One of the big trends of the last few years is using urban spaces for farming. If that is something that you are interested in, and are considering launching an urban farm, then here are some of the considerations you’ll need to make to make it a success.
Urban farming has some unique challenges, but ultimately can be one of the most beneficial developments in the area and have a generational reach.
Here are a couple of things you’ll need to consider:
Research and visit
One of the biggest things you’ll need to do is research. You and your team will need to find other urban farm projects and go and visit them. Make a list of the questions you want to ask about the process because that is the best source of information you can get.
They’ll warn you of the challenges and offer the expertise you need to keep on track.
Land & buildings
There are probably several different land options around, which means you’ll need to compare prices and size and, if possible, test the soil of each before you make a decision. Urban soils can have high levels of lead and other contaminants. The tests will be your best friend.
You’ll also need to consider unique built-to-spec spaces to work. Agriculture metal fabrication is built to give you the best value for your money.
As you get established, you should keep an eye on your production. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of the soil, pest management, pollination, using intercropping, and how to grow all year as a start.
It isn’t uncommon for urban farms starting out to have a few crops with poor yield or to struggle with having more than a few edible items after the first year.
Many people growing crops start by looking at the flat land and picturing that as all they have. But over time, vertical farming can be one of the biggest contributors – in fact, just by adding smart shelving, you can increase your crops by hundreds of percentages.
So always consider how you can build upwards in the space.
The yield of mushrooms can be huge. They are happy to grow in almost any soil and can even grow in coffee grounds in a plastic bag. You’ll need to keep an eye on temperature and humidity and when growing some types, keep an eye on the right time to cut and eat or sell them.
Microgreens have been all the rage for a few years and are a great addition to any garden. They are harvested in as little as 7 days, rather than the 90 days of some other crops (a great partner for the vertical spaces).
Radishes, pea shoots, and sunflowers are perfect microgreens and are loved by chefs – so you can directly contribute to the local food scene much quicker.
And, of course, the biggest benefit of urban farming is that you can keep everything organic: Three Clucking Good Reasons To Go Organic On Your Farm.
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