Urban Horticulture: From Local Initiatives to Global Success Stories
Monday, October 15, 2018
Posted by: Cindy Slone
On the final day of its week-long annual international conference this summer, the American Society for Horticultural Science engaged attendees in an in-depth exploration into the realm of urban horticulture.
The workshop entitled Urban Horticulture: From Local Initiatives to Global Success Stories, https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2018/meetingapp.cgi/Session/9009, illustrated how repurposed city space is being redefined to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers as well as how citizens can contribute to and benefit from this burgeoning trend.
Urban horticulture comprehends everything from small community gardens to complex vertical farms. It brings together what has always been separated: agriculture and urban space. Although urban gardens may not be the one single solution to supply food for a growing global population, due to their potential to provide high yields in small, formerly unproductive areas, they have the capability to significantly change the world’s horticultural scenery.
These repurposed spaces stand for food sovereignty for underprivileged neighborhoods, healthy diets in big cities, low transport costs, efficient resource use, and mitigation of environmental impacts. This is an exciting arena for absolute newcomers into horticulture and for local initiatives. This workshop dealt with success stories of urban horticulture in developing countries, highlighting both the most recent developments and historic inspirations and achievements.
While attendees experienced aspects of maintaining food sustainability from history that included delving into an urban farming model provided by the Aztecs, there was fascinating components of modern efforts provided by USAID through its Farmer-To-Farmer program. Current global successes from Central Asia, Senegal, and Iran were showcased. Local innovations were also presented that included the pioneering and helping-hand achievements from DC Central Kitchen and the extremely well-received outreach efforts from George Mason University in Virginia that have guided so many interested community members to grow their own food indoors and outdoors using hydroponics, worm composting and permaculture techniques.
Listen to the audio of this workshop, along with many other sessions of the conference by clicking here.