Let’s face it! If we continue our exploitation and depletion of the planet’s natural resources at the current rate, we will not be able to sustain the human race much further. The plundering and over consumption has to stop now and we all have a moral and social responsibility to play our part, however small it may be, and slow down this trend as consciously as we can. I have strived to cut my carbon footprint with the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” wherever possible but the most rewarding and the closest I have been to sustainability is by growing the food myself.
There is mounting evidence of unsustainability of practices of globalized industrial food production systems that has negatively impacted communities and environment alike. ...view middle of the document...
The movement towards Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) over the last decade points to this aspiration of a part of our society to re-discover our true sustainable farming roots. CSAs provide the opportunity for the consumers to work directly with the local farmers and take joint responsibility and local control for growing healthy food together for the community and at the same time preserving and tending towards the environment.
Micro-farms, with plot size measured in fractions of acres, can be the answer to expanding the notion of CSA to each yard and every neighborhood. The innovation I have in mind is scaling the CSA model to enable back-yard (and front yard) farming of vegetables and crops by regular people with day-jobs like you and me.
While this idea of micro-farms itself isn't new, the real innovation here is to make it accessible and easy enough for even modest supporters of sustainable and local agriculture to say yes to participating in such a concept. By designing the level of individual participation to be scalable, it has the potential to significantly expand this concept to include many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of households. You can work on your micro-plot in your own yard everyday (during the if you are a homemaker/full-time gardener), in the evenings (if you are an enthusiast with a full-time job), during the weekends (if you are hobbyist), or simply offer a portion of your yard space for micro-farming to the community in return for your share of the yield. One could also consider a local non-profit business model with part/full-time employees and volunteers working on the micro-size yards leased from home-owners, and using that to cultivate crops with active monetary support from members of this micro-farm neighborhood CSA.