Monday, October 21, 2013

Vertical Planters and Urban Greening

Much has been said about the necessity of feeding the world. In fact, it's even the favourite refrain of our mortal enemy, the GMO giant, Monsanto. We need to feed the world, they reason, so we will have to design a new type of corn that grows in the desert. Ja Great thanks. Then we have to fetch the corn and take it to a processing plant after which it goes through various sytems interspersed with transportation between the different palces in which the processijng and packaging of corn based products takes place. That kind of agriculture is going to drive our carbon emissions through the roof, and for no reason whatsoever.
The truth is that there is plenty of food being grown, it just isn't always profitable to take it to the people who need it.

The answer to this seemingly dreadful and insurmountable truth is so elegantly simple that the corporations tend to use that very simplicity to scoff at bio dynamics and urban agriculture. Telling themselves and those they are hoodwinking that anything suspect about their creepy products is a necessry evil and a triviality.

The Urban environment is full of vertical spaces. With a little shift in thinking and a small investment, it is perfectly possible to have a large quantity of fresh produce available literally at your front doorstep. The tests have all been done. Successful gardeners and farmers already know how to grow food up walls. Years ago we tried ideas like bags on walls and perfected them. Transforming ideas like hanging planters and bags of soil into the very advanced vertical pocket system, fully irrigated and set to last twenty five years. That's a significant achievement. Having a wall of soil pockets, all watered by an irrigation system means that almost anyone can grow large amounts of food. Just picture the surface area of the walls in a city. Of course, the wall needs light, but that is the only real limitation and there are plants that can be grown in the shade too, like chervil.

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