You hear a lot of talk these days about how wrecked our inner cities and communities are. We all know they exist, but we often avoid “that part of town” and move on with our lives. Few, it seems, actually DO anything about it. The faceless politicians forget all about these communities when the cameras are off. The people who live it every day are trapped with only a bleak future ahead of them. The rest of us either don’t know how to help or simply wait for someone else to do it.
So, how do you change these communities? How do you stop ignoring these communities and actually DO something? One answer is this: From the inside out. Yes, I know such things are easy to say and hard to pull off, but until we fundamentally change our neighborhoods from the ground up, nothing much CAN change. Put another way, nothing changes if nothing changes. But who is going to do it? Certainly not the politicians. You? Me? Real change MUST come from within. Real change MUST come from the communities whose total existence is at stake and must involve the very people affected most by its crumbling or its rebirth.
Enter the Urban Farming Guys. Their mission: To introduce urban farming and establish sustainable communities in the most difficult and overlooked places on earth. A few years ago, these folks moved into the Lykins neighborhood, a neglected inner city community of Kansas City, and started an urban farming project with the intent of establishing self-sustaining solutions that can be taught and replicated. They have introduced gardens, fish farms, education, and many other skills. Their goals include fundamentally changing vulnerable places like Lykins into legitimate, self-sustaining communities. The video and website below explains how UFG has helped the people of Lykins transform a neglected, crime-ridden neighborhood into a thriving community with hope for a different future. Some of the people who once tore their own community apart are working with UFG to rebuild it. Crime has actually even reduced in the area.
I cannot possibly do their story justice. You really need to hear it straight from them, so please; follow the link below to get the entire story. It is truly worth a few minutes of your time. This is a good one, Folks.