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We are in lean times, and there is no denying it. Many people are pessimistic about America’s future prospects with China coming into another Golden Age, our government having trouble tying its shoes, and unemployment treading along at an unwavering pace.
Things definitely seem bleak, but looking back on history, these are the times that Americans have thrived. These are the times where we shed the materialism of recent history and get back to the basics.
I admit that I’m one of the pessimists (it’ hard not to be), but then I read an article about Urban Farming in the United States which made me realize that the ingenious spirit that has gotten us out of tight places before, still lives within us today. It wasn’t a quality only contained within our grandparents, it exists today, and it is growing.
Manufacturing Base: All But Gone
Few can argue that manufacturing in this country has been nearly wiped out. There are a few places still left, but many are owned by multi-national corporations, not the family operations that made this country great.
This is often cited as the decline in the American Economy, and I tend to agree. We buy record numbers of manufactured items each year, and much of that revenue now goes to China.
The Silver Lining
The article I read showed me a silver lining. The tough times we are going through are a part of a much bigger picture. We’ve become so enthralled with gadgets and silliness that it needed to be taken away so we could get back on track. Things may get worse in the coming years, but our ingenuity will allow us to reinvent ourselves and come out better off.
Our technology now allows us to grow huge amounts of food in increasingly small places. Is it possible that our new economy could be efficient farming? I’m not talking about the poison that is used to fertilize our mass-produced food, I’m talking about hydroponics, LED lighting, intelligent use of space, and the will to learn. Small start-ups are now growing huge amounts of food in vacant retail space! Even cities are considering reinventing their economies based on this kind of farming.
More Information About Urban Farming
If you are interested in Urban Farming, then there are many resources available to you. There are websites like UrbanHomestead & UrbanFarming that provide how-tos, communities like FreedomGardens to discuss it, and a Wikipedia page for Urban Agriculture with a copious amount of information.
American Farming History
Urban Farming is nothing new, they are reminiscent of the Victory Gardens in World War I & II, but it is the technology and how it is implemented that our generation should be proud of. We are taking the very thing that causes many of our problems and using it to find solutions. Instead of mindless hours of playing video games, we are taking the technology and applying it to food production.
America has always been a large producer of food, but the quality has left something to be desired. Many of our foods have been banned in other countries. The quality issue is because a handful of farmers have had to carry the burden of producing ludicrous amounts of food. We’ve proven that we can produce massive amounts of food and Urban Farming may be just what we need to get good quality back.