Just northeast of uptown Charlotte, in a previously abandoned and cluttered warehouse, is Lila's Garden. It's more than a for-profit hydroponic garden. The owners hope it could be a key to revitalizing a struggling neighborhood. (Photo: Selena Skorman)
Are urban growth boundaries effective tools for curbing sprawl, or an infringement of property rights?
Just west of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River, a start-up farm and food council is emerging with a vision to fill small farmers’ wallets with money and the Charlotte region’s plates with local food.
Two different organizations in the Charlotte region are using borrowed land and volunteer labor to get fresh, local food on the plates of people who need it most.
The farmer points toward a long stretch of turned earth warming in the sun. Tomatoes and squash will grow well there, and more crops over there. Behind him, fruit trees cast shadows. It’s bucolic enough you almost forget the steady buzz of traffic behind you. Because this farmer is, in fact, a store owner, and this farm is in downtown Matthews.
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