[permaculture] Urban Farming in Wheat Ridge Colorado

Koreen Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 23 14:00:58 EDT 2014


In my research, urban farmers often do have to pay something for land. If they had to pay fair market rent, they mostly couldn't afford to farm unless doing super high intensive growing techniques like hydroponics, etc. Grocery stores that use their roofs for hydroponics gardens may reduce costs of acquiring food. Some urban farms supplement income from grant money, education, value added products, etc. They are competing against a fair amount of subsidies -(in some cases) and cheaper land/labor, etc. You usually have to be pretty clever, frugal, and out of the box to make a living as an urban market farmer.  I know a few people who are doing it - one is a beekeeper who keeps hives in friend's yards and sells at farmer's markets and local groceries. Another  is using friend's yards to grow greens and other veggies and fruits for market. They both have pretty happy lives, gotta admit! :-) 
 

Koreen Brennan


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On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:58 AM, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com> wrote:
 
Land cost in cities, as a share of farmed food cost, is highly variable, and is much less than it seems to be. Most land on residential lots in urban areas is a by-product of the need for housing--in other words, I didn't buy my urban house for the land--I'd be making that payment anyway, to own the residence. So my urban lot is very inexpensive, as a share of home-grown food costs. In truth, home-grown food costs should come out of the food budget, not the rent or mortgage budget, and they reduce food costs. 

Little of this is the case with a rural farm, where the property is bought mostly for the land value. 

Thus, amortizing the overall cost of an urban lot into the cost of food grown isn't accurate accounting. Urban land for farming is, in many cases, very inexpensive. Also, many urban farmers are given land for free or for a produce share,  making it very cheap.

Toby
http://patternliteracy.com


On Apr 22, 2014, at 10:11 AM, Jay Woods <woodsjaya at gmail.com> wrote:

> The cost accounting is very important.
> 
> It is likely that stable, bulk foods are far cheaper in the market.
> However, specialty crops, perishables, and processed foods are likely to
> come out cheaper from your garden and kitchen.
> 
> 
> On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM, Paul Cross <charybda at newmex.com> wrote:
> 
>> One of the best ways to discover how incredibly inexpensive food is in
>> supermarkets is to start an urban farming project with very careful
>> accounting. Keep track of the harvest and taking into account the land
>> costs, labor, inputs, distribution, taxes, benefits, etc. I imagine you
>> will find that rising food prices in supermarkets are not solved by urban
>> farming. There are a host of other benefits, though.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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