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Agriculture in Ecuador and Smalltown USA or Not

Recent messages have looked at ideas on farming in Ecuador and Uruguay.  Smalltown USA and even big city USA should not be counted out… nor the rest of Latin America.  See why below.

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This great photo is from livelocalsource.com (see below).

What values can we depend on as constant in an ever changing world?

Nature’s way of maintaining balance is a constant.  When things appear the worst this means they are about to head the other way.  The benefits that come from buying good value never change.  The need for essentials… shelter and food will always be with us.

A reader replied to our recent message about agriculture in Uruguay and Ecuador:

Give me a break!  What is that guy saying and you bolding it: “What do you do in New York if you don’t work? Hang out in cafes and galleries all day?”  Does he, or you, truly believe that’s all there is to do in NYC if one is not working?  Perhaps he could go to shop at greenmarkets springing up around the city, particularly in Manhattan and increasingly hip Brooklyn?  Perhaps he could go to poorer areas of NYC where supermarkets are not necessarily close by to help the community start and maintain organic gardens?  Perhaps he could go to visit the many, many injured and ill veterans of all wars, in our Veterans Administration hospitals?  Perhaps he could tutor kids and/or lecture on career paths available in this great city?

I’m also thinking since he obviously has lots of cash he could actually attend all of the operas, ballet performances, theatrical shows that most normal people can’t afford due to the high cost of tickets.

He could volunteer in soup kitchens. And perhaps since he probably has a lot of connections with affluent New Yorkers he might be able to raise funds to get the many wounded veterans living on the streets, or unemployed, off the streets and maybe even help them get jobs?

I hope you, Merri and your family are all well and happily enjoying spring wherever you are.

Warm regards,

I replied:   Personally having lived for years in London and Hong Kong, Merri and I could happily never visit another city but you thought are excellent thoughts and I am happy to share them with readers!  Regards, Gary

I Like Agriculture Wherever

Since this site began… and before… in our printed newsletter we have focused on the ideas of investing in Ecuador,  Smalltown USA, water and food.

Though one does not associate farming with cities there is farming potential for city lovers.

One of our messages looked at beehives originally created for London and urban hen houses.

The concepts of rooftop gardening, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) will grow and offer great potential in many ways.

This is proven by an article at livelocalsource.com entitled “A Rooftop Farm in the Heart of New York City” says: “This farm in the middle of urban Queens isn’t just about ecological idealism. Here, one city gardener is trying to do more. He’s trying to take his organic rooftop farm and merge environmental sustainability with fiscal sustainability. He’s trying to operate the first profitable rooftop farm in New York City. Meet the contemporary urban farmer, Ben Flanner.”

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A photo from partlysunnyrisd.blogspot.com (see link below) says: Urban Agriculture, or growing food in cities, reconnects city residents with where their food is grown. It also shortens the distance food has to travel, reduces transportation costs and increases the amount of green space in urban areas.

Agriculture value is better in small towns

Back in 2005… well before the real estate crash, our site looked at seven factors that suggested good growth in Small Town USA.

This site then said:

Smalltown USA Value Factor #1: Some parts of America were growing increasingly overvalued. Our 2005 message warned about Naples, Florida (where homes were 84% overvalued).  We also warned about  Merced, Ca. 76.7%; Salinas, Ca. 74.8%; Port St. Lucie, Fl., 72.2%; and Stockton, Ca., 72.0%.  We reviewed how 41 of the 65 significantly overvalued markets were in California and Florida.
That message also looked at  how the most undervalued markets were in small towns in Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.

Smalltown Value Factor #2: One of the largest demographic groups in history (Baby Boomers) about to retire.

Smalltown Value Factor #3: A majority of boomers plan to move when they retire and a majority of the movers plan to settle in small towns 25 or 30 miles from where they now live.

Smalltown Value Factor #4: Boomer surveys show that most Boomers plan to keep working part time when they retire.

Smalltown Value Factor #5: Technology now makes it easier than every before for these boomers to move to small towns and continue to work part time.

Smalltown Value Factor #6:  There is a large decline in the purchasing power of corporate pensions.

Smalltown Value Factor #7: The loss of the purchasing power of Social Security and the US dollar will force many  boomers to move to paces where the cost of living is less expansive.

