After the initial research, I thought of the possibilities of my project. Urban Agriculture and the evolution of Agriculture really appealed to me as a theme to explore. From learning about digital natives it made me think how the birth of digital technology has effected things. Obviously the digital world is not directly correlated with agriculture, but the current mentality surrounding the internet and less customer service makes it easier for consumers to order food and consume information, and it turns a blind eye to the work ethic of those in agriculture. With the impact of large supermarket chains, it makes local farmers struggle in competition. This has created an evolution in farming; forcing farmers to commercialise their work to increase their market. For example, monk park farm in North Yorkshire has a cafe and a tour so children can look round to see all the animals. Also, farming has moved into the city’s in the form of ‘Urban Agriculture’ to ensure that the distribution is more efficient. This evolution is something that has interested me, is it all necessary? Why has it changed so much? Is it effective?
Urban Agriculture: Fad or Necessity? – Kristin McArdle
An interesting article written by Kristin McArdle highlights the importance of Urban Agriculture and the need for change in a growing market. The impact of global warming instead of large supermarkets is why we’re moving towards Urban Agriculture because we are loosing arable land. But it is also important to supplementing, distributing and decentralising our agriculture production to address the commercial issues and the environmental issues. She also argue that it offers the opportunity to those living in the city to get their hands dirty with farming in the cities, creating a new age of agriculture, voluntary simplicity. Because of all this, its caused a rise of rooftop farming in the united states, because of its connivence.
An urban farm feeding a deprived area
An article in the guardian by Helen Pidd and Sarah Dawood explains the biospheric project, and its importance to the community of Salford (Manchester). It was transformed into an urban farm and research facility so it could distract those from going to the 67 unhealthy take-away joints in the area with urban deprivation.
“What was until a few months ago a piece of wasteland now houses a fledgling orchard of 70 fruit trees, a raised bed containing green plants such as Good King Henry (the UK’s answer to spinach) and a vermiculture system (essentially: a worm farm containing 100,000 writhing worms) as well as an abandoned bath tub.”
Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash says… “Vinnie is asking very important questions about urban food production and distribution and has come up with really interesting ideas, which may develop into commercially viable propositions in time.”
It is clear that with the evolution of agriculture, fast food and unhealthy living has stained our lives with bad health. Projects like biospheric are trying to create a new, appealing alternative to transform agriculture and put the growth of healthy foods back on the menu.
Death of agriculture
Another article argues that agriculture has taken a back seat in recent years, and with a rapidly growing population it would be difficult to maintain steady production. It shows some interesting statistics that UK agriculture needs 60,000 more workers for optimal productivity, and that Food production will have to increase 70% in the next 40 years to feed a growing world population.
“A technological revolution will not solve social, political and economic inequity. But as, the green revolution demonstrated in India, it will be one of the answers”
So from this article it shows that technology can help, because agriculture currently isn’t providing the numbers needed for optimum productivity. Even though Urban Agriculture is on the rise, the back seat that agriculture has had in the public eye has hindered its development and urban agriculture is not a fad that is another marketing ploy, its needed to help with healthy living.
Because agriculture isn’t in the public eye, its context is lost through the containers of tesco. As a photographer, its evolution needs to be shown to younger generations so that farming is once again an important part of our society. By showing its evolution because of the changing environments will give it a voice and hopefully provide inspiration. Teenagers are typically not interested in agriculture, and more interested in popular culture (Music, Film, Sport and Social trends); by using some social trends, hopefully farming in the modern day can be contextualised for teenagers. It can make them interested in farmers work, the produce and the science of it. A typical mans job is a builder, electrician or a plumber because of the graft involved. But why aren’t farmers seen in this context, they were hard in a taxing job that pays if done correctly, surely there should be admiration for this effort, surely farming can return with an urban and commercial boost that is supported by my photography.