Urban Farming Is Not A Planet Savior…More A Lifestyle For Modern Hypocrites And Ingrates

Urban farming seems to be one of the latest trends among activists obsessed with environmental-footprints, and is being billed by some as the solution for all the world’s ills.

In the following video urban farmer Curtis Stone is just the latest example of how people can get intoxicated by a dogma, become blind to their own hypocrisy, and be unable to even begin to grasp the complex socio-economic system we live in and rely on for our prosperity.

Of course there are a lot of positive points with what Stone preaches: short supply chains, fresh and nutritious produce and effective use of resources. But he makes the mistake of viewing his lifestyle as the world-saving religion that needs to be imposed onto everyone else. If only everyone became urban farmers like him, all the world’s ills would surely go away. The reality, however, is that nothing could be more naive.

“Urban farmer” Curtis Stone despises the “destructive” global economy, yet gladly relies on fossil-fuel powered equipment, petroleum-based attire, modern eyewear, and computers. Image cropped here.

Like so many artsy-activist types, Curtis fails to realize that his current lifestyle is made possible only by the free-market, industrialized global system itself. In the video he says:

Every action you take in the global economy is destructive to the environment, it is destructive – it causes social inequity, wipes out indigenous cultures, forests – you name it. Everything we do, whether it’s buying a can of Coke, driving your car, or whatever we do is destructive. I’m really excited about getting to the point where everything we do is a reflection of what happens in nature. Everything creates more life, creates more soil fertility, purifies the air.”

He then adds that we need to get away from the growth-based economy. His answer: “If we have things we can trade and we grow food and everybody is fed, that sounds like a good economy to me.”

Well, that just happens to be the free market economy, the very one he criticized just moments earlier. But Stone’s free-market version is one that resembles the Flintstones: scaled back with only limited small technology. It’s backwards, and it could never feed 8 billion people.

I’m OK, you’re not okay

Stone’s problem is that he still does not have an inkling of how the modern economy works and where the very tools, equipment and technical foundation he (obliviously) relies on come from.

Note how early in the video he recommends a 2-stroke-engine-powered rototiller. He also uses hundreds of square yards of plastic film, made from fossil fuel petroleum, to protect the plants from nature. The bicycle he rides neither fell from the sky nor grew from a tree, but is one that was produced by today’s modern, free market industrial economy, with its parts coming from all over the world. He wears sweat-shop-made clothing and footwear, and not fig leaves and ferns. His spectacles are probably made using European-ground lenses and frames made from wire drawn in Mexico. Early in the video he talks about how his “business” is run and how to earn money. He doesn’t pack his fresh produce in a sack made of hide, rather in plastic commercial food bins. Stone also uses his PC notebook to make his presentations across the country.

His view of today’s global economy is as narrow as it is hypocritical.

he fails to realize that it is the growth-based economy that allowed humans to go from clubs and stone wheels to a foot-propelled bicycle and plastic vegetable tubs. And had it not been for the rampant human stupidity and dogma getting in the way over the eons, mankind would surely have reached bicycles and rototillers hundreds of years earlier.

Clueless ingrate

If you want to convince anyone your philosophy is the real thing, then do what you are doing with nothing more than sticks and stones, and be successful at it. If you pull that off, then we’d believe you. Don’t preach like Al Gore does, and then hop on fossil-fuel powered private jets to spread your gospel. Travel to your speeches bare-footed, donning your best fig leaf. And never mind using a notebook and projector.

It’s wonderful Stone enjoys what he is doing and that many people appreciate all the fresh produce he grows and markets. Yes, some of his ideas are good and worth applause. Unfortunately, some people get a good idea and suddenly believe they are God’s Gift to mankind.

There are lots of other people out there doing good things; you’re not the only one. Stone, you need to climb down from your high horse and say thanks to those who made it possible for you, and not deplore them like a clueless ingrate jerk would do.


41 responses to “Urban Farming Is Not A Planet Savior…More A Lifestyle For Modern Hypocrites And Ingrates”

  1. dennisambler

    This TV programme was in 1975….


    “On his 40th birthday to be precise, Tom Good decides that he’s had enough of the rat race and that he and wife Barbara will become self-sufficient.
    Tom and Barbara

    The pair convert their garden into a farm, get in the pigs and chickens, grow their own crops and on one memorable occasion, try to dye their own wool with nettles.

