We've seen backyard "SPIN" farmers making a living on less than an acre. We've seen rooftop supermarket gardens providing produce for shoppers below. We've seen lots of community gardens and urban farms. And of course we've seen plenty of small-scale rural farmers integrating animal husbandry with vegetable growing.
But how do all these different production models fit together for a viable urban food system? Should we be focusing on urban farms, or on sustainable agriculture in the surrounding bioregions? Can rooftop agriculture really feed a city?
Of course the real answer to sustainable and resilient urban food systems is diversity. The more diverse our food production models are, and the greater the number of people who are engaged in feeding the community, the better chance we have of surviving and thriving in an always uncertain future. So The Perennial Plate's latest episode—which visits a rooftop farm in Queens, an upstate New York small farm, and an inspiring community garden—is a timely and effective reminder that this isn't about finding THE answer to sustainable food production. It's about developing as many answers as possible and watching as they interact.