Experiment 1: Urban Food Growing

Can you imagine, eating every day fresh organic vegetables from a few square meters of terrace space?

However utopian this may sound, it is far from being a dream. All around the globe, people are turning their open, and sometimes also inside, spaces into ´edible gardens´.

Urban agriculture, huertos urbanos (spanish), also urban food growing, is getting more and more popular. People start growing their own veggies in the city for a variety of reasons: decreasing quality of fruit and vegetables, budgetary reasons, but also as a form of activism.

"In our society growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can - and will - overturn the corporate powers that be." (2001, Urban Food Garden in Pasadena, California)

Reducing carbon footprints, eating organic, self-sufficiency and community empowerment are all interlinked and tied into this seemingly innocent but increasingly important movement. You can not only reduce food miles* and your dependency on supermarkets but also increase self-reliance, the control over what you´re eating and create biodiversity in your direct surroundings.

We as activists love movements, especially if it involves self-sufficiency, going local and experimenting. So after having found an apartment with a huge terrace, Experiment 1 was born a few months ago.

And really, it is fun. It is one of these things that you don´t realise until you actually start doing it (and this comes from a person who as a child hated getting her hands dirty in the sandbox). The birth of your first baby watermelon and eating your first home-grown salad are truly memorable moments...

Enough with the soppiness, because this sounds almost to good to be true. And maybe it is...our baby watermelon died an early death, our peppers caught a nasty disease that left them all with burn marks, poor things, and more than once, our lettuce got half eaten by grubs...

But then again, this is an experiment and it is good to know that it is more difficult to grow vegetables in small spaces (pots) than in the earth directly since weather circumstances are more extreme and you have to make sure to use fertile and mineral rich substract.

But, we´re not defeated yet. With our heads up high, we´ll keep on marching in this ongoing protest against too perfect, tasteless and well-travelled food. Even if this means eating perforated (but local and organic) lettuce for the rest of our lives...

Viva the veggie garden!

*Refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. It is one dimension used in assessing the environmental impact of food and part of a broader issue of sustainability which deals with a large range of environmental issues, including local food. More information on Wikipedia about food miles and urban agriculture.

1 comentario:

  1. We also got lots of herbs growing in small pots and our mint tea has become much more minty since then...

    And for all the people out there without a big terrace:
    -there will always be a corner in your neighbourhood to start a community food garden
    -there will always be a nice window to grow some herbs and spice up your food


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