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  • Johan Steneros

    I totally agree with this - but i think that their is nothing wrong with money it self. It's just a means to exchange goods. The problem with money are the policies, laws and taxes imposed around it. Farmers and small growers should be able to sell directly to consumers. We need to empower growers with new technologies so that they can sell their goods easier. this is my grain of sand check out www.growcrowd.com

  • Siemen Cox

    Thanks for sharing. In The Netherlands we are translating your blog to Dutch. Maybe we use it for a flyer to share with locals. Is that oke with you?

    • Siemen Cox

      Offcourse we refer to the source ;-)

  • David Wechsler

    Another reason for urban gardening is to help clean toxic wastes that have accumulated in the soils there.

    When I started clearing the weeds in my overgrown garden beds when I first bought my house, we found all sorts of treasures like car parts, wires, old glass - and it got me thinking "how clean is this soil?"

    So, I think people need to develop an awareness that your land may have been industrial at some time (or perhaps there was a shed with chemicals there at some point), etc...

    Beyond that, I would like to suggest that people consider approaches for DIY bioremediation.
    - @dwechsler

    • CityEarthworm

      Vermicomposting is a great way to achieve this. Red worms used for composting (Eisenia foetida) have been shown to remediate heavy metal-contaminated soil, plus they improve soil structure and the castings they produce are just fabulous as fertilizer.

      • David Wechsler

        Thanks for the info... But now I'm going to be cautious about letting my chickens go at 'em; I'd rather have them as soil cleaners than chicken food.

  • Rob Small

    BUT, anyone who earns enough money in the formal "normal" economy should consider BUYING from local producers RATHER than producing own food at home. Such people should rather keep meditation or beauty gardens and not food gardens. This consciously creates beautiful local food economy and creates jobs and abundance for all

    • reserche

      Why not do both?

    • Rohit Kumar

      Rob - We should all support and "vote" for clean food as much as possible. Voting for companies that do the right thing encourages good behavior and supports the best food possible.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Thanks for sharing - looks awesome!

  • Amanda Orum

    Not only the above listed, but starting co-ops of like minded people, one group made a bike co-op with memberships 5.00 and you get bike parts at cost, meanwhile connecting with other bikers (you never know when you have to trade up!!) Just recently in Nanaimo they started a new food co-op, they are looking for land so they can have both a outside weekly summer market with classes going inside and a year round market inside, this wouldnt have become possible if the local urban foodists and the farmers didn't collaborate with out our mutual commonalities of local food without corporate connections :)

    • Rohit Kumar

      Agreed - food coops are great. They increase access and lower prices.

  • Bruce Weaver

    Yes, the most important thing to consider is Urban Farming. Get your neighbors to pull up there lawn! Heres and inspiring beekeeper in an urban environment.
    http://thisismadebyhand.com/film/the_beekeeper. Also find a copy of Mark Frauenfelders Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in
    a Throwaway World. Great inspiration for DIY.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Thanks for sharing Bruce! Beekeeping needs to happen on a large scale in neighborhoods :)

  • Agaja Enahoro

    .indeed,
    learn in order to teach; teach in order to learn. Nature is a primary teacher; a garden is our personal experience of the gift of abundance.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Agreed. We can easily live in abundance instead of scarcity.

  • Bananagirl

    I just love it! what an inspiration. i want one!

  • Wong Tong

    Wow, nice insight on what will be the future (IMHO) of suburbs and other areas apart from downtowns. Being a Russian myself, I witness the revival of "dacha" (country summerhouses/cottages with plots of fertile land where people grow things for themselves and their family) and this greatly inspires me. As well, you may have heard about the Anastasia movement in Russia (and now even abroad!) - with its main idea of ecovillages and providing a safe, loving "harbour" for children. Most useful things in life are usually very simple... someone said. We can't get away from nature, as it nourishes and revives us every day. And yes, we are what we eat. ))

  • mara.lopez.946

    Can't garden yourself ? If you can not personally garden for whatever reason, but have a yard, try contacting local urban farming groups and lend your space out to those who can. I met a young organic farmer recently who grows all his produce on borrowed urban lots, back & front yards.

    Convincing my husband to share our yard may take a bit more work, but I'll keep trying.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Great idea - I think this will be important - especially in more crowded urban centers. Thank you for sharing!

  • Emily Pasnak-Lapchick

    Amazing post. I used to live in Florida and grow vegetables all the time. The food tastes so much better and it's rewarding to eat because you grew it yourself! Now I live in New York so it's a little bit harder but I just signed a petition recently to start a community garden! I believe this is the way to g(r)o(w)!

    • Rohit Kumar

      Awesome! You should check out urbanorganicgardener.com!
      Mike Lieberman, the writer, is all about growing food in small apartment spaces. He started off in Brooklyn NY.

  • Brian White

    Hello, Ro, I have the tcmtech dripper irrigation (from rainbarrels or drywall buckets) to share.(Started around September first) It is not my idea but I develop it. I also have a pallet garden method (with automatic recirculation of the water) that has worked super since 11th August. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151240936770767.515547.736625766&type=3 and http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151246113870767.516479.736625766&type=3 and video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNlomeIaOKs Both things are DIY Thanks Brian

    • Rohit Kumar

      Brian - this is very cool! Thanks for sharing

    • Rohit Kumar

      Great - thank you for adding to the convo!

  • Juanjo Albert

    At Madrid, Spain, I enjoy a lot the little urban orchard in the center of the city, guided by the people from the neighborhood!

    • Rohit Kumar

      Wow Juanjo - that's wonderful. Glad you were able to "cultivate" community.

  • Sofie Casillas

    This is great! I never knew that it was a growing trend. This is something i'm going to consider when I move out.

    • Rohit Kumar

      It is very great Sofie. And yes, spreading rapidly! The best food is always the food your grow on your own.

  • Pearls Page

    I live on at www.thegrowinghome.net it is a dream come true for me, Really enjoy being surrounded by nature, are habitat welcomes a lot more birds, bees, lizards, butterflies, and raccoons that visit us at night. Sitting in the sun soaking in all the life, is truly a pleasure. The food is simply delicious, and I know its very nutrient rich, as our soils are alive. Visit the website.

  • Vast Shadow

    IF YOU PEOPLE PRIZE natural food so much... You need to conceptualize, create, develop agriculture methods that can put a farm inside a sky scraper. Population is constantly growing... An even if it some how had some means of slowing down... Natural elements, proteins and nutrients in our air... Is being abolished, killed, and stripped from nature.

    Look at the future... You think corn would ever grow in mars soil? Nope. There is 100s of missing nutrients, from nitrates, to soil compositions to atmospheric enzymes and microbes.
    Growing produce outside... Is taking a chance of that plant dying or being sicken with some cancer causing deformity in it... FROM POLLUTION.

    Acid rain, that contains car emissions... IS NOT HEALTHY... YOU THINK PAVEMENT, rain WATER is healthy for the planet to absorb... Its not(THATS WHERE ACID RAIN COMES FROM). An last time I checked... There is enough pavement to say the Planet has an figuratively, infectious tumor on it that grows constantly.
    Pollution effects the ENTIRE planet. USA sees residue from volcanic ash(in low percentages) that erupted in Ireland. Pollution isn't something that is stationary to one place... If it is here... Pollution is in the vast country side. An the more people just ignore it and waste time... Our ecosystem is decaying and what is in the air now will be gone tomorrow. There is more in air than just oxygen (actually, I think oxygen count is rather low -- Anyone feel or notice short of oxygen occasionally?) . But our air is being filled with Carbon Monoxide, aluminum oxides, and 100s of other polluting substances... That are killing the natural occurring microbes and enzymes that our plants love.

    So yea... You can plan to make yourself a urban garden... In the mist of all the pollution and waste. But you should think in the 4th dimension of it and think of tommorrow, before we can't even create a synthetic outdoors, inside a place... Because we did not study all that was in our air at the moment.

