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City Residents Combat Tough Economic Times With Urban Farms

January 19, 2011 by  

City residents combat tough economic times with urban farmsMany Americans have turned to the practice of urban farming to achieve self-sufficiency amidst a struggling economy, rising inflation costs and unsanitary food manufacturing that has led to a flurry of product recalls.

The urban farming movement has expanded significantly in the last several years. According to, the initiative that began with three gardens in 2005 has flourished into more than 800 gardens in approximately 30 cities throughout the United States. Aside from the health and fiscal benefits, many city dwellers are embracing the joys of a new hobby.

According to a recent report by NPR, Novella Carpenter of Oakland, Calif., is raising her own goats. Carpenter, who is a writer by trade, said that she takes great pride in her livestock, which she called "pets with benefits."

"Their milk is so good and then it makes really, really creamy yummy cheese too," Carpenter told the media outlet.

Holly Burke, who served as a judge at the recent All American Dairy Goat Show in Texas, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that goats offer many benefits for farmers, such as their tendency to consume unwanted weeds and shrubs. Burke also said that they are economical and fun to raise, and they require much less space than larger livestock.

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  • TIME

    Just wait until they get Arrested for doing so. MONSANTO now rules the food world…….

    • clh

      Go to this link and this website and help defund the fake phude (food) bill. There is strength in numbers. I know that Cynthia Lummis is against it.

    • EddieW

      Amen!! you got that right!! They will find it illegal to grow wholesome food, and for sharing it…you can be fined heavily and jailed!! S501!!! That our stupid Senators passed handily!!!

      This is not our biggest worry right now, the collapse of the dollar in the next year or so, will mean massive inflation…Remember Yugoslavia? a loaf of bread tyhat cost 1.00 withing a week it was 1 TRILLION dollars!! Food first, then silver and gold…silver easier to spend!! google emergency essentials!! for freeze dried foods that will last 20 years, in cool storage

  • Joyce from Loris

    Well, Monsanto is TRYING to rule the food world. Many of us are long time farmers, grew up growing our own vegetables and meat. We know how to survive. Monsanto needs to just go away. All the foods in the grocery stores are from GMO seeds, and we just don’t know if those are good for us or not. When you use heirloom seeds, grow your vegetables without chemical introduction, you KNOW what you have. I am all for self sufficient farming.

  • http://MozzelaFirefox Jo

    How are we going to grow food in our back yards when Obama signed an E.O. making it against the law in his imperialistic regime. Will our elected officials stop this man? I have never seen so many of our freedoms eroded so quickly.

    • Bob Henderson

      Can you tell me where you found this information? Not that I disbelieve it, I just like to check these things before passing them on. I live in a retirement community with a plethora of restrictions, else I would have had a garden and chickens long since. I still recall the good old days when just about everyone in town kept chickens and had a kitchen garden. Can’t remember why they stopped–probably something to do with noise abatement and a dislike for the bucolic atmosphere.

      • Dale

        I am not sure about the EO, but it was included in the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) that was passed during the Lame Duck Session in Congress and signed into law by Obama. It gives more power to the large Agribusinesses (eg Monsanto) and puts more pressure on small farms and opens the door to the FDA inspecting home gardens. They can shut you down without reason, just suspicion.

        • Wanda Murline

          That would not be wise on their part. I have no tresspassing signs coming to my house and the no tresspassing pertains not only to the public, but also to the government…especially the government. That gives me the right of defense of my property and life.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          I will be planting a garden here just like I have for the last 21 years. If they want to try and stop me let them come! when I get done with the papers and the radio, I will make them ALL look like fools!!

      • TIME

        Look into “executive orders” that Barry Soetoro has brought under his wing over the last 24 months.
        I do warn you – You will find that one and many others that will give you a stroke, so please do take your time reading them all.

        Also keep in mind that per each Executive order Barry amass’s his “POWER ARM GROWS,” all the while making the Congress & Senate, as well the Courts totaly irrelevant.

        Now hows that for the Hitler Moment of the week? See any parallels to Der Fuher?

      • Denise

        Go to –

        for a good article on this. There are six topics discussed in this article with the Food Bill being first and titled; FDA to be given unconstitutional power with The Food Safety Act on the way to Obama’s desk, ready to become law. Please pass this information along to others as controlling food quality is ultimate control over people’s health.
        The gov’t relies on naive and uninformed citizens in order to get away with passing bad laws.

