The urban agriculture revolution | David Gingera | TEDxManitoba


This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The food systems we use today are no longer able to meet our needs. By relying on our broken mainstream food systems, we are paying more money for lower quality food. And we’re destroying our environment while doing it. The solution to our problems is to start growing food in cities. Through urban agriculture, we can grow healthier food, at lower costs, in a way that’s better for our environment.

I run a company called CitiGrow. We help urban farmers find free space to grow food. We find creative ways to give property owners thousands of dollars in new revenue and costs savings by using their space for urban farming. And we give food buyers access to high quality, locally grown food. My job allows me to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams while dedicating myself and my work to improving our food systems.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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  1. Shades of Brooklyn says

    his heavy breathing and lip smacking is killing me

  2. George Abraham says

    I think it's a better angle to play off Victory gardens against protest movements.. The wold is the spawn of spoil atm… and need to snap out of it. This concept's core is really 7777, balance, haven creation. being at liberty with natural balance is 666, a form of defiance(Like that old statue that celebrated stealing fire from the gods).. Somehow that's the Liberty we get sold.. and it's status quo creates it so that the bottom class can't live of the land for free, we are tax enslaved and people are forced to do stuff like prostitution. Right as rain.. a 3000+ year old book,.. that is where it left off, that is the art that was supposed to become core. A contemplation around balance and the sabot. Looking at the Hopi corn and prophecies.. the modern world is a carcass in the making, it's pillars are in deviation from the natural speed and balance of sustenance. It did not take that art with it in it's journey as it's basis. It requires extra to just keep going… Because of it's inequity with balance it also causes wars,.. a defense for it's upkeep. Zimbabwe and it's small holding farmers are getting real disillusionment for a change and a taste of self reliance. There is a good point of community, it also joins in with the boom of American farmer food markets, all good. It's funny how the Zim's are already meeting that dilemma.. where a business can't happen if you can't mass produce or sell something competitively priced.. I believe the hopi prophesied fleet to overthrow if it's not military will be the protesting spirited people themselves when things starts going pear shaped. Governments should have land reform options available for security. In the mean time urban farming or Guerilla farming becomes important especially to create a paradigm shift for the poor or squatting communities.. Why should they be void of self reliance? Why should they be forced to wait that way for a system that won't accommodate them and looks down on them and prints gloss of their latest babel city scrapers? When God did not devoid them of the natural elements or rain etc..

  3. Kita Pillar says

    He didn't even address the fact that if western society wasn't so damn obsessed with having meat in every meal, we'd all be a lot better off. It takes too much land and water as well as requiring a substantial amount of our crops to feed them.

  4. Akakino Okalani says

    If you can find me a Tomato that isn't made of chemicals, then you should rule the earth. All things are made of chemicals, Ted is supposed to be educational. At least tell them what chemicals are good and bad. Nitrogen is a chemical. If you have no nitrogen, you will have no leaves, no leaves means no photosynthesis, thus you will have no plant. Nitrogen is essential. So saying a Tomato is bad because it has chemicals is pointless if you don't actually identify the chemical/s.

  5. Dusty Stahn says

    These concepts aren't new as they have been around since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. There is a gardening in the cities now in the form of landscaping. Instead of ornamentals use food producing plants. Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and herbaceous perennials are low maintenance and productive. Annual vegetables can be tucked around them. They can be as beautiful as the ornamentals and supply you with fresh toxic chemical free food.
    There are millions of acres in energy intensive, high maintenance, water guzzling polluting lawns that could be producing healthy food. There are parks that could be producing fruits and nuts as well as being recreational areas. There are vacant lots where food can be grown. Fruit and nut trees can line the streets. None of these need any complicated high tech gadgets just simple tools and people willing to do it.

    I hear people nattering about the not being able to feed the growing population. This is one way to help solve it. The people on welfare and otherwise unemployed could be hired to plant and maintain them. This would help alleviate the unemployment problem. 
    For those that want packaged food a small food processing plant could be set up. This would provide more employment and more economic diversity.

    "For cereals, oil seeds, and legumes; it won't even come close to fulfilling the needs of the market." Are they necessary? There are other alternatives. Chestnuts and other plants perennial and annuals are substitutes for cereals which are mostly made into flour. Hazel nuts and peanuts are good healthy oils you can make at home or in a small facility because they don't need toxic chemicals to make them like soy and canola oil do. There will be shortage in some things but there are many substitutes that can be used or you can buy them like you do now.

