Earlier this week, the Chicago City Council voted to ease regulations regarding farming and agricultural production in residential areas in the city. So called urban farming, the large-scale production of agricultural products in residential areas, has taken off over the last few years. Taking advantage of the booming agricultural sector as well as the availability of urban land in cities in economic decline, farmers across the country are making the most of this niche market.
The City Council recently voted to remove size restrictions from urban farms, allow produce sales in residential zones, and relax fencing and parking regulations for urban farms in business and commercial zones.
Farms like City Farm, located in downtown Chicago, are taking advantage of these relaxed regulations. City Farm, a one acre farm located on unused city land in Chicago, sells over 10,000 of food annually to local restaurants and at local farmers markets.
Similar actions are being taken across the country. Cities like Columbia, Missouri, and Salt Lake City have passed resolutions allowing produce sales in residential areas. Cities like Detroit, Michigan, which have experienced significant economic decline, have used urban farming to revitalized unused city land. Across the country, cities hope that agricultural production will help stimulate economies and create desperately needed jobs.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer