It's claimed they can tackle food deserts, reconnect neighbors and slash our food's climate impact, but it's hard to live up to so much hype.
Abiodun Henderson's "Gangstas to Growers" program gives young people the opportunity to learn valuable skills through urban farming.
But people can't live on microgreens and exotic salads alone.
There are 2 groups that have been quietly planting and growing food in urban gardens and making a huge difference in their respective areas, KAM Isaiah Israel's Social Justice Committee in Hyde Park and The Talking Farm in Evanston/Skokie.
"Perhaps there could be a way to compost for credits toward fresh produce. Really, New Yorkers need to buy what they can consume and stop producing so much waste in the first place."
Anyone who has passively nurtured a pile (i.e. just let it sit there) knows that it can take months, if not years, for a mini mountain of food scraps and landscaping waste to become luscious black gold.
I was in the sixth grade at Henry Nash Elementary School on the West side of Chicago, and my class had gotten the opportunity to get away from daily life and dive into nature for two weeks.
I started volunteering with Earth Matter several years ago because I was drawn to the chickens, rabbits and goats. Aggressive squirrels, threatening rats and dive-bombing pigeons made up most of my wildlife interactions in NYC, and I longed to be around creatures more friendly and fun.