The organic, sustainable food movement has been growing exponentially in the past decades. There is a renewed focus on local food and locally produced goods that are grown in an environmentally sensitive way.
But although we have been hearing about this movement for years, it is just starting to make headway in our communities. How can you take advantage of the benefits of agricultural sustainability? You can make your own farm, or you can find one to buy.
However, if you do not have time or money for either of those options, many communities are beginning to institute tax incentives and zoning changes that allow for more farming space within city limits. These changes will spurn local economies and attract businesses seeking greener pastures.
By applying these principles of organic agriculture and sustainable community development, you can transform your cities into more enjoyable, sustainable places for both you and your family.
The first step in this process is to boost agricultural production and sustainability within your own community. This is accomplished by implementing zoning changes and tax incentives to encourage agricultural development in suitable parts of the city.
Regulating agriculture in urban areas allows for city residents to have direct access to local food without having to travel too far for it. This is especially convenient for people who live in the suburbs or far away from larger farms that supply supermarkets throughout Minneapolis or neighborhoods on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina.
By placing agricultural zones in your city, you can gain the benefits of local agriculture without having to be a farmer yourself.
By promoting sustainable agriculture, you encourage farmers to keep their land in low- or no-use states for at least 10 years before utilizing it for crop production. This allows the land to return to its natural state and maintain its vitality, absorbing carbon dioxide and replenishing the soil through decomposition.
By leaving certain land unused, you make that part of the city more attractive and desirable to developers. If a developer is looking for a place that is farmable but not in use, then they will know that they have found a place where they can build on the cheap. By using this system, you can encourage high-density development in the most suitable parts of your city.
Sustainable local food production will also help reduce costs for city and state governments. This is because local farmers are able to produce a greater number of crops on less land than corporate farms do.
Therefore, cities that implement green spaces have the ability to produce more food for their citizens without sacrificing the amount of land used for other purposes, such as parks or residential housing units. This system has been shown to work in places like Chicago, where local farms have thrived in unused lots throughout the city; Chicago boasts 32 urban farms that currently cultivate 94 acres of land.