A Farmer Speaks
The new wave of urban farming (and fresh food from small spaces!)
Posted 3:25 PM on 12 Nov 2009
by Makenna Goodman
Do you dream of an organic garden, but don’t have a yard? A
flock of chicks, perhaps, but don’t have a yard? Home-grown food, and lower grocery
bills (but, alas, no yard!)? Dream no more, because you can have it, and without quitting your job, trading your bus pass for a pickup, or moving to the rural north.
A new wave of farming is happening in a city near you. While true, Old MacDonald had a farm (ee-i-ee-i-o), his offspring have some urban fish to fry. They’re working off loans, and can’t necessarily afford a parcel of land. They’re young parents who want to save money on cherry tomatoes. They’re newlyweds paying off healthcare debt, and growing taters in their trashcan. They’re students avoiding crappy dining plans. They’re urban farmers. Plain and simple.
In Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting, author R. J. Ruppenthal turns a seemingly anti-urban idea—that farming has to be done outside, with a red barn and rolling fields of wheat—on its head. Because urbanites, too, can grow their own food indoors, in cramped spaces, and without access to land! For real.
So without further ado, I give you Ruppenthal’s comprehensive “how-to” info for growing fresh food in the absence of open land; it’s here for the taking. Nom nom. Here’s my discussion with him:
Q. Without the luxury of land or space, is it really possible for someone to grow and produce their own food?
A. You do not need much space to grow some of your own food. If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, you might not think that you have enough space to grow anything, but my goal is to change your mind on that. You can grow nutritious sprouts on a counter top, salad greens on a windowsill, dwarf fruit trees on a patio, tomatoes on a balcony, and much more. Most vegetables, and even fruit trees and berry bushes, can thrive when grown in containers. Indoors, try mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented cultures such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Read the whole article here.