As an invention, urban agriculture is as old as towns and cities.
In the old days, things were grown by people living in crowded communities simply to get dinner in their tables. Town dwellers wanted to secure their food by cultivating edible plants in their courtyards or garden by keeping small livestock. Nowadays, urban gardening is more often a hobby than a necessity, providing the joy of accomplishment and everyday happiness.
Urban agriculture can also complement rural food production.
It’s possible to produce significant amounts of food in the cities for people living there. Globally, urban agriculture is a substantial source of food: according to some estimates, ca. 15-20 % of the world’s food is produced in cities. When food is produced and consumed locally, there is less need for long distance transport and packaging materials.
There’s not much we can do to slow down urbanization.
It is estimated that by the year 2030 almost half of the world’s population will live in towns and cities. This is why nature has to follow people. It’s important to make cities greener and help people be more self-sufficient when it comes to food.
The benefits of urban gardening are manifold.
This is why many associations and communities support it. Urban gardens and community gardening help to clean the air, enhance biodiversity, green up the environment, bring people together, foster social well-being and encourage gardeners to adopt a healthier diet with many different vegetables. Guerilla gardeners take over urban spaces using plants as their ‘secret weapons’. Illicit flower beds and vegetable plots or flowers that spread by seed bombs in surprising places are peaceful statements against the neglect of the urban environment and a playful way to beautify public spaces.
The most eco-friendly way to get your salad greens…
…is to grow them yourself by using an energy-efficient method. Plants need a sufficient amount of the right kind of light, plus water and nutrients. They use light as the main source of energy to produce sugars for their metabolism. As a by-product, they release oxygen for us to breathe. In addition, plants and the beneficial microbes living in their roots purify the air by absorbing harmful pollutants like benzene. This is why having plants indoors is good for us. But many of us tend to either drown or starve our potted plants or deprive them of light. For an urban gardener, the smart table gardens are the easiest way to ensure favorable growth conditions to our faithful green ‘house-elves’.