Author : Martha Katzeff

They came riding into the City. Some in cars, some in rusted tractors from another era. Some looked up at the greenhouses glinting in the sunlight. Others stared straight ahead, refusing to acknowledge the life above. Shorter buildings allowed a full view of lush crops, sheltered from the bustle of the City by the lull of circulating water. They craned their necks and saw vertical farms on almost every rooftop.

The farmers drove down the wide boulevards. Trees lined the boulevards, casting dappled shadows in the morning light. Open green plazas offered free public access to the river. Each plaza had a farm stand overloaded with the ripe produce grown in the vertical farms. The bright red peppers, strawberries, and beets were grim reminders of the rich earth that used to sustain their dead farms. The crisp green lettuce, cucumbers, and squash were memories of lost pastureland. The vegetables and fruit were all fresh from the farms, shipped no further than an elevator ride to the street.

The men were silent and grim, saying little to each other. What was there to say in the face of such abundant life. Their weatherbeaten faces reflected a century of drudge, drought, rising fuel prices and a sharp decrease in demand for anything corn or soy.

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