The revival of homegrown urban agriculture

Commentary from Sam Rose:

“Not only is urban agriculture an emerging movement for individuals, it is also being pursued as part of a sustainable urban renewal strategy throughout the midwest.

Some examples include:

  • Sweetwater organics Aquaponics fishfarming in Milwaukee WI
  • self sustaining urban food production in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit
  • Efforts in Chicago and elsewhere

The reality here is that green energy, localized specialty food production, and cradle to cradle systems for managing waste back into appropriate systems is already creating new ways to address basic survival needs for people in these regions. Open source technology and p2p money systems are coming next.

These efforts are following what myself and Paul B. Hartzog call “Transition Economics”.  If you want to really *transform* a system, you have to start out with transitions toward transformation. Complex systems theory confirms that this is true. Change starts on local levels and permeates out through networks.  A system of people and technology stuck in earlier paradigms of problem solving have too much inertia in past systems to change very fast.  However, transitional changes in problem solving helps transformation happen fast enough to accomplish change, plus creates a new inertia based around new ways of solving problems. The idea of rapid revolutions is an unrealistic projection, a product of mass culture 20th century thinking.   Transitional changes change existing systems, in place, starting with individuals and small groups who are interested in trying new things, such as new methods of energy production, etc. Food systems are a first logical system to seek interested stakeholders and work together towards transitional change.

It is important to note that actual local food systems usually encompass urban to rural areas, and that new approaches are happening in urban, suburban and rural locales.  It is also important to note that “local” in the context of humans, is dependent on what people define as “local”. Compare the state of North Dakota to the City of Chicago, for instance.

All of that being said, urban agriculture is a tremendous opportunity for decaying urban infrastructure that was originally designed and configured to support mass industrial activity. ”

A video on the vibrant locavore movement:

Details on the video:

“Path to Freedom presents ‘A Homegrown Revolution’ A collaboration of selective media clips which feature their urban homestead and farm which focus on the need of radical action — growing food in the city.

This self produced, short music video was shown at Peter Seller’s Cultural Art’s class at UCLA followed by a short presentation by urban farmer, Jules Dervaes founder of Path to Freedom. The class focus was on the art of slow food and among other guests invited were Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and Eric Schlosser.”

More Information:

Like Victory Gardens of yesteryear, start your own homegrown revolution, grow your own food in your back or front yard — for more information visit the urban homesteaders at

Or on their online journal at: