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Growing Inside and Out

"Crossroads" - Urban Farm Premiere Issue

By Karen Keb Acevedo

Urban Farm Editor

Photo by Lisa Munniksma

You might wonder why my editor’s note is called “Crossroads.” It’s because the words “urban” and “farm” haven’t historically been used together and may seem contradictory to some. The word “urban” brings to mind skyscrapers and crowded city streets; to some, the word “farm” conjures up bucolic images of barns, lush pastures and happy cows; to others, “farm” conjures up images of stinking feedlots and animals in cages. But an “urban farm”?

For the past few years, I’ve watched the groundswell of interest and support of the concept of urban farming, and I’m happy to report that it is no longer a “concept” but a reality. In fact, it has been for many, many years. Growing one’s own food, taking measures of self sufficiency, and attempting to do things to contribute to the sustainability of our planet wherever you happen to live aren’t fads to be swept out with next year’s “Hot and Not” lists. I’ve got a mountain of newspaper clippings attesting to the benefits of urban farming, identifying all of you out there fighting the good fight—whether that’s to raise urban livestock; to keep bees for pollinators and honey in your backyards; or even for the right to hang your laundry out on a clothesline to save energy.

There will always be people who can’t wrap their minds around change; who want to keep doing what they’re doing without ever thinking about the consequences; who are more concerned about appearances and resale values than a profound quality of life—operating on a higher level, in tune with the Earth and nature. Having said that, the eternal realist that I am, we’ve edited Urban Farm with “neighbor” issues in mind, so you’ll find advice on how to minimize pushback.

Urban Farm isn’t a political statement, and it isn’t a “revolution.” It’s an evolution, as Urban Homestead author (and UF contributor) Erik Knutzen says in his blog. Urban Farm is here to shed a little light on the things we can all do to change our lifestyles, in ways we think are monumental as a whole, yet at the same time, barely noticeable on their own. Recycle, compost, garden, learn, preserve, and support farmers and businesses that advance these efforts; in other words, live a purposeful life.

I know you urban farmers out there, and I know you believe in growing ... inside and out. 

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