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Home Food Gardening First – Market Gardening Second

Touch the Soil News #1964 (Photo – Farmers Market – CCA SA 4.0 International, Michael Rihani)

Not everyone has land with access to adequate water, but many folks do.  Estimates are that roughly 64 percent of Americans live in their own homes.  Some multi-family complexes or duplexes do have some land and water.  Said in oversimplified ways, agricultural resources are not overly abundant.  Is it time to assess the agricultural productivity of your lawn area and the water you have?  Urban farming has become a global mega-trend for all the same reasons – supply unreliability, economics, and international trade tensions.

Also emerging on the horizon has been a dramatic increase in farmland prices.  Per-acre costs have almost doubled in the last 12 years.  It is making folks wonder; Are growers better off building the fertility of soil on existing land than buying more land?  This formula also works for the home gardener, as there are several ways to increase crop quality and yields with organic inputs, soil biology and good stewardship.

Food security in the nation is being picked up by major metropolitan areas, since the Federal Government stopped keeping strategic food reserves on major commodities over a decade ago.  Most food processors and retailers are financially obliged to maintain “just-in-time” inventories.  This means that the lettuce you are buying arrives at the store shortly before you buy it.  The food pipeline is normally full, but can be emptied or kinked in at the slightest upset.

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