As gas prices soar the current travel
distance of food from farm to plate must shorten. Concurrent with Urban
America’s acquired taste for fresher food, now is the time for new
suburban development models.
A study of population densities and
their resultant settlement patterns brought my attention to the Barely
Burb: Low populated suburbs whose edges swallow precious local farmland.
Decorative green lawns replace arable earth.
Borrowing from existing small farm and garden models (Russian Dachas,
Permaculture, etc.), FO+OD places small farm units in the NYC metro suburbs.
Playing within the developer’s market and existing real estate policies,
FO+OD facilitates suburban garden growing and preserves existing farm
land in the same motion.
40 miles from Manhattan, FO+OD residents (a group of daily commuters,
weekenders, and farm experts pulling from latent farmer energies in our
city’s immigrant populations) travel at medium speeds along a network
of greenways that already exist. Train, bike, foot, and shuttle van traffic
lead the way along traffic free routes. A village of small homes, pedestrian
links, and community facilities, play nicely with their suburban (vinyl
villa) neighbors. It is the supreme effort of FO+OD to spread its culture
of cultivation throughout the suburbs, creating an arable land mass with
significant farming power for the metro region.