The current trend of urban gardening is a great step forward in terms of taking responsibility for our own health. Moving from centralized food systems that are big Ag based to a decentralized food system is one way of improving the quality and safety of our food system. In addition, it’s much more sustainable since there are many less oil-based inputs being used for farm machinery or transportation. Instead of having food grown in far away places on nutritionally- depleted soils, high quality foods could be grown close to home. Unless growers have access to land within the city environment, some creative thinking is needed to find places to grow instead. From balconies to indoor hydroponic systems, many solutions are available.
- If you have the space, and your home environment supports the high-tech look of these things, you can try some high density vertical gardens like the ones grown at Chicago O’Hare’s Urban Garden. <add photo from site>. Alternatively, to accomplish the same thing on a dime over one of your windows, you may want to check out the site windowfarms.org where they will show you how to
- You can grow cherry tomatoes inside on a hanging planter (courtesy of the Suburban Self Sustanment blog).
- Next, here’s an example of indoor gardening using the windowfarms method
- Or, you can just vegetables in pots on the floor, like these tomatoes (image courtesy of Organic Gardening & Farming)
When growing indoors, there are a large number of options available, especially if you’re creative. But due to limited growing area in terms of surface area, the yields can be quite limiting. So how can this be improved?
While one way would be to try to find more space to grow things, like joining a community garden, what I’d like to share with you today are my thoughts on how you can use electricity to help you increase your yields from 20% to 400%! By being able to grow much more food in less space there are obviously a huge number of benefits.
Being able to grow more of your own food, you’re also not only saving money, but you’re also:
- Improving your health by spending more time around plants which is relaxing.
- Exposing yourself to more oxygen straight from the source.
- Growing safe food that’s a lot less likely to be contaminated by e coli or other pathogens.
|Normal Time-to-Harvest||Potential Increase in Growth Rate||Improved Time-to-Harvest|
|Lettuce||6-8 weeks||30%||4.2 – 5.6 weeks|
|Radish||22-70 days||37%||14 – 44 days|
|Tomato||85 days||37%||53 days|
- How to Grow Fruits, Herbs and Veggies Indoor (greenfudge.org)