Ballardite teaches others to be urban farmers

More and more people are turning to their own land to grow their food. It’s called urban farming and it’s growing in popularity. “My theory is that this growth is associated with the economic crisis,” Ballardite Joshua McNichols, the co-author of the Urban Farm Handbook tells us. “People are more interested today in connecting with others, as hardship has reminded us why we need community. Also, when we’re stressed or underemployed, improving our diet is something we can control, something we can feel good about.”

McNichols says the handbook is “a complete strategy for ditching the industrialized food system.” It’s aimed at the beginner or the seasoned veteran who is looking to escape the heavily processed foods that we find in the grocery store. “We felt the urban farming movement needed a handbook that would lay out a complete eating strategy that combined all of the techniques available. While we spend a lot of time showing people how to make the most of small garden spaces, how to rebuild barren urban soils (such as the soil I uncovered beneath part of my driveway) the book goes far beyond that. We teach you how to join with neighbors to purchase produce in bulk directly from the farmer, how to barter for the things you can’t fit on your lot, how to grind fresh flour at home, and how to purchase whole animals to fill your freezer.,” McNichols says.

This Sunday is the official launch of the Urban Farm Handbook at the Seattle Farm Co-op harvest party. Starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N) barter your goods, enjoy family activities and potluck. Followed by a good old-fashioned square dance at 7:15 p.m.

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