    Our present method of farming is destroying the land, water, an enormous amount of living creatures and the quality of our food with toxic poisons. The once fertile land is eroding away and is in an advanced stage of desertification causing floods and droughts and dead zones in the Gulf Of Mexico. Crops cannot grown without bigger and bigger doses of toxic chemicals. Genetically engineered plants are not designed to produce more food as claimed but to withstand even greater doses of toxic chemicals. If you have to use a hazmat suit to handle them what is going to happen when you eat them? Why is there so many diseases prevalent today that were rare or did not exist before the Green Revolution aka chemical farming?

    In WW2 the government encouraged people to grow gardens in Victory Gardens an enormous amount of food was grown in them. Your were considered unpatriotic if you didn't.  But that was before the Green Revolution and the big companies gained the power they have now. Today it is all forgotten and it is illegal to grow food in your front yard in some places. It is time we take back the right to grow our own food on our own property. 

    Good healthy food is expensive. That is because so little is produced. As more and more is produced the price will drop. You can start lowering your own cost of good food by growing some of your own be it in pots or your whole yard. Little steps lead to giant achievements as more people start growing their own food more will follow. You can be a leader.

    Other people are working on small to large scale alternate farming methods. Look up regenerative farming or wholistic farming. Together we can make big changes one step at a time. To make small changes change the way you do things. To make big changes change they way you see things.

  6. Cait Carpenter says

    I agree with the comment below that there's not a lot of content in this video. There's no data, the charts aren't labeled to show what exactly he's talking about, and he doesn't seem to have a practical grasp of conventional industrial agriculture. I'm all for improving practices and working towards clean, sustainable food production, but I don't like this as a launching point for change.

  7. Nqobile Shange says

    This is really awesome cause my MA research is on the very same topic.

  8. João Mendes Pereira junior says

    A technology without fundament. You certainly do not know the agricultural field.

  9. Joseph Garcia says

    The revolution is nigh. She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes…
    And when she does the youthful mind will prevail and you the elitist old minded egotistical children will either join or scurry away. Corporations and the slithering snake will soda age but if humans unify, we will not only survive but THRIVE! No more work, automation will take the burden of menial labor, and we as a human race will finally be able to do what we really desire, to follow our dreams! United we stand divided we fall! No more fences, no more love of money, no more laziness, we will become self reliant and in effect truly become individuals, and doesn't the majority stem from the individual? One for all and all for one! 2020 the beginning of our new vision on life!

  10. EVE Growing says

    Just saw this today!! Come see the "EVE" (ECO VERTICAL EVOLUTION) growing concept, it will be the go to Urban growing technique in the very near future. In a world where technological unemployment is a great fact of life the Urban Farmer will always have work, and through the amazing gift of machinery our work will be necessary fun. Great video I couldn't agree more.

  11. G C says

    Not a lot of content in this Talk if you ask me. But I do think that urban agriculture can look very different depending on the situation and that it is a perfect tool to provide a local community with fresh vegetables, fruits and even mushrooms.

  12. NEMO says

    I believe the urban farm is a way to get your fruits, veggies, herbs, and the spin off of those products such as ; jams, jellys, compotes, tomato products, and maybe even veggies that hv been "put up" to reach your table with a lower price, an eye on the environment and an overall healthier tastier product. My believe,however, is that the consumer also wants, needs, the produce to be made into ready prepared dishes so that they can enjoy the urban farms concept but not really hv to do a whole lot of cooking. Most of the problems that hv arisen in the "corporatizing" of food is that we don't want the job of feeding ourselves anymore. The most consuming tasks for a home cook is the veggies, salad, fruit and dishes made by them bc they require labor and imagination and time to be enjoyed. It's easy to throw a large steak on the grill with salt and pepper but it's quite different to take peppers, gut them, clean them, stuff them and bake them. The urban farm is only part of the changes we hv to make about food and how much time we r willing to devote to making it a vital enjoyable part of our lives.

  13. camerakid76 says

    This guy is selling something… Not a lot of content but he clearly has a stake in the 'movement'.

  14. AvatP5 says

    The only problem with urban agriculture, is that it cannot scale effectively with keeping up with the quantity of commodities needed as ingredients. For fruits and vegetables it is a bit easier, but for cereals, oil seeds, and legumes; it won't even come close to fulfilling the needs of the market. Thus leading to a shortage, and an increase in price. Therefore, the whole theory of modern agriculture increasing price due to transportation costs in my opinion pales in comparison to what a shortage would do to the market. Passing cost down to a consumer affects price less then creating a shortage in a market. I am still on board with urban agriculture; it is a great idea and I think urban centers will be practicing it in the future. Something needs to offset urban centres expanding onto arable farmland.

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