Interactive Map Highlights Urban Farms that Grow and Sell Foods in Baltimore
Nov 06, 2014
The Center for a Livable Future’s new B’More Farm and Food Map shines a spotlight on urban farms that grow and sell food in Baltimore City. This innovative map, created by CLF’s Maryland Food System Map Project, pinpoints locations of Baltimore’s urban farms, as well as the markets and businesses selling food grown in Baltimore City. The Center hopes the B’More Farm and Food Map will bolster Baltimore’s urban agriculture movement by making it easier for Baltimore’s residents to find fresh, healthy, homegrown food.
“Baltimore City has a thriving urban farm scene. We wanted to showcase Baltimore’s urban agriculture projects in a way that connects consumers to Baltimore-grown food,” says Amanda Behrens Buczynski, CLF’s project manager for the Maryland Food System Map Project. “In addition to highlighting 15 urban farms, which produce fruits, vegetables and honey within Baltimore City limits, the B’more Farm and Food Map displays the locations of 29 restaurants and 15 markets selling food grown on Baltimore’s urban farms.”
The new map fits CLF’s larger goal of strengthening the local food system by improving farm viability, increasing access to healthy food, and addressing health disparities and inequities. “As more people seek out food grown on urban farms, more demand will be created for locally grown foods,” says Behrens Buczynski. “So far, these urban farms have responded to such demand quickly and efficiently by expanding their production and sales.”
Other resources, such as Maryland’s Best or Yelp, show maps with either farms or popular farm-to-table restaurants. This is the first time a map highlights both, allowing consumers to visually connect the individual urban farms to the restaurants and markets that serve their food products. “As far as we know, this is the first food map to showcase a hyperlocal urban food system,” says Carrie Burns, Senior Project Coordinator for the Maryland Food System Map Project.
All of farms on the map use sustainable growing practices, such as avoiding synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and placing emphasis on soil health. Because growing food in an urban environment can create additional soil contamination risks, each farm on the map also regularly tests their soil to ensure that all produce is safe for consumption.
Users of the map can zoom to a specific neighborhood or address, and click on points on the map to learn where products are available (for farms) or sourced from (for restaurants and markets). Local-minded shoppers can buy Baltimore-grown food at locations as diverse as high-end restaurants to neighborhood farm stands, mobile markets, specialty stores and also farmers markets that accept SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. The map also includes photos and links to websites, creating a visual story around agriculture in Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 443-824-1371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.