    Examples of Tom’s pursuit of natural alternatives leading down the wrong path include his attempts to make a methane-powered car that continually breaks down, as well as the problems Barbara and Tom have trying to kill their chicken, forcing them through pride to make a ‘sumptuous feast’ of a single egg.”

    1. Colorado Wellington

      Stephen Leacock would have a field day with these idiots. He sure did with their ancestors a century ago.

  2. John

    These greens are really unbelievable stupid. Seriously!

  3. Shoshin

    The various incarnations of the modern Green movement are only made possible through the kindness and subsidy of others. If everyone did it it would be a catastrophe. There is a line in the movie “Dr. Zhivago” where the police captain and Dr. Zhivago watch a man pulling off a few fence boards for firewood. Dr. Zhivago says “A man pulling down fence boards for firewood is a pathetic thing”. The Police Captain replies “A mob doing the same will destroy a city.”

    Whether it’s Urban farming, anti-GMO or Teslas, it’s all the same; a few people doing it is a pathetic curiosity. Everyone doing it will crumble society.

    1. SebastianH

      A few people burning fossil fuels is a pathetic curiosity? Everyone doing it will crumble society?

      Everything is made possible through the kindness and subsidy of others … not only green things. We all depend on each other.

      1. AndyG55

        “A few people burning fossil fuels is a pathetic curiosity?”

        He’s pulling down fence boards as fuel.

        I don’t suppose you see the issue.

        And yes, if people burn only what they can immediately get their hands on, and totally rape local forests etc for timber….

        Yes.. that becomes an societal issue.

        Witness Haiti.

        1. Colorado Wellington

          “A few people burning fossil fuels is a pathetic curiosity?”

          His comment borders on unbelievable but it explains a lot.

      2. Shoshin

        If Person A is subsidizing the excess consumption of Person B it only works because Person A is engaging in a practice that generates excess resources. This subsidization by Person A is the definition of socialism.

        If Person A decides to adopt the same excess consumptive socialist practices as Person B chaos would reign due to shortages.

        Look at Venezuela to see the socialist “success” of a society of Persons B. Or Greece. Or Soviet Russia. Or Cuba. Or Cambodia. Or anyplace where socialism has been tried.

  4. sunsettommy

    I have been involved in city oriented programs as a city employee,to make small VACANT sections of city land be made into community gardens. They were designed for the low income and apartment dwelling people,to grow a small amount of Veggies. It is a good idea when treated as small scale,to help those who need to supplement their food supply. They pay for a plot of the garden,which are in raised beds for the season.

    There have been Four such gardens developed,in the two biggest ones I installed the pipe and spigots professionally,using city equipment.

    The Civil Engineer drew up the plans,the fences were installed,while the Irrigation Techs like me,installed the water lines.

    The City of Seattle has a P-Patch program that has similar use of city owned vacant land for small gardens. The main rule there as it is in Richland was the use of only Organic Methods for cultivation.

  5. Henning Nielsen

    WHAT is that machine of his running on? And why does he have an energy-wasting suburban house, when flats are far more energy-efficient?

    This suburban illusionist looks like a great big joke. As in South Park:

    College greenie: “We should have a society where we’re all doing things for each other. Like, like one guy could like baking bread, and another guy could look after our safety.”
    Stan Marsh: “You mean like a baker and a cop?”
    College greenie: “No, no like we were all living together, doing things in the same place, like a community.”
    Stan Marsh: “We’ve got that. It’s called a town.”

    1. AndyG55

      “WHAT is that machine of his running on?”

      And how did it get their.

      Maybe he owns a horse and cart ?

      1. AndyG55

        their.. there.. oops !!

  6. Philip

    Curtis is a Moron

  7. Brian W.

    “Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.” Henry Kissenger

    Obama’s Utopia

    This video is my attempt to wake up America on the economic peril this country is facing and to ask individuals to take personal responsibility in preparing for the coming storm of civil unrest, government control over the daily lives of the dependent masses, and a message to those of us that are aware to prepare ourselves physically, economically, and spiritually.


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  9. John F. Hultquist

    The photo is great. Tilling up a green lawn with a powered machine. Insofar as modern equipment seems okay with him, why not kill the grass before beginning? His best growing crop will be one I’m not fond of — grass. I wonder if he grows wheat and carries the production process on to bread?
    Hope someone checks back in with Curtis in 5 years to see how this is going.

