Modern times calls for a modern lifestyle. Pollution, diseases, and other alike have drastically increased due to our irresponsible actions that does hinders us from preserving our dying environment. In an attempt to trace back our actions, and with the help of the development of technology, most people have now started urban farming their organic produce within their own premises.
The term urban farming in itself is a modern twist to the conventional farming. Rather than just making produce and focusing on its outcome, urban farming has shifted into a modern lifestyle and this practice is done to advocate the healthy living. Urban farming could be in multiple forms: from planting your own greens to raising several cattle and fishes of your own.
So, if you’re interested to join in on the movement, be sure to read through this article to further find out the benefits and needs of urban farming!
1. Helps Ensure Quality of Produce
When you have full control on how your produces are raised, you could help maintain the quality of them by yourself. You could add in extra supplements and control the space, quality, and amount of these produces yourself. More so, freshly harvested produce reaps much more health and costs benefits in comparison to pre-packaged produces.
2. Creates Job Opportunities
Whilst urban farming is a social movement to advocate awareness and increase benefits, this practice also helps create job opportunities. Particularly city siders, people living in this area could help decrease the alarming jobless rates by hiring people to help them raise their urban farm.
3. Encourages People To Eat Healthily
As mentioned before, urban farming fights for the cause that encourages people to eat and live healthily. Now that produces and ingredients are much more accessible and cheaper, people would want to feed on these healthier items.
4. Maintains Both Physical and Mental Health
Routinely maintaining your urban farm by being exposed to greenery or socialising with your animals would help maintain both the physical and mental health of the farmers. There are psychological sciences behind this, and their routine practice is often advised by professionals to relief stress. In a physiological term, being active would help the farmers grow healthier.
5. Preserves The Environment.
With urban farming within your own premises, people can now eliminate any unnecessary carbon footprints of importing and exporting produce. More so, just by planting of greens in itself is able to reduce the effects of global warming. Overall, committing to urban planning reaps multiple benefits that advocates to continuously improve yours and the environment’s well being.
6. Pleasant Views
By planting greens and raising animals of your own, you would indirectly harvest beautiful views by your backyard. Livestock areas tends to be more colourful and have a healthy refreshing air quality.
How To Start
Once we’ve weighed down the benefits, surely theres at least a small part of you that is convinced and motivated to start urban farming yourselves! However, you might be stuck on how you might want to start this. Wether you live in an apartment, or a house with a backyard, here are some things you’d need to consider before starting your own urban farming.
- Living Spaces
First, and most importantly, you have to dedicate a good amount of space for your farm. This depends on the breeders and their circumstances, but wether you are raising animals or planting greens, a good amount of space for them to grow with sufficient sunlight is necessary for your farm to harvest.
- Harvesting Mediums
Particularly for plant-based urban farming, be sure to prepare any needed harvesting mediums for your farm to grow well. Organic manure made of peanut shells, coconut roots, and dirt should be sufficient if you do not have access to over-the-counter manures.
The animal equivalent to this would be preparing necessary supplements and feeds. Be sure that you are fully equipped to feed your animals and providing them the needed daily vitamin intake. It is advised that you consult professionals for more help in providing what’s best.
- Water Supply
Wether you’re raising animals, or harvesting plants, it is important that you receive sufficient water supply for your farms. Both plants and animals require clean water to consume and survive. Additionally, you may need an extra dose of clean water for other maintenance purposes such as cleaning and sanitising living areas.
If you’re planning on harvesting plants of your own, after you’re sure that the living areas are not contaminated with harmful materials and pesticides, it would be a wise decision to invest on several seeds and plants at first. You could first invest on multiple plants, then eventually you would find a certain type that is best suited to your circumstances.
Regardless of their size, urban farming plants are proven to be relatively productive. A study conducted by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) shows that within 1m^2 of living spaces, farmers can grow up to 100 onions/4 months, 10 cauliflower/3 months, 200 tomatoes (30 kg)/year, or 36 cabbages/2 months.
As for farmers who are raising animals of your own, plant supply is also a very important thing to consider. Studies may have vouched that animals who grew in green areas thrive and grow better than their caged counterpart. Furthermore, most of these animals also feed on greeneries that are packed with their needed daily intake of vitamins.
Helpful Tips in Urban Farming
Following the things you’d need to consider, read on to find out some helpful tips from us to get your started.
- Water-Based Harvest
This tip is especially for farmers who are looking to harvest their own plants in busy city areas. Farmers have mentioned that the best type of plants to harvest in this circumstances are those who grow in waters: such as Bok Choy, Celery, Spring Onions, and many others. This is to reduce any potential messes that comes with utilising feed and dirt in sterilise areas.
- Epsom Salt
Believe it or not, epsom salt can be utilised for harvesting and farming too. By mixing epsom salt to water, your plants would receive the extra vitamin boost they would need from said salt. Feed your plants this mixture once or twice every month for a healthy harvest. This is especially needed for farmers who are harvesting tomatoes and paprikas, as they lack magnesium.
Animal based farmers could benefit from this by harvesting their own nutritional feed with this tip. With a healthy feed, these animals could grow healthier and longer.
- Constructing a Plant Table
For plant-based farmers, you could construct a plant table that directs the growth of said plants. This is also to carefully designate their living spaces before it grows too wild and untameable. There are a couple of tutorials online on how to do it, but some local stores provide these custom tables for you to purchase.
- Plant Vertically
To save up living spaces, plant based farmers are advised to plant vertically. This could be achieve by investing on a planting table – such as advised previously – or on other planting accessories. Be sure to discuss and talk to other farmers for further inspiration on how to do it.
- Dry Plants
Due to certain circumstances, some plant based farmers would try to stay away from plants that requires water to survive. Instead, these farmers would invest on drier plants such as herbs and cacti. Look through the net or discuss with fellow farmers for more information
- Eliminate Compose
As discussed in the first point, some plant-based farmers have no choice but to eliminate compose for the sake of sanitation and other circumstances. However, if you are still keen on harvesting plants that are not water based, you could create your own compose with everyday materials found in your kitchen: such as coffee grains and banana peels.
Animal based farmers could raise their animals’ feeds by growing them yourselves. These composes are sufficient enough to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for them.
- Organic Pesticides
To preserve your plant farm, and your animal feeds, it is advised that you utilise organic pesticides. This could be made by mixing two crushed cloves of garlic and three mint leaves into water. Shake well and spray your produce with this mixture. This is to prevent any harmful toxins that can be found in these over the counter pesticides.
So there you have it, the benefits and needs of urban farming. Note that these are just basic tips to consider, and that further research and consultation with experts is heavily advices. In this growing society, we take things such as greenery for granted, so we do hope that you take urban farming a chance! Good Luck!