( This photo is taken from the Greenhorns blog, an organization serving young farmers across America.)
I've been reading so many articles lately about twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings getting into farming, gardening and even beekeeping. It's a trend born out of many issues: the dismal economy, the desire to support one's local community, making wise choices with what you put in your body, saving and supporting the environment, and making a living when the job market is closed up tight. What's interesting is that many of these people aren't land owners or even living in the country. Many are city dwellers just looking for a more authentic way of living while trying to make ends meet. While stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's offer fresh, naturally grown foods they can be unaffordable for many. Urban farming and communal gardens aren't a new concept but they are definitely expanding within communities. Cities are offering classes and workshops on urban farming through farm incubators.
Many gardens are going vertical when there is no horizontal space to plant. Apartment balconies and even a window with sunlight will do to grow your own vegetable garden. Creative containers like plastic soda bottles, shoe compartment hangers, and even cement blocks are being used to house herbs, veggies, and flowers (used for healing aromatherapy).
(Photo by Stefano Paltera) Large vertical garden by Smith & Hawken
Beekeeping is often forbidden within city limits, but many cities are changing their laws to accommodate these bee-friendly entrepreneurs. Because of growing reports of colony collapse, Urban beekeeping has gained popularity in major cities. Even the White House has a beehive and an official beekeeper who tends to a hive of over 70,000 bees.
I have a section of my big backyard that I've often wished to turn into a veggie garden. I haven't done it so far because I've made excuses about lack of time and being tired from work. But the more I think about the need to be self-sustaining and be financially resourceful, I am thinking maybe I can't afford to NOT garden. Perhaps a small container of herbs or a hanging container of tomatoes. Starting small is better than not starting at all.