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Urban Gardening – The Food Revolution

Urban Gardening – The Food Revolution

the future of our food system?

Where does your food come from? If you live in a city, like me, you probably rely on farmers near and far to produce your food. But have you ever thought about what would happen if the food chain suddenly broke down? If, say, a natural disaster hit or transportation of food was unavailable for some time? Even with the current Corona-virus outbreak, some people are facing anxieties of food shortages. Are we, as urban inhabitants, able to supply ourselves, even if everything turns against us? It can be scary to think about it. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Even if we don’t have gardens of our own, there is an array of ways to grow food right in our cities! This concept is called urban gardening or urban farming. And it’s got a surprisingly rich & interesting history… Could urban gardening, along with community supported agriculture, be the next food revolution?

Where my inspirational trip started…

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and quite a lively place to explore, to live and to work in. From modern libraries to extravagant art galleries, from excellent cycling paths to an array of beautiful cafés and restaurants: there is something for everybody’s taste. Much to my delight, Malmö is quite a green city, too. Many parks, lawns and gardens provide space for sitting and reading, chatting or just relaxing in nature.

In the very heart of the city, on the fortress island behind the castle of Malmö, I spotted a vibrant oasis of life: Slottsträdgården. This is an urban gardening project that was established back in in 1997 by an association called “The Friend’s Association”. It operates entirely on organic principles.

Malmö's urban gardening area. Photo by Naomi Bosch
Malmö’s urban gardening area. Photo by Naomi Bosch

Green city

Here, members can rent one of the 60 small city allotments of around 6-8 sqm. One of the fields is solely for use as a school garden for Malmö’s schoolchildren.

Besides the gardening allotments, Slottsträdgården includes various educational allotments, like a perennial garden, a garden with plants adapted to dry climate, and one with plants that could become more relevant for food production with climate change.

Different educational gardens in Malmö. Photos by Naomi Bosch

Little paths lead to the allotments and create opportunity for exploring, admiring the lush plants and photographing. Furthermore, the air vibrating with these tiny, flying creatures, the garden is a true haven for insectsbirds and butterflies. This place is truly a treasure in the midst of a busy city.

But, as if things couldn’t get better, the Association also runs a lovely café. More precisely, it consists of a sunny terrace and tables in a secluded greenhouse beautifully decorated with colourful pillows, a grapevine and other plants hanging from the ceiling. As a relaxed end for a tiring workday or as a fresh start into a city-tour, this is just the perfect spot for sipping coffee and enjoying some freshly baked cake.

The Friends’ Associations’s garden style café. Photos by Naomi Bosch

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The best ideas to turn your homestead into the ultimate edible landscape

The best ideas to turn your homestead into the ultimate edible landscape

Image: The best ideas to turn your homestead into the ultimate edible landscape

(Natural News) Homesteaders prioritize self-reliance and the cultivation of organic produce, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make your home garden look pretty. If you want to beautify your property, start a practice called edible landscaping. (h/t to RockinWHomestead.com)

What is edible landscaping?

Edible landscaping represents a different take on how to design and interact with yards and urban green spaces. The practice prioritizes the cultivation of food-producing plants and native perennials, and it helps home gardeners create green space and provide healthy, fresh food to their family.

Replacing even just a fraction of traditional lawns with edible landscapes designed around locally appropriate plants offers various benefits.

These benefits require little to no irrigation or fertilizer and can increase food production potential in cities, as well as attract pollinators and improve ecological diversity.

Flowers for your edible landscape

Edible flowers are a common feature of edible landscapes. But flowering plants aren’t just pretty, they also attract pollinators that can help your fruit-bearing plants thrive. (Related: Edible Landscaping Ideas For Small Spaces.)

Popular options include daisies, lilacs, pansies, and sunflowers.

Edible flowers can also be used for food decorating and subtle flavoring.

Herbs for your edible landscape

Herbs are another staple in edible landscapes. You can plant the following herbs in your yard:

  • Basil and thyme – Basil and thyme are beautiful additions to any garden. Both herbs are fairly easy to grow, and you can use them both as nutritious ingredients in different dishes.
  • Chives – Chives bear beautiful flowers that can add to the aesthetic appeal of your garden. This delicious herb is also the perfect addition to baked potatoes and other savory side dishes.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to build a self-sufficient garden on as little as a quarter of an acre

Image: How to build a self-sufficient garden on as little as a quarter of an acre
(Natural News) Modern conveniences like countless grocery stores and food delivery services make it seem like the average American family has no use for home gardening. But when SHTF, you could starve if you don’t have access to fresh produce growing in your own garden. (h/t to SHTFPlan.com)

Starting a home garden is one of the first steps that you can take to become self-sufficient. Like other aspects of prepping and survival, home gardening requires dedication and hard work yet it is also incredibly rewarding.

With some planning and the use of certain techniques and principles, your home garden can provide vegetables for the whole family. You won’t even need that much land since you can make do with as little as a quarter of an acre. This means even preppers who live in the suburbs can try their hand at home gardening.

Home gardening basics

Before you start sowing seeds, you must figure out how much food you need and can grow. These two things will depend on various factors, like the climate, garden space, the size of your family, and how much food everyone requires. (Related: A simple 5-step guide to starting your own vegetable garden.)

Back in the 1970s, research by John Jeavons and the Ecology Action Organization determined that 4,000 square feet (or 370 square meters) of growing space, with another 4000 square feet for access paths and storage, is enough land area to provide for an individual on a vegetarian diet for one year. This land is enough to cultivate a garden plot that’s about 80 feet x 100 feet (24 meters x 30 meters).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is another way possible?

Is another way possible? 

Dining in the Davie Community Garden, Vancouver, BC, Canada (2010) by Geoff Peters via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2010_Davie_Street_community_garden_Vancouver_BC_Canada_5045979145.jpg

A roundup of news, views and ideas from the mainstream press and the blogosphere.  Click on the headline link to see the full article.

Urban Gardening in Greece – a New Form of Protest

Orestes Kolokouris, Green European Journal
Guerrilla gardening and local consumer-producer networks are redefining life in today’s Greek cities. While the crisis has shifted politicians’ attention away from the climate, “transition and recovery movements” work hard to keep the environment on the agenda.

… Environmental politics were never well developed in Greece, but in the last years before the economic crisis the Greek environmental movement has had a short “renaissance”. First, there was the movement against the Olympic Games, which helped reinforce other local urban movements fighting to reclaim public spaces for societal use. Secondly, the massive series of forest fires in 2007 led to an increased public awareness about the causes and effects of global warming, which then led to the creation of new environmental grassroots movements (e.g. Green Attack, Bloggers, Guerrilla Gardeners etc.), and the reinforcement of the Greek Green Party that gained an MEP in the 2009 European elections. This in turn has led to the “greening” of the public discourse of other political parties (mainly Pasok and Syriza). Finally, the Greek riots of December 2008 and the participating youth movements have led to the creation of new social experiments around the social and solidarity economy, this involves the so called “transition and recovery movements” (movements aiming to transform economical activities and every-day life rather than to protest and reclaim changes from the authorities) or the theory of degrowth.

… Urban agriculture essentially did not exist until very recently in Greece. Its rapid development coincides with the rapid deterioration of living standards in Greek society in recent years due to the deep crisis. But it roots can be traced back to a few years earlier: to the first years of the 21st century, when small libertarian and alternative and ecological circles decided to experiment with this way of life.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…




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