Urban Farming

Urban farming involves many considerations that are not traditional farming concerns! Neighbors are closer, spaces are much more limited, and ground in which to grow things may not exist at all.

First, assess your available resources and space. Then look for things that you can do within that space.

Some things that can be done pretty much anywhere:

  1. Worms. You can grow worms in a small vermiculture bin in the kitchen. It need not stink or draw flies, you can keep it clean and almost invisible.
  2. Rabbits, in cages. You would have to use pet store cages, with a nest box for breeding. You would need three cages - 1 for a breeding doe, one for a breeding buck, and one for the offspring. You would have to either butcher or sell the offspring before they get to breeding age (about three months). Rabbit waste can be fed into a larger vermiculture system. You need a place to butcher them if you raise them for meat.
  3. Container gardening. This can be done in window boxes, balcony containers, window shelf systems, etc.
  4. Hydroponics. You can do this in a fairly small space, though your yield and costs seem to be more out of proportion with smaller systems.

Some things can be done within some urban locations, but not others:

  1. Dwarf or pygmy goats. Some people raise them indoors - not the best situation, but can be done.
  2. Quail. You need a garage, shed, or a room that you don't need to have smell pretty all the time. Quail are smelly. They provide eggs well though, and require only a very small space to provide a steady stream of eggs.
  3. Greenhouse. Either a greenhouse window, or a small greenhouse in a tiny yard.
  4. If you have even a tiny yard, this opens up possibilities for Muscovy Duck (quieter than others - you must clip their wings), or Goats, and in some areas, you can raise chickens if you do not have a rooster.
  5. If you have a garage, and are not opposed to raising chickens in cages, you can sometimes do them this way.

Options are certainly better if you own your own property, than if you rent. Either way, there may be places you should check to ensure that you are complying with regulations and statutes prior to investing.

  • City - Find out what the zoning and animal regs are. These may limit types, numbers, and sale, of some types of animals.
  • Landlord - Are pets allowed, and how far can you push that?
  • Home Owner's Association or other Associations that may contractually control the property.

Research your options well before you get into it. Find out if there are other people doing similar things, and whether the things you want to grow are being grown in similar situations. What you can do, will depend very much on your own individual circumstances.


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