In but a few years it’s going to be essential for urban dwellers to grow their own food, either on their roof tops or in community gardens and farms around the city in which they live. Here is a rather straight forward (if not a little mundane) video from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Enjoy.
Been re-reading the article that the New Statesman published in late June regarding the developments in urban spaces of people to grow their own. This is happening more and more right? Well is it really…?
A Which? survey found that 24% of the population are presently growing their own. That is high but that number is likely made up of energetic country folk and privileged suburban types who have the space. But half of the world’s population now reside in cities. This epic drain on the provision of the countryside means that it’s essential to get urban people doing it. Not just the well-to-do and white middle classes, but EVERYONE.
Here are some already great schemes/projects:
Food from the sky: http://bit.ly/qI6hqC
Bevin Community Garden: http://bit.ly/qXI2xL
Heeley City Farm: http://bit.ly/o7Rkw5
These schemes get people involved and have the community digging and learning as they go. There is a lot to be done and there is so much space if you look for it. A rooftop holds so much potential. Getting up there onto the flat areas and putting in soil, seeds and a little time is all it takes.
The National Trust estimates that there are 600 acres of window sill space available in the UK - think of what could be grow here. @urbanharvestUKlast week found an incredible grape vine growing in deep central London - why can’t more be done.
It’s carrot and stick
People need to be shown how, shown where and given the resources. For this there is:
- Growing Food / RHS Campaign for School Gardening http://bit.ly/nkU8i2
- BBC - Gardening Guides: Basics http://bbc.in/quMzQS
- Capital Growth: http://bit.ly/ojc5vM
- Master Gardeners | Local advice and support growing food http://bit.ly/qEV2Nf
What’s possible? Lets see
A statement of intent and a declaration of potential; there is a way out of this increasing problem of food shortages.
The current situation has never called louder for each person to do things for themselves. Putting together a few small pots and sticking them on windowsills around your flat or house will make a difference, that difference will mount if everyone in your street does the same - building a food resource that is very local, increasingly social and actually working as a carbon positive; what people do on this micro-agricultural level will reduce their carbon by locking in carbon as their plants grow. How can we stress how much this will do for the whole cause? We could put statistics up about carbon reduction, or we could quote climate change advocates but instead we just want to see the face of those that take these steps and taste their first exceedingly fresh Tomato/Beetroot/Strawberry/Courgette. This is where it matters. All the rest just falls into line beyond this.
The perfect situation of people being truly digitally enabled in a mass way, with the pressing necessity of self-provision combined with the social fragmentation that exists in developed nations (Alone Together, http://econ.st/lpAeMu) demands that now is the ideal time to actually do something, and do it on a mass scale.
The food crisis is surely a cause of individualistic western society: the inability to wait, the ignorance of seasonality and the lack to consideration beyond the 4 walls in which people reside. Can Connected Roots be the answer to this?
You look around and continually ask whether this will happen, whether people will accept this approach or be lost to consumerism because they have been breed on it. The constant refusal is put down to choice, quality and time required - all these elements are things that Connected Roots is set to begin eroding. The idea came from ways in which a facility could be created to speed up the homegrown movement but also make it accessible to even those with minute space to grow food. As people partake, they set their own choice and quality - time is something that Connected Roots will bring down considerably, allowing people to source food within their neighbourhood and build meals in a very short time.
I’m not going to bumble on about the reasons why we have food problems, suffice to say that there are problems and things need to change - bringing the ability to learn how to grow things in small, tight and often limited light, coupled with the ability to share anything you grow to be able to create entire meals - will change things drastically to taken up by the masses, hopefully CR can make this a reality.
Connected Roots will soon bring the growing opportunity to thousands of people who were unable to previously - each person will effectively have their own small section of a local community garden, working with their streets and postcodes to provide for themselves and each other.
This could get really exciting.
The link from this article talks about what we need to implement to achieve a sustainable food system, read more here