Urban Farming is a relatively new term, although the practice has been around since humans first began domesticating plants and animals. Urban Farming refers to growing and producing your own food, keeping animals, and a variety of other practices in an urban environment, which we usually consider done only on farms. Other similar terms for urban farming include kitchen gardening (what the French call a potager), veggie patching, victory gardening and edible landscaping. It can be the transformation of your entire block or just growing a few herbs and veggies in pots or a small space.
We adopt Urban Farming for the general purpose of:
- Growing our own food, and raising our own animals for eggs, meat and other benefits
- Developing and managing our own resources
- Becoming more self-sufficient
- Producing food for our families and sometimes our community
It’s all about enjoying a little of the country life on our town or city property. We can:
- Choose to grow a huge variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and trees
- Keep chickens, ducks, worms, bees, guinea pigs and other animals on our urban farm
- Convert backyards, front verges and lawns into edible gardens and animal pens
- Save seeds and raise seedlings to grow fresh organic produce
- Achieve a greater sense of control over our own space and lifestyle
Reasons for Urban Farming
We are now facing some very serious food and farming challenges worldwide. Fortunately, many people are returning to a greener, more natural lifestyle such as urban farming, to take the pressure off and reduce the impact of some of these challenges, which include:
- Economic pressures - by growing and producing our own food, we can save a lot of money and reduce food and other living costs.
- Environmental concerns – growing and producing our own food is one of the most important and empowering things we can do to reduce emissions and cut out the destructive unnatural production and middle processes that bring us our food.
- Food safety and security – by urban farming, we can take a step out of our current agricultural food system cycle, which is in danger of collapsing. By seed saving, growing your own food and controlling your own space, you have a strong say in rejecting the issues that worldwide food now faces, such as GM (genetic modification), heavy chemical use, monoculture and factory farming, and much more. Plus homegrown food simply tastes better.
- Family, social and community – urban farming brings people together. Family, friends, neighbours and communities are strengthened. People learn and share more, and appreciate the wonders of nature, especially children.
- Health and exercise – spending time outdoors in the garden is extremely beneficial for our health. Fresh air, fresh food and healthy movement are essential for our health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that time in the garden and outdoors is also great for our mental health, and the sight, sound, smell, taste and touch of gardening relieves stress and increases serotonin levels, making us feel great.
- Keeping it local and reducing our carbon footprint – every mouthful of food homegrown or obtained as locally as possible reduces our carbon footprint and the consumption of nonrenewable resources. It also supports local small businesses.
- An independent, self-sufficient, multipurpose and productive space – urban farming creates a unique space where you can be as independent and self-sufficient as you choose, where you can achieve a variety of purposes, and where you can grow, produce and experiment with thousands of different plants and trees, plus a host of beneficial animals.
Urban Farming brings food-growing back into the cities and towns, where it has always traditionally been in sustainable societies. We hope you join the Urban Farming revolution.