Supporting beneficial insects such as pollinators and predators is important on all farms because of their services. In urban areas, attracting beneficials can be particularly challenging because their natural habitat is highly fragmented. Also, urban farms typically operate on a very small land base and often need to extract as much production from their land as possible, perhaps making them hesitant to devote a significant amount of space to insect habitat.
Mark Brannen of Benson Bounty in Omaha, Neb., used a SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to establish native plant habitat on his 0.75-acre urban farm and assess what revenue stream he could get by selling cut flowers. Brannen found that he could gross about $2 per square foot, which was $1 less than vegetable beds, but with considerably less labor involved.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant: