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Mobile Urban Farms

From: Pat Maxwell
Series: February 2007 - Isla Earth Radio Series
Length: 01:30

Ken Dunn transforms unused urban land into productive gardens.
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Piece Description

Ken Dunn transforms unused urban land into productive gardens. As head of the non-profit Resource Center in Chicago, he's taken urban farming to a whole new level. A great way to "green up" the neighborhood! Dunn leases vacant lots and turns them into farms. First, he puts down a layer of clay as a barrier against toxins that might be in the ground. Then he hauls in fresh soil and compost. And, for the farm's office, storage space, and produce stand, he uses recycled shipping containers. Bales of hay and fencing form a perimeter around the farm, and a canvas covering provides shade and collects rainwater for irrigating and washing the vegetables. Dunn trains homeless and unemployed people to work the farm. And if the property is sold for redevelopment, he pulls up stakes and moves the shipping containers, fencing, and even the soil to a new location. Dunn sells his fresh organic vegetables to high-end restaurants for a tidy profit. Now that sounds delicious. I'll take a Caesar's from Canal and Grand Avenue, please.