Living in bustling and buzzing cities as most people do these days has led us to become completely disconnected from nature. Aside from the occasional glances we have at trees from the confines of the indoors, the only time we are surrounded by greenery is at the vegetable aisle in supermarkets. As former hunter-gatherers, this disconnect we have with the production and consumption of food is something that has happened in the more recent years and can probably be credited to the busy lifestyle post globalization. Though most rural communities still maintain some connection with the food supply chain yet even this is on a steady decline.
Losing connection with nature and our food supply has many adverse effects that we may not be aware of or not yet at least. When food is produced, stored and shipped from all over the world; we tend to take it for granted and this often leads to food wastage. If you knew who planted and harvested the potatoes you had for dinner it is less likely that you would blatantly waste it. There is also the issue of the large carbon footprint that comes as a result of shipping food halfway across the world. Having said this, many sustainability advocates push for Urban Farming to combat this very problem.
The concept of an urban farm is simple. It is to grow a crop of seasonal vegetables, fruits and to rear poultry or fish within the limited spaces of a cityscape. Due to the compact nature of cities, there usually aren’t any large plots of fertile soil for farming, therefore urban farmers make use of what little space there is to create farmland. Urban Farming however is not to be confused with community gardens which focuses on sharing harvests with a community. Simply put, Urban Farming is done with the objective of generating profit by selling produce to its immediate community.
Starting an urban farm, much like any other business requires strategic planning. The key to the success of the farm depends almost entirely on its location as that would determine the fertility of the soil, the amount of sunlight it would get and the quality of the air and the environment of that land. It would be ideal if the land is away from factories, which would emit pollutants. Rooftops of apartments and commercial buildings are one of the more popular choices as these are large, flat and open grounds. It is also important to do some research on the type of crop that is suitable for your farm. There are many video tutorials and blog posts on the internet discussing the how’s, why’s, when’s and what’s that would tell you everything you need to know to start your own urban farm.