Have you ever heard about city farms? In a big and bustling city like London, where everyone is always busy and running and the big distances between one place and another make people spending more time packed in the trains or stuck in the traffic, eating healthy and natural food seems to be quite difficult. Moreover, due to today’s lifestyle and the long working hours, less and less people have the time to cook at home some proper and genuine meals, but they are more likely to eat something quick out.
However, it seems that recently people are trying to move their eating habits towards a healthier and more genuine diet, paying more attention to what they eat and preferring organic products instead of fast food. The idea of leading better lifestyle and escaping the unhealthful city life is generally getting more and more popular. In the same way, also city farms, which are entirely based on the concepts of healthiness and sustainability, have been well revaluated in the last years. City farms are country spaces located in urban areas – something like natural oasis hidden in the middle of the city.
They are community-run projects (supported by the local city councils) relying mainly on volunteers and sometimes on people’s donations.
Besides animals, fruit and vegetable gardens and greenhouses, in the city farms it is possible to find also children’s play areas and sometimes shops, where you can buy some of fresh farm products. Thanks to the various workshops and activities organized, city farms are well loved especially by kids, who often come after school or in the weekend with their parents. Children can in fact take active part in the farm work by planting and gardening or feeding the animals; sometimes there are cookery classes as well, where they can cook the vegetables they personally picked up and share a meal all together – but also pottery classes, group games and horse-riding programmes.
The aim of the city farms is indeed mainly educational, that is to teach where the food we eat comes from, how the animals are raised and all the processes involved in agriculture. They also focus on establishing a link between urban life and rural world, making people re-think of our current habits and promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle – along with favouring the local economy to big industry production.
Influenced by a movement in the United States, city farms started flourishing in UK during the 60s. The first one set up in London is the Kentish Town City Farm, which begun in 1972 and is still today one of the most visited and well-liked.
The impact that the city farms mean to have should not be only on individuals, but it would be a good thing if also businesses like restaurants and cafes were guided by such values and concepts. Eating well and healthily should be a prerogative of restaurants as it is a sign of taking to heart customers and their well-being – and not only because it is a matter of trend.
Restaurants can really learn a lot from the city farms and such projects, get inspired by their attention to simple and genuine food and healthy life and hence offer an impeccable service to today’s customers, always seeking for something new, authentic and good.
Written by Stefano Potorti’.