What is Urban Agriculture: How Can It Help Feed Cities?
Urban agriculture isn't just the hottest topic in discussion; it's as practical as it gets! Living in small houses and apartments, urban farms provide a means for the family to grow their own food. Urban farming is not a new concept. During WWII, many Americans planted their own food in backyards, calling it "victory garden." The homegrown harvest eventually ended up making 40% of the nation's food supplies. However, with the advancing rural agriculture, the trend of urban farming gradually faded.
Today, urban agriculture has made a serious comeback and for good reasons, which you'll find out in a bit. This new trend has taken on the world by storm. Already 800 million people are linked to urban agriculture worldwide, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It produces over 20% of the world's food. Want to hop on the grow-your-own bandwagon? Learn more about urban agriculture and transform your home into an innovative and fruitful farm!
What is urban farming?
Simply put, urban farming is a means of growing plants in urban environments, such as crowded cities and towns. Agriculture has primarily been associated with rural settings so far. However, with the growing population, land for farming is drastically reducing as the population grows at alarming rates. Urban farming isn't just a growing trend. It's the only resort to cater to the needs of the ever-increasing population.
Did you know that one-third of the world's fertile growing land has been lost in the last 40 years? Not only are we running short of area for growing crops, but our consumption demand also rises at alarming rates!
Like Washington DC and Detroit, many US cities have programs to facilitate citizens and offer incentives for growing food on rooftops, indoors, and vacant grounds. Community gardens, a spin-off of urban agriculture, are also being promoted by the government.
Other than community gardens and individuals growing their own food, small, medium, and large scale urban farms are also becoming increasingly popular. Urban farms are advancing quickly in both developing and developed countries as a means of sustainable food production.
Types of urban farming techniques
Pushed by the increasing food demands and the advancing technology, many new urban farming ideas have emerged. Here are some popular ones being practiced globally:
Small scale farms, such as hydroponic greenhouses, can produce enough to supply to the local grocery stores and farmer's market. They can also substantially cater to the needs of a local community. At Tollaa, we offer the most revolutionary hydroponics equipment to efficiently produce crops that can feed city dwellers.
Community gardens have become a significant attraction in many neighborhoods. Food crops are grown in shared lands by individuals living or working around the place. Besides providing fresh produce for the people participating in the activity, it also offers a means to clean the polluted urban air by absorbing carbon emissions.
Green roofs are an excellent way of utilizing these large, vacant, sunny spots. They improve the air quality of the concrete jungle will offering optimal growing conditions for many food crops.
Vertical farms, or green walls, offers an effective means of reducing the land footprint of agriculture.
Hydroponics is a technique through which plants are grown without soil. Plants are either immersed in a nutrient-rich solution or continually fed by it at the roots. It saves water, soil, space, and makes it possible to grow plants indoors. In fact, it may even be the ultimate growing tool if humans decide to live on Mars!
With the systems and accessories that we offer at Tollaa, hydroponics is no longer a challenge. On the contrary, when we take care of everything from lighting control to nutrient concentrations and climate control, hydroponics is the go-to technique for beginners and kids!
Taking hydroponics a step further, aquaponics intelligently combines cultivation with fish farming.
Shipping container farms
Shipping container farms work best where the environmental conditions aren't suitable for outdoor farming, or if you want to protect crops from pests. It can easily be set up in the corner of a parking space, roadside, or any unused spot. Different systems for lighting and climate control can be set up to build an optimal growing environment.
What’s all the fuss about: What are the benefits?
Urban agriculture offers many potential benefits to big cities. Here are some of the primary reasons for its growing popularity:
Availability of affordable, organic food
Big cities are often called food deserts because of the scarcity of fresh, local produce. With urban agriculture, organic food is readily available at affordable prices for the local communities to benefit from.
Produced closer to you
When fruits and vegetables grown in rural areas take days to get to the supermarket rack and then to you, they lose much of their nutritional value and freshness. When produced at an urban farm close to you, the harvest can be picked fresh and ripe, reaching you in its most nutritious state.
Urbanization is unavoidable; we've already made our peace with it. However, if we can find ways to make our cities greener, people can have more sights to heal an eyesore. Furthermore, it will also help cater to air pollution.
Efficient use of space
With the productive use of small vacant spaces in cities, more food can be grown to feed hunger and poverty. Hydroponic systems, such as those offered in our store, barely take any space to set up. You can set them up in your living room, kitchen counter, bedroom, or even a closet and start growing your own food.
Join the green movement with Tollaa!
What are you waiting for? With so many benefits, it’s time to become a part of urban agriculture with Tollaa. From seed starting to climate and lighting control, we offer everything you’ll need to set up a successful farm in cities.
Looking for the best growing soil for your balcony container garden, or a grow light system for your indoor salad garden? You’ll find all the right tools here, at Tollaa, to get your urban farm up and running.