The phenomenon of urban agriculture - the growing of fruits and vegetables on the terraces or gardens of homes - is gaining more and more fans around the world.
By J.M. Towers
There are more than 800 million amateur farmers in residential areas dispersed around the world. Only in Switzerland, approximately 900,000 of them cover 50,000 hectares—the equivalent of 3,000 medium-sized farms— where they grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables in urban environments.
An example of this booming activity is evident in Les Avanchets, in the commune of Vernier, Canton of Geneva, where most of its inhabitants grow their own produce, showing the world how beautiful can a city become when it has an orchard in every garden, balcony or terrace.
The Swiss, who have always maintained a deep symbiosis with nature, have long practiced this unique way of producing vegetables and fruits. It was a legacy from the end of World War II when the authorities offered land to farmers and unemployed workers. Eventually, these gardens became part of a real culture of urban agriculture among the citizenry.