It's awfully easy to tease the farm to fork movement. A dash of utopian idealism here, a soupçonof holier than thou elitism there; it's become one of those catch phrases that too quickly morphs into self parody. But the roots (ahem) and intentions of the movement are unassailable. There is nothing wrong, and almost everything right, about trying to create a market that provides locally grown, fresh, wholesome food while minimizing transportation costs and environmental impacts while maximizing efficiencies and opportunities for small, independent growers. The problem is that most of us don't live near a farm. So cost becomes an issue, as does legitimacy. Defining terms gets a little fuzzy: what's local? The chicken you're introduced to personally or the head of lettuce shipped in from 50 miles away?
But what if we did live near a farm, even if we live downtown? That's the idea behind urban farming, an idea that many municipalities are embracing as a way to revitalize neighborhoods, create community and help slow the growth of food deserts in our inner cities. It's not a simple matter of throwing some seeds in the ground; there are zoning restrictions, neighbor input, health concerns, water issues and a host of other hoops to jump through in order to start an urban farm. The city of Sacramento has taken a pro-active stance in making all this work, passing ordinances making it legal for folks to grow and sell their produce directly to consumers and offering tax incentives to convert vacant lots for agricultural use. The city has gone so far as to name itself America's Farm To Fork Capital, and they're backing it up with a wealth of initiatives and programs. Heather Gehlert at Urban Eats has written an in-depth article on how the city and county of Sacramento are working with their farmers, urban and rural, to make the dream of farm to fork a reality. It's quite impressive.
Via Urban Organic Gardener