In other words, Small Town USA offered good value and the chances that demand would grow for real estate outside American cities was strong.  These facts remains in place today.

These words are pretty well confirmed in a Forbes article “Small Cities Are Becoming New Engine Of Economic Growth”

Here is an excerpt: The conventional wisdom is that the world’s largest cities are going to be the primary drivers of economic growth and innovation. Even slums, according to a fawning article in National Geographic, represent “examples of urban vitality, not blight.” In America, it is commonly maintained by pundits that “megaregions” anchored by dense urban cores will dominate the future.

Such conceits are, not surprisingly, popular among big city developers and the media in places like New York, which command the national debate by blaring the biggest horn. However, a less fevered analysis of recent trends suggests a very different reality: When it comes to growth, economic and demographic, opportunity increasingly is to be found in smaller, and often remote, places.

This year’s edition of Forbes’ Best Cities For Jobs survey, compiled with Pepperdine University’s Michael Shires, found that small and midsized metropolitan areas, with populations of 1 million or less, accounted for 27 of the 30 urban regions in the country that are adding jobs at the fastest rate. The three largest metropolitan statistical areas that made the top 30 — Austin, Houston and Salt Lake City — are themselves highly dispersed with sprawling employment sheds.

Rather than the products of “smart growth” and intense densification, almost all of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas — including larger ones like Silicon Valley and Raleigh — tend to be dominated by suburban-style, single-family homes and utterly dependent on the greatest scourge of the urbanist creed: the private car.

But many of the smaller areas also punch above their weight in myriad ways, spanning a host of industries.

Among the 398 MSAs we ranked for the list, energy towns dominate the top of the table:  Odessa, Texas (100,000), took first place; followed by Midland, Texas (population: 111,000), in second place; Lafayette, La. (fourth, 114,000); Corpus Christi, Texas (sixth, 287,000); San Angelo, Texas (seventh, 92,000); Casper, Wyo. (10th, 54,000); and Bismarck, N.D. (21st, 61,000). These cities’ economies have expanded steadily over the last few years, beneficiaries of a great boom in fossil fuels that, unless derailed by regulators, will continue for the foreseeable future.

But some of the other best cities for jobs make their livings in different ways, such as No. 12 Glens Falls, N.Y., riding growth in business services and tourism; and No. 15 Columbia, Mo., which is primarily a college and government town. Several smaller communities have bounced back strongly with the recovery of manufacturing, including No. 3 Columbus Ind., No. 11 Williamsport, Pa., and No. 19 Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.

This shift in opportunity also parallels some compelling demographic trends. In the 1990s, the rate of population growth of areas over 1 million and those below was essentially similar.  In contrast, in the subsequent decade, urban areas with fewer than a million people expanded by 15%, compared to barely 9% for larger urban areas, notes demographer Wendell Cox. In those 10 years, areas with fewer than a million people accounted for more than 60% of urban growth. Essentially more Americans are now moving to smaller regions than to larger ones.

Agriculture value is better in Latin America

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Paraguay Stevia farm.

Stevia, a natural sweetener recently approved by the FDA originated in the Amambay Mountain region of Paraguay with the native people known as the Guarani.

After our recent message that outlined farm management services in Uruguay and Ecuador a reader sent me a note from a newsletter that is unabashedly bullish on agriculture.

This letter points out supply and demand fundamentals for food such as:

1) World population isn’t getting any smaller.

2) A growing global middle class means demand for more calories… ie more food.

3) Cultivated land is on the decline.

4) Topsoil erosion, anomalous weather, and lack of water availability are becoming especially problematic.

5) Rising input costs (especially oil) have pushed many farmers out of business.

These and other global economic mismanagement that leads to inflation suggest that food prices are bound to rise.

This newsletter suggests Paraguay is a good place to farm because Paraguay land prices are low.

It appears that like other South and Central America countries the low costs and reduced government intrusion mean that the barrier to entry is quite low due to low prices prices and easy foreign ownership rules.

We need more simplicity in this ever more complicated world.   Nature’s law… getting good value shelter and food are also strong simple ideas that work in cities, Smalltown USA and in lower cost countries.

Gary

Ecuador Small Farm & Real Estate Tour

Join an Ecuador farm real estate tour.

These are private tours that you can arrange take at any time conducted by Jean Marie Butterlin.

