Feeding Our Cities: Establishing a Strong Urban/Sustainable Agriculture Interface in Southern New England
The proximity of farms to urban areas in Connecticut and Massachusetts offers producers and city residents an opportunity to bridge the gaps between urban and agricultural communities, and training in food and sustainability issues and practices will facilitate these connections.
1. Understand the issues facing urban, sustainable agriculture, and rural communities in densely populated places such as Hartford, Springfield, Holyoke, Bridgeport, New Haven, Worcester, and Boston.
2. Increase the dialogue between rural and urban communities through an open exchange of ideas to foster better understanding, and through working together toward solutions that best meet urban food needs through rural and urban sustainable agriculture practices.
3. Build alliances among southern New England land grant universities, Cooperative Extension educators, USDA, and other agencies and organizations, city planners, policy makers, land preservation groups, sustainable agriculture farmers, community gardeners, community supported agriculture projects, chefs’ collaboratives, green markets, and city residents.
4. Work cooperatively with these groups to identify problems and seek solutions to issues of food and sustainable agriculture in and near urban areas.
5. Implement programs based on increased dialogue, greater understanding, and new alliances to establish the interface needed to satisfy food needs and protect and maintain the environment we share.
6. Enhance regional food production and distribution to conserve energy and provide for a more sustainable agricultural .
Feeding Our Cities: Establishing A Strong Urban/Sustainable Agriculture Interface in Southern New England
Specific Project Results
1.In order to understand the issues facing urban agriculture our project immersed ourselves in conducting workshops for Extension personnel with urban and rural farms in various Southern New England cities in three states: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
2.Workshop in Southern New England provided an opportunity for dialogue and most importantly the development of an extensive network resource list.
3.Extension network began the building and strategic alliances between Southern New England land grant university, Extension educators, USDA and other agricultural related agencies.
4.Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Extensions personnel have begun to understand the issues facing ‘Feeding our Cities’ and expect future work in this area.
5.Our goal is for land grant universities in Southern New England to implement additional urban agriculture activities and learning.
6.Creating dialogue between urban farmers and rural farms can only help enhance regional food production systems. The Hartford Food Systems study conducted by Katie S. Martin who is a SARE Network Resource person further illustrates the issues of Community Food Security.
7.‘Feeding Our Cities’ coordinators and network participated in a state conference ‘Save the Land’ on June 10, 1999 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
Reported January, 2000
U Mass Extension
44 Bank Row
Pittsfield , MA 01201
Office Phone: 4134420304