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The Green Life: Urban Gardens Taking Root Across the U.S.

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January 22, 2009

Urban Gardens Taking Root Across the U.S.

Urban gardeningFor some time now, a growing number of urbanites have been eating locally and seasonally, patronizing their local farmers' markets or joining a CSA (community-supported agriculture). Now another new trendactually an old way of doing things that is seeing a revivalhas begun to take root: urban gardening.

Catherine Butler recently started Urban Edibles, a backyard garden consultancy that follows the precepts of permaculture design, in San Francisco. "There are a lot of small spaces in San Francisco," Butler says, "and you can grow food on a patio or small deck. If we grow food where we live, it's fresher and it reduces the negative effects on global climate change. And by growing organically in people's backyards, we reduce pesticide use, chemical fertilizers, and petroleum use associated with food transport."

Lest you think urban gardening is flourishing only in locales with year-round temperate climates, think again. Urban gardens are bearing fruitand vegetablesin Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., to name just a few cities that have begun to embrace the health and community-building benefits of locally produced food.

--Tom Valtin

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