A few weeks ago, I attended some urban agriculture events around Somerville where I learned about the importance of soil testing in the city, how to properly set up and tend a container or raised bed garden and the importance of growing your own food and eating locally. The events were part of a new push by the city to encourage residents to start their own fruit and vegetable gardens. And tonight at 6 p.m. at Somerville City Hall there’s a hearing about the city’s urban agriculture initiative.
I don’t see anything wrong with what’s proposed (in fact, I think it sounds great!), which is described as “a framework for residential, community and commercial farming within city limits,” according to the city. Somerville wants to encourage the use of hydroponics and aquaponics as well as community gardens and farming on city land. Residents are invited to attend the public hearing tonight to speak about the proposed ordinance.
Personally, I’ve already started my urban agriculture projects for the year. We have a nice deck at our house where I’ve planted several herbs (cilantro, parsley, thyme, dill and rosemary), lettuce (which looks nearly ready for its first harvest), tomatoes and a red pepper. We’ve already used a bunch of the herbs and I’m really looking forward to tending and eating more of our own food this year.
Since we can’t grow everything we want to eat here in the city, we also plan to frequent the farmers markets around town (still at the Armory on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. through May, then it moves to Union Square). I look forward to farm-fresh tomatoes, strawberries and romanesco in the coming weeks and months!
What do you think about the city’s proposed urban agriculture ordinance? Do you have a garden in Somerville? What’s your favorite thing to buy at the farmers market?