Congratulations to the Spokane City Council for its support of controlled development (including the urban ag ordinances). My husband and I moved here because of Spokane’s growing climate and abundant farmland and agricultural producers. Imagine my shock to discover we are actually in a food desert. That signals to me that we do not support small farmers, nor provide fiscal or even entrepreneurial support.
I see how other countries (Saudi Arabia and China, for example) are buying up farmlands in the United States because they do not have adequate places to grow food for their people. We, on the other hand, think it is more important to spread out, stress our infrastructures and ignore the local food system with urban sprawl displacing vital agriculture land.
I am not against development, and appreciate the role developers play. I am against lack of planning in support for our local food systems, and instead see the small farm rapidly disappearing due to lack of support. Our monoculture farms send most of their food away, increasing our need to import food (often processed or heavily sprayed).
None of this is sustainable if we don’t encourage and support the local small farmer.