Cities face many challenges to meet sustainability requirements. Urban agriculture can contribute to sustainability and well-being in the cities. It contributes to biodiversity and ecosystem services by providing habitats, reducing food miles and creating more green spaces, reducing the carbon footprint left by our everyday activities and lack of greenery within the city.
Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the need for Sustainable Farming Education within communities. Hardship and food shortages that occurred during the beginning of the pandemic made known the importance of agriculture and sustainable practices for our livelihood. Disruptions to the domestic food supply chains impacted the entire process from the field to consumer. Recent food challenges raised concerns for food production and availability. Although food supply has stabilized globally, it is evident what could happen if another pandemic occurs. Now more than ever, there is a need to create sustainable cities for our well-being.
My proposal for the Old Mecca building site on St. Ann’s Well Rd encourages community engagement and interaction with a diverse range of learners. They will learn Vertical Farming methods, Traditional Farming methods, Botany, Beekeeping and making products from beekeeping and, Food Preparation on site and how to apply what they’ve learned within their own living spaces. There will also be opportunities to exhibit what they’ve learned in a designated Market/Exhibition space, giving them an opportunity to also teach the wider community. The community will also be given opportunities to exhibit and market their own products here.
The urban farm will be operated and maintained by the people who live in the communal areas on the top two floors of the building. They will be responsible for all teaching activities that take place on the site as well as the community engagement in the café and outdoor spaces. The goal is to create a livable educational space that fosters both personal and communal interaction and development through sustainable farming education.
Advantages of Sustainable Farming Education includes:
Requires no special skill set
Allows for flexibility and independence
Production of organic and healthy food that is disease and fertilizer free
Creates an abundance of crops for self-consumption and sale for the neighbors.
Creates a sense of community and softens the crisis of migration to cities.