Greenprint releases comprehensive map of Memphis urban farms

The Food Advisory Council for Memphis and Shelby County wants to put a garden in your backyard. The initiative, spearheaded by GrowMemphis, has just wrapped its food landscape analysis, a sub-planning project of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan.
 
"We did identify in the planing process that food insecurity was something that we absolutely wanted to tackle, particularly in urban environments where you've got a concentration of poverty that live in the areas where there's no access to healthy foods," said John Zeneah, Administrator with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability.
 
The food landscape map puts the locations of community gardens and urban farms in context by overlaying data about food deserts and other census information. The map is crowd-sourced, so communities can contribute their own homegrown projects.
 
The FAC also worked with Hyphen Market Solutions to work with focus groups and identify the policy barriers that prevent the expansion of urban agriculture in the Memphis area. 
 
The pair identified three public policy areas that FAC plans to work on over the next year: land, water and soil quality. The Shelby County Land Bank is an excellent resource for those seeking ownership of low-cost land, but access remains limited and the process lengthy. Through working with the Shelby County government and MLGW, the FAC is also looking for creative solutions to water supply for properties that aren't within a functioning water line. More public information campaign than public policy change, the FAC is looking at ways to educate community members about how to test and improve soil quality in the area. 

Check out the food landscape map here and the analysis here.

Read more articles by Madeline Faber.

Madeline Faber is an editor and award-winning reporter. Prior to joining High Ground News as managing editor, she worked as a staff reporter for The Daily News. She has also written for Memphis Business Journal, The Memphis Flyer and Inside Memphis Business. Her experience as a development reporter complements High Ground's mission to write about what's next for Memphis.
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