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Harvesting your Backyard; A Bountiful Experience

July 21, 2011

The latest trend in urban agriculture is farming in your own backyard. This low impact style to agriculture is beautifying our neighbourhoods and those getting involved are literally eating up the bounty.  By turning lawns into gardens, cities like Detroit, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Toronto & Vancouver are seeing positive results. Farming in our neighbourhoods ensures that our communities eat well and that home-owners are becoming more involved in solving food security issues.

The greatest effect of this trend of backyard farming is that sub-urban areas, where lawns are highly available, are becoming some of our greatest agriculture landscapes, helping to raise awareness of food security & reduce pesticide use.

Yesterday I vacationed to Guelph’s “Backyard Bounty” where a team of urban farmers have renovated un-used front & back yards into resources of pleasure. Tomatoes, beans, potatoes, brassicas, lettuce & squash are now easily available as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to 80+ families in the Guelph area.

Backyard Bounty, a small for-profit, social mission based, food-growing business, consists of employees, CRAFT interns & multiple volunteers. This team of leading edge gardeners is influential in the Guelph food movement as they have been able to turn 20 backyards into high-volume production gardens.  Along with this they have turned 2 acres of land, which is currently owned by a development company and is destined to become sub-urban sprawl within the next 3-5 years, into the “Peri-Urban” GMO-free, food site.

Some photos from yesterday:

To read more about this garden trend check there is a library of different resources and do-it-yourself manuals. I suggest the classics: Food Not Lawns by Heather C. Flores or Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemmingway. As a side-note, if you are interested in urban chickens check out the book Backyard Chicken’s Guide to Coops & Tractors: Planning, Building & Real-life Advice.

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