Inner-City Farms

In cities in the U.S. and around the world, urbanites are trying to grow more food locally

Scott Chernis

Food gardens are sprouting up in front of San Francisco's city hall.

Farm aid, the annual concert dedicated to raising funds for the American family farmer, has been held in such agricultural strongholds as Manor, Texas, and Ames, Iowa. But the most recent venue, the distinctly nonrural borough of Manhattan, is not as incongruous as it seems. With its estimated 600 small-scale farms (which are often large-scale vegetable gardens), New York City is part of an urban agricultural boom in the U.S., where rising food and fuel prices are making city farming seem less and less outlandish. In July volunteers began transforming the front lawns of San Francisco's city hall into the first...