    • ione251r

      Here on the West Coast we are also looking at radiation carried over in the rain from Fukushima. I actually test my garden foods with a geiger counter. I have fruit trees, raised beds and a greenhouse, but even then, I know that my "organic" plants are being fed fluoridated water. Still, it is important to grow what we can, if for no other reasons than 1) we have some control over the quality of food we put in our mouths; and 2) we become a bit more self-sufficient and less reliant on the mega-farms, the government, and the grocery stores.

      • Vast Shadow

        The Coast Guard does that too. Look for fallout. There is a sciencetific strategy to it also... Following the banks and drafts of the Ocean channels.

        There is actually more than just fluoride in water. Depending on what state your in--they treat water all differently.

        Nothing wrong with haven a garden as a Hobby... It would probably be healthier for your plants to be in a Green house.

        "Mega farms" are regulated closely... They have scientist and bunch of other means to ensure plants and animals don't carry pathogens into the public. Not just some rich enthusiast just wanting to be a farmer.
        "Mega farms" being bad are just a sales pitch for Organic farmers. USA needs to be fed and these organic farmers will lie just to make USA or a "Mega Farm" look bad, just to get them revenue.
        You can't just hope GOD will make your lil veggies healthy.

        Federal regulators have evenly told these Organic enthusiasts to make formidable plans to help them bad Ol` "Mega Farms", but they don't. Organic farmers rather keep a small farm and try to make profit, but no one buys it. Usually will only put momentum into other countries.

        There is no differences in the food... An the lie of organic food fades off.

    • Rohit Kumar

      I agree that we face a grim predicament. But I also believe in the power of collective positive thinking and collective actions towards hope for the future.

      • Vast Shadow

        Until then Gardening would just be a hobbyist endeavor for you.

    • Pearls Page

      I hear you, as we are now, we need to come up with solutions, solutions that can be implemented right away. What is of more benefit and green lawn that is full of chemical fertilizer or an opportunity to grow nutrient rich food in your back yard, or a neighbors, or a community farm or bomb the landscape with wildflower seed balls so birds and butterflies can have a better habitat. I'd like to say, we are not the only species that requires food. We are a part of the food chain, and in a food chain all are required. When we are growing food the help of other species is required as well. I see what can be done and do it.

      • Vast Shadow

        Plants eat funny things. Nitrates and Hydrogen... All in which are toxic in consumption to people and combustible, but plants love them. Plants don't thrive off of alkaloids, concrete, or carbon emissions car spout off.

        There is many means USA puts into creating environmental constraints. They recently been trying to get rid of Mercury filled incandescent lighting/ street lights. That is why you see LEDs everywhere.

        USA has many ways to fix things, but not enough time and manpower to put some strategies into motion. That is why USA has grant and its federal business system... To get entrepreneurs into helping society... DO they? Nope, they put all their crap in foreign countries. The entrepreneurs will evenly spend all their cash into some facility across seas... Instead of taking a government Grant. Grants can be used so the entrepreneurs can get a cash help... in starting -- May not be much but it still helps. An there is other `perks for helping your own nation. Not just fame... Fame is just a shell, and could be false.

        We are not the only living creature on the planet... But, if we keep haven people try to put farms here and there... In the Country side... Where will any wild animal live in the long run? A 50x50 acre park ? Eat from feeding bins... Seperated from other animals... SORTA LIKE A ZOO.

        I dunno maybe we will get anti gravity soon and have floating cities one day. Until then... There isn't anything called "the wild" -- Everything is considered Reservations.

        You know what... Africa doesn't allow you to photograph elephants because that elephant you want to photographed may not be registered to the Endangered Species act USA CREATED... BUT THAT ELEphant may be a part of the elephant farming trade(That is illegal). An that is why you can't photograph certain animals in that country.

