Farm To Table
SquareRooms|July 2021
How to get started with urban farming and grow your own herbs and healthy foods from scratch.
Yaiza Canopoli

Indoor gardening has grown more popular than ever since the dawn of the pandemic, with many homeowners trying out this new hobby and filling their homes with countless plants. However, many homeowners hesitate to take the leap into the edible side of gardening—growing herbs, fruits and veggies from scratch. If you dream of eating foods that you’ve cultivated from start to finish, read on for our ultimate guide to urban farming. We promise it’s not as hard as it seems!

What is urban farming?

A foolproof way to start learning about something new is to set the record straight and iron out some definitions. So, what exactly is urban farming? According to Wesley Oxenham, the Co-founder of Farmcity, urban farming refers to “growing plants, both edible and ornamental, within towns and cities.”

It doesn’t matter which method you use to grow your herbs, fruits and veggies. “Some use aquaponics, others may use hydroponics with grow lights and others simply do soil-based cultivation in pots and planters.” As long as you’re growing and harvesting in an urban setting, you’re doing urban farming!

Why should I give it a try?

Indoor gardening can be a tough hobby with some disheartening results. Things don’t always grow the way you want them to, and sometimes you may wait months and find that you still can’t harvest anything. The question, then: why bother?

Wesley’s love for urban farming stems from its challenge. “Because of the limited space involved, growers need to use more creativity and ingenuity to grow plants than with outdoor farming… indoor farming requires more research. The challenges force us to learn more about plants, consider how to attract pollinators and repel harmful pests.”

But while the excitement of pushing your limits may get you going, it’s likely not what will keep you farming in the long run. “We also love that it offers a very affordable way to disconnect from the business of our urban lives and just be with and reconnect with nature. Just 10 minutes a day can bring so many benefits to your mental wellbeing!” On top of that, urban farming allows you to cultivate foods that we don’t often see in supermarkets anymore, be it due to low demand or poor shelf life, giving you a more expansive (and unique) range of edibles.

“Nature has its own rhythm, and when you take time to observe, it is a really beautiful thing.”

Urban farming starter kit

The what, where and how of indoor farming

What to grow

Good news: you can grow pretty much anything, even in your flat! If the plants you’re considering thrive on outdoor farms in our local climate, they can fare well indoors too with the right care. Just make sure they receive plenty of sunlight!

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