Urban agriculture education, Post 5

Ready for a pep talk about the benefits of urban agriculture? It’s from Kent Mullinix, PhD.

If you think back a week or two or scroll down, you’ll have a sense of urban agriculture education from the first four posts in this series. In one vision for the Garden City Lands, that would be central in a remarkable future for the lands on the leading edge of urban agriculture on this planet. It was primarily the vision of Dr. Mullinix, Director, Sustainable Food Systems for Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

As a bit of an aside, there are other ways to achieve the vision, e.g., with SFU or UBC or beyond the big educational bodies. However, it was Kwantlen that took the trouble to bring it to Richmond council. Also, Kwantlen has its Richmond campus a stone’s throw from the lands, and, of greatest importance, Kwantlen has the personnel who have shown the requisite passion, expertise, and ability to get things done.

Getting back to the  presentation to council by Kent Mullinix in 2008, here are his twelve reasons to advance urban agriculture:

  1. More sustainable, stable food supplies.
  2. Ready access to high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Less need for processing, packaging, transportation—opportunities to reduce waste and energy use and improve the ecological footprint of the agri-food system.
  4. Closed nutrient cycles—with urban organic wastes composted and used in agriculture, reducing the pressure on landfills.
  5. Enhanced biodiversity through creation of habitat and refugia for various organisms.
  6. Use and retention of regionally adapted cultivars, protecting genetic diversity.
  7. Decreased dependence on fossil fuels and the global agri-food system.
  8. Citizenry reconnected to this vital human endeavour.
  9. Agriculturists connected to urbanites.
  10. Stronger regionalized economy resulting from a substantial new economic sector.
  11. Greater community knowledge about the larger issue of sustainability.
  12. Food, the great common denominator, as the possible centre of the sustainable community.

In Post 6, the last in the series, we’ll revisit the big picture of the urban agriculture education vision.

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