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Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution Paperback – Apr 1 2011
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You don't have to journey to a rural paradise to find the farm of the future. It's your neighbor's suburban lawn, the roof of your uptown condominium, or the co-op market garden in the vacant lot down the street. Urban Agriculture is a detailed look at how food is taking root in our cities. It offers inspirational advice and working examples to help you dig inand become more self-sufficient with your own food choices.
Taking the local food movement to its next logical step, this fully-illustrated, design-rich guide presents a cornucopia of proven ideas for:
- Windowsill and balcony growing
- Edible landscaping
- Farming the commons
- Community gardening, from allotments to orchards
- Taking urban agriculture to the next level with creative spaces, bigger lots and higher yields.
Urban Agriculture is about shaping a new food system that values people and the planet above profits. First-time farmers and green thumbs alike will be inspired by working examples and expert interviews to get growing.Proving that the city of the future will be green and tasty, this book is packed with edible solutions for anyone keen to join the new foodrevolution.
About the Author
David Tracey is a journalist and environmental designer who operates EcoUrbanist in Vancouver. He is Executive Director of Tree City Canada, a non-profit ecological engagement group.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While I didn't expect the author to be a professional farmer I did expect more than a flag waving save the planet book by a community organizer. There are many books I've enjoyed which described how to develop a garden to help to sustain myself and my family and share with others but this book is really geared toward developing community gardens. This isn't a problem for me either, but it came across to me as over the top environmentalism with such phrases as "trashing the planet". If you are interested in that perspective, then you might like this book but I found it so judgemental I couldn't get to the information about growing an urgan garden, which I'm sure is in the back of the book somewhere. The term "activist" is not an understatement for this author. One of the "fourteen reasons to start a community garden" included "8. Enhance food democracy." This sounds way too socialist for me. I'm growing food in my garden to share with others but don't plan on forcing others to participate. It describes the fundamental principles of Seikatsu club as "Create a new lifestyle in order to protect environment and health. Stop passive and resource-wasteful lifestyles based on commercialism." I don't deny the negative impact of Monsanto, but I found this book really annoying. The subtitle "Ideas and designs for the new food revolution" also sounds like an accurate description and frankly, disconcerting. Perhaps I'll read the rest of it but I'll have to hold my nose, metaphorically speaking.
Tracey’s excitement and passion for urban agriculture is evident in this book. The commentary was personable and the anecdotes give the book better context. It is refreshing to not only read about the importance of urban agriculture but also realistic opportunities to participate in this “food revolution”. Tracey emphasizes that the potential for urban agriculture is only limited by creativity and ingenuity and at the same time presents designs to back his statements. Too often similar titles will overwhelm the reader with ideology. However, this book does well in providing something novel and practical. It is useful to gain insight from not only his viewpoints but the viewpoints of the individuals he interview or whose undertakings he highlights. You often get a sense that urban agriculture may not just be a fad for a few but has the potential to grow into something larger.
Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution by David Tracey gave me a taste of the “farm of the future”. Idealists will absolutely love this book, while skeptics will most likely remain skeptical. Tracey had a lot of big ideas and viewpoints but ultimately wasn’t able to provide strong conviction on any one topic. As a generally inexperienced gardener, I was more interested in some of the initial ideas. However, before I could grasp these ideas the section ended and I was introduced to another even more overwhelming idea. The purpose of the book is for readers to be able to pick it up, review the table of contents, and navigate an appropriate section based on their level of experience. However, I felt that there just wasn’t enough specific content to really satisfy anyone at any particular level. If you are a beginner wanting to learn how to grow food, pick a different book. If you are an established or avid gardener and want to learn how to expand your endeavors pick a different book.
Those hoping to change the minds of skeptics should not recommend this book. It is a great overview of urban agriculture but only begins to touch the surface. The book starts off applicable but quickly becomes overwhelming. However, those with an interest in urban agriculture either because you care about local food and food security or because you would like to return to agricultural roots will find many parts of this book inspiring. The real life experiences and innovative ideas will stimulate those who believe that there may be a niche in urban cities for farmers.