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5 Reasons Why Urban Farming Rocks: Apply Today to Win the $15k Gardens for Good Grant

Food

From a few containers full of soil and seeds to acres of rooftop overflowing with greens, urban farming has taken the nation by storm—and we couldn’t be happier. From putting food justice back in the hands of the people to transforming blighted urban landscapes, farming the city is the way of the future.

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative volunteers. Gardens for Good winners in 2013.

Urban farming is a growing movement, and here’s why it’s awesome:

1. Urban Farming is Sustainable For People and Planet

It strengthens local economies by creating jobs and access to healthy food. It strengthens local ecologies by sequestering carbon and creating green spaces that add shade and counter the “heat island” effect of so much concrete. Urban farms also provide a much-needed respite for the pollinators that are so vital to our food system. As an added bonus, growing food where you live cuts out the food miles that cucumber travelled to get from Mexico to your plate.

2. Urban Farms Put Nutrition Back On the Table 

Urban food deserts are a serious issue facing many inner city communities. Without access to fresh, healthy food, many families end up surviving on the Wonder Bread and Kraft Dinner available at their local CVS. Urban farms help them thrive by putting healthy produce at their doorsteps and on their plates. And kids who grow up growing food are inspired to eat more vegetables. They’ll end up passing these healthy habits on to others in their community, and eventually their own kids.

3. Growing Together Builds Community

There’s nothing quite like bonding with your neighbors over this summer’s epic tomato harvest. Many cultures revolve around food – growing, cooking, and eating it. Food connects people, and growing food together is one of the best ways to connect. Even people who don’t get their hands dirty feel an increased sense of community thanks to urban farms – especially when they can help their urban farmers thrive in other ways, like supporting local projects in Nature’s Path’s Gardens for Good grant contest, where urban farms can win $15,000 to put back into their projects and communities.

4. Urban Farms and Organic—a Match Made in Heaven

Organic urban farming means no pesticides. Urban farmers often have less pressure from pests and weeds, so they can easily grow organic. And that means fewer toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers entering our environment and our food supply. Organically grown fruit and vegetables also contain higher levels of some nutrients, such as antioxidants.

5. Urban Farming Brings Nature Back to the City

Green spacing sprouting an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies is a sight for sore eye after miles of dull concrete roads and sidewalks. So many of us city dwellers are starved for nature, and urban farming brings it back in a big way. The benefits: connecting with nature is good for us. Growing food in your city gets you moving, and gets your hands in the dirt, which is shown to have therapeutic benefits.

Plus, you get strawberries. And tomatoes, and green beans, and melons, and lettuce, and hot peppers and more giant zucchini than you know what to do with. That’s a win right there. Help score a win for your neighborhood. Do you have an urban farm project, or know someone who does? Apply for a Gardens for Good grant before June 22 and you could win $15,000 to help grow your organic urban garden—and your community.

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