Jean Marie writes:

This for those who would like to look at Ecuador farm and multi dimensional and income producing property.

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Imagine having a multi dimensional opportunity like this.

There are opportunities to own an Ecuador farm with a combination of beach front and agriculture.

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Delegates visiting Ecuador farm on beachfront with multi dimensional opportunity.

See three case studies of Ecuador farms… large, medium and small that offer a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and income protected from inflation.

Gary and Merri Scott have always focused on turning our passions into profit and we all love living on farm land!

Learn to tap root values and create multi dimensional opportunity on a farm is part of the new way of creating a better lifestyle.

Gary and Merri live on a farm in North Carolina… an orange grove in Florida and their first Ecuador property purchased many years ago was also agricultural land… over 900 acres… formerly in sugar cane, citrus, pineapples and avocados… the top soil deep and rich.

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Here is a photo of Merri Scott feeding one of her Ecuador horses.  They still have this hacienda, Rosaspamba, (the place of the roses).

You can live a wonderful pure lifestyle like this on an Ecuador farm.

Economic history since before WWI suggests that we’ll see the final crunch of this 15 year bear in 2011 and perhaps 2012.  Then the light at the end of the tunnel will appear… slowly at first but picking up a head of steam aiming for the next bubble of something like 2030.

Already the price of farm land globally has been soaring and often in North America is out of reach for individuals.

There are few places with as much agricultural potential and diversity as Ecuador. It is not surprising that many readers want to own and live on Ecuador farmland.

Ecuador agriculture can offer a better lifestyle and opportunity at an affordable price. 

Sometimes we forget the importance of life’s basics…such as food.  Until those basics cost more than we can afford.

Why Ecuador agriculture is special is explained in a Wall Street Journal article that began: “Prices of farm goods are climbing – in part because of demand for crop-based fuels – pushing up food prices around the world and creating a new source of inflationary pressure. The rise in food prices is already causing distress among consumers in some parts of the world — especially relatively poor nations like India and China. If the trend gathers momentum, it could contribute to slower global growth by forcing consumers to spend less on other items or spurring central banks to fight inflation by raising interest rates.”

This is one of the wonderful benefits of Ecuador agriculture, the extreme supply of excellent but low cost food.

Ecuador is a Garden of Eden and here is a fact you probably did not know. The inhabitants of this region developed more than half the agricultural products that the world eats today. Among these are more than many varieties of corn and potato. These foods also include squash, beans, peppers, peanuts, popcorn, yucca and quinoa.

They even learned to use freezing night temperatures and warm days to freeze dry potatoes and create potato flour.

At the market, three blocks from our hotel where we shop.  Open air restaurants in the front of the market offer excellent meals, vegetarian, or chicken, steak, fish or pork for about $1.

There are numbers of  fresh picked vegetables offered by happy friendly people.

And every type of fruit you can imagine, from pineapple to coconut, papaya, mango, apples, pears, bananas, berries and numerous other tropical fruits all at bargains prices by Western standards and ripe all year round.

Many exotic spices at a 1/20th the cost in the US or Canada. This makes life especially wonderful and inexpensive.

My wife Pacal and I live as well in Bahia Ecuador on $2,000 a month as we did in Europe on $10,000 a month.

When you are planning to retire and live the good life, you should look at both parts of the equation, expenses and what you can earn.I have been able to lower my expenses considerably by living in Bahia.  We live in front of the Malecon enjoying the sun 320 days per year.

But the key to retirement is really in the INCOME part of the equation.   How can you generate income without working too hard?

The answer is to have an “outside the box”  plan.  If you do what everybody else does, chances are you’ll earn what everyone else does.

A lot of younger clients on our real estate tours ask  “How can  I generate a little income in Ecuador”?  They say they would move down immediately if they could. This started me thinking  about how to show a few select clients a chance to be part of that world of retirees in Ecuador who work only at what they like.

I have put together a special plan for those seeking to move and earn in Ecuador now!

Here is the plan and here are the facts:

* Every economist is currently saying that agriculture will be the next place to invest because :

  • God is not making more arable land.
  • The world is running out of food.  China has been buying and leasing arable land all over Africa and in South America for example.  A lot of the smart money is going into arable all over the continent.