    • clh

      See the reply above. Do not give up, do this today

    • Wanda Murline

      Just ignore the new law. Obama and his minions ignore the laws they don’t like, so it is time for us to return the favor. Am plowing a new garden this year…haven’t raised on in years…teaching my grandchildren how to survive in a broken America. Purchased heirloom seeds for their future and have them air packaged for future use. If we all ignore this law, then they cannot imprison all of us. It is their idea that through food, they can poison us or have us poisoned by the foods from China, Thailand and other countries…you know, they have to cut down on the population world wide…starting with the health care denials for elderly patients. What a bunch. No wonder people are angry.

      • Carlucci

        Right on – !! Ignore Fedzilla like California and Arizona do when it comes to medical marijuana. As many health nuts as there are everywhere, people will just ignore (i.e., NULLIFY) these insane laws pooped out consistently from Fedzilla, and keep using food coops and farmers markets, if they aren’t growing their own food. During Prohibition, no matter how many speakeasies were shut down, new ones popped up everywhere all the time, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people making and selling bootleg whiskey and bathtub gin. We can overcome all of these asinine unconstitutional “laws” simply by nullifying them.

    • toni

      there is no law against growing your own farm in your own yard.
      it’s one thing to disagree with Obama or any administration, it’s completely another to make up crazy stuff and try to disseminate it.
      Not only can we grow our own produce, we can raise our own chickens in our urban yards.
      only local officials can dictate these things, not federal!

      • JJ

        No one is saying that it is illegal, what they are saying is that the feds can now come in and bulldoze your garden with no due process of the law. Even if you take them to court after the fact and win, your garden is still gone. Do you think that they are going to care if you sue them after the fact. Its not their money that will get paid out and they know this. In the mean time you can go down and try to buy a loaf of bread with inflated dollars providing there’s any on the shelf. Its all about keeping the sheep corralled.

  • J.M.R.

    yes the dick-tater is looking over our shoulders but if i want to eat i will raise what i want amd the hell with him.

  • Roxanne Christensen

    New farmers in the US and Canada are having success with SPIN-Farming, which is an organic-based small plot farming system that outlines how to make money growing in backyards, front lawns and neighborhood lots. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business concept, marketing advice, financial benchmarks and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process it really isn’t any different from McDonalds. By offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm commercially, wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them. A free calculator that shows how much farm income can be made from backyards and neighborhood lots is available at the SPIN website –

    • Denise

      That would be a great idea in our country, but our gov’t today doesn’t appear to be interested in anything but total control of our lives.
      Go to –

      for a good article on this. There are six topics discussed in this article with the Food Bill being first and titled; FDA to be given unconstitutional power with The Food Safety Act on the way to Obama’s desk, ready to become law. Please pass this information along to others as controlling food quality is ultimate control over people’s health.
      The gov’t relies on naive and uninformed citizens in order to get away with passing bad laws.

  • http://com i41

    You forgot the biggest impedment in private food production, is the Dept of Ag, which is a massive money waste and resrictive organization. Also several villages or cities, in the Denver area you can not grow a garden unless it is approved and permitted by boards and councils. Same goes for putting up a clothes line. Think you own your property not if Onumnutts radical lawyers get his dictatoral plan laid out and by an executive order to take over and ban all private land ownership. In 2007 UN passed a madate to ban all private land ownership all over the world, was it covered by the media, no!

  • eddie47d

    Clothes lines were phased out decades ago.The home builders associations made those restrictions in all new communities. Every yard had to have a wooden 6′ fence for privacy. Only certain colors could be used on each home and no cars parked on streets. In some communities you can’t even park in your own driveway and your garage door must be down at all times. No solar panels,TV antennas or satellite dishes on roofs either. No sheds allowed on property or boats or motor homes. These were the home builders rules before you bought the house and not coming from the government;Then the community associations would enforce the rules. Some rules were good and others dreadful but all lead to the banning of home gardens.

    • ValDM

      If that’s the type of community you live in, I’m sorry for you. I don’t live in a “new” neighborhood. I still have my clothesline, and I garden. I have many things in the front yard in my flower beds. My “real” garden is behind my garage (which is behind my house) and can’t be seen from the street. The only ones who can see my garden are the people who live behind me. I grow vegetables and have many fruit trees, as well as berry canes. I also have a back yard (in addition to the “way back”) that I grow other fruits and vegetables, with a few herbs thrown in for good measure. I’d like to know how a bureaucrat will be able to identify what’s acutally in my flower beds. If they’ve never grown anything, how will they know that what’s there isn’t supposed to be.

    • TIME

      Yea we have a few of the nut cases here. We have a few that are very upset with my Zen Garden, it seems some of the people around here think its the work of the devil. How they came up with that is beyond me.

