At Home | May 02, 2008 |
Mini-Farms Grow in Cities
Despite their urban environments, some in cities are going "back to the earth." The rising cost of food and consumer goods has renewed interest in do-it-yourself basics like food production. Homesteading techniques, once popular only among pioneers, hippies and off-the grid enthusiasts, are finding their way back into the mainstream.
For example K. Ruby of Oakland, California has founded the Institute of Urban Homesteading. The institute offers classes on a range of sustainable living techniques, such as bee keeping, fermenting, soil reclamation and graywater collection. She encourages even people living in apartments to manage small gardens and collect excess water.
Another group doing similar work is SOL, or Sustaining Ourselves Locally, who manage community gardens and animals in commercial parts of the Bay Area. They encourage small-scale farming and animal husbandry.
Many cities and neighborhoods already offer community gardening options that have converted empty lots to productive plots. If you can’t spot a community garden in your neighborhood, visit the American Community Garden Website and search for your zip code in their database to find the community garden nearest you.
Following E.F. Schumacher’s ‘small is beautiful’ credo, reclaiming urban spaces for basic food production can be fun, cost effective and help the environment.
Read more at San Francisco Chronicle
Photo by Betsy "Grandma BJ"