Urban Farming 101 - Window Gardens, Hydroponics, Vacant Lots
Innovative urban gardening ideas
Urban farming could save the nation! If we work on self-sustainability via urban farming for city dwellers (or countryside farming for those with acreage) we will be able to survive even if food distribution services cease to function. Relying on these chains of food distribution is reckless and foolhardy, because there's not guarantee that others will forever come to our rescue with food.
There's another good reason for producing your own food - and that is that food from unknown sources could contain undesirable poisons. If you didn't raise the food, you don't know what it was sprayed with or how it was watered or fertilized. Trusting food manufacturers and large scale farming businesses is not a good idea these days. They will feed us poisons (fluoride and GMOs, for example) just to be able to make more money. That's my main reason for being into urban gardening.
Part of my love for the book is that it takes place in the city where I was born, and in an area I'm familiar with as I was raised in the East San Francisco Bay Area. My father worked in Berkeley.
In 2012 while I was visiting the Bay Area I drove by and saw the property this memoir describes. All of the East Bay Area is really "home" to me...
Farm City - a memoir about urban farming - By Novella Carpenter
I've been reading this memoir, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, which is written by a woman who farmed next to her apartment in Oakland, CA. I'm loving it - the book is very entertaining and gives the feel of being an urban farmer and plenty of motivation to others doing it.
If you want to know more about what it is like to be an urban farmer, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer is a book to put on your reading list. It was published on May 25, 2010 and is available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audio, and Audible audiobook download editions.
Novella Carpenter, urban farmer - Author of "Farm City"
The Backyard Homestead - Produce all the food you want...
I bought this book for myself early in 2013 as I thought we would be doing some farming while we were in Happy Camp, but that changed, and I moved north a few months later to live in a senior apartment community.
I gave the book to my son-in-love when he and my daughter moved to a farm with plenty of land for cultivation.
He was very favorably impressed with the book, as I was. It contains detailed information on all aspects of homesteading including a multitude of crops and animal husbandry.
Worth looking into!!
If you don't have a vacant lot for your urban farming...
...a window will do.
Window farms are an absolutely spectacular way to engage both children and adults in the process of urban farming.
For children - this is educational. You can teach children where food comes from, and how it grows. Involve them in the scientific aspects of urban farming. Window farming is a perfect project for schools or homeschoolers.
For adults - window farms provide security and the joy of autonomy. Rather than being dependent on processed foods in the local market, and forced to buy vegetables of unknown origin and quality, a window farm enables us to experience culinary self-sufficiency despite living in an apartment in the city.
How urban window farms got started
Creative artist Britta Riley, co-owner of Submersible Designs, developed the concept of window gardening in 2008. She wanted to grow vegetables in her Brooklyn, NY apartment. Her goal was to develop a hydroponics system that fit into the very narrow space of her windowsill.
Using locally available materials and a few items from the local hardware store, Britta made the first window hydroponics farm, which now has become an international movement toward self-sufficiency for city dwellers.
The project is fueled by donations, volunteers, and global collaboration encouraging innovation through a process of R&D-I-Y (Research and Develop It Yourself).
Will urban window farming work for you?
Window farming results are directly proportional to the effort and dedication expended. If you love the idea of having homegrown vegetables, if you're in a home with a window, if you are willing to spend time putting together your system for sustainability, this could become an outstanding and rewarding hobby for you.
Kits may be purchased through the Windowfarms project in New York (see link below). They provide kits for homes and schools at a nominal price. Bottles are pre-cut and painted, and all needed supplies provided. Additional supplies can be found online at Amazon or through hydroponics stores if there are any in your area.
Each hydroponic system relies on an aquarium air-pump system; be prepared for a bit of noise. Innovators have found ways to muffle the sound.
If you love home grown vegetables, and especially if you don't have room outside for a garden, give window farming a try.
The window farms project
- Ghost Town Farm | A Blog by Novella Carpenter
A Blog by Novella Carpenter
- The Windowfarms Project
The official website for the Windowfarms Project. There's an online store for buying convenient window farm kits for home or schools, plus an online community, information about workshops, a blog, and more.
- Windowfarms YouTube Channel
Lots of window farm videos! Learn more about window farming, new innovations, and the people behind this phenomena.
- Urban Farming :: Welcome To Urban Farming!
Urban Farming is the adopted charity of Atlantic Records that is ending hunger globally by planting food in food deserts. Win to End Hunger in the Urban Farming Global Games! Urban Farming intends to eradicate hunger while increasing diversity, motiv
A Book Novella Carpenter recommends for urban farmers - Get started or learn more.
This book has great reviews!
Carla Emery started writing The Encyclopedia of Country Living back in the sixties during the 'back to the land' movement, and now revises it frequently. The newest edition (pictured) is due out on October 30, 2012.
Her first edition came out in the 1970s, self-published, and she traveled the country and appeared on many television shows to promote the book and the country farming lifestyle, which for her, included homeschooling, goat-keeping, gardening and writing. She was also a country living instructor.
From this book you will learn everything you need to know to successfully run an urban farm, from seeds to canning. Chapters include an introduction to plants, grasses, grains, canes, herbs, flavorings, trees, brambles, food preservation, animals and beekeeping.