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Your Thoughts: City to Promote Urban Agriculture

The mayor and the board of aldermen want to create "a framework for residential, community and commercial farming within the city limits," according to an announcement from the city.

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 .

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?

Warren Dew April 11, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Urban factory farming isn't any better than rural factory farming.
rewati April 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM
A documentary "From the Earth to the Pot: Urban Agriculture & Food Security in Lima, Peru ", talks about the community gardening programs throughout Lima, generating greater access to fresh nutritious food, thereby helping to break cycles of poverty and hunger. To watch this documentary please visit - http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/4782/.
bi11me April 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
This is not about factory farming, but about innovative organic farming in an urban environment. "Factory farming," as the term is now commonly understood, refers to vast swaths of monoculture using petroleum-dependant techniques developed since the end of World War Two to produce commodity crops, frequently government-subsidized, and usually at great expense to the environment. Modern aquaponics, urban agriculture, and other technologically innovative growing methods use environmentally benign, and even rejuvenative methods, to produce healthy food with limited food-miles. Urban agriculture is increasingly recognized world-wide as a solution to many of the problems of urban food security, and Somerville has an opportunity to be in the forefront, along with Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, and Brooklyn, in creating a new paradigm for responsible agriculture in the next century.
Jim Johnson April 25, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I think with the way the economy is going more and more people be will be looking to do their own growing and relying on themselves. have any of yall seen the whole Doomsday Preppers show. People are starting to rely me on themselves than others. there are even products out now that show in depth how to build your own aquaponics areas. This one is known to be really good: http://review-products.net/science/how-to-build-an-aquaponics-system/ But yeah, Overall I think people are going in the right direction and learning how to take things into their own hands instead of relying on the huge corps.
rosehudson May 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I agree with Jim .One more reason for it is the vegetables now a days consists of harmful chemicals and biological agents and their is no widespread testing method used for it.,so people would sure want to rely on themselves . <a href="http://www.positivepest.com/index.php/bug-facts/mice/">Mice exterminator nyc</a>

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