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City Life

Free yourself from the supermarket! Urban Farming is for Everyone

window-farmIf there is one thing that I can take from the incoming stats on Urban Neighbourhood is that a lot of people are interested in Urban Farming right now. For the past couple weeks the most heavily trafficked post on the site has been the Super Green Buildings post, about proposals for high tech vertical farms. Of course these particular structures are mostly theoretical as none of them have been built yet, but Urban farming is an active pass time that is growing more and more popular.

Urban farming can be anything from people who fill their tiny urban yards and apartments with pots and boxes, to the suburban home owner who decides that its time to get rid of that useless chunk of side lawn and turn it into something that atually gives back. Over at Wired there is an excerpt from Carol Nissen in Jersey City, New Jersey, “I’m a micro-gardener,” she says. “It’s a pretty small townhouse. But it’s amazing what you can do without much space.” s

Other people who have a yard but no time can even hire a company that will come and do the work for you, just check out the Seattle Urban Farm Co;

Are you interested in eating more fresh, organically grown vegetables? Would you like to have a secure, sustainable food source in your backyard?  Have you always wanted to have a garden, but don’t feel you have the time or know-how to get started?   If so, you might be interested in the services that the Seattle Urban Farm Company provide.   We use our collective farming and gardening experience to establish a productive organic vegetable plot in your yard.

We offer a range of services to suit your individual needs.  We can:

  1. Give a thorough garden consultation, answering your questions and giving you new ideas and advice.
  2. Help revitalize an ignored or overgrown garden space.
  3. Help you design a new garden and plan out a multi-year garden strategy.
  4. Install a ready-to-go vegetable garden complete with clean, healthy, soil, drip irrigation, raised beds, and more.
  5. After an initial garden installation, provide weekly maintenance for your vegetable garden to keep your plants vigorous and productive, organically manage pests and diseases, and by using succession and relay planting techniques, harvest a weekly supply of fresh produce for you and your family.
  6. If you’re interested in learning about organic growing, we’re happy to work together with you and share our knowledge as we seed, care for, and harvest vegetables and flowers from your garden.

We use only organic methods to manage your garden, so you’ll know your soil will be healthy and productive for years to come, and your vegetables will be free of herbicides, synthetic pesticides, and genetically modified organisms.   By bringing the farmers to your yard, you help us share the risks of growing food.  If the weather is poor, you’ll notice your garden is not as productive as it might otherwise be.  If the weather is good, you’ll be savoring a bumper crop of delectable vegetables!

One of the better things about companies like these is that they are sprouting up all over the place.  a Google of Urban Farming Companies gives over 321,000 hits.

431px-victory-gardenUrban farming is actually an old idea, if you have ever seen old war propaganda videos you may have heard about the `Victory Garden` During the World Wars governments challenged urbanites to convert their lawns and ornamental gardens into food producing plots. Slogans like `Sow the seeds of Victory`and `Your Victory garden counts more then ever!` Were published on posters and in the media. It is estimated that nearly 20 million Americans planted Victory gardens and that 40% of all vegetables consumed nationally came from these gardens.

The potential for our cities and urban environments by bringing back greenery and gardening is immense, the more food grown locally the less that needs to be trucked in, tomatoes from down the street have much lower shipping costs then tomatoes from 3000 miles away. More greenery on our roofs also helps cool the buildings and street scape below, reducing the Urban Heat Island effect and reducing Air conditioning costs. Ultimately speaking there next to no arguments against gardening in our cities that make any sense, so before you decide to plant another back yard full of ornamental plants mix in a couple rows of colourful veggies, they are still pleasing to the eye, but have the added advantage of being pleasing to the belly too!

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