* Ecuador has some of the cheapest yet best agricultural land in all of South America.  The climate is best for growing as well with 365 days a year of direct sunlight.  In many parts of Ecuador, farmers can get 3 and even 4 harvests per year, depending on the water available on the property.

* However, most Ecuadorian farmers have not yet learned how to produce and manage a farm. They are lacking higher education and management skills as well as equipment.  Some Ecuador farmers still plow with oxen.

*  Many Ecuadorian farmers do not know how to sell and do not treat the farm as a real business.

There is a great opportunity that lies in this combination of cheap, arable land, the geographical place of Ecuador on the equator and lack of good agronomical skills.

This is a tour for those who want to learn about Ecuador farms. and have $50,000 or more to invest in their home and income opportunity.

These tours are normally conducted over three long, jam packed days, but can be extended or shortened based on your schedule.   This provides you a low cost, efficient way to inspect Ecuador agricultural property and residential income on the coast that is legitimately for sale at a reasonable price.

The tour provides detailed data prepared by agri engineers and specialists of several type of agri businesses including costs, types of soils for each type of crop, risk analysis, potential profits, timing, where to find the buyers of crops.

On the tour we look “outside the box” at crops that can for example produce “biofuel”.

You visit farms for sale.   You’ll visit farms that are for sale at the time you choose, but here are example of farms inspected on previous tours.

This agri property has 203 hectares (507 acres) divided into:

28 hectares (70 cares) of balsa trees.  In 5 years these will fetch $30,000 a hectare.

30 hectares (75 acres) of African palm trees in production (the nuts fetch $250 per ton).

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– 140 hectares (350 acres) of pasture sufficient for 200 head of cattle or other crops that can produce an excellent return.

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– 3 small

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and one large river along the property with water availability.

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– Close to the main road

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– $6600/hectare ($2,640 an acre) asking including a small casita for caretakers.

You can also inspect residential real estate… condos and houses close to farms in nearby coastal cities including Bahia.

We will have inspected and investigated all properties prior paying special attention to three special issues:

* water on site
* access roads
* good port close

We will only show land that has water in Manabi province near Manta the second largest port in Ecuador.

We will have investigated electricity, pricing and title and the legal matters pertaining to agri businesses in Ecuador.

We use our contacts with local people were born in the area… who know the land owners… who know what the “market” price should be and we do not show farmland where the seller is asking an unrealistic price or if there are any doubts about ownership or clear title.

We also provide administration, accounting and legal consultants who will answer questions about owning and running a company in Ecuador, a civil code country and very different from the US and Canada which run on common law.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Ecuador has many Agricultural Advantages and we have been recommending the idea of investing in Ecuador agriculture for years.

This creates opportunity as well.

Ecuador’s geographical location gives it a distinct advantage in agricultural production. Its exports include asparagus, bananas, broccoli, cocoa, coffee, flowers, hearts of palm, lentils, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, plantain, mango, red beans, and tomatoes. Ecuador has mainly an agricultural economy, though oil is its largest source of revenue, and industry has expanded. Agriculture employs 32 percent of the workforce. 6.4 million acres is used in agriculture. Permanent pasture covers 17 percent of the total area and forests nearly 43 percent. In the highlands subsistence agriculture and the production of staples for the urban areas are predominant (corn, wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, and various vegetables). In the coastal lowlands tropical crops are grown to export. Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world and among the largest exporters of shrimp and roses.

Jean Marie Butterlin

Included in the price is the tour… the guides and are all local transportation.  Airfare to Ecuador… domestic airfare from Quito to Manta, lodging and meals are NOT included.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Who Will Benefit From This Tour

Attendees on this tour will range from those who want their own sustainable farm or a full agricultural business.

Three Ecuador Farm Case Studies of Previous Farms for Sale

Here are three case studies for three Ecuador farms… small… medium and large.

Case Study #1:  A good case study for those looking for a way of life and an income supplement is this  six acre organic tomato farm offered at $85,000 that delegates on on a real estate tour visited.   This shows a perfect little Ecuador retirement operation, so where should we start?

I think it is with the guinea pigs…

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The farm has many of them in these cages.

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Clover on the farm feeds them.  Their manure helps organically fertilize the corn.

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The corn husks are mixed with manure to be used as fertilizer and the corn feeds the…

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pigeons…

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chickens and…

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pigs.

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All of these animals create more organic fertilizer that this farmer uses to grow tomatoes.

