Monday, June 18, 2012

Foreclosure Farms

Growing food in abandoned city lots? That's so 2007. In the post-recession landscape, the edgiest agricultural trendsetters are growing cannabis in suburban foreclosures. 

"Houses that sold for $1 million before the crisis have been turned into grow houses, equipped with the high-intensity lights, water and air-filtering systems necessary to produce potent, high-quality marijuana," reported the New York Times in an article this spring.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the BBC reports that local police found over 7,800 cannabis farms in the UK last year.

A foreclosed house in Vallejo, California, where illegal wiring for grow lights caused a fire on the second floor. Photo by Jim Wilson for the New York Times.
It's the logical next step of the "urban farming" fad. Abandoned inner-city lots for growing vegetables are becoming increasingly difficult to find. So what's an aspiring inner-city homesteader to do?

Drive 'till you qualify. There's a bounty of abandonment beyond the city limits. Find a nice quarter-acre lot with a nice lawn and privacy from any nosy neighbors, a good school district where well-to-do students will pay top dollar for your product, and five spacious bedrooms for your grow lights.

Who says the American Dream is dead? It just needs some pharmacological assistance.