A Vision of Urban Agriculture for Cambridge
Cambridge has a long history of urban gardening and farming. The demand for community gardens and farm sites continues to grow as residents look for more learning opportunities and resources for growing food. Both Boston and Somerville allow more commercial gardening and farming to support restaurants and local businesses.
Strategy and Public Policy Development
To meet increased demand, the Food and Fitness Policy Council, Urban Agriculture Initiative envisions the expansion of gardening and farming in Cambridge to promote the production of healthy and nutritious food for the benefit of all, particularly for those who are food insecure, and to strengthen local business and economic development. Benefits go beyond just nutritious food and include community resilience and skills development opportunities, as described in the report Health Lens Analysis of Urban Agriculture Policy, Cambridge MA.
The report Envision Cambridge includes urban agriculture and the adoption of “an urban agriculture ordinance to increase local food production.” One of the strategies in the citywide Community Health Improvement Plan (link to CHIP) is to support urban agriculture through partnerships that promote gardening and farming. This involves expanding the capacity of communities and neighborhoods to grow food, Cambridge in Motion mini-grants, and policy development. Policy includes the development of a zoning ordinance for commercial ground level and rooftop farming, high tech farming (such as hydroponics), shipping container farming in more districts than currently allowed, and soil safety regulation.
As a first step in 2017, the City Council ordained a beekeeping zoning amendment, and the Cambridge Public Health Department promotes and oversees the beekeeping public health regulations.
Gardening and Farming in Cambridge
For more information on gardening and farming:
- Cambridge Community Gardens
- CitySprouts School Garden Program
- Cambridge Plant and Garden Club
- Cambridge City Growers
- Green Cambridge, Inc.
Updated: August 12, 2022