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One of the questions I like to ask people when  talking about gardening in cities is, “What problems or issues do you see with farming and gardening in cities?”  

When I first started studying this subject I  felt like there were no repercussions, nothing bad about urban agriculture, no reason not to garden in cities, but over time I remembered that nothing is perfect.  While I believe that urban agriculture has many benefits and could make cities better places to live, below I’m going to talk about potential problems with urban agriculture.

  • Polluted or contaminated soils
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Use of water
  • Theft of produce and breaking laws to plant on some vacant lots
The book For Hunger-Proof Cities, edited by staff from the International Development Research Center, has a whole part about ecological and health concerns of food systems and urban farming.  One article by Anne C. Bellows about contaminated soils in gardens of Upper Silesia, Poland, shows some downsides to urban agriculture.  It also discusses solutions for the future.

Use the links below to help navigate through your city farming adventure!

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