10 Examples of Integrated Peri-Urban Agriculture | askBAMLand

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The images and content on this page may be created by, or with the assistance of, artificial intelligence, and should be used for entertainment and informational purposes only.

Imagine turning the corner in your neighborhood and finding a lush urban orchard.

Peri-urban agriculture is sparking a revolution just outside your doorstep, reimagining the way communities interact with food production.

The integration of farming into suburban and transitional urban-rural areas is not just about fresh produce; it’s an innovative approach to making agriculture a staple in everyday urban life.

Can suburbs become the new food bowls?

Yes, they can!

Through innovative agricultural practices, peri-urban areas are transforming into vibrant food-producing spaces.

These endeavors marry productivity with sustainability, fostering community engagement and resilience.

Once seen as distinct from the urban lifestyle, agriculture in peri-urban areas is now a growing trend.

It's a confluence of tradition and innovation, nurturing green spaces that serve as community hubs, local food sources, and educational grounds.

By engaging in diverse farming practices, such as aquaponics and rooftop gardens, these initiatives are altering the landscape of food production and distribution, prioritizing closeness to the consumer and reducing carbon footprints.

Key Takeaways

  • Peri-urban agriculture marries local food production with sustainability.
  • Diverse farming practices are transforming urban outskirts into food hubs.
  • These initiatives enhance community engagement and reduce carbon footprints.

Table of Contents

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs

Ever wondered how you can get your veggies super fresh while supporting your local farmers?

Let's talk about Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short—it's like a VIP pass to the freshest produce party in town!

In CSA programs, you become a stakeholder in your local farm's success.

You purchase a share, and in return, you receive a weekly bounty of seasonal produce straight from their fields to your plate.

You literally get to taste the fruits (and veggies!) of their labor.

And because it's local, you're slicing food miles to help the planet a bit too, which is always a win-win.

Here's the lowdown on how it works:

  • Buy a Share: You pay upfront for a season’s worth of produce. This gives the farmers the funds they need to plan and plant.
  • Weekly Harvest: Once harvesting begins, you get to enjoy a portion of fresh, local crops.
  • Community Bonding: By joining, you're not just a customer; you're part of the farm's community. Expect newsletters, farm events, and possibly even volunteer opportunities!

As a CSA member, your kitchen will become a hotspot for fresh, delicious meals.

Imagine whipping up a salad with crispy greens picked just a few hours ago.

Can’t get fresher than that, right?

Isn't it cool to know exactly where your food comes from?

Embrace the farm-to-table lifestyle and watch how you become more in tune with the seasonal cycles and the local ecosystem.

Being part of a CSA is more than eating healthy; it's about building a sustainable future, one zucchini at a time!

Urban Greenhouses

Ever wondered how you can munch on fresh lettuce or bite into a ripe tomato that hasn't journeyed hundreds of miles to reach your plate?

The secret could be closer than you think—right on the rooftops or in the backyard of your urban neighborhood.

Yeah, that's the magic of urban greenhouses!

These are not your typical farm plots; they’re sophisticated setups harnessing the latest in agricultural tech.

We're talking about hydroponics and vertical farming—cool, right?

Here's why these methods are sprouting up all around the city:

  • Year-Round Yields: Even when it's snowing outside, greenhouses maintain a cozy climate for plants to grow.
  • Space Savers: Vertical farming means growing up, not out, so even a small area can produce tons of food.
  • Close to Home: These greenhouses are just a hop, skip, and a jump from where you live, slashing those food miles that add up fast.

Now, let's take a peek at some numbers.

In urban greenhouses, yields can soar to about 10 to 50 kg/m² per year.

Impressive, right?

You might be curious about the types of veggies that thrive here.

Picture crisp greens and vibrant fruits—like those fresh strawberries that make your breakfast parfait a delight!

But, it's not just about plants.

These spots are hot for educational tours and community bonding too.

Imagine taking a gardening workshop right in the city's heart!

