An essential primer from one of North America's largest urban farms.
Urban farming has the power to change diets, economies, and lives. Yet starting an urban farm can seem daunting with skills and knowledge that extend beyond growing to include marketing, sales, employees, community relations, and navigating local regulations.
In Farm the City, Michael Ableman, the "Spartacus of Sustainable Food Activism," offers a guide to setting up and running a successful urban farm, derived from the success of Sole Food Street Farms, one of the largest urban agriculture enterprises in North America. Sole Food Street Farms spans four acres of land in Vancouver, produces 25 tons of food annually, provides meaningful work for dozens of disadvantaged people, and has improved the surrounding community in countless ways. Coverage includes:
- Selecting land and choosing the right crops
- Growing food in city farms, including plans for planting and harvesting
- Fundraising and marketing strategies, philosophies, and vital information for selling fresh products
- Navigating local government and regulations
- Engaging the community and building meaningful livelihoods.
Farm the City is an invaluable tool kit for entrepreneurs and activists looking to create economic and social value through urban agriculture.
CHAPTER 1: PLANNING
Selecting and Accessing Land
Permits and Policy Challenges
CHAPTER 2: GROWING
What to Grow
Time, Space, and the Importance of a Farm Plan
Creating an Annual Farm Plan
Implementing the Plans
Direct Seeding vs. Transplanting
Beginner's Mind: Walking, Seeing, and Responding
Never Weed, Always Cultivate
Pests and Diseases
Birth, Delivery, and Postnatal Care (Harvest/Post Harvest)
Alive and Still Moving
CHAPTER 3: MARKETING
Where and To Whom
Direct to Retail Sales
CHAPTER 4: PEOPLE AND PRINCIPLES
The Human Element
Urban Farming Manifesto
An Urban Orchard
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