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Community Agricultural Programs & Urban Food Hubs

Plant Production

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. "Urban farmer" in New Orleans, Louisiana. Between 1980 and 2006. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Before you can start planting a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, you will need to find a location. Lots of urban community-sponsored gardens are grown in reclaimed brownfields or on rooftops. Therefore, the first tab under the Plant Production heading is titled Brownfields. Whether you chose a brownfield or a rooftop, you’ll need access to water, and you will need to understand your city's zoning policy. The other tabs under Plant Production include reference materials on zoning and water.

Even though your plan is to establish a community-based agriculture program, and not a commercial venture, you will still need funding resources. The tab labeled Funding Resources contains links to several resources that cover grants and loans. Many of these resources target the urban farmer or community-based agriculture program, like the one you are trying to establish.

To make your CSA program a success you’ll need workers. Many successful CSA programs are staffed by people the program trained. The Workforce Development tab provides tools on how to provide such training. For additional information on how to select and train staff check under the Case Studies tab.

If your leadership's current plan is to produce year-round fruit and vegetable harvests, then you’ll need to acquire either greenhouses or high tunnels so your plants can grow year-round. To enhance year-round plant production, some community-sponsored gardens add either hydroponics or aquaponics to their food growing environment. All of these topics are covered under the Plant Production tab.

The following web sites link to general resources related plant production.

Selected Books

Below is a selection of books that cover a range of urban agriculture topics from various plant production topics to the general philosophy that imbues the community-sponsored agriculture movement. Some of these books will overlap with the books found under other tabs. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.