THE BLOG
06/02/2011 06:38 pm ET | Updated Aug 02, 2011

Michael Hancock: Urban Gardening Could Be Economic Boon for Denver

Every candidate running for office in the U.S. today knows it: if you want to get elected, you'd better come prepared with a serious plan for creating jobs. We don't need a poll to show that the economy is the number one issue concerning voters, and jobs are at the heart.

Denver mayoral candidate Michael Hancock has a big idea for creating jobs, but no one seems to be taking it seriously.

Clip of Denver Diatribe Podcast #35: The Politics of Harry Potter, Elway and Urban Gardens Edition. by Denver Diatribe To listen to the entire episode, click here.

The Denver Post reported last week that Hancock's "People's Plan" includes farming. The plan points out that Denver residents spend over $6 billion on food annually, yet only one-tenth of what we consume is grown locally. That means $5.4 billion in opportunity. If we plant gardens in Denver, we can capture all the revenue currently being shipped back to, well, farmland.

How he proposes Denver do this is not totally clear -- though there is mention of a public-private partnership and a promise that no city money would be contributed -- and this, in part, is why folks like this week's Denver Diatribe guest, free-market advocate Ari Armstrong, are calling the idea silly. Gardening is great, Armstrong says, and government should get out of the way let residents garden. But no one is gardening in Denver because it is a city not farmland.

Well, that's not exactly true. Of course, there are some making a killing with a medicinal cash crop. Perhaps they have room for some hydroponic tomatoes.