Grit Blogs > One Foot in the City

Urban Farming IS Conservation

While I utilize many of the Kansas agriculture resources in my urban farming efforts, I also utilize the rich resources of the state of Missouri, a state that uses much money to supports a state-wide conservation plan to preserve and protect land for agricultural use, as well as for hunting, fishing and recreational pursuit.  

Room for foodA recent Missouri publication contained a theme that has stuck with me – “I Am Conservation.”  This idea seems to strike at the very heart of what we are all trying to do.  Years ago, “conservation” was an idea linked to prevent land from blowing or washing away in the agricultural process.  The much admired Aldo Leopold is credited with changing farming practices, buBasil and Beest even today the foundation continues its influence to develop land ethics nationwide.

The “I Am Conservation” theme addresses the conviction that as an individual, I am an actor in the process of protecting and preserving resources.  No longer can we view the responsibility for conservation as belonging to agriculture, for as we stretch to feed the world, we find agriculture has now extended to the provision of food from all sorts of sources.  We farm fish, seaweed, lichens, trees and fungus.  The control of seed and genetic modification is a hot political topic.  Every individual, regardless of rural or urban, young or old, is a steward of this earth.  How can we view it in any other way?

I think the impobirds and beesrtance of our individual actions is far underrated.  Even if we each would take a step each day to preserve by recycling, growing a vegetable or chicken, or by NOT poisoning our water supply with chemicals, it is still an important action.

My thoughts today lead me to become more involved in some local actions that I think can make an impact.  I can add just one more action, be it to plant a tree or to become involved in city planning.  Our future may well be in the learning of urban agriculture – be it roof-top and community gardens, or the making of compost.

What I do makes a difference.  I believe that.  I AM conservation. 

nebraska dave
10/21/2012 1:45:12 AM

Cindy, good to know. I always wondered if how they seperated things once it was all mixed together. It's still hard to beat a human in the mix, huh. :0)


cindy murphy
10/21/2012 12:39:04 AM

Hi Dave, and Joan. I'd suggest if you're concerned if your recyclables are actually being recycled, to call the company and find out where it goes once it leaves curbside. Ours in West Michigan, for example, goes to a plant in Chicago. A couple of years ago, I was involved with an eco-project and some in the group expressed the same concern as yours, so we made some phone calls, and checked it out. Single stream recycling (the term used when all the stuff is mixed together) is really amazing to watch - the stuff is separated by scanners, magnets, giant screens that act like strainers; it's all very hi-tech, but the last step in the process is still manual. Great post, Joan.


joan pritchard
10/20/2012 11:09:01 PM

I have that same suspicion about the recycles. We do have a large recycle center and once a month I drop by the glass and plastic bags as I go to the farm. I sure hope folks realize they ARE the system.


nebraska dave
10/19/2012 4:23:13 AM

Joan, good job of reminding each of us that even just a little action toward conservation will help. It's about the reuse of our recourses. My city seems to think it should be about making money. They still pickup recycles but I have doubts about exactly they do with the recycles. Everything gets picked and tossed into a garbage truck with recycles painted on the side. Cardboard, paper, cans, and plastic all get pitched into the same truck. They quite picking up glass a couple years ago for what ever reason. My only recourse there is to drive about three miles down the road to deposit the glass in labeled containers are marked clear, brown, and other. Have a great conservation day.