The ongoing civil war in Syria has been devastating for the city of Aleppo, currently held by rebel forces and besieged by the government. After the September ceasefire fell apart, it has gotten progressively harder to feed the people of the city, but there may be some hope in the shape of urban agriculture.
While there are number of families and small groups that are attempting to grow their own food in the city, most of these attempts make use of only a small fraction of a hectare, hardly enough space to grow food for a family, much less to provide for neighbors.
This is where Red Team comes in. Red Team is a volunteer organization that manages 37 hectares of farmland on the outskirts of town, helping to feed eastern Aleppo. They’re out of the way of most of the shelling and skirmishes that make life in that city so dangerous. The farm is selling the produce at cost, trying to keep the farm running instead of making a profit on it. They’re doing this in a city where produce prices are sometimes 10 times as high as they were before the war.
Living in a city under siege has been difficult for as long as there have been cities or war. Throughout history, cities have traditionally given in when it ha become impossible to feed the people there.
The rebels controlling Aleppo don’t seem likely to give up any time soon, but that kind of resistance can be bad for the city. Barely able to feed itself, much of the city is reliant upon food brought in from other, rebel-controlled parts of the country, which are themselves struggling as well.
Hopefully, groups of farmers like Red Team can help keep the people of Aleppo from succumbing to the horrors of war, and keep the death toll from getting even higher.