In hard economic times, people look for ways to supplement their food costs and increase security by raising their own food. This has taken on a whole new experience as gardening becomes a high tech low-work experience.
Some basic definitions and links:
Permaculture is the permanent growing of fruit, nuts and vegetables in a landscape. Low growing grasses are planted for paths and double as animal grazing areas.
Urban farming (see: http://www.youtube.com/user/dervaes?ob=1) in which a family grows nearly 80% of all their food from a lot less than .25 acre and sells the rest.
Square foot gardening is maximizing garden space. See: http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
Areo-gardening is growing plants in air. Nutrient based water is sprayed on the root system using an aerator, something many aquarium hobbyists are familiar with. Light is usually added to extend growing. (See LED lights for low power consumption.)
What you can grow in air – any small plant like cherry tomatoes, lettuces, cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries ( we recommend ever-bearing), herbs, some beans and wheat grass for juicing. Large plants require support and light has a hard time accessing the bottom of the plant so tomatoes, root crops and corn are not ideal.
Hydro-ponics is when the plant is floated in nutrient based water. Sometimes fish are kept in the water (tilapia, crayfish, shrimp and catfish). As you can see on Stealth Hydro – most of the parts are simple plastic tubs or pipe with holes for plants, a pump, a light and sometimes it is all placed in a reflective cabinet. Again, space & lighting are the limiting factors as to what you can grow.
Sprouting is the easiest since all you need are seeds, a jar with a screen top and water. Picking your favorite seeds for sprouting and growing the plants to maturity to collect the seed yourself can give you an endless supply of the healthiest food on the planet.
Potted plants are also good for space-saving food production and recommended for larger plants. Growing citrus fruit trees, bananas and even green beans are possible when either light is provided or placed in a sunny window. Vine plants like passion fruit, kiwis and teas are also ideal potted plants. See Video – SurvivingLA for a self-watering potted plant and EarthBox
Mushrooms can be grown with little light needs, not much space and usually just need water.
Chickens? If you have ever wandered through antique stores and seen the old kitchen hutches with chicken wire then you have seen how the old farm wives kept chickens inside their kitchens to grab an egg when they needed. In turn the chickens got food scraps. Hens are sweet and can be kept in bird cages or the old style hutch. They will sing when being fed and are a delightful pet as well as provider! They only require a nice bed of straw on the bottom of their cage – which can be turned into the potting soil as frequently as needed or fed to the worms. We estimate 2 – 3 hens per person in a household.
Worms! If you don’t keep chickens to feed food scraps to – try a kitchen worm bed.
Here’s one: Worm Composter
And here’s more info – Make it Yourself
Whether you live in a city apartment or do large scale farming – food production is in your hands when all these technologies come together to make food production easy, fun and rewarding.