The new Urban Agriculture park at Clary-Shy Park in Columbia shows significant progress in the initial construction effort. Check out the camera recording of the progress being made at www.buildthistown.org.
The concrete slab for the general purpose building which will provide a permanent home for the Columbia Farmers Market will be put in place very soon and good progress is being made in preparing plots for the CCUA demonstration gardens.
This project, when completed offers a number of benefits to Columbia and the surrounding region. However, one of the more important long-term benefits goes largely unnoticed. That benefit is profiled in a new report (Nourished Planet: Sustainability in the Global Food System, published by Island Press in June of 2018) by Danielle Nierenberg which is presented in capsule form at https://foodtank.com/news/2018/09/nourished-planet-urban-agriculture/.
The point of the volume is to draw attention to the rapid growth of urban areas around the globe as people move from rural areas to urban looking for work and other benefits of urban life often not available in rural areas. According to a recent article in Bloomberg News, America loses about 1 million acres of land annually to urban growth (https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/). One of the effects of this migration is to rob the population of food producers, especially those producers of nourishing food for our tables, food that undergoes minimal processing and nutrient loss.
The Nierenberg report, however, highlights things that are going on in urban areas where people are learning to grow their own food in innovative ways around the globe. Aquaculture, growing vegetables in empty rice and maize sacks, turning abandoned lots into urban gardens, developing small containers of “micro greens,” and more. The importance of these efforts in feeding people who often must spend up to 80% of their income on food is tremendous, but so is the diminished probability that these urbanizing areas will experience food riots and social disruption as well as reduced health in the population.
The Urban Agriculture Park in Columbia will feature demonstration plots and learning opportunities for local city dwellers to learn how to produce some of their own food, especially those with low incomes and those who just want more nutritious, better tasting foods. Keep an eye on what is happening with the construction on the old Boone County Fairgrounds and be prepared for a wonderful experience in sustainable living.
While you are thinking about this information, consider a donation to the Build This Town project during World Food which is October 16, 2018 and help others enjoy better health and nutrition.
Modern food production practices produce harmful environmental effects. The highly mechanized production system uses about 12 to 14 per cent of the total energy use. According to a 2016 review in PLoS One, agriculture practices, especially the growing meat consumption, are responsible for about 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions where methane from animals is a primary contributor. In addition, the same report indicates about 70 per cent of the world’s water use is attributed to agriculture production.
What can you do? Here are suggestions from the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter: