Steinhardt Center as a model for sustainable urban agriculture
With the growing population in the United States, farming in cities has become a common aspect. In the current study the Steinhardt centre model had been taken into consideration where a farmer also takes into consideration social goals during the process of food production. The social missions could be related to establishment of food security, community building and educating people about urban sustainable agricultural practices. As commented by Zimmerman, Zhu & Dimitri (2016), ethics of urban sustainable agriculture considers food as the vehicle for improving life of the residents and communities. The Steinhardt Center propagated the non-profit model for long term economic stability of socially –minded urban farms. As argued by Fan & Myint (2014), farms with social mission rather than sole market profitability have been seen to contribute more towards sustainable food production.
The social motivations of urban farms can be specifically defined as social government for sustainable communities, where the organic food producers form affective networks based upon shares ideologies of sustainability and holism. However, there is a requirement for sufficient amount of support from federal and governmental agencies which can help such networks, become integrated into the major town planning as transition town movement for sustainable urban agriculture.
Year round farming and growing of plants from different places of the world
The model of urban sustainable agriculture can be helpful in maintaining year round supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. This sustainable agricultural practice also helps in reducing the use of pesticides and insecticides, which in excess doses could lead to biological magnification. Some farmers have been using innovative technologies along with controlled environment which allows them to grow food throughout the year. Some of the inventory technologies which could be mentioned over here are use of plant tissue culture for increasing the production rate of the endemic varieties. Additionally, some farmers have been growing and culturing plant varieties of diverse origins and nature in their nurseries. The urban farmers have been using vegetative propagation methods such stock cutting and grafting for maintaining year round propagation of the endemic varieties (Mirschel et al., 2016). The Steinhardt center has also been using organic farming approaches which ensure that pesticide or insecticide free agricultural practices are established.
Plant miniaturization in urban agriculture
The totipotent nature of the plant cells have been utilised in order to regenerate whole new plants from a miniature explants. As commented by Troccoli et al. (2014), plant tissue culture methods have brought about a revolution within agricultural research aspects and approaches. In this respect, an explants taken from the desired plant variety and as small as a 2-5 mm can be grown and propagated using solidified media containing macro and micronutrients within controlled conditions. Single, small explants can give rise to hundreds and thousands of the same varieties of plants. In this respect, the miniaturization of plants reduces the demand for additional space and germplasm maintenance. Therefore, plant miniaturisation is both cost effective and an easy and convenient method of multiplication of the chosen plant varieties.
Fan, C., & Myint, S. (2014). A comparison of spatial autocorrelation indices and landscape metrics in measuring urban landscape fragmentation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 121, 117-128.
Mirschel, W., Wenkel, K. O., Berg, M., Wieland, R., Nendel, C., K?stner, B., ... & Badenko, V. L. (2016). A spatial model-based decision support system for evaluating agricultural landscapes under the aspect of climate change. In Novel Methods for Monitoring and Managing Land and Water Resources in Siberia (pp. 519-540). Berlin:Springer International Publishing.
Troccoli, A., Maddaluno, C., Mucci, M., Russo, M., & Rinaldi, M. (2015). Is it appropriate to support the farmers for adopting conservation agriculture? Economic and environmental impact assessment. Italian Journal of agronomy, 10(4), 169-177.
Zimmerman, R., Zhu, Q., & Dimitri, C. (2016). Promoting resilience for food, energy, and water interdependencies. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 6(1), 50-61.