I have so much information and so many ideas going through my head right now about what is happening in the world of urban ag. that I can’t keep up. Let’s try to get some of them out here…
1. There is a good amount of literature coming around on urban ag., but much of it is too academic. It is based on interviews, but practitioners are not doing the writing.
2. There is a lot of asking and not a lot of giving in urban ag. We need this and we need that. Not enough of we offer this and we offer that. And in detail, not vague grandiose concepts.
3. Not enough focus is given to entrepreneurs. Where do we get money? we borrow it or use our savings – like all other businesses.
4. Not enough focus on the business of agriculture – whether urban or rural. Urban farmers need to be creative to make thing s happen. And if you want to be financially successful then a business plan would help. or what about calculating yields of crops in small areas. These are business basics.
5. No one has any urban ag. numbers. How many urban farmers? How much revenue being generated? How many jobs? How much community involvement. How much food? How much environmental impact? Is everyone delivering their local produce in single occupancy vehicles?
6. Land access IS (probably) the urban farmer’s biggest obstacle. Then tenure. Then policy and regulations. New farmers can dodge regulations and buy tools and read books. But they cannot make land appear out of nowhere (well, in some cases we can).
7. Cohesion and staying power weaken any potential of a movement. websites are useless if they are not dynamic and regularly updated. Groups are useless without regular dialogue and engagement. Thus we need leaders. And, really, we need funding to pay those leaders. Or they will go elsewhere. We need to pay our talents or they will be wasted.
In organizational news I am going to look at reformatting my blog to make the content easier to manage and access – for me and others!