The city of Somerville is trying to promote urban agriculture, according to an announcement sent by the office of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone Tuesday.
"We're not just talking about community gardens here, but other food production options that lend themselves to the urban environment, including aquaponics and hydroponics," he said in the announcement.
Hydroponics allows people to grow earth-bound plants in nutrient-rich water, which means they can be grown indoors.
Similarly, aquaponics is a type of vertical farming, often set up in warehouses, in which fish and plants are raised together. Fish effluent fertilizes the plants, and then the plants filter water for the fish. (Check out this Boston Globe article about it.)
Curtatone is working with the Somerville Board of Aldermen to write an ordinance supporting urban agriculture. It would "create a framework for residential, community and commercial farming within city limits," according to the announcement. The Board will discuss the ordinance at its meeting on Thursday.
Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz said in the announcement, "This ordinance will empower our residents to explore urban agriculture as a means to improve their lives and environment." And At-Large Alderman Jack Connolly said urban agriculture would be part of the "creative, do-it-yourself, keep-it-local approach that shows up" throughout the city.
Somerville also announced a series of upcoming events to promote urban agriculture, including an urban agriculture workshop and a tour of Somerville's first urban farm at Groundwork Somerville.
What do you think?
Somerville may be short on soil, but it's got some warehouse space looking for a 21st century use. Should we start producing our own food?