So this week I subscribed to Dog Island Farm’s email and website blog. This is a family on a small plot of land that decided to go without buying groceries for one year. No fast food, no convenience stores and no big box groceries. They adopted chickens, goats, and all the small farm animals allowed by the city code. The result of this experiment? They got healthy lost weight, spent more time together as a family and actually really liked it. So much so that they have decided to go another round with a 2nd year. They decided to do this when they read a story about a New York City family that grew all their own herbs and vegetables in a small urban apartment. It’s funny because just this month several stories have been published about rooftop, sustainable gardens being planted in Brooklyn, NY and how they feed hundreds of people and supply restaurants with fresh organic food.
One of the things you can learn before you undertake sustainable urban farming is canning vegetables and fruit. Apparently, there are two different types of canning and I am no expert, I read this. I haven’t had my class yet so I am still very intimidated by the whole process. Nightmares of giving my family botulism keep coming to mind. Fruit can also be frozen in freezer bags and used all winter for smoothies, pies, cobbler, etc. It remains just as fresh as the day it was picked if it is properly stored. You can also make changes slowly before plunging into the world of the urban farmer. Maybe start by just growing your basil, oregano, cilantro and any herb you love in a small container and adding it to your meal once or twice a week. There is nothing like fresh herbs added to any dish. The next thing you can do is buy your fresh fruit from a local farmer or farmers market. This keeps local people employed and keeps the pesticides and harmful toxins out of your food. They say consuming locally grown honey actually strengthens your immune system. More research to follow on this topic because I don’t fully get how local bee’s are any better than bee’s from Brazil etc. So I will report back on this issue. Feel free to comment if anyone has expertise in the area.
You can also go to Home Depot and Lowes and buy non pressure treated lumber, have them cut it for you. Staple weed control fabric to the bottom and you have a raised garden to get you started with your venture into small area farming. Pretty soon you will get so use to the fresh fruits and vegetables that you won’t remember the big grocery bills of the past. Bon Appetite.