Urban Gardening

Urban Gardening – Grow your own!
Imagine knowing exactly how the food on your plate was grown and who grew it because that someone was you! If you have a garden on a balcony, fire escape, or in your apartment, you are an urban gardener.Urban gardening works to eliminate “food deserts.” Fresh food is often too expensive or sold too far away from our homes. In the U.S., as many as 23 million people live in a food desert without access to fresh food markets or even farmer’s markets. Yet, using your balcony for container and vertical gardening brings nature and fresh food right to your door. You can grow tomatoes, peas, green beans, and many more delicious fruits and vegetables!

Besides enjoying the delight and taste of growing your own food, urban gardening brings nature into the city. You can plant something as simple as a seed, and watch as it grows into a living thing bringing fresh air to concrete jungles. Urban gardening allows communities to touch the soil and connect with the earth. The generosity of the earth continues as we pass on the abundance to our families and friends or local food banks.

Since plants naturally inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen they are improving our air while improving our diets. As urban gardeners learn modern methods of growing our own food and bring nature into our lives we reduce our carbon footprint, avoid the use of harmful chemicals, and have fun doing it!

Although we may live in cities, we don’t have to let that stop us from having a green thumb. Here are two organization that bring gardeners together in the Los Angeles area.

Although we may live in cities, we don’t have to let that stop us from having a green thumb. Here are two organization that bring gardeners together in the Los Angeles area.

  • TreePeople:
    TreePeople is a non-profit organization, that works with volunteer leaders to plant and care for trees, harvest the rain, and renew depleted landscapes. They work closely with communities to further maintain the trees that they plant together.
  • Ocean View Farms
    Ocean View Farms is in the Los Angeles area network of community gardens. They provide an outlet for urban gardeners to grow their own produce. Members will learn the latest growing methods while enjoying time in the sun! More perks of gardening in a community is exchanging fresh flowers and veggies with plot neighbors!

Organizations like these work together to not only bring nature to the cities, but also to build community.

Gardens take many forms in the city.
Which approach to urban gardening is best for you?

Container Gardening

Container gardening is one of the simplest type of urban gardening that we are all familiar with. Using everyday household items such as canisters and boxes, you can be a container gardener. It is easy to start small when it comes to container growing — even if it is just one herb or succulent in a container. You can creatively place your container plants on balconies, window sills, or even in an alley. Plants like Aloe Vera, Bamboo Palm, and Boston Fern improve air-quality, are indoor or outdoor plants, and look awesome!

Rooftop Gardening
Now imagine taking your container garden to the rooftop, giving you the chance to grow a larger variety of florals and veggies! For those with access to a roof, this would be ideal and it transforms your container garden into a rooftop garden. Cities with large buildings, the sunshine on rooftops can be perfect for growing strong, healthy plants. Rooftops are often unused spaces just waiting to be made beautiful. Coordinate with your landlord and create your own rooftop oasis!

Vertical Gardening

Most plants can be grown anywhere if they receive proper light, water, and nutrients. Vertical gardens take up a small amount of space and make a great decorative backdrop! With just store bought trellises, repurposed wires, cords, and containers, you will create a unique vertical garden, that will bloom with beautiful flowers and vegetables.

Hydroponics lets people produce incredible amounts of produce in a small area. A small 4×4’ system can grow enough lettuce for a family of four to have salad five nights a week year around! Systems are small enough to fit on a kitchen counter and can grow any edible from herbs to veggies. If you already have a green thumb, hydroponics is a great learning experience and will take your harvest to the next level! Hydroponics is quickly gaining popularity due to its efficiency. Do not be surprised if you start noticing many new hydroponic stores.

Guerrilla Gardening
Guerilla gardening revitalizes abandoned and unused plots of land, beautifying and transforming these spaces into thriving community gardens! Some urban gardeners have managed to get laws changed to allow people to use certain public or unused spaces for growing. This has had a particularly profound impact in our inner cities.

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