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What is Urban farming? Types, Advantages & Disadvantages of urban farming

    What is Urban farming? Types, Advantages & Disadvantages of urban farming

13 Aug, 2022

Urban farming is simply the practice of cultivating or producing food in cities or other densely inhabited regions. It shouldn't be confused with homesteading, homesteading, or communal gardening.

Urban farming can be defined based mainly on growing crops, fruits, vegetables, and other crops to sell in the market.

Subsistence farming, urban gardening, and urban farming are all sometimes mistaken for urban farming. It helps the economy, people, and the community in various ways. Urban gardening provides fresh produce that supports a healthy lifestyle as well as other items. Additionally, it promotes income production and small business expansion. Making fresh food more affordable is urban agriculture's key benefit. As a result, it is gradually becoming fashionable and an important aspect of society.


Why is urban farming important?

Urban farming offers those who may not be able to leave the city and purchase a rural plot of land the possibility to follow their passion for agriculture. either for practical, logistical, or monetary considerations. 

Urban farms can sell their products through farmer's markets, directly to restaurants or supermarkets There is a rising demand for locally grown, environmentally friendly, organic produce as people become more knowledgeable about their food, where it comes from, and how food transportation may contribute to climate change.


Types of Urban Farming

There are different types of approaches to urban farming these are as follows,

1. Hydroponics

Hydroponic is a type of urban farming in which plants are grown without the soil wherein nutrients are being added to water those plants which are immersed and regularly the roots of those plants are being washed. 

Chemical fertilizers or organic stuff like manure can be used in hydroponic systems. 

Hydroponic systems can reduce the amount of water needed to grow crops because water is recycled and reused in them. Plants can be grown with hydroponics in environments that are too severe for soil-based cultivation. When people decide to travel to Mars, it might even be used to cultivate plants in space.


2. Vertical farming

Growing crops vertically stacked is known as vertical farming. It also offers farming in a regulated setting. Optimal crop growth is the goal of vertical farming. Techniques for growing without soil, such as aquaponics, aeroponics, and hydroponics, can also be used. These are all examples of urban farming practices. Given that many plants don't require a lot of vertical room to thrive, vertical farming can significantly increase the amount of food that can be produced per square foot of space.


3. Rooftop gardens

Rooftop Farming is a type of Urban Farming where food is produced on the tops of buildings as part of a practice known as rooftop agriculture. Rooftop farming has a lot of advantages. For instance, it can help to lessen urban poverty, and the intense summer heat in the city, and it can encourage greater social interaction.

Before beginning a rooftop farm, care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient support in place. 

When concentrated, soil can weigh thousands of pounds, thus rooftop farms must be carefully designed to ensure the roof can withstand the weight.


4. Microgreen

Microgreen farming is the practice of growing microgreens for a commercial purpose in a small space, such as a backyard.

Depending on how you approach it, you can control many of the factors that frequently affect farming, such as sunlight, temperature, and water. Greater controllability translates into lower risk and greater profit. 

Naturally, microgreen seed, planting trays, soil, and grow lights are all necessary for indoor microgreen cultivation instead of the sun. It's a good idea to invest in timers to automate when the grow lights turn on if you're generating a respectable amount.


5. Aquaponics

Recirculating aquaculture—the practice of producing fish in tanks—and soilless plant culture are combined in aquaponics, a type of agriculture (hydroponics). In aquaponics, the plants are naturally fertilized by the nutrient-rich fish-raising water, and the plants also aid in the fish's water's purification.

Using pricey, man-made nutrients that are carefully applied to the soil in traditional hydroponic systems, a cocktail of chemicals, salts, and trace elements are what makes them work. In aquaponics, you only give your fish cheap fish food, leftover food, and food that you have grown yourself.

It is a system for growing food. Fish are raised in water tanks in aquaponics. In these tanks, plants also grew, and the fish waste served as plant manure. Plants use this to keep the water clean. As a result, it is a successful method for harvesting crops and replacing protein.


Benefits of urban farming

Some of the benefits attached to urban farming are as follows

1. It is better at building community

2. Low risk 

3. It is highly in demand

4. Environmentally friendly

5. It is in proximity to densely populated areas which further lowers the transportation needs and expenses.


Disadvantages of Urban Farming

1. Contamination is one of concerning 

Most major cities have poor air quality, which frequently causes problems with the availability of clean water. Urban Farmers must control the supply of water from other sources because they have fewer water resources available to them. When city departments are already occupied with meeting the requirements of the populace, finding dependable and safe water becomes increasingly difficult.


2. Space-related problems

Lack of space is a common criticism of metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, not every structure has broader rooftops that are suitable for urban gardening. Urban farming frequently runs into difficulties in densely populated areas while trying to find the ideal spot.


3. Maintenance costs

Even if you locate the ideal location, the setup and upkeep of the system may result in cost disadvantages for urban farming. The system setup calls for technical knowledge and ongoing maintenance. Utilizing mechanical and electrical supports, the plants are grown in controlled environments. A minor error will result in crop harm.


How to start Urban Farming

1. Choose your farm location, to practice urban farming your main task is to find a place or choose your location of farming

2. Fertility of the soil It might be challenging to locate fertile soil in densely populated places. You'll likely have to convert hard soil into rich, black humus unless you're moving your farm to the rooftop. This can require clearing away overgrown vegetation, ripping out old concrete from an abandoned lot, or getting rid of any detritus past owners left behind.

3. Choose your crop Consider your temperature, how much sunlight your plot receives, and the needs of your neighborhood when deciding what to cultivate. The kind of plants you can cultivate mostly relies on the quantity of room you have. However, it's preferable to start small by only planting a few crops. Always remember to grow during the following growing season.


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