Urban Reclamation through Farming


Imagine a desert, not of sand, but of concrete. Now imagine, that within that desert there is a maze that twists and turns 30 stories high, but never ends. That maze signifies the quest for affordable, nutritional food in many urban environments. Urban environments that struggle for access to healthy food options, are typically lower income areas, and primarily are comprised of minority populations. Their communities are on a quest become for both social justice and food justice. With all of these barriers working against them, there needs to be a way out of the maze. Our proposal is to build upon the idea of urban farming by bringing it to the middle schools in these cities. By utilizing an interdisciplinary curriculum based on a ready-made farm system, students in sixth to eighth grade will be actively engaged in how to operate a small farm. Through this curriculum we would not only create innovative learning but also a self-sustaining, continuous food resource which could help feed the children themselves, be sold for a profit, or donated to local charities to help feed the hungry in the neighborhood. Thereby, we can combat food injustice and bring life to the urban desert, while opening the minds of learners up to the possibilities that come from new, inspired, and creative learning opportunities. Our work showcases the steps of creating the farm and business in each of the key areas of the curriculum: language arts, science, math, geography, and business.


Social Difference Curriculum


2019 Special Focus: "Learning to Make a Social Difference"


Poster/Exhibit Session


  • Jennifer Nahlik
    • Doctoral Student, Ball State University, United States United States
  • Amy Crouch
    • Doctoral Student, Department of Educational Studies, Ball State University, United States United States
  • Robert Mc Elroy
    • Doctoral Student, Ball State University, United States United States