If you’re inspired by the magical scenes of vertical farming in Singapore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nFQOkzEjxQ and Gotham Greens colonization of roof space in New York, you’ll know there’s a massive momentum around growing vegetables, often on vast scales, right inside the city. But if the cutting edge technology makes these advances seem out of reach to your own humble plot, think again.
All those things you don’t want to deal with: watering, dirt and lack of space are taken care of by RnD-IY: https://www.ted.com/talks/britta_riley_a_garden_in_my_apartment?language=en. Started by a New Yorker who realised all she needed was window space and light. She has adapted the technology to a domestic budget and connected with thousands of people around the world by making it free and accessible for them to copy. She unwittingly created a cauldron of ideas which are passed on and shared by the whole community. From equipment to advice, RnD-IY shows how a little willpower and sunlight can produce fresh organic veg for you to crop whenever you feel like. No transport costs, no pesticides, no carbon footprint.
So where to start if you want to grow some salad for yourself? Hydroponics is where it’s at. Planting in a nutrient rich solution, it avoids all the usual pests and diseases found in the soil, so eliminating the need for sprays and takes 20 times less overall water. The results are perfect, large and frequent crops.
foodrising.org shows you – http://foodrising.org/How-to-Make-Your-Own-Food-Rising-Mini-Farm-Grow-Box-Part-1.html how to make your own hydroponic set up for pennies, using no electricity or complicated pumps. However there is a fantastic hydroponic show in London next April; with talks, advice and hundreds of stalls, this is where I’m heading next Spring. Check out: http://www.grow-expos.com.