        • StumpTownSounds

          Where do you live Vast Shadow? What do you know about the US and our entrepreneurial spirit? Indeed there is fallout in the gardens from far flung sources. It's what water and scrub brushes are for. This risk I am fairly certain is more palatable than the GMO/petrochemical laden alternatives.

          • Vast Shadow

            Did you make that screen name just to talk to me -- Golly I'm flattered. Why; I'm from the USA. If you could not see that in the context, I'm sorry.

            I do not believe scrub brush could isolate a fallout isotope. I do not believe there is a very pliable--Buy off the shelf--means to get rid of radiation, but they have made pills to counter radiation poisoning.
            You could possibly use catalytic converter but there is not a guarantee it would have radiation dilution free to it. The most practiced way to even get rid of radiation is diluting it with catalytic converters.

            Radioactive contaminants have a half-life of over 50 years.

            But California is not even a important state either way. I bet the sources you obtained of California and Washington finding nuclear fallout was not even from a press source in those west coast states.

            You question my statements? You could even google half of everything I've said. Half meaning you would find some bloggs and other clutter, because so many think its good to have auto-generated webpages. You could also go to the government sites of the National Oceanography or the EPA to find that all of those issues are present and studied. Think the animal rights `got no rights?? http://www.fws.gov/endangered/

            So you still have not any faith in your government or do you just follow the wrong IDIOTIC IDEAS FROM SOME DUMBASS WITH A MORAL SOUNDING SCHEME?
            Oh well, Not my problem... But if you can either google or even better look at the Government affiliated sites to find my vouches. Vouches that so many just squat into saying that USA doesn't care.

  • Lisa Rau Cannon

    Edible landscaping is the way to go! The Dervaes Family in Pasadena has been doing this for a while with their Urban Homestead, and I'd love to see this trend continue. Services that help people micro-farm are great resources too, like GardeNerd.

    • Rohit Kumar

      I highly agree - it will be interesting to see what new developments occur as more and more people begin to homestead within the same neighborhoods.

    • Pearls Page

      Totally Lisa Rau Cannon, the one thing that goes further than growing food, is also creating a habitat, one that is better for us and one that invites other species as well.

  • Sumita Mitra

    wonderful post! I am so inspired to start my own urban farm.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Thanks Sumita! Let me know when you get started!

    • Ronald Maxson

      now if only something could be done about all those cities and towns that don't allow gardens on front yards.

      • Rohit Kumar

        @Ronald - that one is going to take some collective action. Luckily, you have common sense on your side.

      • Pearls Page

        one step at a time Ronald Maxson, there is plenty of space to cultivate, lets get that going, before we start looking at roadblocks. As a species we are quite creative when we have the will to accomplish a task.

        • Ronald Maxson

          ok, i get it, fine, it's just that what made me think of these ordinances is: one your photos showing a front yard.

          • Rohit Kumar

            Yup that's our front yard. In our city it happens to be legal. Although we are the only ones doing this in the entire city. Someone has to start the trend I suppose.

    • Rohit Kumar

      Thanks Sumitra - I'm sure you will one day - love the work you are doing also!

  • ybfola

    I long to grow my own food. I currently live in an apartment, and am rarely home. I grew up in a large family, and my parents fed all nine of us from a huge garden that we assisted with growing. Oh how I miss those days.

    • Pearls Page

      if you can find the time, you can find a friend that has land and is willing to use it to grow food and share.

    • Rohit Kumar

      What a wonderful way to have grown up. Yes - access to land is a huge issue. Most of us live in boxes.

  • isaac.arnett

    I was in an accident 3 years ago. Because of my inability to make money I started growing food. Our garden was small at first and we added a little more every year. We now eat out of our garden all year long and we share a lot of extra with our neighbors. Our activity has also inspired some of our neighbors to start growing some of their own foods. I encourage people to grow their own foods because they will have better nutritional value, more flavor , and a sense of satisfaction in their life that they will acquire from the experience of gardening.

    • Rohit Kumar

      I highly agree - it's so much more satisfying to eat from the garden :) Thanks for sharing you story.