It’s hot to be green: How urban gardening is taking over
The city and the countryside haven’t always seen eye to eye. In fact, the world’s greatest cities define themselves as everything rural areas can’t – vibrant, dynamic, bursting with energy and forward-thinking. But now, millions of urbanites are reconsidering. Greening the city has become an obsession for planners and apartment dwellers alike. But what does it mean for your life? Let’s take a look.
How cities are launching a green revolution
The last year or two have seen an acceleration in the greening of cities, with authorities, companies and individuals all making their mark. Before suggesting how you can take green action, it’s worth taking stock of some developments that are set to transform the way our cities produce their food:
Growing underground – While traditional farming requires rainwater and sunlight, tomorrow’s producers could harvest fruit and vegetables from what used to be underground car parks – keeping food miles to a minimum and making efficient use of space.
Linking small urban farms to hungry consumers – With support from local governments and plenty of volunteers, firms like Toronto’s Sundance Harvest are persuading homeowners to plough up their lawns and buy local – greening suburbs and boosting health eating.
Growing community links – In Salamanca, Spain, agricultural collectives seek out marginalised groups like immigrants and ex-prisoners, and help them survive via urban growing projects.
Going vertical to harvest sunlight – Even city walls are becoming popular spots for urban growers. Modern hydroponic technology can fix plants like salads to exterior walls, giving them great access to sunlight and a ready source of healthy greens for people inside.
Play your part in the growth of urban agriculture
All of those initiatives work at a community level, producing social, economic and health benefits for local people. But what about things that you can do at home or in your garden with the help of great gardening supplies? Can you play a productive role as we try to make cities truly sustainable? Absolutely! And here are some ideas that you can put into action pretty much straight away:
Backyard micro gardening – Every major city has its band of back garden farmers, and a few square metres can yield a surprising amount of veggies. Head to local allotments or food growing co-ops for some compost and seeds, and dig out some raised beds, and you should be able to get started right now.
Turn your balcony into a tiny allotment – Even apartment dwellers can supplement their diets with the freshest food known to man. Greens, herbs and even small fruit bushes can all be grown successfully on cramped balconies. Just remember to find a container that’s large enough to handle mature plants. For example, you can find many nice planter boxes on Wayfair.co.uk or at garden supplies vendors, so shop around and find containers that will let your plants thrive.
Going green could be the best home design choice you make this year
With climate change breathing down our necks, and people generally waking up to the need for nutritious, locally-grown food, now is the perfect moment to experiment with home growing. And the benefits aren’t just related to food. Thriving food-producing balconies also look the part, making sterile urban spaces feel like extensions of the natural world. So get in touch with local growers to pick their brains, source tomato or basil seeds, and pick up the planters you need. If everyone does their bit, in a few short years the cities of the world could be unrecognisable from the polluting places we know right now.
The editorial unit