Read Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival by David Hanson Edwin Marty Michael Hanson Mark Winne Online


People have always grown food in urban spaces—on windowsills and sidewalks, and in backyards and neighborhood parks—but today, urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement that transforms our national food system. To explore this agricultural renaissance, brothers David and Michael Hanson and urban farmer Edwin Marty document twelve successful urban farmPeople have always grown food in urban spaces—on windowsills and sidewalks, and in backyards and neighborhood parks—but today, urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement that transforms our national food system. To explore this agricultural renaissance, brothers David and Michael Hanson and urban farmer Edwin Marty document twelve successful urban farm programs, from an alternative school for girls in Detroit, to a backyard food swap in New Orleans, to a restaurant supply garden on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Each beautifully illustrated essay offers practical advice for budding farmers, such as composting and keeping livestock in the city, decontaminating toxic soil, even changing zoning laws....

Title : Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780520270541
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival Reviews

  • Kathleen
    2018-09-25 16:44

    I think some readers may be asking a little too much from this nicely put together coffee table book. The audience is very clearly a popular audience with very little agricultural knowledge. I think it's more about showing people what's out there and a variety of ways urban farms can contribute to the urban community. It's a feel good book, not a hardcore farming manual. If you go in knowing that's what you're in for, you'll probably enjoy it. It's a feel-good coffee table book meant to get you thinking about the array of possibilities, rather than telling you what to do.

  • Narariel
    2018-10-06 22:34

    Primarily an "inspirational book," and not a "how to" one, the book was fairly well-written and included lots of small details and pictures. It did have some cross-referencing that could get confusing. Each story had a section at the end that was a basic, brief how to, enough to get a person started and give them a background to know what to look up if s/he needed more details. I found the book interesting and fairly enjoyable. It's nice to see what others are doing and read stories of success and hope.

  • Sofia Cavalleri
    2018-10-07 19:27

    Annie Novak's farm, atop the Broadway Stages in Brooklyn is so empowering!People have always grown food in urban spaces—on windowsills and sidewalks, and in backyards and neighborhood parks—but today, urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement that transforms our national food system.

  • hannah
    2018-10-09 18:19

    overall, this book presents twelve interesting case studies of urban (and peri-urban) agriculture projects across the country, complete with beautifully composed photographs. it certainly got me fantasizing about vacant lots and rooftops. maybe i should just let it be interesting and not dissect its underlying assumptions? jk, lol.the exotification of immigrants and people of color throughout was a little off-putting, but after reading novella carpenter's farm city, the threshold for "jeez, this is kinda racist" is set a little higher. my main issue is with something a bit more basic than that: the authors basically believe that consumer choice is driving the shift toward processed food and subsequent increased rates of associated chronic diseases. they assert people just don't want to spend more money on food and will have to get over this. "better planning and community engagement" are supposed to be the fixes. this is all basically nonsense. the authors also bandy around the term "food justice" a lot without engaging much with the underlying causes for that seems to me that any examination of our food system is incomplete without taking into account the structural limitations that individuals have no control over in the everyday "choices" they make regarding their food. their treatment of the socio-political context of american agriculture is facile at best. farm bill corn and soy subsidies, federal nutrition programs, the legacy of redlining and modern zoning issues, not to mention stagnant wages - nowhere to be found in this. the rah-rah free-enterprise theme really got to me in their story about catherine ferguson academy, which has since been run into the ground (the school and the farm) by the for-profit charter school company that took it over in 2011.anyway, tl;dr, this book is interesting if you can let it be a nice-looking snapshot and not squint too closely at the details.

  • Tasia
    2018-09-27 21:40

    Alright, so. This isn't a book that tells you how to go about urban farming in a step-by-step process, though it will give you major tips on how to get something started in your community. Mostly this is an experience that lets you see what's been going on across the United States in the last few years, and really makes you feel good about these efforts. It makes you feel... hopeful. And I think that's really what this book is all about: getting people to feel like it's completely possible to get a project like these started in your own community, even if it's the smallest garden or an expansive urban farm.What I found especially intriguing is that the book does talk about the urban farm as a nonprofit venture AND as a profitable business. Sometimes, for community agriculture to be taken seriously enough to spread, people need to see that it is not a charity case. It needs to appear as something that can exist outside its box instead of being a special little surprise nestled in urban life.I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about urban farming or community gardens, but don't go to it as a guide for launching your own projects. Simply take it as a storytelling experience with some really good advice.

  • Beth Dillon
    2018-09-26 18:44

    Disappointed. Granted the main reason I decided to read this book was because Annie Novak is on the cover (and I have a little bit of a young farmer crush on her at the moment) so maybe I was setting my expectations a little too high. Or maybe it's because I've read "Farm Together Now" by Amy Franceschini (et al) which also profiles movers and shakers in agriculture (complete with pretty pictures) but does so in a much more profound, detailed and inspiring way. Maybe I'm not the target audience for Hanson and Marty. Maybe their audience is more interested citizen, rather than aspiring young farmer. I felt like they scratched the surface of the Big issues facing the US agricultural system, tried really hard to make all of their profiled farms fit into this metaphor of revolution and change and (most annoying of all), tooted their own horn. Edwin Marty ties so many things back to the farm he directed that I start to discredit him as author (more of a shameless plug for his own business?). There were some take away points for me, but on the whole, a disappointing read.

  • Cwinter
    2018-10-18 16:45

    A beautiful book that is both inspiring and informative. These brief descriptions of successful urban farming projects - accompanied by stunning photos - stimulate a lot of dreams & ideas. I particularly like the format. Each project has 6-10 pages of photos and explanations, talking about how the project became what it is, how it is run, what is unique or exciting about each project. The descriptions are followed by a couple of pages that talk about how to tap into a specific aspect of something that group figured out. Those foci range from how to keep gardens safe in the city, how to work with government, how to make a garden profitable or raise funds, plus many more specific ideas an urban garden group might want to put in place. I decided I needed to own it since a library loan didn't make it possible to keep going back to it the way i needed and wanted to. So now it's on my permanent resource shelf.

  • blue-collar mind
    2018-09-26 21:37

    I had the good fortune to meet Edwin Marty on the weekend that the book arrived in his hands. He went outside and got me a copy of it which I then shared with 2-3 community gardeners immediately. They were inspired by it as was I. Many of our first tier front line activists around the country are profiled in this book so I'm thrilled to have it as a record of the excellent work being done in food systems.Get a copy for your local library.

  • Fred
    2018-10-13 21:39

    I've known Edwin Marty for several years, so I could be biased. I am also preparing for an urban agriculture and community gardening charrette and found a lot of inspiration in the first several chapters. One thing I would have liked to know is how, mechanically, did they get all the soil on the roof of that garden in Brooklyn?Lastly, Edwin added a funny note when he signed my copy so now it goes on the Autographed Books pile, which is nice.

  • Stephie Jane Rexroth
    2018-10-05 20:25

    Inspiring page-turner. It's easy to feel like the problems facing our society are too big to address; apathy, helplessness or fatalism are the natural reactions. This book documents the proof that change is not only possible but that it is happening all over the country by people from all walks of life.

  • Megan Hope
    2018-09-24 14:29


  • Priscilla
    2018-10-04 16:28

    This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in starting a community farm, urban garden, or getting more involved with their community's access to healthy, local food.

  • Julia
    2018-09-24 21:25

    A bit superficial. Not enough nitty-gritty or specific techniques they picked up at these farms. Good coffee table book/inspirational, bad practical guide.