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Bringing Farms to the Heartland — of Suburbia

Image Caption: In St. Louis, some farming goes on right next to the airport
by Sarah Goodyear

Today on the Streetsblog Network, St. Louis Urban Workshop looks at the concept of "agriburbia" -- a way to bring some meaningful food production to suburban sprawl:

[It's] basically the integration of agri-business and suburban development. The idea is introduced in three ways: introducing food gardens into yards of less than one acre, utilizing land awaiting the next economic boom and developing "farm-cultured" communities...

But St. Louis offers many opportunities to bring agriculture close to our homes. Flying into and out of St. Louis on a regular basis I often have an excellent view of suburban agriculture. A wedge of land on the east side of I-170 at the eastern end of Lambert's main runway is being used as an active farm.

Whether it be corners of underutilized land near our airport, wedges of land next to an Interstate or vacant lots awaiting development, there is a great opportunity to create sustainable and locally produced food. 

More from around the network: World Streets rounds up the always rich seasonal report from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, which this time includes a crucial study of consumer housing preferences and the implications for future development.

And we have two tales of suburban churches. One, according to Greater Greater Washington, is looking to possibly raise funds by repurposing its huge suburban lot, perhaps as a walkable neighborhood. Another, we learn from Indianapolis's Circles and Squares, is considering surrendering its historic building to the wrecking ball and selling its prime location to a CVS.

Very different visions of the suburban future are emerging. Which will prevail?

This piece originally appeared in

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i wonder if land near an airport is good for growing food--would there be any kind of pollution from the jets/jet fuel that might settle onto plants?

Posted by: edgertor on 30 Oct 09

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