[permaculture] Urban Farming

Jason Gerhardt jasongerhardt at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 12:35:27 EDT 2014

I've been reading this discussion with interest, but low on time (it's
spring). Like Paul, I started thinking about it in terms of many people buy
a house with more yard or land so they can grow more food (in theory). In
my case, I rent, and I have many friends who rent a house specifically with
good yard space to garden in. This comes at a premium where I live and can
easily cost $1,500-$2,500 a month. I know many people who do this with an
eye to wanting room to garden. In my view that's an additional cost and
something that should factor into the economy of the garden. I also don't
think that premium can be made up via the type of food production most home
gardens practice.

I currently rent a passive solar condo, for a fraction of the cost of a
house in this city, with an awesome porch and entryway where I have my home
garden. It's all in containers. I produce all the salad and much of the
vegetables and herbs I eat in 15-20 16'' containers. Some friends I hadn't
seen in a while came over and were shocked at my garden. They said they had
just spent a whole weekend weeding the garden at the house they rented
because it had such a great yard. I don't have weeds. I water and harvest.
And I don't spend extra for it in housing cost. It reassures me of my
decision to hear people spending a whole weekend weeding. I get way more of
that than I need with clients projects and the gardens and greenhouse I
manage at the university.

I do think it's a valuable exercise to consider a portion of shelter cost
in the garden economy if there is a premium being paid for room to produce
food. Being a container gardener for the last three years has proven to me
that more food than we think can be produced in unlikely places, and the
more unlikely places we produce food, the more impact we have on our food
cost. The better yield is that I've lived in two places with a container
garden now and each time my neighbors end up growing container gardens
after seeing what I can produce. Or people walk by on the street and see my
fig tree covered in a hundred figs and they are astonished that's possible
in Northern Colorado. The impact of the garden might be way more valuable
than the food yield if it encourages a garden culture.



PO Box 4315
Boulder, CO 80306

More information about the permaculture mailing list