Urban Farming

Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is an efficient method of growing vegetables and herbs in small, organized spaces. So-called “square foot gardens” are raised beds divided with 1”x1” wood into individual sections that are, you guessed it, a square foot each. So what’s wrong with row gardening? Mel Bartholomew, the creator of the Square Foot Gardening Method, says it’s all wrong:
“After looking at other people’s gardens, it was usually very predictable. Here’s what I found out about single row gardening: Too […]

Composting 101

Composting is more important than ever as many of us are starting with gardens in suburban neighborhoods where the fertile topsoil has been lost to construction or chemical pollution. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden outside of suburbia, composting will still increase your yields and the quality of the food you grow.
It use to be that compost was collected in heaps – big piles of smoldering organic matter in an unused corner of a barn lot or […]

Hydroponic Gardening

There are two kinds of emergencies: short-term emergencies and long-term emergencies. More and more people are starting to think about preparing for long-term emergencies and creating a life-style Plan B that would allow them to carry on in a ‘new normal.’ Dehydrated food plays a big role in short-term emergencies and bridging the gap for a very long time in a “new normal” – however, nobody’s going to argue that fresh vegetables and herbs aren’t going to be an […]

Building a Root Cellar

We’re starting to think about how to safely preserve the summer harvest to sustain us in the long winter months – or in a food shortage. It takes about two days of power outage for everything in your spare freezer to go bad. Root cellars, a normal feature of old homesteads, keep root vegetables and other produce cool, dark and dry for long periods of time. (Here’s a list of what to store, how and for how long.) If […]

City Chickens

As people become more interested in self-reliance and preservation, the urban farming movement continues to gain momentum. We’ve written about urban gardening and urban bee keeping as great ways to sustain your family and even generate some trade. Now that the weather is nice and you’ve got your tomatoes in and your hives out – it’s time to expand your enterprise. It’s time for chickens.
Why chickens?
Allow us to convince you that chickens are a worthwhile addition to your sustainability […]

Backyard Beekeeping

For a growing number of people, backyard beekeeping is the next logical step in their long-term self-reliance plan. The benefits are numerous and beekeepers say that if you can keep a garden or a pet, you can keep bees.
Backyard beekeepers not only enjoy dramatic improvements in garden yields, there is, of course, the honey and other products that can be harvested, used, sold or traded:

Beeswax is the glandular secretions of honeybees that divide the cells of a hive. Common […]

Self-Sufficiency through Urban Agriculture?

From Detroit’s famous Urban Gardening projects to New York’s “green roofs”, city and suburban dwellers are using every conceivable sunny spot, no matter how small, to grow edible plants in what seems to be the new national past time, becoming more self-sufficient.
Extreme but admirable examples, like the Dervaes family (founders of Urban Homestead) manage a tiny but fully functional urban farm, complete with animals, just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The family harvests 3 tons of organic food […]