvest.

Brooks started Happy Lot almost three years ago, as a community project to improve the neighborhood’s morale.

Isabel Angell

It’s a sunny, windy afternoon in Richmond, and Adam Boisvert is out in a garden.

“Right now we are in the heart of the Richmond High school garden, this is half of the growing space that we have,” he says.

The garden is about half as big as one of the tennis courts that butt up against one side. Along its other sides, it’s surrounded by portable classrooms, a blacktop, and the back of the football field bleachers. Inside a chain-link fence there are colorfully painted beds full of plants like kale, chard, squash, basil, and strawberries. There are also fruit trees, a composting system, and even a rabbit hutch.

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