Quantcast
Business

6 Urban Farms Revolutionizing Where Food Is Grown

Urban agriculture has really made a comeback in the U.S. in recent years. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 800 million people worldwide grow fruits or vegetables or raise animals in cities, producing an impressive 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization notes that while many city dwellers in the developing world grow food for subsistence, food production has been brought back to city centers in recent years in developed countries in a concerted effort to address sustainability issues in our food system.

One of Brooklyn Grange's two rooftop farms in New York City, which total 2.5 acres and produce more than 50,000 pounds of organic produce each year. Photo credit: Brooklyn Grange

The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t track numbers of urban farmers, but based on demand for its programs that fund education and infrastructure in support of urban agriculture projects, and on surveys of urban agriculture in select cities, it affirms that business is booming, according to GreenBiz.

We at EcoWatch have documented how cities around the world are developing and expanding their local food systems to create a more sustainable method of food production and distribution, which will become increasingly necessary as cities adapt to climate change. Urban farming is often criticized for not being scaleable.

While urban agriculture will probably never replace rural agriculture, these six urban farms show that urban agriculture can play a significant role in sustainable food production:

Gotham Greens has four state of the art greenhouses where its workers grow organic greens year round. Its flagship greenhouse, built in 2010, was the first commercial scale rooftop greenhouse in the U.S, according to the company. The rooftop greenhouse measures over 15,000 square feet and annually produces over 100 tons of fresh leafy greens.

Food Field, founded in 2011, is helping revitalize Detroit by producing “fresh, healthy, and delicious food while improving the neighborhood and creating economic opportunities.” Its founders, Noah Link and Alex Bryan, believe in using environmental and social goals to develop “a successful, community-based business [that meets] the need for local, affordable, and sustainably produced food.”

Farmed Here is the nation's largest indoor farm, pumping out roughly a million pounds per year of baby salad greens, basil and mint in its 90,000-square-foot warehouse on the industrial outskirts of Chicago, according to GreenBiz.

Brooklyn Grange operates the world’s largest rooftop soil farm out of two buildings in New York City, totaling 2.5 acres, according to National Geographic. The farm grows more than 50,000 pounds of organic produce each year, and distributes it through farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture networks, and wholesale to restaurants and catering companies.

Farmscape Gardens is California’s largest urban farming company, but unlike other companies on the list, this LA-based company's urban farms are dispersed throughout 400 locations, where its employees have installed and maintained sites at residences and businesses around the city.

Green City Growers Cooperative is a 3.25-acre leafy greens, hydroponic greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The greenhouse, which opened in 2013, has 15,000 square feet of packinghouse and office space, and is currently producing Butterhead lettuce, Cleveland Crisp, Green leaf lettuce, gourmet lettuces and basil.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

 10 Superfoods You Can Buy This Spring at Your Local Farmers’ Markets

 Panera Bread to Drop 150 ‘Unacceptable’ Additives From Its Menu

Tiny House on Wheels Provides ‘Giant Journey’ for Couple + Their Dog

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Health
PxHere

This Common Preservative in Processed Food May Be Making You Tired

By Brian Mastroianni

Is it hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go exercise?

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
MarioGuti / iStock / Getty Images

EVs 101: Your Guide to Electric Vehicles

By Patrick Rogers

If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
An adult bush dog, part of a captive breeding program. Hudson Garcia

A Rescue Dog Is Now Helping to Save Other (Much Wilder) Dogs

By Jason Bittel

Formidable predators stalk the forests between Panama and northern Argentina. They are sometimes heard but never seen. They are small but feisty and have even been documented trying to take down a tapir, which can top out at nearly 400 pounds. Chupacabras? No.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
RoNeDya / iStock / Getty Images

What Is Mead, and Is It Good for You?

By Ansley Hill, RD, LD

Mead is a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey, water and a yeast or bacterial culture.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

5 People Calling Out EPA Acting Head Wheeler for Putting Polluters First

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Great white shark. Elias Levy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Marine Biologists Raise Flags About Viral Great White Shark Encounter

By now you might have seen Ocean Ramsey's rare and jaw-dropping encounter with a great white shark in waters near Oahu, Hawaii.

Ramsey, a marine biologist, said on the TODAY Show that it was "absolutely breathtaking and heart-melting" to be approached by the massive marine mammal.

Keep reading... Show less
A tree found severed in half in an act of vandalism in Joshua Tree National Park. Gina Ferazzi / Los AngelesTimes / Getty Images

Wall Before Country Takes Mounting Toll on Americans Everywhere

By Rhea Suh

One month on, the longest and most senseless U.S. government shutdown in history is taking a grave and growing toll on the environment and public health.

Food inspectors have been idled or are working without pay, increasing the risk we'll get sick from eating produce, meat and poultry that isn't properly checked. National parks and public wilderness lands are overrun by vandals, overtaken by off-road joyriders, and overflowing with trash. Federal testing of air and water quality, as well as monitoring of pollution levels from factories, incinerators and other sources, is on hold or sharply curtailed. Citizen input on critical environmental issues is being hindered. Vital research and data collection are being sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!