15-0202 v2.1/Definitions and Calculations (Part I)

QUESTION

Our project is well into our site design and needs to move forward confirming that we have the minimum required area for urban agriculture. We are requesting clarifications on definitions and calculation methods for this Imperative.

Definitions:

Please define agriculture. Does it include aquaculture, ethnobotanicals, forestry or medicinal gardens?

Is it intended that agriculture is for human consumption? Is agriculture intended to be food or any consumable? For instance, the occupant of our project requires leaves from the mulberry tree to feed silkworms used for education purposes. Would the area required for the mulberry tree meet the definition of agriculture?

Calculations:

For trees, is the canopy, the root system or trunk area counted? Are we allowed to use the mature/full growth area?

Agriculture requires a significant area for storage of seeds, supplies, and equipment. Since these areas contribute to a productive yield, can these areas be counted, in full or partially, towards the required area calculations?

Do we use the ground area or the surface area for agriculture in our required area calculations? For instance vertical wall gardens, greenhouse racking, and shade-grown crops. Vertical garden and multi-layered crops yield higher productivity per sq ft of land area, this is an especially important technique on tight urban lots that may not have the ground area to meet the requirements.

How do we calculate the site area for husbandry?

ANSWER 

Part I "Agriculture is the “science and art of cultivating the soil; including the allied pursuits of gathering in the crops and rearing livestock; tillage, husbandry, farming.” Agriculture may include aquaculture, ethnobotanicals, and medicinal gardens – assuming that the plants are used for these properties and are not ‘installed’ for ornamental purposes. Forestry would not be considered agriculture, since it does not contribute to the caloric intake of humans or livestock. Agriculture is typically considered to be for human consumption; however, if there are livestock on site, a portion of the planting may be allocated to their sustenance. In this instance, the mulberry tree may be included in the calculations IF the silkworm itself is being raised for purposes beyond those that are solely educational (ie. how is the silk worm’s by-products being used?). A complete chart that provides a ‘rule-of-thumb’ area allotted for different types of plants and animals will be in the User’s Guide. For trees, the team may use the estimated full-growth canopy (guidelines for area forthcoming) – though there may be additional opportunities for growing crops underneath as well. These may not be double counted, but despite this, teams are encouraged to use the agricultural area for its highest and best functionality. Area devoted to the storage of seeds, supplies and equipment may be counted towards the agricultural area. The onsite audit will review the space allocated for this purpose to ensure that it has been optimized and used appropriately."


Post ID 2127

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