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The idea of urban farming is nothing new. Back in the days before freeways and refrigerated trucks, cities depended on urban farmers for the majority of their fresh food. This included small farms around the city, as well as kitchen gardens. Even today, there are places that hold to this tradition. The citizens of Shanghai produce 85% of their vegetables within the city, and that’s just one example of a long Asian tradition of intense urban gardening. Or consider Cuba. Cubans practiced centralized, industrial agriculture, just as we do, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Overnight, Cubans were forced to shift from a large, petroleum-based system to small-scale farming, much of it in cities. Today, urban organic gardens produce half of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by Cubans.

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