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Farmadelphia
March 7, 2006 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Farmadeliphication (fahr'muh'deli'fi'kay'shun), n. 1. The process of turning all of Philadelphia's vacant and abandoned lots into urban farms. n. 2. An entry in the UrbanVoids international design competition to redo Philadelphia's inner city.
posted by stbalbach (19 comments total)

 
I'm sure it's completely impractical, and I wouldn't know how it would work, but as a person who loves farms and old, run down cities, I think that this is the best idea of all time, and would live in Farmadelphia all the days of my life, if it were to ever exist.
posted by billysumday at 7:48 PM on March 7, 2006


Their Photoshop skills aren't the greatest, but this seems like a really good idea. Of course, in other parts of the world (to an extent, here in Mexico, but even more in Africa, I understand), this is a less novel concept. People keep chickens and goats in their garden in the city, etc.

Actually, animal husbandry is in many ways more practical than farming vegetables and the like, I think, since it requires less space to get a reasonable yield that will actually impact your family's economy.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:15 PM on March 7, 2006


I fracking love my city so much. I really, really hope this goes through.
posted by kalimac at 8:16 PM on March 7, 2006


Actually, animal husbandry is in many ways more practical than farming vegetables and the like, I think, since it requires less space to get a reasonable yield that will actually impact your family's economy.

If I'm interpretating their chart correctly (4th image from the bottom, but not high enough res to read the text), and they've done their homework right, it appears to be the opposite, that green veg is a far more efficient use per acre. Wish I could read the footnotes, though, to be sure ... I imagine they're probably factoring in the inputs as well (i.e. animal feed).
posted by bcveen at 8:25 PM on March 7, 2006


We used to microwave..
Now we just eat nuts and berries.

-David Byrne
posted by longsleeves at 8:43 PM on March 7, 2006


Interpreting, I mean. Don't know how I let that slip.
posted by bcveen at 8:45 PM on March 7, 2006


They should have plenty of inspriation.
posted by ilsa at 9:05 PM on March 7, 2006


I wonder what Thomas Holme would think.
posted by shoepal at 9:10 PM on March 7, 2006


As someone who's spent plenty of time on cattle farms, the one downside of having livestock around is the odour.

And the reputation the city would inherit from said odour.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 1:26 AM on March 8, 2006


Yeah, farms OK, livestock bad. I mean, Southwest Philly already smells pretty funky with the refineries and sewage treatment plant.
posted by fixedgear at 2:03 AM on March 8, 2006


Question, if I may derail this thread a bit....

Why don't people build multi-story farm buildings? They'd be able to use blighted land in the cities, but be able to grow a lot more food.

Is it the cost? Is it too heavy? What?
posted by taumeson at 6:20 AM on March 8, 2006


you know I've had that exact thought before too. I'm sure it's just the cost. Farms are usually on cheap land, and building stuff on them would be expensive I guess? Sad. I always thought it would be good to have indoor farms, away from uncontrollable weather and insects and diseases etc...

If Bill Gates adopted me then maybe I'd do it just for fun...
posted by Jelreyn at 6:29 AM on March 8, 2006


Why don't people build multi-story farm buildings?

Plants require soil, so every level above the first is going to need to haul up a hell of a lot of soil. These will also have to be very tall storeys to accomodate both soil and still have enough room for the plants to grow. And they'll need to be extremely strong to support all that soil. Then there's the issues of light and water. Finally, one of the big advantages for the modern factory farm is an economy of scale--lots of land, and a tractor that can harvest it all. You would need an enormous building to make tractors economical. So that means we're talking harvesting by hand. That means that the EROEI here is going to really, really low.
posted by jefgodesky at 7:13 AM on March 8, 2006


...and I'm sure the run-off from adjacent lots is chock full of tasty toxicity. Nice idea, though
posted by leotrotsky at 8:14 AM on March 8, 2006


Joakim Ziegler writes "Of course, in other parts of the world (to an extent, here in Mexico, but even more in Africa, I understand), this is a less novel concept. People keep chickens and goats in their garden in the city, etc."

They are making a big stink here about some guy legally keeping llamas in the city (blocks from my place in fact). Seems pretty silly though. We used to raise rabbits for food and bees for honey (and to pollenate our garden) in the city when I was a kid. No one ever knew we had rabbits unless we told them.

I can understand people being concerned about a herd of cows or something but a few chickens, a dozen rabbits or a couple goats are hardly any more problem than a couple or three large dogs. And a heck of a lot more useful.

Jelreyn writes "I'm sure it's just the cost."

Really expensive to support all that earth, about the same as building a parking garage. And then you'd have to build them narrow or supply artifical light. What is viable though is to design buildings with green roofs that would support growing vegetables.
posted by Mitheral at 11:12 AM on March 8, 2006


I feel like I saw a plan for a vertical garden in a Metropolis or Wired of yore. With lots of hydroponics and various lightweight materials, IIRC. Maybe some mirrors. Might have been McDonough inspired. Damn this fading memory.
posted by shoepal at 1:40 PM on March 8, 2006


You may well have, but these are precisely the kinds of issues that seperate "plans" from "buildings."
posted by jefgodesky at 1:41 PM on March 8, 2006


Farmadeliphication? Sounds like a Funkadelic album...
posted by jonp72 at 3:21 PM on March 8, 2006


Why don't people build multi-story farm buildings?

"Just below the pavements in the busiest part of Tokyo--where working attire is spotless suits and ties--a staffing agency is getting its hands dirty with an unusual new business. It is nurturing an underground farm."
posted by Tufa at 8:18 PM on March 8, 2006


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