3 Ways People Are Growing Their Own Food in Cities

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growing food in cities

From growing herbs and lettuce in your apartment to raising chickens, many people have taken control over at least a portion of their own food production. Let’s look at three ways you can begin to produce your own food, even in urban or suburban settings.

 

Windowfarms

Here at the Windowfarms site you can find community driven free designs to transform your windows into vertical, hydroponic, low energy gardens for personal food production.

From the Windowfarms website:

The Windowfarms Project operates in what seems a small niche, but the team hopes it might be what Buckminster Fuller would call a “trim tab,” a small part that turns giant ships by being particularly well placed.

Growing some portion of one’s own food is a simple pleasure that can make a big difference in one’s relationship with nature. As we choose nutrients to feed plants we hope to eat in turn, we gain experience with a nearly-lost fundamental human art, get a microcosmic view of the food system, develop a stake in the conversation, and come up with new ideas for how to take care of ourselves and our planet in troubled times.

Sounds like a great way to use whatever it is we have available to us. And for those of you trying to figure out how to start with this whole hydroponic vegetable growing thing, it’s a great place to start.

 

Apartment Farms

For those blessed with backyards, planting a garden for our own food production may be an obvious choice. All it takes are some shovels, wood framing, good soil, and some love and care for the seeds we plant. For urbanites, the choice for healthier food most often leads to the organic section of the grocery store. With some inspiration and a bit of work, you can also produce a portion of your own fresh food in your apartment, sans the backyard.

The main consideration is space. Your small deck or inside garden will be smaller. Herbs are often the first step for urban farmers. But even with limited space, foods such as greens, tomatoes and even corn can be attempted. If you can find a container of the appropriate shape and size, you can try pretty much anything, even watermelon — at least once, anyway.

The Apartment Farm site is a nice personal journal of one such urban experiment. Also see this article for inspiration, ideas and a view of some different containers used for small space farming.

 

Backyard Chickens

This may not go over too well for apartment dwellers or vegans, but for some the idea of raising a few chickens in their backyard has appeal. There are practical issues to address, perhaps discussing your feathered friends with your neighbours cat for one (and, you know, checking that your city actually allows this stuff), but chickens are quite simple to keep and can keep you in stock with eggs of the free run, free range, organic and healthy kind.

This is a growing trend you can read about here.

For more information, ideas and tips about raising backyard chickens, see BackYardChickens.com.