ge•o•pon•i•ca [\jee,uh,'pon,ik,ah\] -noun: agricultural pursuits in the broadest sense, including but not limited to the art and science of agriculture
Our name "Feeding the City" stems from one group of research projects we are pursuing related to food production, health and the environment. Feeding the City began by examining the energy use and greenhouse gases associated with small-scale sustainable agriculture, with the plan of expanding the study to include other environmental metrics.
We are collecting farm-scale data on direct and indirect energy inputs in relation to outputs (e.g. yield amounts) to determine the energy efficiency and environmental footprint of food production on urban and rural farms that practice sustainable methods. These data also allow for 'nutrient accounting' -- allowing us to construct balance sheets for nitrogen and phosphorous. The project has completed its first pilot-year (2009) and is now in the second year of study.
We are integrating these data with detailed "foodshed" mapping of land-resources and population distribution to quantify changes in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient cycling on local to national scales. With an interdisciplinary team of researchers and a growing team of community partners, we are working towards the goal of understanding the relative environmental impacts of re-envisioning the food system and moving in directions that make environmental sense.
NOTE: We are looking for additional Midwest farms to participate in our record-keeping project conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago beginning at the END OF HARVEST season in 2010 (i.e. for the 2011 growing season): “Energy Use and Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Small-Scale, Diversified Farms throughout the Midwest in 2010”. See project pages for more information.
To learn more about participating in this project or others as a farmer, student, or potential collaborator, please contact either:
Esther Bowen, Project Coordinator and Graduate Student Researcher, email@example.com OR
Pamela Martin, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org (773.834.5245)