Community Supported Agriculture

Community-supported agriculture can improve access to and consumption of fresh produce, but the upfront payment structure, logistical barriers, and unfamiliarity with produce items may inhibit participation by low-income families.

[Humana Communitas]: The Green Bronx Machine aimed at building healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education and local food systems, its founder (Steven Ritz) developed a school-based model using urban agriculture to reduce the number of students that drop out of schools and their communities. He has created the world’s first edible class, raised daily school attendance from 40% to 93%, and helped to create 2,200 jobs in the Bronx. Harlem Grown (NYC) operates two urban farms, two school gardens, and a greenhouse in Central Harlem. The organization provides educational programming both in local schools and on its farms to teach Harlem youth about urban farming, food justice, and sustainability. The food produced is distributed throughout the community, and the organization aims to provide a source of nutritious food in a community where healthy food options are hard to come by.

[Climate & Earth Regeneration]: Whether in the forms of community farms or rooftop gardens, urban horticulture is an incredibly viable option for combining recreational and social benefits with high levels of biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, compared to crops from rural sites, horticulture crops in urban or peri-urban areas can be exposed to higher levels of pollutants and chemical elements deriving from industry, domestic activities, and transport. Mitigating the potential of green infrastructure in atmospheric and soil pollution is therefore necessary.

The participant will interpret the impact of alternative farming systems on food access and malnutrition (quality) and investigate opportunities for sustainable urban food production and circular or regenerative opportunities for communities.