With seven billion mouths to feed, human agriculture exerts a tremendous toll on the planet, from water draws to pollution, and from energy use to habitat loss. But there is also a growing set of solutions, from organic agriculture to integrated pest management.
More people around the world are taking a look at urban farming, which offers to make our food as “local” as possible. By growing what we need near where we live, we decrease the “food miles” associated with long-distance transportation. We also get the freshest produce money can buy, and we are encouraged to eat in season.
Another benefit of urban farming is that it can add greenery to cities, reducing harmful runoff, increasing shading, and countering the unpleasant heat island effect. Garden plots can help people reconnect with the Earth, and gain a greater appreciation for where our food comes from (hint: not from plastic packages).