Article: What is an urban farm?: Great Job!

 
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Image What is an urban farm?
By bit bit on April 12, 2011

From growing a single pot of herbs in the windowsill of a studio apartment to growing rows of crops in place of a front lawn, more and more city-dwellers are producing their own food. Although we can't always grow as much as people with more land, urban farmers learn to make the most of the conditions we have and produce delicious, healthy food rather than depend on the supermarket. In this article, I'll take you on a tour of my urban farm and talk a bit about the whys and hows of growing food in the city.

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Imagestormyla
Apr 20, 2011 5:02 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Marti, I used to have that along one of my beds too, but then my neighbor put up a privacy fence and that killed a ton of plants. Thumbs down
Imagemarti
Apr 21, 2011 12:11 PM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
We have a 6 ft high wood fence on the sides and back of our property and chainlink across the front. We have 3 maples along the west side of the property, that shade the front porch and 2 maples out front on the south side of the property. I would like to take down all the maples and plant fruit trees and a couple of dogwoods. Love those dogwoods. I want a pink one and a white one. Right now I have 2 small plum trees and and 2 small cherry trees I transplanted from a friend's yard in western KY.
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
Imagestormyla
Apr 21, 2011 1:49 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Yes, I have about 25 Maples and then other hardwoods and a couple of Black Walnut & a few Norway Spruce, so most of the property is under dense shade except the middle of the side & back yard, which I need to leave fairly clear to have vehicle access through the property.

I have a third of an acre of just beds so I drive truckloads of mulch and compost everywhere
ImageCajuninKy
Apr 22, 2011 3:10 PM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
We get a bit of sun right down the middle of our property. Problem here is that we don't have much flat ground. Hard to garden on the hill sides but that is where I am planting the raspberries.
Please join me at my Websites:
At Home Away from Home ~ Cajun's Corner

Imagestormyla
Apr 22, 2011 3:29 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Cheryl, This house that I'm staying in now is my first ever hilly gardening adventure. It's not for the easily discouraged. Crying
[Last edited Apr 22, 2011 3:30 PM CST]
Quote | Post #631044 (5)
ImageCajuninKy
Apr 23, 2011 8:00 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
It's like growing old; it ain't for sissies! Rolling on the floor laughing
Please join me at my Websites:
At Home Away from Home ~ Cajun's Corner

Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 4:04 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, I was reading your article again and I was reminded of two people on DG who lived in Manhattan. Those two folks had the most ingenious rooftop gardens that you could ever imagine. One actually kept his under a tent like structure year round. I think that both of those people only grew ornamentals, maybe a tomatoe or herbs.

Tell us about those row covers structures you've made. What is their purpose and when and how long do you keep them on?
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 7:39 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
I just built them this winter, so I don't have much experience with them yet. But they were pretty easy to make - 5' sections of PVC conduit (it's apparently more UV-resistant than PVC pipe) fit onto small stakes (made from oak dowel) on either side of a 3' bed. The cover is plastic sheeting from the painting supply section of Home Depot.

I used them this spring so that I could set plants out a few weeks earlier than usual. My seedlings didn't get leggy like when I start them inside near a window, and were somewhat hardened off (used to temperature swings and sunlight, but no wind). On the other hand, we had a late cold spell and my tomatoes suffered a bit of phosphorus deficiency (they can't take it up when it's too cold). I took the cover off to finish hardening off the tomatoes/peppers/eggplants a week before I transplanted them into beds, but I left the ribs in place.

I plan to use the same frames with bird netting later in the season for young brassicas, because the cabbage moths here tend to decimate everything I grow. And I'll probably keep some brassicas and some hardy greens under the greenhouse plastic for the winter so that I can get a 12-month harvest - usually at least Jan and Feb are too cold here.
ImageCajuninKy
Apr 28, 2011 9:24 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
Eastern Ky
Truth should be everpresent.
That sounds like something I could do. My SFG beds are 3ft wide and 5ft long.
Please join me at my Websites:
At Home Away from Home ~ Cajun's Corner

Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 9:26 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
That's really great thinking bit! Thumbs up Did you start the seeds right in that soil under the plastic?
Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 9:28 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, Maybe you could start a thread or forum for SFG and people (Cheryl Hilarious! ) could show & tell us about that.
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 9:36 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
No, I started my seeds in either large, flat containers (greens) or yogurt cups (nightshades). That way I could fit several rows worth of plants under one cover. I'm sure you could start them in the ground... germination might be slow because of the cold soil, but once you figure out the right timing, it would save a lot of work.
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 9:47 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
I started a new forum called "Gardening methods" and made SFG, raised bed, and container threads there. So jump in if you have input on any of those, or make a new thread for other methods you use.
Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 9:56 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Thanks, bit! Did you have much damping off?
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 10:08 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
None that I noticed. I did lose a few basil seedlings, but they were overcrowded in their tray, so I figure that was the cause. I had very good survival in all my other plants.
Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 10:10 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Good! Did you use any preventative agents?
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 11:07 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
No. I didn't water them much because it stayed humid in there (and removing the cover to water was a bit of a hassle). I may have just lucked out.

I did use sterile containers and soil for my tomatoes, because all my plants died a bit early last year (I think it was the heat and drought, but just in case there was a disease, I wanted to be cautious). But I didn't even do that for the rest of the stuff.
Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 11:24 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well, there's a lot to be said for good luck. I always winter sow or direct sow now because I got tired of losing so much to fungus in the germinating stage.

It didn't matter how much sterilizing I did, a few things always developed funky growths. I really like winter sowing. It is so easy.
Imagebitbit
Apr 28, 2011 11:57 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
I germinated in the house because it was still too cold outside (late January), then moved them outside under the hoops when most risk of frost was past (mid-March). They had their first true leaves when I moved them out, so maybe the risk of damping off was past...? I haven't dealt with it *knock on wood* so I don't know a lot about it.
Imagestormyla
Apr 28, 2011 12:49 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, have you ever seen the winter sowing?

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