Could Urban Farming Save the Environment?

Many people think so and they are having a good go at it too!

What is urban farming?  Urban farming is simply an area of urban land which is suitable to house animals or grow vegetation. Mostly the vegetation is grown in hydroponics unless the urban farmers change the soil themselves every few weeks, non-hydroponic urban farming is becoming very popular especially with people living in tower flats using their roofs as gardens.

The reason why urban farming is causing waves is that it’s changing the views on what organic farming is and what it could be in the future.

Bringing Added Purpose Back To The Cities

It means that places we thought had no real use and are at present eyesores could actually serve a purpose again with minimal financial investment. The only thing needed is humans, animals, plants and some attention.

But now the ball has got rolling and scientists are gaining interest. Their focus is aimed at micro-crops and they have found that these micro-crops hold more nutrients than their larger counterparts, but only take a fraction of the space needed.

Now some cities are devising ways in which well-structured flats could serve as urban farms instead of being knocked down, they are also introducing sheep and goat mowing instead of using the regular lawn mowers. This means that the council landscapers are able to tackle the more difficult jobs while the goats and sheep take care of the grass.

The goat and sheep poo will go into city compost along with some of the vegetation they won’t eat to serve as compost for the rooftop gardens. Maybe one day cities will be able to provide restaurants and shops with their produce right from the rooftops themselves but for now urban farming in the city is a small but utopic movement.

Chickens, The Farmers Of The Future

Let’s take our view out of the city and into the outskirts and towns. With more land comes more potential. So we know where the goats and sheep will be munching. On the sports field, village parks and maybe even some resident’s gardens, the possibilities are of many.

We haven’t talked about birds in the cities especially the beloved chicken, because as everyone knows they make a lot of noise and they do have a habit of taking flight for a few seconds and no one wants to be shovelling dead chickens from pavements. But in towns chickens can be used as efficient mini farmers themselves.

Chickens love to scratch and peck around, in some places there can be quite hard soil and for the older members of our population it can be frustrating when their bodies just can’t do the job. Why not hire chickens to dig it up for you? Sounds crazy but it has been put to task and in many urban farming plots in Australia the chickens have done just that and more.

A farmer creates temporary “chicken tunnels” which only allows chickens access to the ground that needs dug up. So while the chickens run about peck and dig the ground is getting evenly levelled and turned up. What’s best about it is the only thing it costs is time.

The fencing can be unlinked and neatly rolled back ready for use on the next garden.  So there you have it, chickens are no longer a dinner plate special but our own little brigade of diggers. Not only can they dig but they can be trained to target out slugs that are a natural bane of all farmers. This would eliminate a lot of need for slug pellets which are frequently consumed by other wildlife which can lead to the detriment of essential fauna.

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