Have a rooftop or sunny space near you?

You might just be looking at the future site of an urban greenhouse.

With the benefits they bring to the table, it's easy to see why they’re becoming an integral part of city life.

So, next time you're biting into that fresh salad, just think: perhaps it grew up much closer to home than you'd expect!


Have you heard about agrihoods?

They're not your typical neighborhoods!

Imagine waking up each day to the sight of lush greens and the smell of fresh produce right in your own backyard.

That’s the charm of an agrihood, a type of residential development that’s built around a working farm.

  • What’s in it for you? You've got direct access to fresh, locally-grown food. You might be surprised to know that the average piece of produce might have traveled a whopping 1,500 miles before reaching your plate. But in an agrihood, it’s just a few steps away!
  • Engagement with Agriculture: How about rolling up your sleeves and getting a bit of soil under your nails? Residents can engage in farming activities, which is a great way to connect with neighbors and the earth.

Here are a couple of places where agrihoods are sprouting up:

  • Agritopia in Phoenix metro area serves up a mix of residential lots, commercial spaces, and farming tracts, with a focus on community and neighborly connections.
  • Wondering about the benefits? Studies show that urban agriculture can boost public health, especially in low-income areas, by improving access to healthier food options and enhancing overall well-being.

So, if you're interested in a living environment that promotes health, sustainability, and community, an agrihood might just be your kind of place.

Remember, it’s not just about the cozy homes—it's also about a lifestyle that brings you and your food sources closer than ever before.

Just think of the stories you'll share about picking your own dinner ingredients!

Isn't that something to get excited about?

Aquaponics Systems

Have you ever imagined fish and plants growing in harmony, right in your peri-urban neighborhood?

Well, that's exactly what aquaponics systems are all about!

Imagine a closed-loop system where fish waste provides organic food for growing plants, and in return, plants cleanse and filter the water that goes back to the fish.

Sounds neat, doesn't it?

What's inside an aquaponics system?

Let's break it down:

  • Fish Tanks: Your aquatic buddies live here.
  • Grow Beds: Plants thrive here without soil.
  • Pipes and Pumps: They keep water and nutrients flowing between fish tanks and plant beds.

So, why aquaponics in the peri-urban space?

  1. Space-efficient: These systems don’t need much land.
  2. Water-wise: They use up to 90% less water than traditional farming.
  3. Dual outputs: You get both fresh fish and veggies from the same system.

Exciting stats, right?

But that's not all.

Aquaponics integrates seamlessly with the concept of a circular economy — nothing goes to waste.

It also aligns with biomimicry principles, taking cues from natural ecosystems to create a balanced food production system.

Remember, peri-urban areas bridge the gap between rural bounty and urban demand.

Aquaponics fits right into this niche, offering a sustainable and efficient way to produce food where land and resources are limited.

No wonder they're catching on as a smart way to farm for the future!

Eager to start your own?

It's certainly a conversation starter and a step towards greener living.

Just picture the satisfaction of serving a meal that's hyper-local and homegrown — thanks to your very own aquaponics system.

Cool, huh?

Edible Landscaping

Have you ever strolled through a park and stumbled upon a peach tree brimming with fruit?

Or noticed a front yard where the usual suspects—like ornamental shrubs—were replaced with tomato plants and herbs?

That’s edible landscaping in action, and it’s not just making neighborhoods prettier; it's redefining the local food scene.

Edible Landscaping, at its core, integrates food-producing plants into public and private landscapes.

It offers more than just a feast for the eyes; it provides fresh produce right at your doorstep—or street corner!

Why Edible Landscaping?

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Who could deny the beauty of a ripe apple dangling from a tree?
  • Fresh Produce: Imagine plucking a juicy berry while on your morning walk.
  • Community Engagement: It brings people together through planting and harvesting events.

