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image - hydroponics of leafy vegetables in a backyard

Starting September 20, learn sustainable urban food production tips in South Florida with UF/IFAS

  • Interested in improving food security and healthy nutrition in our growing urban areas, consumers are getting involved in urban agriculture
  • Today more than 15% of our food in the United States originates from within metropolitan areas in many forms according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Learn how to take action in your South Florida backyard at the Sustainable Urban Food Production Short-Course workshop beginning September 20. Registration is required through the following link https://browardurbanag2021.eventbrite.com/
Greenhouse production at Tree Amigos in Davie, FL

Greenhouse production at Tree Amigos Growers in Davie, FL

SOUTH FLORIDA – Urban food production takes many shapes and forms, from backyard container gardens to vertical farms, to community gardens at schools and raised garden beds in vacant lots.

To meet the increased demand for information, Extension agents, faculty and scientists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in Broward County are offering South Florida residents a “Sustainable Urban Food Production Short-Course” beginning September 20. Back by popular demand, this program, now in its third year, is designed to promote long-term urban sustainability.

Hydroponics food production systems at Urban Farming Institute in Oakland Park, Florida.

“Sustainable urban food production has the potential to address important social-environmental challenges such as food security, inequality, resource consumption and environmental sustainability that our society is facing today,” said Jiangxiao Qiu, an assistant professor of landscape ecology at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC).

Participants meet on Mondays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. for six weeks through October 25. There is limited seating and registration is required through the following link https://browardurbanag2021.eventbrite.com/.

Registrants pay $25, which covers all six classes and training materials. This class includes both in-person and virtual sessions. Scheduled in-person sessions will be held in classrooms at FLREC, located at 3205 College Ave, Davie, FL. Participants will receive a certificate after completion of this short course.

“We continue to enrich this program with updated content and information relevant to urban food production, and also provide it in a hybrid model this year as compared to fully online last year with the COVID restrictions so that we can broaden participation and integrate field tours and hands-on activities in the area,” said Qiu.

“Developing local food production is particularly relevant for South Florida, where food security is now becoming a significant concern with 326 identified ‘food desert’ areas,” said Lorna Bravo, director at UF/IFAS Extension Broward County. “Food desert areas are places where residents have difficulty in accessing affordable, fresh, and nutritious food.”

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center partner to meet the community needs that are unique to Broward’s urban environment.

The supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 continue to be felt across industries and communities. This has spurred interest in growing food locally.

Qiu and Bravo hope participants will walk away from this year’s program with two key points: an increased awareness on the varied social-environmental benefits of urban agriculture; and increased interests, engagement and adoptions of urban agriculture and sustainable management practices.

For more information on the program, click on the registration link https://browardurbanag2021.eventbrite.com/ or contact Bravo at lbravo1@ufl.edu and Amy Wiedenfeld at awiedenfeld@ufl.edu.

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By: Lourdes Mederos, rodriguezl@ufl.edu

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.
ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS