Recent historical research proved that urban farming was viable in Brooklyn and Queens in the late 20th century. Much of the research was focused on solving the problems that many urban farmers face. Sociologists believe that if they are able to identify the majority of issues faced by plantations in the city, these resources will continue to grow in the near future. Citing growing nutrition concerns, social scientists feel that further research is necessary in order to develop a viable farming market for built-up areas.
By 1990 there was only one family farm left in all of New York City. Even small grassy lots had mostly disappeared at that point. According to historical records, the one remaining farm at that point was forced to carefully select seedlings based on space. Vegetables that grew too large could not be grown on the two-acre lot.
Urban Farming as a Business
At one point, the farm in question was 100 acres large. It was sold piece by piece throughout the 20th century. However, land use is not the only problem urban farming projects face. Cities are known for charging high property taxes. Some cities even levy an additional income tax. These are very difficult for urban farmers to deal with. Therefore, many agricultural businesses actually fail and have to move.
Social studies majors have begun to believe that family farming is not a real option without legislative changes that would put less pressure on small business owners. There are some choices that concerned citizens may be interested in, however. New projects are focusing more on empowering area residents to grow their own crops. While these might not function as business ventures, they are helping to improve nutrition.
The Role of NGOs
Non-governmental organizations are often looked at as a way of organizing citizens into localized farmers. Privately owned family farms have mostly fled cities, but government gardening projects have not been successful either. According to sociologists, few people have taken advantage of programs that meet in libraries or other public areas.
However, local residents who begin gardening on their own are able to attract other individuals to the hobby. Areas of soil around city lots can be used to grow vegetables without the need for any complicated fertilizer or insecticide compounds. Researchers noted that when one person started growing a garden, others started to joint them as well.
Since urban farming resources have a positive influence on the urban environment, many citizens have decided to form small crop coalitions. These informal non-governmental organizations are helping many people to forge new relationships and share information. Local seed sharing programs are encouraging people to grow their own. Analysts are increasingly excited about the prospect of a real renaissance in the field of urban farming.
Those who live in areas without such programs can easily get together with local neighbors who are interested in starting a garden. Since these projects are completely informal, they are not tied to regular legislative boundaries. That has encouraged them to grow in areas where red tape has been a problem.