Urban farming may seem like a recent phenomenon, sprouting up in cities across America, but it’s been around much longer than that.
According to the 2014 documentary, “Plant This Movie,” narrated by actress Daryl Hannah, as far back as the 1930s, people were using their own land to grow their own food and raise their own livestock. During World War II, victory gardens produced hundreds of tons of food a year. In 1944, 40 percent of food was grown at home and school gardens, totaling 20 million gardens coast to coast.
After the war, soldiers came home and wanted their own piece of the pie, paving the way for a watershed moment in the late ‘40s. The lawn became a symbol of upward mobility as suburban sprawl took hold. Much like the lawn, grocery stores became a symbol of a high standard of living and made it easy to pick up peas for that night’s dinner instead of waiting for them to come into season.
As Hannah said, “The highway system and advances in refrigeration divorced people from their food. Local food was not a lifestyle choice — it was the only choice available to most people until the 1950s.”Read More