Urban agriculture conference wants to show you a garden can start anywhere

May 12, 2018

Credit Urban Agriculture Working Group

The third annual Urban Agriculture Conference was held in downtown Rochester Saturday.

The event is the collective effort of the Urban Agriculture Working Group and Foodlink for green thumbs of any skill level to learn more about farming and gardening in the city.

A day's worth of workshops, demonstrations and garden tours hoped to show residents that a garden can start anywhere.

Lauren Caruso is a member of Taproot Collective, which is part of the Urban Agriculture Working Group.

"Community gardens and urban farms serve a variety of different purposes. Some can be just little pockets here and there to brighten up the neighborhood and grow flowers and other perennials and pollinators, but then also to really be an engine for food production."

She says there is an abundance of land, resources and fertility in the city, and that gardening is a great way to connect within a community.

She says urban agriculture can also give people control of where their food comes from.

"To give some of that autonomy back and that self-determination back to our communities who can then determine their own sources of food, and do it in a way that is safe and accessible."

Caruso says in the 3 years since they’ve held the conference, both attendance and number of organizations who sponsor event have grown.

Workshops ranged from learning to compost to growing herbs for medicinal uses, as well as keeping chickens and ducks in your yard.

New this year were teacher trainings for school gardens, as well as constructing rain barrels.