Urban Farming Is Not Just A Profession – It’s A Passion

Embrace food with S.O.U.L . . . Commit today to growing and eating Seasonal. Organic. Un-refined. Local food.

URBAN AGRICULTURE BENEFITS

Urban Farming has been viewed for ages, as solely for subsistence purposes; however the production of crops directly in the urban areas has many additional economic, social and ecological benefits.

  • Improves nutrition, as produce is fresh and less damaged when grown and distributed locally.
  • Closes the nutrient loop, as domestic organic waste can be composted and processed into the soil for added nutrients and soil structure.
  • Has the potential to alleviate two of the world’s most crucial problems: poverty and waste.
  • Has the potential to provide economic regeneration and stability to the growing population.
  • Promotes sustainable development by reducing the vulnerability of the world’s urban populations to global ecological change.
  • Reduction in crime has been noted when gardening projects are implemented in urban centers.
  • Youth and even adults acquire self-esteem, stay busy and feel useful when participating in these programs.
  • Naturally restores the human connection to nature by instilling a sense of stewardship in the farmer, creating a better appreciation of the land’s natural processes.
  • Creates a feeling of community between people, which can facilitate further collective action on issues of local importance.
  • Improves the aesthetics of the city by increasing the ‘green spaces’ in an otherwise concrete landscape while providing recreational opportunities for those who work the land.
  • Increased gardens and plants in cities improve air quality close to pollution sources.
  • On a large scale, it reduces transportation of produce; thus, less fuel is required by vehicles and less protective packaging is needed for the produce.
  • Encourages the production of rare varieties of fruits and vegetables, as urban gardeners tend to cultivate a wider variety of crops, conserving unique cultivars and enhancing agricultural diversity.

URBAN AGRICULTURE FACTS

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Urban and peri-urban farms already supply food to about 700 million city dwellers — one-quarter of the world’s urban population — and nearly all of the world’s population growth between now and 2030 will be concentrated in urban areas in developing countries, so that by then almost 60% of people in developing countries will live in cities. With this rapid growth in our cities, farming in and around urban areas needs to play a bigger role in feeding city populations.

  • Involves using small plots such as vacant lots, gardens or roof tops in the city for growing crops.
  • Can take many forms, from small “microgardens” to larger operations.
  • Can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry and horticulture.
  • Is generally practiced for income-earning or food-producing activities, contributing to food security and food safety.
  • Provides an outlet for better health and nutrition, increased income, employment, food security within the household, and community social life.
  • Can be seen as a means of improving the livelihood of people living in and around cities.
  • Shows that planting increased numbers of gardens in a city environment improves air quality close to pollution sources.
  • Gardens act as refuge for wildlife such as soil organisms, wild plants, insects, birds and amphibians thus increasing the biodiversity within the city environment.
  • Can help in climate regulation through the absorption of greenhouse gases.

If you are not yet, connect with the SWIHA Urban Farming Community page on Facebook – open to all to post at will about your Urban Farming thoughts, tips, recipes, photos, etc!  We’d love to know what you love to grow…

FYI ~ Two Urban Farming Certificates of Excellence are fully accredited through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA.edu), and financial aid is available to those who are qualified!

1. Urban Farming and Conscious Living

Urban Farming and Conscious Living helps students learn how to transform their personal or community green spaces into productive gardens for personal use or community sale. Students will learn to contribute to their local food economy through increasing the amount of food available to people living in cities, and allowing fresh vegetables and fruits to be made available to urban consumers.

Households and small communities can take advantage of vacant land and contribute not only to their household food needs, but also the needs of their resident city. This certificate requires students to participate in a local externship through which they will practice what they have learned while building a small garden of their own.

More and more people in the growing urban areas love this productive hobby and healthy way of living. Here, not only are you able to use your energy wisely, but you are opening a whole new gateway to better health, for yourself and your family. The basic requirements necessary for productive growth are sun, containers, soil, plants and water. With these items, plus time and knowledge, you will be an city farmer in no time at all.

Take it to the Next Level and TEACH others how to live and eat more consciously as well…

2. Urban Farming Educator

SWIHA’s new 200 hour Urban Agriculture Educator Certificate of Excellence trains students in the means, methods, and philosophies of converting private and public urban spaces into productive farm land that will support individual families, or the economies of an entire community. Offered both on-campus and online through our fully-facilitated format, Urban Agriculture Educator teaches students raw food cooking, herbology, hydroponics, integrated pest management, and small livestock. In addition, and most importantly, students will discuss how to become an entrepreneur and learn about reaching out into their community to train others in the methods and philosophy they have adopted.

Nature of the Work: Urban Agricultural Educators are able to advise people on how to start and manage their urban farms, whether it’s on their small patio or lush backyard.  Consider combining this Urban Farming knowledge with any of our other programs such as Life Coaching or Holistic Nutrition, and learn to effectively coach and educate people to a healthy, balanced wellness on many levels.