Winter is just around the corner, and the growing season is winding down. As plants start to seed and die, backyard farmers and food fanatics alike breath a sad sigh as we return to the stark grocery store to buy our ethylene-ripened tomatoes, and our bland tasting salad. This time of year brings a period of reflection for us. This was my first farming season, and I learned a lot from it. I learned that arugula grows faster than weeds, and carrots take a very long time to grow. I learned that farming is more than simply providing fresh, healthy food to yourself and your loved ones: it is a culture in itself. I have found through my own casual observations that farming enriches one with an intimate connection to their environment, food, and community. The lessons urban farming has to offer contain some insight into how to start addressing the many complications of today’s food systems. Organizations that share the view that farming needs to be more sustainable, tasty, and healthier can benefit exponentially from the strength of a community. My experience with Fresh City Farms has taught me the importance of facilitating these community bonds. I believe this to be true for food, and for life in general. Farming and sharing land and produce within the community, as well as operating community gardens are excellent ways of facilitating this connection. Making food a local issue creates a positive feedback cycle onto itself that has been fascinating for me to see. Interest within the community is driving the food sustainability movement to new heights. Participation matters, whether it is the West End food Coop that runs the Sorauren Farmers’ Market on Mondays where Fresh City sells our produce, or the various organizations we have cooperated with. As Plato once famously said "the price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Without an interest in food from the local community, urban farming would not be possible, and the voice of those who are less than rich and powerful will fade against those louder interests within politics, and the grocery store. As arable land decreases and the global population increases, utilizing space, and sustainable farming practice will become very important. This is where organizations such a Fresh City becomes important for developing these practices, and for inspiring solidarity within the local community. Thank you for your support, Elissa Perko, Member Farmer, Fresh City Farms