Urban farmers protect crops from contaminated land

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By Marie Orttenburger

Urban farming is often celebrated for bringing fresh, homegrown food into the city. Community gardens provide easy, affordable access to organically grown produce for an entire neighborhood.

But cities pose challenges for would-be farmers. Planting a garden on land contaminated with lead or arsenic risks health problems for garden workers and produce consumers. And green lots with good soil can cost a pretty penny.

Jenny Bongiorno is an urban farmer and the founder of Our Fresh Local, a Grand Rapids, Michigan, company that builds community gardens and teaches people about local food.

This story first appeared on The Food Fix, another publication of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

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