Urban Farms Coming Back in Manhattan

New York’s urban farms, battered by Hurricane Sandy, are being reestablished, representing a continuing commitment to local, sustainable agriculture.
For the past several years, urban agriculture has become the latest fad in the farm sector. While the practice has been around in one form or another since the beginning of cities, in the past decade it has received increasing attention from municipal governments as a way to revitalize local economies and improve nutrition in urban food deserts.
Advocates argue that it is better for the environment (the smaller spaces allow for decreased use of pesticides and fertilizers that can pollute local waterways and removes the need for transportation and farm machinery, reducing carbon emissions).
While many Manhattan farms were badly battered by Sandy, most were not destroyed. Once the severe weather subsided, farmers got to work salvaging their operations. Many benefited from the practical experience gained in the cleanup from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast, particularly the knowledge to soak soil that has been saturated in saltwater, leeching away excess salt that could hurt crop production.
After months of work, many Manhattan farms are reopening, preserving the city’s commitment to transforming sustainable agriculture.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer