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Urban farmers help fill gaps in food insecure communities

Posted at 5:01 PM, Oct 12, 2023

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — Nebraska and farming go hand in hand.

When you think of a farmer in Nebraska you are probably thinking of someone out in the country, riding in their combine.

But a new generation of farmers has been popping up, and they are all within the city limits.

“There is definitely a lot more interest it seems like in the urban area. By urban it might mean even a small town where there are growers who want to grow within their community. We say urban but it’s more small scale,” said Bobbi Kris-Wickham with the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Urban farms can be seen around Omaha. From thriving backyard plots to community focused gardens like City Sprouts there is a lot of cultivation happening in the metro.

While farming is a great hobby for many the new interest in urban farming is often coming out of necessity.

“A lot of it is to support themselves and their families a lot of it is to support their communities and we are seeing it more in those socially disadvantaged communities,” said Zee Elmer with City Sprouts.

High food prices and a slow economy has made making nutritional and affordable meals a challenge in many neighborhoods.

But urban farming helps fill those gaps and provides a sense of community in the neighborhoods that have developed their own community focused food sources.

“Especially with inflation people don’t have access to these things in the farmers market or at the store. It’s either don’t eat it or you have to grow it yourself. We are seeing a lot of people come in and say, I want this for my families I want this for my neighbors. I have to do it myself because I am not gonna be able to find it where I can afford it,” said Elmer.

Almost anyone with a backyard can get into urban farming and if you think you need more space to cultivate, the City of Omaha also has some plots that can be leased to give you more space. More info on that can be found by reaching out to the cities planning department.

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