Urban farming and food tyranny, with Josh O’Conner

backyard farming
presented by SCC


Josh O’Conner is a Senior Editor for the Urban Times an online magazine. He’s a planner by trade and an advocate for community-oriented urbanism. When he’s off the clock, Josh STILL likes urban planning. But he also fills his time with small-scale agriculture, ecology, and sociology. He does all that with his wife and daughters in Asheville, NC.


Stick it to the man by growing your own food!

Organic foods, homegrown vegetables, and pop-up grocery markets have been picking up a lot of press in recent months. From the news stories I’ve seen, journalists and bloggers don’t know what to make of this movement. It seems people get assigned 1 of 2 labels. You’re either labeled a lone wolf wack job who wants civilization to crumble or you’re a naiive hipster who hates Walmart but isn’t sure why. Is the small-scale farming just a quick fad or are people really interested in growing their own food?


Can gardening be easier than the normal mowing/growing cycle?

Josh puts himself in the shoes of an agriculture evangelist. I’m the hypothetical neighbor who can’t fathom growing my own fruits and veggies. I have trouble growing grass. (Ahem.) Where would I even begin if I did want to dabble in urban farming?


Black helicopters and backyard freedom.

Why does the government make growing and selling your own food so difficult? The FDA approves sugary desserts and sodas but I can’t bottle my own milk and sell it to a neighbor. Is there any hope that local or state governments will get behind their constituents and make small-scale agriculture more attractive? [Spoiler alert: prohibition never ended in the United States.]


Tips from an urban farmer.

Josh shares some insights for people interested in the urban farming movement, the scene in North Carolina, and the bigger picture across the U.S. His biggest recommendation? Well…how about you listen to the show and then tell your friends what his primary point was.


Connect with our guest

Josh O’Conner would be happy to connect with you.



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