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Urban Farming in the Hudson Valley: A Growing Movement

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urban farming coverNEWBURGH, APRIL 2016 – A report on urban farming released today by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress reveals that a shift towards inclusive, local urban growing efforts is occurring in the Hudson Valley.

“Urban Farming in the Hudson Valley: A Growing Movement” surveys 25 cities and urban centers in the Hudson Valley where urban farming trends have been enacted with a particular focus on availability and accessibility. The report is available online at pattern-for-progress.org

In her analysis of urban farming in the region, report author, Pattern Research Associate Rebecca De La Cruz, provides information about:
• Individual projects implemented and sustained within particular communities
• Ways in which communities have integrated farm-based education into their services
• Innovative adaptive re-use projects and their ability to transform urban spaces, especially ins conjunction with vertical farming

“This report examines urban farming projects on all scales and recognizes that the demand is high even in smaller cities like Beacon and Hudson,” De La Cruz said. “The life cycle and magnitude of a community garden or farmers market proves this type of dynamic common space can revitalize communities and enhance the lives of residents showing that urban farming yields more than crops.”

De La Cruz also says farmers markets, community gardens, and local supermarkets can make urban centers more desirable living and working space by eliminating food insecurity and addressing the prevalence of food deserts. In addition, she says, “Enacting and sustaining urban farming projects in a community can have a local multiplier effect. Produce purchased from locally owned businesses stimulates local economic transactions and ensures that the profits remain with a community.”

The report provides recommendations and cites best practices for implementing and sustaining these operations within urban centers, including resources that can connect smaller communities to a larger network of individuals, groups, and regions that are involved with similar projects and collectively sharing knowledge about it.

The report was produced as part of the Urban Action Agenda, an ongoing project initiated at Pattern that focuses on revitalizing 25 cities and urban communities in all nine counties of the Hudson Valley region. The project is supported by local grants and donations and by a major grant from the Ford Foundation.