Food is one of the essentials of life no matter where you live. Recently, our culture has been re-connecting with our food by making it more local, even in cities. So how is the growing of food in cities becoming a life-changing trend? Writer Patrick Rafferty is here to explore this very question.
You don’t need to go too far these days to find the newest trend in green living—urban gardens. In today’s society, especially with farm-to-plate restaurants popping up all across America, urban gardening is becoming less of a hobby, and more of a necessity, and for good reason.
With several billion mouths to feed and food costs rising by the day, urban growing is the next logical step in the agriculture industry. Not only can urban gardens be cost efficient and environmentally friendly, they can also look good and increase the property value of a given property.
Urban farming and gardens benefits
While urban gardens might seem outlandish at first thought, especially given the already limited space of any urban environment, the benefits far outweigh the costs. In the past few years, customers have begun to demand fresher and more locally grown food, even if that means paying a little bit more.
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By growing food locally, customers will be able to eat food that is fresh, locally grown and in season, regardless of where they are. No more eating canned food or preservative-covered produce because the local grocery store can’t find locally grown food. It will be like a farmer’s market in every neighborhood, everyday.
Greenspace makes city life more liveable
Another benefit of urban gardening is that it adds much needed green space to the jungle of asphalt and cement that has become all too prevalent. If successful, this can increase shade and beauty to any area while also reducing the “heat island” effect. Furthermore, people will be more inclined to eat produce that they see growing outside of their door.
Types of urban growing
For instance, the idea of rooftop gardens, though not a new trend per se, has evolved dramatically in the past decade. Enthusiastic farmers have already begun the process of creating plants with a smaller footprint that yield more produce.
Rousse’s grocery store in New Orleans, for example, has developed its own aeroponic urban farm on its rooftop in the middle of downtown New Orleans. Other gardens, which can cover the entire roof if designed properly, can reduce energy costs and dramatically increase the real estate value of a given building.
Necessity breeds innovation
Opponents to urban gardens claim that, because real estate in high-density cities is already expensive enough, urban gardens will never become cost-effective. What they fail to see is that necessity breeds innovation. Nearly every great invention or idea related to agriculture has been the result of a need to do something better, and this is no different. Already, young, bright-minded entrepreneurs have begun the process of growing high-yielding produce in a small area.
Urban farming has increased considerably in the past several years, and should only increase given its newfound increased popularity. As land becomes more scarce and people begin to demand more green space, the world will see fresh, local produce rise from cement roofs and asphalt lots. Imagine looking out of a given skyline and seeing nothing but green. It’s possible, and it may very well happen before you know it.
Patrick Rafferty is the marketing assistant for Brahman Systems, a Louisiana based construction company with a patented all-steel enclosed hose and cable protection.