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Here is the Ecuador organic farmer with our driver Jorge, Alberto Verdezoto and Peggy Carper.

Tomatoes grow quickly here it seems.  These newly planted organic tomatoes will be ready in three weeks. I find this hard to believe but this is what the farmer said.  Though my Spanish has been known to miss on occasion.

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These will look like…

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this and…

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provide

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income that…

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would provide a nice retirement income… $25,000 a year we are told.

Other benefits include farm fresh eggs.

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Trout are in the ponds next to the pigeon coops.

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The Ecuador farm tour  fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Case Study #2:   This second case study shows a Coffee finca offered for $175,000 for someone who wishes to farm for a good income.

26 acre Inca Mountain Ecuador coffee finca  1 ¾ hour drive from Cotacachi.

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Ecuador coffee farm entrance.

The original owner spent two years searching for the perfect location to duplicate the exact terrain, altitude and growing conditions of the most successful coffee farms of Boquete, Panama and Columbia.

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Terrain and coffee plants.

After walking with an altimeter in hand and talking to reclusive indigenous farmers, this region was discovered with all the perfect conditions to cultivate exceptional Arabica coffee trees.

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Owners house with roof terrace.

This is a micro climate, blessed with abundant rainfall, in clean mountain air, bounded by a clear trout filled year around rushing river, protected from extremes of wind and large temperature fluctuations,  perfect for growing coffee.

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Open drying patio.

It has 11 hectares planted (manageable for a single owner), with approximately 50,000 Arabica, varietal Caturra (self pollinating) coffee trees which  are perfectly distributed over a hillside interspersed with a variety of fruit trees for shade.

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Oranges grown to protect coffee trees.

No problem selling this crop for top dollar due to its proven high quality.  The coffee sales last year grossed $70,000 so after $25,000 expenses, $45,000 was the net income.

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Coffee beans.

As well, an experimental 1 hectare of Geisha varietal.  Geisha is considered to be one of the finest coffees in the world and garnered the highest auction record in coffee history, fetching $170 per pound in 2010.  The first harvest of this varietal is expected in about 2 years.

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Coffee plants grown in greenhouse on farm.

This Andean  location provides an ideal environment for coffee growing without damaging the unique habitat of many species of birds.   Arabica coffee trees are a major source of oxygen production.  Each hectare produces 86 pounds of oxygen per day which is 50% of rain forest habitat.  Ecuador is a biologically diverse country with an abundance of birds, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies.  Inca Mountain Coffee Farm is ecologically in harmony with its environment.

The Arabica coffee trees are 6 years old, providing remarkable yields, allowing for continuous flowering and two annual harvests (major harvest Feb-Jun and minor harvest Oct-Nov).

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Covered drying patio.

In the yearly Golden Cup competition, coffee from this farm was a finalist in 2011.

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Seasonal worker harvesting coffee.

Owner’s house – 900 sq/ft, 2 bed, 1 bath, with lots of marble, built in cabinets in both bedrooms and upper roof porch

Caretaker’s house – divided into multiple rooms with bathroom

Land line phone installed and operational

110 and 220 volt electric lines

Equipment:  2 coffee bean pulpers with 2 water tanks, 2 weed whackers, misc. tools, scale for weighing coffee bags

1 large uncovered drying patio and 1 covered drying patio

2 full time highly experienced workers – monthly payroll is $650 (plus more during harvest for seasonal workers)

Average yearly expenses:  $25,000 (all payroll, fertilizer, harvesting expenses, utilities, taxes)

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This clean mountain river that runs year around with trout.  Also, access to mountain water for farm irrigation, though it is rarely needed.

Farm is fenced along road.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Case Study #3:   This third case study shows an American who has created a   large Ecuador agri operation. This is the farming operation set up by Young Living Essential oils.

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After creating a marketing system for the oils and farming in the USA, Gary and his wife…

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moved to Ecuador… began a large farming operation as well as…

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there own processing and a health spa.

Ecuador is a perfect place for many types of agriculture… large and small.  Find your farm in the safe and efficient way on an Ecuador Agricultural Tour.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

 

 

A Rooftop Farm in the Heart of New York City

partlysunnyrisd.blogspot.com on urban food

Read Forbes article “Small Cities Are Becoming New Engine Of Economic Growth”

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