Urban Farming: Fresh Food At No Cost

 

Urban Farming: Reclaiming our cities.

 

Time To Start Planning

 

The annual seed catalogs began arriving in the mail 2 days after Halloween….a mite early, I thought. However, when snow covers the ground, spending time flipping through those catalogs makes me feel as if winter will be over before we know it.

 

 

Harvest Food From Your Back Yard

 

For urban and suburban dwellers who seek to consume locally grown, healthy food, options might seem a bit limited. Farmers’ markets are popping up in more areas. Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions are also a good choice (one I plan to discuss in a future post).

 

What I want to suggest today is a relatively new concept—Urban Farming.

 

Urban Farming is made-to-order for residents belonging to any one of the following groups:

 

• People with a yard or vacant land.
Anyone interested in learning how to grow a garden
Those without the time and/or skills to cultivate their own garden.
• Those wanting to learn gardening basics from skilled farmers.

 

Each urban farmer organizes his or her farming venture differently, but there is one common factor: The farmer raises garden crops in a resident’s yard and in turn the resident has the right to harvest any vegetables for his own personal use, at no cost. The farmer sells produce from that and other gardens to (hopefully) eke out a profit.

 

Occasionally, the farmer serves as a gardening tutor and the resident may choose (in time) to assume total control of his garden.

 

Find An Urban Farmer Near You

 

In the Seattle area, one such organization dedicated to urban farming is the Seattle Urban Farm Company.  Their website provides an excellent overview of the services they provide and other pertinent information.  Additionally, for readers in other areas, an internet search using the terms: Urban Farming (city in quotes) will provide many local resources.

 

Picturing It

 

The farmer you work with will be able to tell you which crops are most suited for your particular property, but if you are trying to picture the possibility of making your land productive, these seed companies are 4 of my favorites.  The first two are located in Western Oregon and sell specifically for the Pacific Northwest gardener.

 

Growing crops in the garden.

What will your garden look like?

Territorial Seed Company

Nichols Garden Nursery

Pinetree Garden Seeds

The Cook’s Garden

For fruits and berries try:

Raintree Nursery

 

They are located in Morton, Washington and are an excellent source for many things! (A great place for a day trip if you’re anywhere near the area.)

 

Fall And Winter Are A Good Time To Get Started

 

The dreary winter season is the perfect time to begin planning ahead for healthy and economical dining next year. If you would like to be able to stroll out into your yard and harvest dinner components, but lack time or knowledge of gardening, please give Urban Farming some consideration.

 

For those interested in reading more on the subject of raising your own food, the editors at Javabird suggest:

 

The Urban Homestead: Your Guide To Self Sufficient Living In The Heart Of The City – by Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen

The Backyard Homestead:  Produce All The Food You Need On Just A Quarter Acre – by Carleen Madigan

Back To Basics:  A complete Guide To Traditional Skills – Abigail Gehring

 

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