In the US, farmland makes up approximately 897 million acres of American soil, with the average farm measuring about 444 acres. However, you don’t need large tracts of land to start your own farm. In fact, you can start your own farm right in the middle of the city.
City farming is becoming more and more popular, as people are looking for ways to get closer to their food. Not only does city farming allow you to get your hands dirty and learn about the process of growing food, but it also lets you grow your own food. Urban farming also allows you greater control over the quality of your food.
If you’ve been mulling about starting your own urban farm, we’re here to help. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing a few tips on how to start, maintain, and perfect your urban farm.
What Is Urban Farming?
Urban farming is a type of agriculture that involves the cultivation, processing, and distribution of food in or around an urban area. It is done using various methods, such as community gardens, rooftop gardens, vertical farms, and mobile farms.
The main goal of urban farming is to provide fresh and healthy food to people who live in urban areas. It also aims to create green spaces in the city, promote sustainability, and teach people about where their food comes from.
Essential Tips for Urban Farming
Although urban farming is not rocket science, it’s not a walk in the park either. However, with the right tips, you can set up a successful city farm for personal consumption or business. Here are a few tips for urban farming.
Do Your Research
The worst thing you can do is to jump into urban farming with little or no knowledge about city farming. The first step in starting a city farm is doing tons of research on city farms. This is especially true if you’ve never done any form of gardening before.
You can get everything you want to learn about city farms from the internet. Alternatively, you can always make your way to the library and further your understanding of urban farming. Some topics you should focus on include:-
- Your region’s growing season
- The plants that thrive in your region
- How to prepare your garden for planting
- How and where to set up a city farm
Learning the above is a great start, but you can learn lots more and even become a pro further down the road. If you’re learning online, ensure you get your information from credible sources to avoid being misled.
If you’re going all the way in on your city farm, then a little training is necessary. That way, you can get all the knowledge and expertise you need to launch a thriving city farm. Formal training is important for people looking to run a commercial city farm or take up urban farming as a career option.
Create a Basic Budget for Your Farm
Once you’ve learned all you can about city farms, the next step is to create a simple budget for your farm. Doing so is easier said than done, especially for first-timers. However, here’s a simple way to create a budget for your farm.
- Calculate how much you’ll spend on supplies
- Factor in the cost of materials, if necessary
- Add the cost of farm equipment
- Add any labor costs where applicable
The above should be enough to create a budget. It’s okay to create a hit-or-miss budget for the first time. You’ll tweak your budget later as you learn more about what you need for your urban farm.
Choose the Easiest Crops
Although you might have a green thumb, we highly recommend planting the easiest crops, at least at first. Doing so will give you a better chance of success, as you’ll be less likely to run into problems. You can always experiment with more difficult crops later on.
Easier city farm plants include:
Herbs: Basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, and parsley are all excellent choices.
Lettuce: Lettuce is an excellent crop for city farms as it grows quickly.
Spinach: Another leafy green that’s perfect for city farms.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow and are popular among city farmers.
Peppers: Peppers are another city farm favorite as they’re not too difficult to grow.
These are just a few examples of some easy crops you can plan on your city farm. You can explore other options, but remember to only plant crops that do well in your region.
Make Your Own Compost
Plants need compost to grow, thrive, and ensure a bountiful harvest. You’ll quickly learn that compost costs a lot more than you think. The good news is that you can always make your own compost.
Here are a few ways to make your own compost:
Save your kitchen scraps: This is perhaps the easiest way to get started with making compost. Simply save all your kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peels and coffee grounds, in a container. Once the container is full, you can use the scraps to fertilize your city farm.
Create a compost bin: If you want to take your compost game up a notch, then you should create a compost bin. Doing so is easy and only requires some basic materials, such as wood, chicken wire, and straw. Dump all the compost materials in there, and you have your own compost
Buy a composter: You can also buy a composter, which is essentially an automated version of the above. You can find some great composters online or at your local garden store.
Install a Green House
An urban farm doesn’t always mean getting down and dirty with tilling land and whatnot. You can choose to install a greenhouse, which saves you the trouble and also gives you more control over your crops.
While you can build your own greenhouse, we discourage you from doing so. The results might be a bit overwhelming. Instead, consider talking to companies like https://www.kubogroup.nl/en/ so you can get working and fully-equipped greenhouses for your farm.
City Farming Simplified
City farming is the perfect way to grow your own food and optimize sustainability. The above tips should put you on the right track to perfecting your urban farm. Put everything above into practice and you’ll have a thriving city farm with enough produce to feed the family and sell the remainder.
For more insightful content, be sure to check out the other posts on the site.