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The Buzz Cincy Featured Video

It’s really tough to find the solution to replacing a neighborhood grocery store, it’s such an important part of the community. The Kroger in Roselawn was so convenient to seniors and those who didn’t have cars. City officials tried to convince the store to stay open, but failed. The other day, I brought up the idea of a farmer’s market, and the benefit it brings to an urban community. I thought about this idea, because of the potential market this brings to black farmers. I also believe a farmer’s market could bring revenue potential to urban farmers.

Urban farming is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around a village, town or city. The concept is well-practiced in cities such as Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit : a city that has no chain grocery markets within its city limits. The difference between urban farming and rural farming is is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system: urban agriculture is embedded in -and interacting with- the urban ecosystem. In other words, urban residents would be the labourers. They would compete for land with other urban functions.

The common good city farm, in Washington DC, has been a success story for urban farming in inner-city communities. The farm not only directly provide fresh food to people, but also provide a safe outdoor setting to learn, grow and nourish. The farm not only provides fresh food to people, but also provide a safe outdoor setting to learn, grow and nourish. . Since January 2007, Common Good City Farm has provided over 400 bags of fresh produce to low-income DC families, taught over 600 DC residents in workshops, engaged over 500 DC school children, and hosted over 1000 volunteers.

Detroit has also been a success story for urban farming. Organizations, such as the Detroit black food security organization, have helped create three farms within the city, as well as over 100 community and school gardens as well as hundreds of family gardens. There are also extensive training programs and support for urban agriculture ranging from bio-intensive growing methods to building a solar passive greenhouse. The organization has lobbied Detroit officials for city codes and laws to allow urban agriculture, food production, and farmers markets on a neighborhood scale. They have encouraged large public institutions such as Wayne State University, local hospitals, and large employers to source their cafeterias from local growers.

If you didn’t know, Cincinnati has begun an urban farming program. Last year, the city took 15 parcels of land in 11 neighborhoods and rented it out to those interested in urban farming. Some of the neighborhoods include Over the Rhine and Northside. Findlay Market has taken advantage of this concept, purchasing land on Elm and liberty street. The urban farmers who grow crop on that land are given the privilege of selling it during market hours.

City council needs to extend this program out to other neighborhoods, especially in the Roselawn/ Bond Hill area. Increasing urban farming will not only create a healther Roselawn and Bond Hill, but also bring economic empowerment. Imagine Roselawn residents growing their own crop in their backyard, providing for themselves or selling it to their neighbors, farmer’s market customers, or even elementary schools. Urban farming could be a solution to grocery stores leaving urban neighborhoods.