Here's how you can spot edible landscaping:

  • Private Residences: Front yards boast rows of leafy greens alongside flowers.
  • Urban Public Spaces: Fruit and nut trees mingle with the playgrounds and benches.
  • Community Gardens: Spaces where neighbors connect and collectively nurture food crops.

Getting Started

  1. Test the Soil: Check for nutrients and pH levels to ensure plant health.
  2. Choose Wisely: Opt for plants that suit the local climate and space.
  3. Design for Dual Purpose: Plants should be both ornamental and edible.

The best part?

You’re not just beautifying the community.

You're rolling up your sleeves, contributing to sustainability, and yes, even saving some cash on your grocery bill.

It's all about bringing fresh and local to a whole new level—right where you live.

So, why not give edible landscaping a go?

Your taste buds (and the planet) will thank you!

Farmers' Markets

Have you ever tasted a tomato that's so fresh, it still carries the warmth of the sun on its skin?

If you're nodding yes, you've likely visited a farmers' market.

These vibrant gatherings are where you can meet and support local farmers from your surrounding regions.

  • Direct from Farm to Fork: Picture strolling through rows of colorful produce stands, each pile of fruit and vegetables telling a tale of peri-urban soil. You get not just nutrition, but a story with every purchase!
  • Seasonal Goodies: Farmers' markets are the epitome of seasonal shopping. Squash in the fall? Strawberries in spring? They've got you covered.
  • Eco-Friendly: By picking up goods from these markets, you're reducing those pesky food miles. Less transportation means a happier planet — and who doesn't want that?

Farmers' markets are more than just a place to buy food.

They're a community hub where you can learn from the growers about the best ways to prepare their produce.

Have a question about how to cook that kohlrabi?

Just ask!

There's often live music, cooking demos, and other festivities — making it a day out for the whole family.

  • Meet the Farmer
  • Learn New Recipes
  • Enjoy the Atmosphere

Most importantly, by shopping at farmers' markets, you make a real difference.

You're boosting the local economy and taking a stand for smaller, sustainable farms.

So, grab that tote bag and head on over to your local market this weekend —your taste buds (and community) will thank you!

Livestock Integration

Ever thought about how farms can squeeze into the cityscape?

Well, imagine your nearby empty lot turning into a mini-haven for farm animals.

That's peri-urban agriculture in action—you're bringing the farm right to the city's edge!

Let's cluck into poultry!

Chickens and ducks are not just adorable, they're also quite the egg-producers.

Perfect for a small-scale setup, you can raise these feathered friends for both meat and eggs.

Your morning scrambled egg just got a local upgrade, didn't it?

Now, let's bleat about goats.

These guys are not demanding; a bit of grass here, some shrubs there, and they're all set.

Goats can be your milk producers or a source of meat, fitting quite cozily in your peri-urban farm.

Here's a quick peek at integrating livestock:

  • Poultry: chickens, ducks for eggs and meat.
  • Goats: for milk or meat; needs minimal space.

Remember, this isn't just about producing food; it's a step towards sustainability.

Poultry manure, for instance, can be gold for growing a garden—talk about recycling!

And the numbers?

They speak for themselves.

With commercial peri-urban livestock production accounting for a significant portion of meat and almost 70% of egg production, this isn't just a backyard hobby—it's a movement.

Embrace these little urban farms; they're not just adding greenery to the concrete jungle but also helping feed the city heartily.

Who knew a small flock or herd could do so much?

So what do you say?

Ready to moo-ve towards a greener, more sustainable city?

Urban Orchards and Vineyards

Have you ever imagined wandering through a lush orchard or vineyard without leaving the city limits?

Well, guess what, those green havens are a real thing right within our peri-urban landscapes!

Urban orchards and vineyards are sprouting up and offering you not only a place to relax but also a hands-on learning experience.

Why Fruit Trees and Grapes?

Fruitful Benefits:

  • Local Produce: Right at your doorstep, you get access to fresh, seasonal fruits and grapes.
  • Education: They're outdoor classrooms for you, your kids, and the community to learn about farming and nature.
  • Recreation: Think picnics among trees or summer afternoons spent grape picking.

