Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Farming In The City? YES!

By Tim Gamble

Want to try your hand at growing some of your own food, but you live in a city? All hope is not lost. You can grow at least some of your own food, even in the city. Here are some ideas:

1) Consider container gardening indoors, and on windowsills, porches, and balconies. A lot food can be grown in containers, including all herbs, all lettuce varieties, all greens (spinach, collards, turnip, mustard, Swiss chard, etc.), tomatoes (both regular size and the mini ones), carrots, beets, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and zucchini. In fact, almost everything can be grown in containers. The only drawbacks are that container gardens need more frequent watering than regular gardens, and plant size may be limited by the size of the containers you are using.

There are a number of books available on container gardening. Here are two good ones, in my opinion:

2) Consider joining a community garden. Community gardens are plots of land that are gardened collectively by a group of people. Each person or family may be assigned a particular plot within the larger piece of land, or the whole garden may be worked collectively. Rules vary. You can find more information and locations of community gardens in your area on the American Community Gardening Association website. Also, the Soil Science Society of America website has an extensive section of community gardening, including how to organize a community garden in your area. 

3) Start your own community garden. If there is not a community garden in your area, that would make a perfect project for your church, synagogue, YMCA, or other civic organization. I'm proud to say that my church has recently decided to grow food on its property! The idea of community gardens became popular with the push for "Victory Gardens" during WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII, then fell out of favor. It is time to bring back that concept in a big way. (Again, see the Soil Science Society of America website for info on how to organize a community garden in your area.) 

4) Learn small plot gardening techniques. If you have even a little bit of land, you can have gardening success. You don't need a huge garden to grow food. Check out my article Urban and Suburban Survival - Small Plot Gardening Tips.

For city folks and suburbanites fortunate enough to have a small yard (many do)I recommend the books Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre and The Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre, both by Brett Markham. You'll be surprised how much you can grow on a small plot of land, even if its less than a quarter acre!

5) Try Rooftop Gardening. Like its name sounds, rooftop gardening is simply gardening on rooftops, using containers (which can be quite large if the structure can support the weight). Rooftop gardening has become quite popular in recent years. You can find out more by searching "Rooftop Gardening" in Duck-Duck-Go, StartPage, Brave, SwissCows, or some other privacy-respecting search engine). 

6) Get involved with vertical farming. Dr. Josh Axe explains vertical gardening this way: "Vertical farming is a method of producing crops that’s quite different from what we normally think of as farming. Instead of crops being grown on vast fields, they’re grown in vertically, or into the air. This normally means that the “farms” occupy much less space than traditional farms: think farming in tall, urban buildings vs. farming outdoors in the countryside.  

Vertical farming is credited to Dickson Despommier, a professor of ecology at Columbia University, who came up with the idea of taking urban rooftop gardens a step further, and creating vertical farming “towers” in buildings, that would allow all of a building’s floors, not just the rooftop, to be used for producing crops." -- Dr. Josh Axe, Vertical Farming: Farms of the Future? The Pros & Cons, June 5, 2017

There is even an association for vertical farming. Check out their website at www.vertical-farming.net.

The Bottom Line: The point of this article is that their are things you can do to raise at least some of your own food, even in the cities and suburbs. But, you have to get started now, not wait until things get really bad. 
AD:  Augason Farms Long-Term Food Storage - This is where I get powdered butter, eggs, cheese, milk, and other long-term foods for my Survival Pantry. Shelf-life up to 20+ years. Good quality, good taste, good value. For my money (literally, since I am a paying customer), Augason Farms is the best long-term foods option. 

1 comment:

  1. My concern is with crime. Grow it and it will be stolen.


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