Photo: Click & Grow Smart Mini Farm
During the past years, urban farming aka. growing food in urban areas has become a world-wide trend, and it keeps on growing (pun intended). It has become stylish, it is being claimed to be the future of food, and new "smart gardening" brands are popping up faster than ever. But what is it that makes urban farming so irresistible and seemingly superior to traditional farming in the century of urbanization?
1. It's more productive
With the help of urban farming, one can produce even so much as 100 times more food than with regular farming (per square foot). How is it possible? It's all about the direction - most urban farms are designed vertically, that allows to grow produce in as many levels as possible on a square foot. So, if you have 2 square feet of free space in your apartment, instead of having a corner of soil with lettuce growing there and moulding your nicely-finished walls, you can simply have a tasteful-looking urban farming system with lettuce growing in shelves...or behind your walls!
Ever heard of weather decreasing the yield in a certain year? Weather is a actually a very, very minor factor for food production via urban farming, since it usually takes place indoors and relies on the water system installed, artificial lighting, and nutrients already worked-in in the soil.
2. It's more sustainable
Most urban gardening systems lead to considerable water, power and space savings. If we talk about the Click & Grow urban farming systems, they use about 90% less water and 4 times less space, if compared to traditional farming. Many point out that starting an urban farm might be costly. In reality, an urban farm for $500 will "earn back" itself in a year.
But why make the investment? The thing is that that water, power and space savings aren't financially sustainable only. The more we switch our everyday food production to urban farms rather than regular farms, the more we decrease the development of drought, soil erosion and similar problems.
Learn more: "The future of food"
3. Organic produce becomes more accessible
Urban farming forces farmers to grow crop in an even more controlled and conscious manner, which leads to more possibilities to grow organic food without extra investment. How is it possible? The main reason something isn't organic is because the farmer is forced to use chemical pesticides to ensure a good yield when the environmental factors are not crop-friendly. As we mentioned above, the weather, the environmental factor is reduced to minimum in urban farming, so there is no actual need for using chemical growth regulators. All it takes is a good quality soil that contains nutrients (and as we can see from our Smart Soil, there is no need to use harsh chemicals to ensure 99.9% productivity), excellent lighting system and good quality water.
4. It's small space friendly
Imagine Hong Kong, Dubai, London or New York. Not much space for growing your own, fresh food the traditional way, is there? Yes, you can have a tradition herb pot here and there, but it is not going to feed you. And if you do want to grow enough to be able to use the harvest for at least a week straight, you will be forced to have flowerpots everywhere. Literally, EVERYWHERE - on your bathroom sink, under your bathroom sink, under your bed, around your bed, on shelves, in cupboards... Oh, wait, they need light. Bigass windowsills all around the place it is. Quite impossible, is it?
Urban farms make the life in the city much, much easier. Most of them are compact, neatly-designed "closets" with several shelves, able to grow tens of different plant on each shelf. Sounds a bit better than sleeping with a pot of basil on your pillow, doesn't it? It becomes not only a food-growing unit, but also a design element, a statement piece. And you can place it even in the darkest corner possible.
5. It enables you to enjoy fresh produce all-year-round
Those who have dealt with traditional farming, know that each product naturally has its season. Asparagus come up in spring, basil has to be sowed anywhere from March till June, and strawberries can be harvested in late June and throughout July. If we want to have a certain crop earlier, plant engineers and pesticide producers have to put their heads together to figure something out.
Since the environmental and season factor is minimized to almost a zero in urban farming, it is possible to harvest anything any time. You can forget about the best sowing times indicated on seed packets and climate requirements of each plant. Want fresh, home-grown strawberries in December or freshly-grown lettuce every two weeks? No problem at all. Once one plant has grown and is ready to be harvested, you can immediately replace it with a new soil & seed cartridge. No muss, no fuss.
6. It's simple
If you haven't realised it already, urban farming is dead simple. The gardening skill and green thumbs that are necessary in traditional farming, are being replaced with technology in urban farming. If you own an urban farm, you are able to continuously grow fresh food for yourself and your family all-year-round without ever needing to touch soil, get dirty, put seeds anywhere or fertilise. At least with Click & Grow systems, it has already been taken care of. All that is required from your side is pulling off stickers, sticking cartridges in the right spots and pushing buttons in an app to water the plants. When the farm tells you to.