Consuming organic fruits and vegetables makes your life healthy and fit. But it’s very difficult to find them when you’re living in a city where you hardly find these farms which grow them. If I tell you how to turn your walkway/backyard into an urban garden isn’t that wonderful.
Here’s everything you need to know to set up an urban garden. Until you live in the city, you’ll never understand the value of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are from a rural area and shifted to a busy city, where it is hard for us to see a farm/farming area. Then stop worrying, there are methods we can grow our own food right in our home, which is Urban farming. Because in the rural area people tend to grow their own fruits and vegetables in their kitchen garden. Here in urban cities, we can grow our plant in balconies, terrace, even in the walls and have chemical-free food.
What is Urban Farming?
Urban farming is cultivating the food in the cities, apartments even though you don’t have a separate place to grow them. In simple terms, URBAN FARMING is growing or Producing food in a city/ heavily populated town or municipality. Nowadays people are more concerned about the food they are eating. Firstly, why do we worry about our food?
We are literally eating the fertilizers, pesticides in the form of the food. Awareness has been started spreading among people about GMO’s, Hybrids and the Chemicals applied.
Chemicals are some incredible and unavoidable, unpleasant stuff — and off course we’re eating them. We apply them in the form of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and so on.
We’ll learn about Pesticide origin. Contrary to what you might have thought, pesticides aren’t a recent invention. Already around 1000 B.C., And you might think these chemicals aren’t a big concern these days.
Because people weren’t aware of organics. Consistent usage of chemicals in the plants and soil has drastic effects which have to lead to awareness.
Insects and weeds cause a huge problem for farmers in commercial farming (large-scale crop-growing operation). Spraying fields with chemicals is one of the most economical ways to get rid of them and improve their yield.
The urban city is the place with overcrowded people including a heavy number of vehicles. The rattling sound of buses, motor cars, dirty streets, which is ultimately unpleasant to live due to noise, smoke, and dust.
There are dangers to health in crowded cities. Smoke and dust fill the air. Hence, urban life is unhealthy for want of fresh and healthy food.
We’d organize our goals for the growing season together. Even with very little space, you can grow our food, air-purifying plants. Sometimes, it just takes a little planning. Here are the main things to think about when you decide to become the urban gardener of your city block.
Why do we need it?
Amidst the city lifestyle, we almost forget the fact that even after washing multiple numbers of times the food still has the residue in it. By definition, a pesticide is to kill, repel or control plant or animal life that is considered to be a hindrance to the growth of the fruit and vegetables.
Some characteristics of pesticides
- Pesticides are used to protect the crops from insects, weeds, fungi, and other pests.
- Pesticides can be potentially toxic to humans. It can have both acute and chronic health effects, depending on the quantity and ways in which a person is exposed.
- Some of the older, cheaper pesticides can remain for years in soil and water. These chemicals are banned from agricultural use in developed countries, but they are still used in many developing countries.
- People who face the greatest health risks from exposure to pesticides are those who come into contact with them at work, in their home or garden.
- Pesticides play a significant role in food production. They protect or increase yields and the number of times per year a crop can be grown on the same land.
- To protect food consumers from adverse effects of pesticides, WHO reviews the evidence and develops internationally-accepted maximum residue limits.
Many of the older, cheaper (off-patent) pesticides, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and lindane, can remain for years in soil and water.
The Benefits of Urban Farming
- Here the food is grown using organic inputs which is naturally available and it seems hard to waste the food you grow
- Fresh food products are directly available and even can be supplied to food retailers, farmer’s markets, restaurants, and others often.
- Urban farming can be a better means of waste recovery, providing supply for the demand for organic food.
- Also, the presence of the farm is often highly visible to the public, raising awareness about homegrown food and farming, and often providing opportunities for education about growing and eating fresh produce.
- Finally, urban farms provide a training ground for the young generation who doesn’t get to know the traditional farming.
- These new generations are a much-needed resource to replace chemicals used in agriculture
Who is at risk?
The people who are directly exposed to work with pesticides are highly susceptible. This includes agricultural workers who apply pesticides and other people in the immediate area during the application and right after pesticides are spread. The general population who are not in the area where pesticides are used is exposed to significantly lower levels of pesticide residues through food and water from the field.
Children Are Far More at risk to Pesticide Poisoning than Adults
Children spend a whole lot more time close to the ground than adults and also have a tendency to put things in their mouths. Also, because their bodies are still growing and vulnerable, pesticide poisoning has far to potential to cause permanent damage.
So, what’s the solution?
There is no problem with the rural people who would have lots of areas to cultivate their own fruits and vegetables.
In the case of urban people who live in apartments and congested places can grow vegetables in their terrace or balcony or wherever they have a place to grow.
And definitely, those plants can’t be the source for mosquitoes unless properly maintained.
The one thing you do not want to do is start to be carried away with things using up too much space to the point where you cannot even get out to the balcony to enjoy it. You want to make sure that you leave a little sitting space so that you are going to be able to enjoy all the work you have done.
You will want to pick a variety of containers to start with like the different shapes and sizes and heights. With the proper planting, your garden will even give you a little bit of privacy. You want to make sure that the pots are big enough for the size of the plant and to accommodate the plant roots.
Make sure that the pots have good drainage. In addition, in order to pick your containers, you are going to have to have a basic idea of what kind of plants and flowers that you are going to be using.
Next, you are going to buy your soil and you want to make sure that you get the right potting mix for the type of garden plants and flowers you’re going to be planting.
You can even go a step further and have your own little vegetable garden with a few plants of each. There is nothing to say that you cannot have a tomato plant or two or even a few peppers. You can grow whatever plant you want. Do not forget about the herbs you will be able to grow as well. Not only will your garden look nice but it will smell wonderful as well.
Remember we said this is a little space for you to sit out and enjoy. The perfect balcony furniture would be a little bistro set of the round table with two chairs. Once you have gone ahead and done this, although it sounds like quite a bit of work it is well worth it. As a part of appreciating, you can spend quality time in your garden. You are going to get many hours of enjoyment from your balcony garden.
We’ll discuss how to start an urban garden, planning and implementing in the next blog.