Agriburbia: An Awkward Name for an Interesting Idea

The Denver Post recently covered “agriburbia,” basically the integration of agri-business and suburban development. The idea is introduced in three ways: introducing food gardens into yards of less than one acre, utilizing land awaiting the next economic boom and developing “farm-cultured” communities. On the surface this may seem like a “progressive” idea suited only for suburban Denver, Seattle or Portland.

But St. Louis offers many opportunities to bring agriculture close to our homes. Flying into and out of St. Louis on a regular basis I often have an excellent view of suburban agriculture. A wedge of land on the east side of I-170 at the eastern end of Lambert’s main runway is being used as an active farm.

{a suburban farm near Lambert Airport}

Whether it be corners of underutilized land near our airport, wedges of land next to an Interstate or vacant lots awaiting development, there is a great opportunity to create sustainable and locally produced food. I would love to see Ballpark Village turned into a farm until the day it’s finally developed. What about the Bottle District land? Not to mention hundreds of lots in North St. Louis. Many individuals have begun growing their own urban gardens for fun and food, but a larger effort to coordinate urban and suburban agriculture is needed.


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