This is a collection of exceptional resources we find in our work.

It is intended as both a repository for our internal use as well as a platform to share references and inspiration with other advocates of local food systems. Enjoy!

Economic Development 

The Effect of Community Gardening on Neighboring Property Value - Ioan Voicu, Vicki Been - Real Estate Economics - 2008

This article provides astounding empirical evidence of the economic benefit of community gardens. Looking at vacant lots which were converted to gardens, the data show that community gardens have a statistically significant positive impact on sales prices of properties within 1,000 feet of the garden, and that this impact increases over time. Indeed, all property values within a 1,000 ft ring increase in the years following garden openings, with properties next to the gardens going up as much as 9.4 percent in 5 years. Even if the city maintained the operating costs, the additional tax revenue from increased property value would provide a net benefit of $512,000 per garden. Property values increased the most in the poorest neighborhoods.



Health Benefits of Urban Agriculture - Anne C. Bellows, Katherine Brown, Jac Smit - Community Food Security Coalition, North American Initiative on Urban Agriculture - 2003

In this report, urban ag is associated with several aspects of both individual and community health. The article looks at the potential food productivity of urban spaces and the associated lifestyle changes that accompany participation with urban ag. A connection is made between consumption of fresh, local foods, enhanced nutrition, increased food security and active lifestyles and participation in urban ag. Less tangible benefits, such as positive effects on mental health and personal wellness as well as community health and safety as a whole, are discussed in association with urban green spaces. The impact of urban ag on obesity and coronary diseases are also mentioned.

Food Miles:  How far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate - Health Facts - Natural Resources Defense Council - 2007

A very interesting analysis of the impact of food miles associated with emissions and pollution. Correlations are implied between negative public health impacts and long-distance food importation. The report compiles data from major import cities on asthma and respiratory illnesses as well as school days missed due to such illnesses. Overall the report shares a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the impacts our food choices have on the lives of others.


Growing Urban Agriculture:  Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Food and Revitalizing Communities - Allison Hagey, Solana Rice, Rebecca Flournoy - Policy Link - 2012

This comprehensive report examines the various potential community benefits brought about by urban agriculture while also detailing the process and challenges associated with getting and urban ag venture off the ground. This report is concerned with food access, economic health, revitalization and policy recommendations. It includes detailed case studies including Urban Ag in Older Cities, Food from Farm to Market and Growing Power. While it looks at challenges such as land security, business training and start-up/operating costs of urban ag, it does so within the context of successful and innovative examples of urban ag enterprises currently in existence.

website of a well-regarded food think tank, with Food Policy as one of its focus areas

blog post interview with Mark Winne of the Community Food System Coalition. Gives a good overview of what Councils do

Excellent information on Councils, from the why's and how's to stories about food and hunger, to further resources on councils. Another strong repository

The Center for a Liveable Future, part of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, is an amazing resource. Linked here is their survey of food policy councils across the country; the rest of their site is worth exploring.  


Urban Agriculture

Carrot City

Amazing resource on urban agriculture projects. Presented are food production examples from all parts of the city at many different scales, urban design and policy, and the intersection of design and urban ag.

 Policy Link - Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens

This Policy Link toolkit contains a plethora of useful resources for anyone even remotely interested in urban ag. The kit includes multimedia resources such as webinars and videos, as well as links to organizations, projects, federal programs, model policies and readings. This site's value is in sharing resources, ideas and information in order to build on the base of knowledge and experience of urban ag supporters across the country.

Urban Agriculture as a Green Stormwater Management Strategy - The Freshwater Society in partnership with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization - 2013

This study investigates the need driving interest for green solutions to stormwater management while investigating major issues associated with combining stormwater and food production. While rather technical in nature, the report offers solid insight into the benefits of green stormwater management while acknowledging various other benefits associated with urban ag including health, nutrition, food security and others. The report identifies current gaps in research about stormwater use in urban ag while examining programs and initiatives in cities  including Cleveland, Boston, New York San Francisco, Seattle and others.

 Urban Food Revolution - Peter Ladner - 2011

This urban food narrative provides a detailed account of the facts, misconceptions, myths, challenges and benefits associated with urban food production. The chapters nearly all include relevant case studies and traverse a diverse array of topics from soil retention and local foods to oil production, land usage and economic multipliers. The book provides a balanced and nuanced understanding of both barriers and solutions. The chapters on economic benefit and infrastructure address important points about the financial viability of urban ag projects. Ladner's comments on the social aspect of urban food are particularly insightful, particularly in regard to feeding the hungry and ending food deserts.

Growing Success:  The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London - Capital Growth and Sustain - 2013

This pamphlet discusses a city-wide effort to increase participation in urban ag, create a support network for growers and influence public policy on urban ag. The initiative was a coordinated effort between the municipality, community organizations and volunteers. The project involved nearly 100,000 citizens and greened nearly 124 urban acres. Interestingly enough, Capital Growth was a part of the city's food strategy plan prepared by the mayor's office in 2006. Capital Growth is a terrific example of what can happen when community organizations and municipal government reach consensus and work to build urban ag together.

Grant Resources 

NC Environmental Education Grant List

A regularly updated list, with lots of garden grants available.