Essay 6 - Michael Knutson Tillotson 17 November 2010 ESRP...

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Michael Knutson Tillotson 17 November 2010 ESRP Section 8 Essay 6 The last century has seen an extended time of agricultural despair as well as a rapid increase in agrarian productivity. The green revolution, facilitated by Norman Bourlag, set forth a new type of farming style that relies on synthetic fertilizers and disease resistant hybrid seeds. Crops that previously grew only in perfect circumstances became abundant worldwide. Third- world nations began to sustain themselves and even export these crops to other countries for profit. The world’s population was said to have been saved; however only for a limited number of years. Eventually, the side effects became apparent. The increase in food production spurred a hefty increase in the world’s population, which is expected to reach 9 million by mid century. Drinking water became contaminated with the artificial fertilizers and pesticides, causing cancerous outbreaks in areas that could not afford filtration systems. The miraculous crop yields have now plateaued, and left farmers with barren soils, depleted of critical nutrients. As monoculture farming and food distribution methods further pollute the world, scientists must search for alternative irrigation and cultivation techniques. Some exciting new developments in the field of urban farming have been implemented in various areas throughout the world. Urban farming is the recent trend of small-scale local cultivation practices. There are a number of advantages regarding urban farming including lower transportation costs with minimal fossil fuel emissions. Another advantage is the creation of jobs. Instead of one farmer cultivating vast amounts of harvests, many people can participate; and because there are fewer plants to cultivate per person, each farmer can care for their specific crop more meticulously. For these reasons, this agricultural style has become increasingly more popular. Former NBA prospect, Will Allen, created a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing sustainable community food systems. In 2002 Allen’s daughter, Erika, expanded the organization, bringing it to Chicago where she has collaborated with local residents on three garden lots ranging from modest in size, to the half-acre plot in Jackson Park (Progressillinois). These plots have been quite successful since their humble beginnings. “On just 12,000 square feet of land in what Allen
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Essay 6 - Michael Knutson Tillotson 17 November 2010 ESRP...

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