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Say goodbye leaf blowers, hello dinner!

by Lauren Branson

Local Producer Michael at Half Acre Farm

What’s your loose leaf lettuce mix doing for the global food crisis?

I know that Michael at Half Acre Farm might not have set out to help solve the global food crisis when he tuned his half acre block into a thriving market garden. But one loose leaf lettuce mix at a time he’s helping sustainably feed our growing population.

                Say goodbye leaf blowers, hello dinner!

  Local Producer Michael at Half Acre Farm

Urban Agriculture is a global movement that many believe will be the key to providing enough nutrient rich food for our rapidly growing population. It’s about using the space we have around us to grow the food we need to sustain us.

It’s what human populations have done for thousands of years, until the industrial revolution, which saw our food mass produced away from major populations and then transported into central markets.

Local Producer Michael at Half Acre Farm

Growing our food around us means it has more nutrients in it when it reaches our plate because it hasn’t been sitting in the back of a truck for days, we are increasing the productivity and health of the space around us and we are using less fossil fuels to transport that food to us. It also means it’s most likely grown by someone we know and that feels GOOD!

So what does Michael at Half Acre Farm do apart from saving the world one lettuce leaf at a time? Whilst working full time he also manages to squeeze enough light out of each day to tend to his productive urban garden. Specialising in heirloom vegetables Michael grows a variety of plants including:

  • cucumber,
  • lettuce,
  • zucchini,
  • beetroot,
  • carrot,
  • strawberries,
  • kale,
  • spinach, and 
  • radish.

Thanks to Michael and other urban farmers around the world, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation reports that 15-20% of the worlds food production comes from urban farms and it’s a trend that’s growing. But there is still a long way to go, the average distance food travels in our current supply chain is more than 2500km! That’s a bloody long way for a piece of lettuce!

Say goodbye leaf blowers, hello dinner!

So what can you do to make sure your lettuce is not running 57 marathons just to reach your plate?

Buy local, ask where you food has come from and how it was grown. And maybe even go one step further and meet the person who grew it….

Or like Michael why don’t you pick up a plough and see how many people your front lawn can feed?

The ultimate food bowl, your half acre block!

Local Lauren Branson
Lauren Branson



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