A growing number of cities are seeing a boom in urban farming as living costs are going up. For some it is a hobby that saves them money, keeps them busy and healthy. But it comes with its set of challenges and setbacks that any person thinking of growing veggies in their backyard cannot escape. If you know beforehand what challenges you might face, it becomes easy to prepare yourself. Here are basic things you should know before getting into urban farming:
Cities are largely congested and lands are priced pretty hefty so your first and foremost challenge becomes finding an appropriate space for starting your urban farm. The good thing is there is no limit to the size of space you need. You can grow stuff in your backyard if you have one or buy some space if you can afford to. This is one factor that hinders people from growing and limits urban farming.
This is another challenge that urban farmers face as you need some initial capital to start growing your vegetables and fruits. People have to work with very limited finances in buying supplies or hiring help. The funding varies from one farmer to another as someone growing a whole urban farming business will need much more money than someone harvesting eggplants in their balcony. However, there are ways you can find funding like initiatives that support urban farming or online crowd funding.
Even with very small farms one cannot survive without getting some help and that comes as additional cost. Those who have enough money for starting their farms find it hard to hire people. There are tasks that need experienced people and that adds to the cost. Some people facing such problems find themselves interns or volunteers to help them.
Depending on where you live, soil can be pricey too and even a small garden, say 4 by 8 foot, can require a cubic yard of soil. Moreover, farmers need to replenish the soil to make it fertile for growing crops. For this purpose, they have to make compost or buy fertilizers.
Initially, a significant part of your budget goes into buying tools and supplies for your garden. Farmers may need tools, sheds, coops, compost bins, water buckets etc. These tools are essential for maintenance of the garden and the bigger the garden the more of these you need.
Getting Community Involvement
Urban farming is also about building community and for that people starting their own gardens look for community support and involvement and that can be a bit of a challenge in the fast paced life of city dwellers.
Every initiative sees challenges at first but the benefit is worth every hurdle. Same is the case with urban farming and all its challenges. After investing so much and putting in effort, you will be reaping the benefit for years to come. So do not let any difficulty stop you from growing your own tomatoes and cilantro because there is always a way around.