Get involved in urban farming
You want to save money on market and grocery bills but you can’t since you’re living in the heart of a bustling community. You want to eat healthy food but you have to shell out a hefty amount of money so you can buy fresh produce in an organic restaurant or market. The solution? Consider urban gardening.
Urban farming or gardening is increasingly becoming the trend nowadays for those living in condominiums or small neighborhoods in densely populated cities. While there are no one-size fits all approach to urban farming, there is surely an overabundance of ideas and practices that individuals, communities, small businesses, and cooperatives can undertake to get started on city gardening.
Some families now know better than to wait for the next supply of fresh greens and herbs to arrive in their favorite supermarkets by maintaining an indoor garden. Others take over a vacant lot for a raised bed garden while some make use of their roof to plant food.
With urban farming, you are assured of having access to natural and organically grown fare unlike food sourced from the market or grocery. Food also tastes healthier—alive and fresh, since you won’t be using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Nothing beats eating a ripe tomato off the vine or munching on fresh romaine harvested from your backyard. It’s also fulfilling to have a bunch of tarragons, parsley or cilantro ready whenever you make pasta or any other home-cooked dishes. Eating fresh organically grown fruits is also better and satisfying than the ones sometimes sold in the market.
Urban gardening is also a sustainable lifestyle and perfect for home and community-based individuals. Besides, avoiding transportation energy costs (since you have to take a ride to the nearest fast-food chain or restaurant) must be paramount as eating local can help save the environment and the planet in general.
Other than that, urban farming can also strengthen communities and revive that “bayanihan” spirit. It can also be therapeutic and relaxing especially for senior citizens who don’t wish to be idle. It can also generate a sense of accomplishment, offer the benefits of exercise, and community and individual resourcefulness.
The Internet is rife with ideas for DIY urban farming techniques. For starters, you can check out
http://www.organicauthority.com/, http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/ or http://diycozyhome.com/.
If you have time, visit the Quezon City Memorial Circle’s main demo urban farm that is now open to the public. [Ched Romulo]
[Source: Agribusiness Digest, Vol. 26. No. 08]