An ecological urban garden at home? Benefits of sustainable self-consumption
The ecological urban garden at home, it sits ever more strongly among us, with its plethora of meanings that are very old and very new at the same time: an entity linked to nature, self-consumption of natural products, respect for the environment, sustainable culture, recreation of Older, the learning of the little ones ...
It is not a fad, it is a reality that every time has more practitioners and more defenders. We can assure you with all the certainty that he has come to stay.
NatureVia, has turned to Gonzalo Garrido, one of those in charge of machinerydejardineria.net, a true expert in urban gardens, to introduce us to this amazing concept and show us why mounting one of these mini-farms in your home is one of the best things you can do to improve well-being, health and, why not, the entertainment of yours.
What is an urban garden?
The urban or peri-urban garden consists of a series of approaches and techniques that seek the cultivation of food in the city.
The high population density and the spatial and functional configuration of the urban environment make it, a priori, a space not conducive to develop this activity. Perhaps that originates one of its main characteristics: the great challenges foster a world sustained by creativity and the search for new solutions.
We leave this link where you can check part of that creative spirit, in this case focused on how to recycle construction pallets or plastic containers to contain the land with which we will work.
The urban garden is, above all, ecological. Not only do you want to "produce food" just because, but do it in the most natural way possible. Basically, we are facing a very broad concept in which resonates the need to bring nature to the city, both for self-consumption, and to recover the deep ties that have always united us with the natural world.
Types of urban gardens
There are several types of urban gardens depending on the function, location, purpose ... that they will meet.
The small size they occupy, the focus on self-consumption and the urban setting to which they are destined, foster a very diverse and varied series of these micro-exploitations. The best known are:
- Ecological: they plant the vegetables following the practices of organic farming.
- Vertical: instead of in horizontal spaces the earth is arranged in walls, establishing it in different containers, with, for example, pots.
- School: they are social gardens that are implemented in educational centers so that students can work on them.
- Balcony and / or terrace: its location is done in the balconies of flats and other buildings of the cities.
- Field: they are "urban" orchards located outside the cities but that possess a typology and approaches of their brothers the urban gardens.
- Of garden: they are established in gardens of houses or chalets or in small enclosed areas. They are the most similar to the usual gardens.
These types can be combined and generate more complex and suggestive entities such as, for example, ecological urban balconies and vertical gardens. Surely you are thinking of something much newer and more challenging.
Benefits of the urban garden
Already from important organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency, the important benefits that urban gardens can have are fostered especially by the special living conditions that occur in cities:
The lifestyle of our societies has caused us to lose contact with nature little by little. A good part of the world population lives in urban centers where interaction with resources is minimal. Little or nothing we know of what happens beyond our residential perimeter.
Regain contact with nature
This loss of the link with nature has associated many problems that have to do with the impact of modernity on our lives. A rough way, since man was a simple primate in evolution (6 or 8 million years ago), until the emergence of the state (about 4,000 years ago) we have lived in full harmony with natural ecosystems.
The industrial revolution occurred at the end of the 19th century. We have "broken" with nature before yesterday. But that break is false, our ties with it are within us, they constitute us.
Self-consumption is an ideal means of consumption that has accompanied us throughout the history of our species that is hardly feasible in the cities. The urban gardens can not make us achieve total self-consumption, but they will help us to advance with small steps towards this beautiful utopia.
Self-consumption produces food locally avoiding energy and environmental costs associated with transport.Organic production avoids the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, replacing them with the use of sustainable practices such as composting to recycle organic waste.
Sustainability is not a kit of actions, it is a culture, a way of perceiving the world that is based on respect and love for our environment, a commitment that should lead us to the greatest efficiency to save expenses and natural resources.
Teach the little ones
The little urbanites are getting harder and harder to get closer to nature and everything it represents. Introducing them in the values of sustainability and self-consumption should not be done in an abstract way but with practical examples, with actions.
The urban garden is a very practical school to settle all these teachings. Apart from all this, it helps them to work very important competences in life such as effort, learning to postpone rewards, organizing oneself ...
A source of satisfaction for the elderly
It's something we've seen many times. Many retirees build a small garden where they spend their time remembering their work in the field.
Every time this picture is less common, because each time, to a greater extent, these new gardeners are people without any connection with agriculture and who find in this activity the best way to pass the time, to find a rewarding activity in all the senses
Tools and machinery for urban gardens
The typology and size of the urban garden defines the tools and machinery that will be used in it.
The smallest orchards, where the soil is placed in pots, boxes, planters and other containers of small dimensions, will only need hand tools such as pulverizers, pruners, rakes and small shovels. It is unlikely that more robust and efficient machinery will be used.
In more extensive urban gardens, such as garden gardens, higher-performance machinery such as hoes or power tillers can be used.
Some users with a special concern for the ecological impact and noise pollution, will choose electrical machinery with cable and / or battery. In any case, the modern machinery of high quality gardening is very focused on urban use and, although it uses fossil fuels, it consumes little and is little noisy.
What are you waiting for to start your urban garden? To stain your hands from the ground, to see how your plants grow, to defend them from the attack of insects, to prune, transplant, collect and serve in a thousand different ways at the table, to share all these things with your children ... To that sounds very good.
The city is a world of chaos and stress from which it is difficult to escape, the urban gardens are small oases of peace and purity very affordable, which also will offer us countless satisfactions.