Urban farming operations in St. Louis, Missouri, are incurring the ire of local residents. The disagreement could threaten St. Louis’ urban farming operations and could have broader repercussions in the urban farm movement.
For the last several years, urban farming has been increasingly popular in economically depressed towns and cities. While urban agriculture has long been a part of American farm production (urban residents grew Victory Gardens during WWII, for example), it was not until recently that it’s been seen as a viable economic avenue.
Cities with large, vacant lots and abandoned buildings have been quick to take advantage of the recent farm craze, hoping that transforming unproductive residential areas into small-scale farms can boost municipal revenues and can offer jobs to economically depressed areas.
The trade off, however, is that these farms can easily generate complaints from neighbors and residents. In St. Louis, which boasts one of the nation’s largest urban farm operations, residents are complaining of an increase in pest activity and are complaining about the production of tall plants that they claim are being used to hide illegal activity.
“I’m all for progress,” said one resident. “But I don’t want to live on a farm. I’m a city girl.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer