Urban farming is becoming increasingly popular in London, and with it comes the need to guarantee that the land used for these farms is managed sustainably and responsibly. To achieve this, it is essential to have access to soil tests at reasonable prices, as well as to take urban agriculture more seriously in land use planning. In this article, we will discuss the research that has been done on this topic, as well as provide a research agenda to address the questions that still remain. We conducted our research with the help of Social Farms & Gardens (SF&G), a UK charity that works for the benefit of community gardens, care farms and urban farms.
The participants in the research gave their informed consent for the publication of data related to their orchards and farms. We selected 16 sites in France, including 11 individual gardens from a Nantes garden association and five urban farms (two in the Nantes area and three in the Paris metropolitan area).
Environmental Assessment of Urban Vertical Hydroponic Cultivation SystemsMartin M and Molin E (201) conducted an environmental assessment of an urban vertical hydroponic cultivation system in Sweden. Their findings showed that New York gardens surpassed rural farms typical of their area, while the French UA was indistinguishable from rural agriculture. Woods ME, Ata R, Teitel Z et al.
(201) also conducted research on crop diversity and plant-plant interactions in urban gardens.
Resource Use in Urban FarmsGuitart D, Pickering C, Byrne J (201) conducted research on resource use in urban farms. They discovered that the type of farm (collective garden, individual, orchard or urban farm) could explain the differences in various dimensions of resource use.
Research AgendaFuture work should consider individual and collective gardens separately and develop larger samples of each type of garden. This would allow a more thorough analysis of the factors that drive the performance of urban gardens, since there could be other motivations. It should also be noted that a large agricultural holding dominates the production of crops such as tomatoes and lettuce in France, Poland and the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, it is important to ensure access to soil tests at reasonable prices and to consider urban agriculture more seriously in land use planning. Additionally, further research should be conducted on resource use in urban farms and on individual and collective gardens separately. This will help us better understand how to manage land sustainably and responsibly for urban farms in London.