By Julian Frederick, ChopChop Kids Advisory Board Member
Hi, I’m Julian and I’m a proud member of the ChopChop Kids Advisory Board. Today I am going to tell you about urban farming and how it helps communities get access to healthy foods for healthy living. Many kids take food for granted such as vegetables or foods they don’t like. But they should keep in mind that there are some people that don’t have much money and may not have much access to fresh foods because there aren’t many grocery stores close by. Instead, they can only buy food from convenient stores and fast food restaurants which don’t have many healthy options and that causes people to get sick.
Luckily, people have been raising urban farms to help people who don’t have much access to fresh foods by growing the food and selling it. An urban farm is a farm in or near the city. Normally, when you think of a farm you would think it would be in the country or in a rural area. Now you can find a farm in a backyard, roof-top, vacant lot or local park.
My local urban farm is called Bonton Farms which is ten minutes from downtown. At Bonton Farms, they make and grow foods that are completely organic, like fresh eggs from the chickens, milk from a goat, broccoli from the garden, and they even make their own honey. This is a big deal because the community of Bonton is called a “food desert” and the nearest grocery store with fresh produce is a 3-hour round-trip bus ride away.
I had the chance to visit Bonton Farm and learned all about it. There, I met two girls who volunteer at the farm and they gave me a tour. I got to pet and feed the goats, collect fresh eggs from the chicken coop, learn about how broccoli grows, and hold a baby chick. I even picked my own herbs that I’m going to use in a recipe. I also learned a lot about organic farming like how they don’t use chemicals on the plants which is a good thing but sometimes it makes it harder for the plants to survive frost and bad weather. There were murals and paintings all over the farm which made Bonton look more colorful and inviting.
I really enjoyed visiting Bonton Farm and will surely go back again. I think all kids should visit their local urban farm and learn more about it. Click here for more information on urban farming from the United States Department of Agriculture.