      We also have had a few of the locals who have filed complaints about me riding my horse, also walking my dogs even though we do Pick UP.
      This one still blows my mind ~ feeding wild cats and the deer.

      • independant thinker

        If by wild cats you mean feral cats then it is irresponsible to feed them and encourage reproduction unless you capture all you can and get them spayed/neutered before releasing them back into the wild. There should be a humane organization in your area that would help with this.

    • Carlucci

      Homeowners associations suck. Whoever came up with that idea should be taken out and horsewhipped. I live in a neighborhood with one, but we’ve always ignored them and made “architectural changes” without their input or “approval”. There is a fantastic 400 s.f. storage shed built on a concrete slab foundation that was built on to the back of the garage. It was here when we bought this house, and that was part of the reason why we bought it. It looks like it is part of the house. I doubt very seriously that the original owners asked for “permission” to build it. They had put in the pool and needed a place for the pool chemicals and skimmer poles, but this storage shed holds a heck of a lot more than those items. Because this neighborhood is so large and the HO asso. only has one employee, most people pretty much do whatever they want. My former neighbors next door had a veggie garden and clothesline for years, although I’m sure that was “against the rules”.

      • Steve

        Yes they suck until your dumbass neighbor starts parking their cars in their front yard or won’t mow their grass when it’s a foot high. I’d rather be in the country though but who can sell their house these days so they can move?

  • Mary

    I live in a community where they do not allow you to do anything over 12 inches from your house. I live on a lot backing up to a nature preserve owned by the Lutheran church which is directly behind my house. What would it hurt to plant a garden since I am disabled from arsenic poisoning and can’t afford to buy food at a store that is always either too old or engineered by foreign countries such as CHile, etc. I also tried to put solar panels on my house and have a windmill and they shut down this idea immediately telling me that it is against Homeowners Association. Now I can’t save money on food or energy! On top of that I am forced to eat what the grocery stores sell and it is never fresh and full of antibiotics, etc. You no longer live in the America of the founding fathers. This is now a corporatocracy and don’t let anyone fool you into thinking it is anything else. Thanks to George Soros and others pushing for a global economy we will all be living in conditions like the Chinese if we don’t fight them. God help our country.

    • 45caliber

      Things like this is the reason that I won’t live in a city unless forced. There are too many people who want to tell you how to live and what to do with what you own.

  • http://com i41

    .45 the dumb socialist bastards that came up with the zoning boards and associations, are the elitist leech lawyers in a few neighborhoods. I lived and owned a house in a 10,000 population town. For almost a 100 years, it had been an ag business town, a livestock action center, that had livestock coming from 5 states. As well as 3 large grain elevators and equipment dealerships. In early 80 several elitist lawyers, bankers and insurance agents took over thecity council and mayor spot. Suddenly ordances appeared passed of only certain colors could be used on your houses, sidewalks must not have any cracks, and since a US highway passed thru the town, trucks could not use jake brakes and even horse trailers pulled behind pickups could not use the streets to shop at stores with out getting a ticket. Less than a year later my big house burned down in Jan. Since State Farm Insurance would not settle since it was destroyed on amount that we were paying premioms on for 15 years with no claims, we went to court 2 years later. The city lawyers and council decided they were going to force us to settle and we must remove the burnt house. After getting notices served every week, I went to the state AG and insurance commisson. After the council got told to back off since it was in a legal dispute, it couldn’t be touched and the city had better back off or there would be a harrassment suit fied. It was settled in court and after we won,we sold the lots. We left the state and moved to another one. 15 years later we returned and bought 640 acres in the same state and same county as we had been residants before. While we were gone the same group of jackazzes decided inflict the same regs on the rural county ranching and farming areas. So needless to say since most county commissioners live in the town, it just about stopped all ranchers and farmers to stop going and shopping in the town, and people in the sold their houses and moved out away from the town. People need to just get disgusted and neutor the power cliques in any “government or council” elitist groups. Until people clamp down on these elected idoits and start paying attention what the jackazzes think and will do if given a chance. Most idoits that put Onumnutts into office should have known his veiws and beleifs just by who he admired and his anti USA attitude as written in his books. As for the Soros Socialist Union Party Pukes that support and vote what ever way he wants. As well as campaigned and still support the marxist muslim mron, is it any surprise that the USA is close to not existing. Since there is never a tax or socialist government program, these morons will not vote for or embrace. A dictator run country is their hope and long held dream.

  • coal miner

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