By Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe
Integrating farms, community gardens and edible landscaping into residential and resort communities can add tremendous value. More and more people are seeking a stronger connection to their food and want to be a part of the growing movement for safer, more localized food production. Food grown within minutes rather than miles reduces the amount of energy required for shipping produce all over the country. It ensures a fresher product and keeps the dollars within the community.
Farms add green space, provide residents and guests with fresh food and serve as a venue for community events. The farm is a vibrant place for hosting educational programs for children, adults, seniors and families focusing on growing, cooking and preserving healthy food and herbs.
A farm can enhance the quality of life and improve the overall health of the residents, while providing a social gathering place for building community. A resident farmer can serve as a role model and educator for members of the community by sharing his or her knowledge and can also be a resource for helping start and maintain backyard gardens, community gardens, edible streetscapes, composting and more. The farmer can also be an ambassador for the community by sharing the vision and marketing materials at farmers markets, restaurants and special events.
Every community has an opportunity to steward the land responsibly and can easily dedicate some of its land to food production. There are many ways to integrate farms and gardens into parks, schools, businesses, homes and more. Over the past ten years, there has been huge growth in the areas of organic foods, local agriculture, farmers markets, community gardens, school gardens and home gardens. Within this movement more and more people are waiting to grow their own food at home and are looking for communities that support this idea. Gardening is after all the #1 hobby in America and developers have a huge opportunity to cultivate this hobby into a way of life within their communities.
I am looking forward to presenting at PCBC on how these farms and gardens can be initiated, maintained and marketed for improving the quadruple bottom line; people, purpose, planet and profit. I’ll also share successful examples of projects from around the country.
Learn more about Farmer D by visiting their website at www.farmerd.com.