Urban gardening, or how it is often, called urban farming, has recently caused a fuss all around the world starting from industrialised areas in the United States and Canada to good old Europe. Today the world has some urban gardens to boast about - Sustainable Urban Agrihood in Detroit by the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative; the world’s largest rooftop farm in Chicago, Illinois, by the Brooklyn-based Gotham Green project that produces 10-million pesticide free crops each year; rooftop farms in Gaza; UF002 De Schilde by Urban Farmers in The Hague; and Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin, just to name few.
What is urban gardening?
The name speaks for itself. Urban gardening or urban farming refers to a variety of ways to grow fruits and vegetables in densely populated urban areas. You may grow lettuce on your balcony, or have a small garden bed in front of your house or multi-story office building. A restaurant may grow their own herbs on the rooftop or a community may raise its garden in the park.
The movement of urban gardening may sound like a new and hip trend but in fact it actually traces back to 3500 B.C. when the Mesopotamians grew their food in newly developing cities. Urban gardening was extremely widespread in the years of WWI and WWII when the question of food was a highly critical issue. Since the post-industrial era in the 19th century, growing food in urban areas has taken a back seat. But it all has changed dramatically in recent decades when urban gardening started to crop up in economically marginal regions and in rough neighborhoods of cities. It not only provided additional fresh food for free but also granted an opportunity to work for people who were in need or lost their way in life.
More oxygen and less CO2
Urban gardening has generated a lot of hype and we are currently witnessing huge excitement around this movement in every part of the world. As more and more people are concerned with environmental issues, growing your own food in your hometown not only reduces the impact of food transportation on our Planet, it also serves educational and community purposes. People get together around this relaxing pastime with whole families where kids learn that veggies actually grow in the soil and adults make sure that they get healthy food on their tables. How cool it is to pick up a ripe tomato and add it right into your favourite pasta sauce? Besides that, growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in the city produces more oxygen and promotes reducing CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover, plants are known for their natural properties to trap hazardous pollutants in the air.
The movement of urban gardening didn’t bypass Ukraine where more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and become urban farmers. They eagerly plant their own veggies and fruits using a variety of creative ideas. Some of them turn it into successful businesses as the demand for healthy locally grown food is increasing. Being inspired by such innovative projects as, for example, Square Roots - an entrepreneur platform founded by Kimbal Musk, Ukrainians develop and adopt all kinds of urban agriculture - vertical farms, hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic systems.
We at America House could not miss all the great benefits of urban gardening. We decided to swim with the tide and start our own urban garden. So far, the experience has been really exciting. It not only gives the opportunity to learn more about how to maintain sustainability but it is also a nice way to distract yourself with something enjoyable.
Want to hear more about our experience? Or maybe grow your own greens? Come to America House Urban Garden opening on May 24 and learn more.