For the sake of argument, or hopefully clarity, the following is an explanation of what Urban Agriculture means for the organization GoSO in the context of two Chicago neighborhoods, West Englewood and North Lawndale.
In these areas, GoSO's programs are characterized by a focus on the local production of fresh produce which is made available in the host community and surrounding areas.
This production is carried out through environmentally sustainable practices such as integrated pest management, the use of recycled building materials, and organic production methods. In addition, appropriate technologies are used to extend the growing season beyond the summer months.
These Urban Agriculture initiatives are being conducted in these communities in order to pursue the following goals.
- Exploration of sustainable business models for vegetable production and marketing
- Increased availability of nutritious foods in the midst of severe "food deserts"
- Exposure and training in agronomic knowledge and skills to better appreciate food diversity and support entrepreneurial endeavors
- Increased community awareness of the risks associated with poor nutrition and the advantages of eating more fresh produce
- Demonstration of simple, practical steps which can improve nutrition and lower health risks
GoSO is working together with several other organizations and individuals in conducting these programs. Visit our Health Tip link for more information on healthy eating.