How Does It Work?

  • Location: Typically found on the periphery of cities, taking advantage of urban fringes.
  • Maintenance: Sometimes, staffed by local volunteers or organizations – you might spot one or even join them!
  • Harvest: Often shared with volunteers, sold at local markets, or donated – a true community affair.

Did You Know?

Cities like New York and San Francisco are embracing the trend, with urban vineyards offering winemaking workshops.

How cool is that?

  • Community EngagementVolunteer
  • Pruning and picking can be a way for you to get involved.Participate
  • Festivals and harvest days often add to the community calendar.
  • Educational ProgramsWorkshops
  • Learn about urban farming practices.Tours
  • Schools and curious minds can tour and taste nature's bounty.

Urban orchards and vineyards, your local slice of paradise, are perfect for enhancing community bonds, promoting sustainable living, and yes, they're a delight for your taste buds too!

Ready to explore and taste the literal fruits of your city's labor?

Rooftop Gardens

Have you ever gazed out across the city skyline and spotted a sprinkle of green atop buildings?

That's rooftop gardening for you, and it's not just about aesthetics!

These charming patches of green do more than beautify—they're a hotspot for urban agriculture.

Why rooftops, you ask?

It's simple, really.

Many urban areas are struggling with limited space, and that's where rooftops come in handy.

They're like a hidden layer of the city, waiting to be transformed into lush gardens!

Let's look at what makes them tick:

  • Space-Efficient: They make use of otherwise unused space. Your building's roof could be the next green haven.
  • Energy-Efficient: By adding a layer of insulation, these gardens can keep buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter, shaving off those energy bills.
  • Stormwater Management: Rooftop gardens soak up rainwater, which reduces runoff and can help prevent flooding. A mini sponge in the sky!

Container gardening and raised beds are the go-to methods for planting up high.

And why not?

They're relatively easy to set up and maintain:

  • Containers: A flexible option for various plants; they're also portable.
  • Raised Beds: They allow for deeper soil, which is great for root veggies and improves water drainage.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Ensure your roof can support the weight of your garden.
  • Consider the local climate and choose plants that will thrive.
  • Regular watering and proper drainage are a must!
  • Safety first: set up a secure system for maintaining your garden.

Remember, a rooftop garden is not just a patch of plants—it's a step towards sustainable living, right in the heart of the urban jungle.

Who knew the key to greener cities was just a ladder away?

Happy gardening, urban farmer!

Food Forests

Ever wandered through a forest and stumbled upon an unexpected snack?

Imagine that's no accident, but a planned slice of edible paradise near where you live.

Food forests are exactly what they sound like – your local nature spot turned into a garden of plenty.

Curious how that works?

Let's dive in.

A food forest is a multi-layered system of food production—much like those sections at the grocery store, but way fresher and more sustainable.

You've got tall fruit and nut trees creating a canopy, smaller trees and shrubs underneath, with a mix of herbs, vegetables, and ground cover plants at your feet.

And let me tell you, these aren't just green spaces; they're green, mean, feeding machines.


  • Diversity: A rainbow of plants means a wider variety of nutrients for you and a habitat for wildlife.
  • Efficiency: They require less long-term maintenance than your traditional veggie patch.
  • Community: These spaces invite you to play, learn, and connect with your neighbors.

Putting it into action:

  1. Location: Find a suitable space, like a vacant lot or a park edge.
  2. Design: Consider how the layers of trees and plants will work together.
  3. Participate: Roll up your sleeves and get involved with community planting days.

Just remember, a food forest isn't built in a day or by a single person.

It's the collective effort of many hands and hearts—yours included.

Ready to watch your neighborhood transform from a concrete jungle to an oasis brimming with fresh picks?

Keep those hands dirty and that spirit high, because every plant put into the earth is a step towards resilience and community well-being.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

Read More About Brittany Melling