Federal Dollars for Urban Farms [CityLab.com]

 

Urban farming has deep roots in Detroit, as I reported in a three-part series last month. Some 1,400 farms are scattered across the city’s 139 square miles. Many farmers are concerned that their land will be razed and redeveloped as the post-bankruptcy city courts new investors and businesses. But new legislation announced Monday could help urban farmers across the U.S. grow.

On Monday, Debbie Stabenow, a Democratic senator from Michigan, announced the Urban Agriculture Act, which wouldfortify existing loans, grants, and education initiatives for urban farmers. It would also allocate funds for community gardens, and create incentives for farmers to share their harvest with neighbors—something many local growers in Detroit are already doing, by selling produce cooperatively at Eastern Market or collaborating with community kitchens. It would also invest in technologies to curb water and energy costs. These are expenses many farmers in Detroit struggle to navigate, as they may be disconnected from the water grid or billed at the higher rate charged to homes. In sum, the bill calls for $46 million per year over a decade, theDetroit News reported.



[For more of this story, written by Jessica Leigh Hester, go to http://www.citylab.com/politic...-urban-farms/501824/]

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