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What is urban farming?
More often than not, when we hear the word farming, we assume they accomplish the crop growing off in the distance in some rural location. That’s not necessarily the case these days. Urban Farming is now reaching places like rooftops, metropolitan spaces, and even indoors.
We have traditionally accepted that crop raising, performed by the farmer, is further away from the people or community than the crops serve. Now we discover the Urban farms, like the community garden, grown right in the center of the city. These manageable little crop-growing locations are much closer to their consumers than the historical farms’ fields. There are a tremendous amount of benefits. The food is obviously fresher, as the produce avoids being processed through third parties like pickers, packers, truckers, and markets.
Producing your own food can give some peace of mind because of the enhanced security of realizing there is food available, and fresher, as well as being inexpensive. That’s a home run for the urban farmer. Many urban farms are “cropping up” in some unusual places. What spare room or space in the backyard, rooftop, warehouse, shipping container, vacant lot or bucket can you “dig up” to put some seeds down?
The other great thing is, the urban farm can be a hobby for one, a family project, or an entire community effort. What better way to create newfound interests and skills through Urban agriculture? It just sounds cool. Right? It’s as simple as growing plants that are primarily for food within a city. Urban farming not only is fun and satisfying, but it fulfills basic human needs by providing food.
What is Hydroponics Farming?
Many people hear the term Hydroponic Farming and think they know what that means. Most of us have a pretty good idea, but just to ensure we understand the complexity, the fundamental concept of hydroponics is crop growing or plant growth is done without soil. It seems counterintuitive, right?
However, Hydroponic farms are becoming quite popular. They can be very productive, as well as environment friendly. The farmer uses mineral nutrient solutions to grow vegetables. In which case, they use water solvents rather than dirt. Many kinds of plants are grown on these farms, most often grown in greenhouses.
There are a couple of different variations in hydroponic techniques. Some use sub-irrigation and some farmers prefer top irrigation techniques. Most hydroponic reservoirs need to be built of plastic. Farmers have tried using others materials like concrete, glass, and metal. Farmers claim vegetables grow best when the reservoirs are made of plastic. The interesting thing is, containers should exclude light. This technique of farm is not only environmentally friendly, but a means for local folks to get fresh, nutritious, and delicious produce while farmers might experience some profits.
Best vegetables for urban farming
Now you need to ask yourself what varieties of fruits and vegetables do you want to grow on your urban farm? The options are nearly limitless, so go with what you like. Before you plant crops, it is important to make a list of the produce you, or your family, normally purchase at the store. It would not hurt to branch out a little, find out what your friends and neighbors are purchasing as well. Then do your homework. Research the best way to grow those items, when to plant, where to pant, and how to plant the items you will most likely enjoy out of your own garden space.
As you make your list of potential plants to grow in your urban farm, keep in mind that are many everyday plants you can grow on an urban farm throughout the year. Most tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash can grow in the summertime in just about any region or climate. Then there are the leafy greens like lettuce, cabbage, kale, and collards that have strong leaves and can withstand the frost.
Potatoes are an amazing source of food and vitamins. Luckily, you can grow just about any type of potato in the ground or in buckets all year. With a little bit of extra care, you should be able to plant and watch grow your strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in the spring for high summer demand.
Don’t forget to include the herbs and spices. It is important to keep in mind that certain vegetables, herbs, and spices may not be native to your region. If you are lucky enough to be growing in a greenhouse, the possibilities are endless. However, growing the exotic might be fun as long as you do not forget to grow the basics. Especially when you first start, you will want to gro things that will thrive well in your area and climate.
Sometimes the phrases’ or terms’ urban farm and community garden are used or addressed as the same topic. This is not always the case. Sometimes there are public spaces that are farmed by community members and volunteers. The purpose of these efforts is everyone does a little of the work, everyone shares in the harvest. In these cases, be cautious of sharing outside the group of volunteers There is a bit of difference in the terms community garden and urban farm. The term urban farm implies part of the urban farm is set up-sell some of the harvests.
It does not matter you have your own little urban farm or are part of the community garden. This will become a place for all of your local urban farmers to come together for help and support from their neighbors
Many urban farms or community gardens open a FaceBook Page for their project. This becomes a place for solving a problem and gives everyone added resources for farmers trying to increase their food health, security, and budget by growing food. What a great way to share and learn together.
We are living in a changing world. One where major mental health and even physical health issues are coming from lack of social connectivity. Urban farming is a way you can help to build a place where people feel safe to connect and learn from each other about gardening, growing, irrigating, and other things. Add a Website to the social media forum now you have a means of communication and a sense of gardening or farming community as your call to come together.
There is a very interesting side note to Urban Farming and Community Gardening. That is Poverty. Does your community have any poverty in the young or the elderly? Urban Farming has the potential to reduce the amount of poverty in your community. Not just temporarily. With the potential of urban farming and through its food production, educational opportunities, and social connectivity.
Hospitals and other public spaces such as museums and community centers are creating landscapes that can grow food and where patients and families can relax, walkthrough, water, pull the weeds, and generally just enjoy the therapeutic, vibrant, colorful, productive urban landscape.
Another real benefit of the urban farm model is having knowledgeable staff and volunteers available to the community. Lots of gardeners dropped by the urban farm for help solving a problem. This is a great, accessible resource for people trying to increase their food security by growing food.
Urban farming and community gardening can be done with a simple bucket or a complex hydroponic system. Either way the benefits far out way effort. Not only the food benefits, but in so many other ways you will learn.
The large farmer is being pushed out with high taxes, land prices, development, and low wages. When there are not more large farmers in our country and you need a few special onions or herbs, what will you do when you get to the store and there simply are none. It is happening. It is not going to get better unless we all participate in the new Urban Farming concept.
Take the time to be a contributor and reap the benefits. Not only for yourself, your family but your community. There is a lot to consider, but at the end of the day with a few fresh vegetables in your hand and more coming in your own Urban Farm, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to our own good living but also the good living of those around you. That can be a beautiful thing. The challenge is – do it!