    We have a small garden and grow a few special things that grocery stores don’t do well. Summer squash come to mind. Berries of various types. Other things that we like, say sweet Peppers, Cauliflower, Spinach — do not like our climate. Some things can be grown under protective covers. We let others do that and go to farmer’s markets.
    Another thing is that many things have a short harvest season — Corn, Tomatoes — that, in part, can be gotten around with different varieties and planting sequence. When big harvests come, one has to start canning and freezing — or give stuff away.

    1. AndyG55

      I used to have a very productive small orchard.

      10 or so multi-grafted trees.

      Lots of hay and manure from the neighbour’s horse stable. 🙂 The good stuff. (not AGW BS!)

      More fruit than we could eat, so a lot got given away, bartered or swapped with another friend that did vegetables.

      1. John F. Hultquist

        We have a few fruit trees, too, and the Cherries are ripe. We share them with the birds, and Monday evening friends brought 2 girls from Belarus out to pick.
        [Girls are visiting as part of a local chapter of Children of Chernobyl.]
        Also, in our case, the horses and their manure are in our pasture.
        We also grow a few flowers {Dahlias and Gladiolus this year} and take them to nursing, rehab, and other such places.
        I sure would not want to be trying to provide even a large portion of our needs from our own place. Curtis will learn.
        A good harvest to you. John

        1. AndyG55

          “evening friends brought 2 girls from Belarus out to pick.”

          Which one did you choose ??? 😉

  10. John DeFrancisco

    This story is making a point that isn’t valid. If the writer were to first interview Curtis this article may not have been written. I think that video attached to the article was from six years ago…Curtis said himself he was a disgruntled youth set out to upset capitalism best he could, but that looking back he was naive. I’m not defending him just pointing out the journalists’ methods are poorly developed and I think we all agree our ag system is broken. We can do our best to mitigate a reliance on fossil fuels but to operate today and have an impact it is more important to be a viable, successful enterprise that can support the growth of other farmers producing a solid product. The impact that Curtis and other small farms are having couldn’t be felt at a better time as more and more young farmers join a movement to be participants in healthy, local, fresh, clean and in-your-face real food production. These farmers have had nothing but positive impacts, though I admit that fadora is very fitting for the authors claim…

    1. Colorado Wellington


      What is in-your-face food production?

  11. Derek Colman

    He really is very naive. I would think the energy input into his urban farming is probably twice as much as for the same amount of produce commercially grown.

    1. Karen Hunter

      There is likely less poison sprayed on or fed into the food. And growing your own food is one of the most revolutionary things you can do. Abrupt profit change. Ya know?

      1. Colorado Wellington

        My grandmother was not a revolutionary and when we did something bad she called us Bolsheviks.

  12. Curtis Stone

    Hey Pierre, a friend of mine forwarded this article you wrote about me. I want to thank you for it and let you know that I agree with most of what you said in the article. That video you found on me is pretty old. I have changed my views a lot in the last number of years. I am very pro free market and also think man made climate change is BS! Anyways, thanks for the article. I had a good laugh reading it. I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since then.

    Curtis Stone

    1. AndyG55

      “I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since then.”

      Careful, Curtis..

      …. next you will be voting Republican !! 🙂

    2. Colorado Wellington

      Hey, Curtis,

      Once upon a time I’ve done and believed some pretty stupid things myself, but as one of my favorite Australian writers said after mentioning her underpants drawer on the back cover of her children’s book:

      “I’d rather not talk about that right now.”

      All the best from Colorado.

      The Terrible Underpants by Kaz Cooke

    3. AndyG55


      It would be interesting to hear how your little venture actually ended up.

      Problems encountered, things that worked…. etc etc

      I’ve done the fruit tree growing effort, but never wanted to go through all the hard slog of vegie growing.

  13. Sceptical Sam


    Thanks for letting us know how things have progressed for you. Please keep us posted.

    And welcome to the world of the free-thinkers. It’s not the easiest place to be – but then, neither is growing your own veggies.

    May the Rhizobia be with you.

  14. Sten Kaijser

    Dear Pierre, I hope your wrote a nice letter directly to him so that your blog was not the only communication.
    And since this is the first time I comment on NTZ I wish to thank you for your good work.
    BTW I am one of the writers on the Swedish blog Klimatupplysningen.
    Best wishes Sten Kaijser

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