Urban gardening: plant your city

Agriculture Health

Times when you were grabbing vegetables in the food stores without checking them are over. Consumers want to know exactly what they are buying and where their food comes from. Urban gardening is the solution for people who like growing their own fruits, making themselves independent of distribution chains.

Public gardens in the city (c) Kaz Alting
Public gardens in the city (c) Kaz Alting

Urban gardening describes the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in a village or city. People grow fruits, vegetables and herbs in their own patches or in public gardens in big urban cities. This is not only fun that has emerged, but the plants also help other people and insects. There are also many social benefits from urban agricultural practices, such as improved emotional well-being in the relaxing areas, improved health, increased income and employment.

Agriculture is happening in the surroundings of a city on huge fields to enable mass production. Consumers nowadays can not be sure where their food comes from and how it was grown. Consumption has increased so much that people lost their awareness for original cultivation. Only mass production enables to offer the products for low prices. Side effects are that farmers use pesticides and other agents. Fruits and vegetables in the stores always look very ripe and delicious so that the buyer wants to eat it immediately. We connect firm apples and super red tomatoes with something positive like healthiness and slenderness. But this is not natural anymore. Many groceries are genetically manipulated so that they cannot rot anymore. Who still knows when there is the season for tomatoes? When is the best time to eat strawberries? And when should we buy tasty oranges? In the stores you find everything at any time. Consumers lose the feeling for the different seasons concerning buying fresh food.

Obst im Einkaufsregal (c) Gérard Lorenz
Fresh fruits (c) Gérard Lorenz

Vegetables grown in a greenhouse get more nitrate than plants which were growing outside. But nobody knows exactly how many pathogens etc. are distributed – it’s not enough to buy “bio”-food. People notice that change and they start to buy fair trade products. The need for sustainably produced, freh and safe groceries is increasing vehemently because of the tremendous influx of world population to urban areas.

City farming or urban gardening is the new worldwide trend, that should get back the awerness for original cultivation and natural products. Modern planning and design initiatives are often more responsive to this model because it is sustainable. The self-made farmers grow their own food in shared parcels or gardens in unused space of a city. There are many projects worldwide that show that this process works and could be spread more. If it gets bigger it could also solve global problems like poverty and climate change. It’s not only the harvest, but also the energy used to transport food is decreased when urban agriculture can provide cities with locally grown food.

Every city or town should support urban gardening projects because if we think global, also small ideas and things save our planet and make it more livable. Unused space should always contain a green spot in a sustainable way especially in densely population urban areas!