Metro Farms® is an agricultural production model pioneered by Madison, Wisconsin resident Joseph Roling. The model combines solutions to the unsustainable agribusiness model of food production, food deserts within cities, urban blight and the recycling of organic waste products.
How does it work?
Civilization derives from the organization of humans into groups of specialized production. Economic production in early human civilization was centered around agriculture. As societies progressed, humans branched out into innumerable specializations from home and ship building to textiles, trade, banking and so forth. Today, agriculture is still an enormous aspect of our global economy, however technology has allowed humans to perform agricultural production in a way that may be commercially beneficial, but is highly inefficient on three fronts—1) the sustainability of natural resources used in food production, 2) producing food at the highest level of its nutritional potential and 3) producing food on a small scale, so that it is affordable, fresh and accessible to those currently residing in food deserts.
Metro Farms solves all three of these inefficiencies by:
- Growing food in chemical-free soils—produced continuously from organic waste.
- Generating crops on a small scale, without mechanization, fertilization, pesticides, storage and excessive distances for delivery.
- Producing food locally, in areas of the city that are not served by large grocery store chains.
The solutions above pertain to the quality and accessibility of food in urban areas, but Metro Farms® solves two additional problems cities face:
- Our urban farms turn unsightly abandoned lots and buildings into lush gardens and vibrant centers of community activity.
- Our gardens become the primary consumer of organic waste generating by city composting programs.