backyard gardening

Urban Farming for a Great Green Future

Urban Farming for a Great Green Future

Growing your own food has its benefits. Feeding your family from your own garden not only ensures that you have a steady supply of fresh-grown food for your family but also improves the quality of the city, improves air quality, and reduces pollution. It can also address hunger issues and obesity problems around the world. When you eat fresh fruits and vegetables from your own roof garden, indoor garden, backyard garden or vertical tower gardens, you can easily feed your family. If you want to take it a step further, you could even produce enough food to supply to your local market and generate a steady income.

Indoor gardens and aquaponic systems are easy to setup at home, and they don’t need a whole lot of space for producing fresh home-grown food. There are ways you can grow herbs and vegetables and raise fish at the same time in your own home, in your basement, living room, kitchen, or anywhere, where you have some additional space, and setup your indoor vertical garden. Designing your small backyard vegetable garden or indoor garden isn’t that difficult. You can grow a variety of herbs and vegetables in flower pots or small containers and keep them anywhere you like.

Benefits of vertical tower gardens

vertical-gardenA vertical soilless aquaponic system is easier than a soil based system and can be used all year round to grow herbs and vegetables. A vertical tower can also have fish in a fish tank with a re-circulation aquaponic system, that uses waste from the fish to feed the plants and so, it reduces the need for additional fertilizers for the plants. You can have this system indoors or outdoors and reduce the need for pesticides to control soil borne insects.

You can use all natural organic methods for growing your crops. Because it’s a soilless system, there is no weeding, tilling and no need to get dirty. A vertical garden can fit almost anywhere in your home and looks gorgeous anywhere, whether you decide to put it in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. A tower garden grows crop quicker than regular soil based gardening and uses less resources. It’s also easier than soil based gardening to maintain.

Green roof benefits

With the demand for food increasing around the globe, human agriculture is having a huge impact on natural resources. It is also causing greenhouse emissions and habitat losses for wild animals. Roof gardening can increase greenery in cities significantly. As we know, there are many benefits of having plants in cities. Some of the benefits of plants are supply of food, control of carbon emission, supply of oxygen and filtering out harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

800px-Urban_salad_growing-LondonWith green roofs, water is stored by the substrate or the drainage systems of the building and then taken up by the plants from where it is returned to the atmosphere. This tends to utilize water more efficiently and also keeps the air cool through evaporation.

Therefore, growing more plants in cities not only makes the surrounding beautiful, but growing plants wherever possible may also help to reduce unpleasant city heat and pollution that is often associated with urban living – the concrete, paved roads and smoke from automobile emission and industries of the urban areas that add to greenhouse effects. Plants are essential for improving the air quality and adding more oxygen to the atmosphere; they act as natural filters.

When you grow your own food, you are also saving on trips to the grocery store, which means less carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Urban farming also makes food as local as possible. Most people don’t realize that when they buy food at the grocery store, it has to travel hundreds of miles, 1,500 miles on average, before it can reach your table. Growing and buying local food will eliminate all the energy wastage and carbon emissions associated with packaging, transporting, and storing food.

When you grow your own food in your backyard kitchen garden, your roof garden or in vertical towers, you are able to use your kitchen waste as fertilizers. By doing so, you are able to utilize resources more efficiently. You are minimizing food waste and also saving valuable landfill space.

Indoor_gardenThe popularity of growing food with alternative methods, such as using a tower garden, a roof garden or using indoor pots for growing herbs and vegetables, is growing in popularity. Apart from making our homes beautiful, plants also supply us with many added benefits.

Eating fresh and good nutritious food has many health benefits and it also reduces pollution and filters out greenhouse gasses form the atmosphere. With increasing demand for food around the world, growing your own food can ease some of the pressure from global agriculture.

When it comes to grocery shopping, growing your food gets you as close to being local as possible. You may be able to save on groceries, energy and reduce pollution, all from your home-based garden. If you grow your garden at a larger scale, you may even be able to generate a steady source of income right form your home.

For more information on Urban Farming or home based gardening, please leave a comment below, or Click here to book a meeting with us.

Sources: Nourish the Planet

Read More

Basics Of Growing Sweet Corn In Your Backyard Or Small Garden

Basics Of Growing Sweet Corn In Your Backyard Or Small Garden

Sweet corn is a vegetable that everyone loves. You can eat sweet corn in variety of ways. It can be eaten right off the plants. You can also prepare several food items with them including corn soup, and in combination of other vegetables such as beans or sweet peas. Sweet corn is a good source of rich carbs, vitamins and minerals and when eaten with peas or beans, which are rich in amino acids, it makes a great balanced meal, rich in proteins carbs, vitamins and minarals. It can also be added to salads, pasta or rice or beef stews to make a delicious meal.

Sweet corn is usually a summer time crop and needs plenty of sunshine to grow. The plants are also tall and might not be suitable for indoor gardening or backyard greenhouse gardening if you try to grow the traditional sweet corn. There are however certain kinds of sweet corn that can be grown in a green house in your backyard for your backyard garden, and the crops will be sweeter than any corn you will buy at the supermarket.

corn plantationIf you have a sunny plot in your backyard, you may try to grow Sweet Symphony, Kandy Korn Silver or Queen in your backyard.  If you want to grow them indoors, you need to keep them under a bright lamp where they receive plenty of heat. It is also important to have good flow of air because the corn plants pollinate through wind.

Planting Sweet Corns

To grow corn in your backyard, you need to prepare the soil with good supply of manure and compost. Spring is the best season for planting seeds. If you prepare the soil in fall, let the winter pass and plant the seeds after the last week of spring. The corn plants need plenty of heat and sunshine to grow. Make sure the ground temperature stays high. If necessary cover the ground with plastic, and punch holes in them to plant seeds. Seeds should be planted in blocks, 9-12 inches apart, and 1 inch deep. Keep the rows at least 3 feet apart and instead of making two long rows, make four shorter rows to help pollination.  You may apply fertilizers at the time of planting the seeds and the plants would grow rapidly. You also need to water the seeds regularly.

corn plant

Care for the plants

Corn plants needs to be weeded regularly. Attention should be given to the roots of the plants while taking the weeds out of the rows. Soils also need a regular supply of water and drained properly. The soil needs about 5 gallons of water per square yard. Cover the ground with mulch to prevent evaporation.

 

Harvesting

8077076165_ffe0253c6f

The crops are ready for harvesting when the tassels turn chocolate brown. Test for ripeness by squeezing the grain with your fingers. You should be able to tell whether they are ready for picking. If the grains are watery and squirt liquid when you squeeze them, they are not ripe. The cobs are ready for picking when they are creamy, and if they are paste like, they are over ripe. Twist the ripe cobs and take off the ears from the stem. Cook them rapidly because the sugar turns to starch very rapidly after they are picked, and so they may lose flavor.

Cooking tips

Corn can be added to any spicy food or too hot food to make them sweet and balance the hot spicy food with sweetness of corn. You can make hot salsa, summer corn cakes, or corn soup at home.

Read More