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Baltimore Urban Gardening : a Realist’s Dream ?

By October 28, 2015 True Sustainability

Below is article about a transitional adaptation.  This is not sustainable, but prepares people for leaving the cities. The article makes some very key points about ways we can change our lifestyle and choices.

Ted is my one friend who is like a rock. He knows that what is real is the body, which is made of the Earth, and without a body, there is no longer human experience, and the body is a little piece of an ecology always, never separate, and that our cannibalistic culture is destroying the ecology, and therefore, ourselves…  I call this “disconnecting vanity.”

His comments on urban hydroponic gardening article below….    – Ray Songtree

Message from Ted Howard…
Hi Ray
Green wash bs IMO.
Vertical gardening using industrial systems and hydroponics…uses massive amounts of industrial materials and energy. Sustainable? Yeah, right! The Permaculture principle of ‘Stacking in time and space’ has been misinterpreted into this sort of thing for some time, even promoted by some brite-green [he means fluorescent green 🙂 ] Permie’s…[Permaculturalists] we can continue living in urban spaces and use fancy high-tech vaporware like this….NOT!

As Permaculture is an ecological design science, all ‘solutions’ need to be weighed against ecological reality, i.e. the collapsing biosphere. According to my research on the collapsing biosphere, all industrial systems need to be replaced, dismantled, removed. The future (if we have one) is going to be based on living embedded in functional local ecosystems, [self sufficient, no mining, no imports, no factory anything] not this sort of thing in any way, shape or form.

“Exciting times”…!
Ray says  — I don’t know if these urban farmers think it is sustainable, but it is local, and that is a step toward being conscious and responsible. The cities will not be here in 50-100 years.  How many readers think the population can double again?  NO WAY.  The transportation systems will fail and people will have to leave and live in earth lodges with scavenged windows, which also will not
be produced anymore. But the windows will all be shot out, so that won’t be advised either.  I think the Maori system of living will be in place. That included trenches. Luckily, bullets will run out too and guns will all rust.
I know that all my friends who are addicted to industrial consumption simply cannot hear this, but your grandchildren will think you are insane! 🙂

Holy Urban Gardening: Baltimore Preaches Gardening UP

Urban Pastoral

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, more and more people are realizing the importance of supporting local businesses – especially local farms. It’s one of the reasons urban gardening is becoming so popular. Not only is it good karma to keep your money in the local community, but it makes good sense for Mother Earth too.

By buying local, less fuel is used in transportation. Did you know the average distance from farm to fork is 1,500 miles? This great distance accounts for more than 50% of total production costs. As a result, the cost of transporting a single $2 head of lettuce is $1. That huge cost is passed onto consumers – a.k.a. you.

The added benefit of supporting local agriculture is that produce can be picked ripe. When produce is picked when fully ripe, it is typically more nutritious. Since it’s estimated that 90% of Americans have at least one nutrient deficiency, it’s so important that we eat the most nutritious foods possible.

Urban PastoralIdentifying the need to deliver local, nutritious produce even in dense urban areas where traditional farming is more difficult, Urban Pastoral (UP) set on a mission to make urban gardening possible in Baltimore. Their goal is to set up the first commercial scale hydroponic farm in Baltimore and service the local community with truly local produce.

Rather than using horizontal growing methods that are common with hydroponics, Urban Pastoral will use a vertical growing system with 10-foot vertical towers to maximize space. They will also use recycled rainwater with Arduino technology to allow them to regulate water and nutrient flows. They’re also exploring the idea of using aquaponics to create a closed-loop system.

The plan is to provide delicious, culinary herbs and greens to Bon Appétit and work with the Baltimore Food Hub to keep produce local. Urban Pastoral has also developed relationships with the Abell Foundation and Humanin. These non-profit organizations have agreed to offer workforce development assistance and real estate with the goal of creating a vocational development program for high school graduates or those incarcerated.

Tools of the trade

Urban Pastoral has completed their first step, which was raising the funds to build BoxUP, a modular, 320 square foot shipping container, retrofitted as a growing facility. BoxUP is space efficient, and is versatile enough to operate in any location that has access to water and electrical outputs, like markets, hospitals, schools or unused parking spaces. Using energy efficient LEDs and hydroponic growing towers, one BoxUP can produce more than 700 pounds of fresh produce per month.

Urban Pastoral's BoxUp Growing System

The next step is to get the first FarmUP urban gardening location going. FarmUPs are commercial-scale CEA greenhouses integrated into new and existing real estate developments. Using innovative growing technology at scale, a single FarmUP can produce 30-60,000 pounds of fresh produce each month. That’s enough to feed thousands and employ hundreds.

Urban Pastoral's FarmUp Growing System

Instead of seeing produce transported 1,500 [miles] to your table, Urban Pastoral wants to see urban gardening thrive. They promise their produce will only travel a 10-mile radius, keeping transportation costs to a minimum and nutrient density to a maximum.

Keep an eye on this startup. Urban Pastoral plans to expand outside Baltimore and may bring urban gardening to your city.

Is urban gardening on the rise in your area?

Imagery courtesy of Urban Pastoral

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Ted Howard says:

    I’m a rock…?
    I’ve been on a journey of waking up for over 27 years. This waking up cost me my first marriage in a previous life in Auckland. I went off and did a 3 month long personal growth course, where I met my present wife. I then resigned from NZ Army Territorials and became a peace activist. Since then it’s been a red pill roller coaster ride, researching peak oil, peak everything, The 6th Mass Extinction, and then our real issue, the insane dominant culture aka “civilisation.”

    This led to retraining as a Permaculture gardener/designer, and working for local folks who are usually friends in my network of mutual support. It also gives me the time to do a little more research, and try to help folks wake up. The real task as “civilised” humans captive in this insanity, is to de-colonise our hearts and minds, and face up to physical reality.

    “If people are still alive in 50 years, they will look back at this time, and wonder, what the f**k was wrong with us, that we didn’t fight back as the biosphere went down.
    You must love something. Love is a verb. Defend your beloved!”
    Lierre Keith

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