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Scrapbook: Urban Edibles Helps City Dwellers Nourish Themselves

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October 24, 2008

Urban Edibles Helps City Dwellers Nourish Themselves

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When you think about city life, growing your own food isn't necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But a movement is blossoming in cities from coast to coast to grow and harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs in urban backyards and community gardens.

As part of this movement, small companies are springing up to help people get started. One such company is Urban Edibles, the brainchild of Catherine Butler, above, a native Virginian transplanted to San Francisco. The company offers a range of services, from one-time consultation, to planting, maintenance, weekly harvestingeven delivering fresh produce door-to-door.

"Our goal is to maximize the productivity of urban spaces and localize food production," Butler says. "There are a lot of small spaces in San Francisco, 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 back yards, we reduce pesticide use, chemical fertilizers, and petroleum use associated with food transport."

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Urban Edibles also connects neighbors with one another so if one person has a surplus of a certain food, they can trade for something else from a neighbor's garden. The company adheres to the precepts of permaculture design, an approach to designing human settlements that encourages community self-sufficiency by mimicking structures found in natural ecologies, reducing society's reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution.

Read more about Urban Edibles and urban food production.

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