Urban agriculture, the farming fad that is sweeping the nation, has already established footholds in major cities. In Boston, however, the potential limits of the movement may be revealed as the city council plans on voting for an ordinance easing regulation of urban farms.
Urban farming is one of the fastest growing agricultural fads sweeping the country. By transforming unused, abandoned, and dilapidated urban buildings and properties, the urban farming movement seeks to rejuvenate economically depressed urban centers, create jobs and boost city revenue, and expand access to nutritious food to lower-income residents.
Cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have already joined the movement, easing local zoning restrictions and investing heavily in urban agriculture.
In Boston, however, urban farmers have a much tougher path ahead of them. Unlike other major cities, the local council has not passed urban farming ordinances, meaning that bureaucratic red tape still makes it difficult for urban farms to set up shop.
Part of the concern is the city’s long history with environmental degradation and industrial pollution. Until the 1950s, there existed no environmental regulations. Many urban areas, Boston in particular have heavily contaminated soil.
Despite the challenges, urban farm advocates, backed by the Boston Public Market Association, have drafted plans that would regulate composting on urban farms as well as their raising of animals like chickens and bees.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer