Plan B

My past posts reveal my desire to be directly involved with sustainable farming.  I plan and hope to achieve this, but as both the global population and the demand for land, space, and food rise, I recognize that being flexible with this dream may minimize any potential disappointment.  Comparatively, as much as I seem to “fly by the seat of my pants,” I like to plan.  I come close to peace when I at least have some general structure to my life.  So with this in mind, I began to brainstorm back-up plans to having my own farm.

In this search and planning excursion, I read an article and learned of vertical farming.  Dickson Despommier of Columbia University and his students researched this urban farming phenomenon and hypothesized that such projects could solve our global food insecurity problems.

I am unsure of its feasibility, but in my characteristic optimism, I believe it has potential.  Continue reading

Windowfarms: More on Urban Gardening

In one of my earlier posts, I discussed some of the basics of hydroponics, one of the less popular but more efficient forms of urban gardening. Today I won’t discuss the technical aspects of hydroponic gardening, but display an example of an entrepreneurial venture taking advantage of the underdeveloped market. Most people with hydroponic gardens are either aficionados or professionals – very few grow soil-less produce casually.

Windowfarms, an American open-source project concerning itself with urban agriculture, not only offers the blueprints for solar window-contained hydroponic gardens, but also the option of purchasing a kit of varying dimensions (for those less comfortable with the technical specifications). In addition to its mission of reducing urbanites’ carboon footprints by enabling them to grow their own produce, Windowfarms are being used to educate schoolchildren on the benefits and ease of urban farming.

On Urban Farming

Hydroponic gardening isn’t for everyone: the handiwork, plant nutritional knowledge, and electrical setup can be daunting to beginners. When I set out to create my very first hydroponic setup, I had essentially zero knowledge in any of those fields. Nonetheless, with a very small budget, I was able to establish a functioning hydroponic garden within a few days.

Continue reading