Urban Gardening

As energy prices continue to soar, it’s becoming ever more apparent that driving diesel trucks 3,000 miles to feed an east coast family summer squash in the winter is not practical. Home gardens are now beginning to receive more attention due to the interwoven energy/food crisis the our country, and other countries are having to face. However, because our education system has neglected to integrate agriculture into the curriculum, we have not the tools needed to repair this deeply flawed system.

Growing your own food from seed is an economical and rewarding experience that fosters a time honored respect for the magic of life. Following the “sustainability teaching center” direction that the hostel is moving towards, the gardens at the hostel have become areas that can inspire, teach, and empower guests to grow their own food. It’s become clear that most guest at the hostel don’t have access to acres of land to grow food upon like we do here in the forest. In response to this realization, we’ve created an urban garden model that will be give guest the tools needed to grow food in their backyard, porch, and even on the rooftop of their condominiums.

Square Foot Garden
Square foot gardening is a very effective method for growing food in not only backyards. but large scale farms as well. By creating 4’ x 4’ raised beds, and partitioning of the boxes into 12” x 12”, or 1 square foot, you are able to reduce your work load, space, and time, by about 80%, while still producing a bountiful harvest.

Square foot garden resources:

Books:
Square Foot Gardening – Mel Bartholomew Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

Websites:
The Loyal Gardener
Square Foot Gardening
Building a square foot garden
The Square Foot Garden

Rain Barrels
One can easily turn a used 55 gallon drum into a rain barrel to help reduce storm water run off and to help ease ones dependence upon municipal water systems, thus lowering water bills. Just one inch of rain dumps 500 gallons of water on a 2,000 square foot roof. Rain barrel construction is very straight forward, and can be made for less then $10 if your willing to forage for materials.

Rain barrel resources:
Recycle the Rain
Make Your Own Rain Barrel

Container Gardening
Container gardening is an effective alternative for those who have no backyard space, but do have porch or rooftop space.