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Old 03-03-2013, 07:16 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
That must have been decades ago (haha)

What happened in between?
Ha, ha yourself! Yes, it was several decades ago. What happened was that people kept on gardening. Go to any (gasp!) Walmart, Home Depot, even grocery store in the spring and there are racks of seeds for sale. Always have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunjee View Post
If anyone's skeptical about gardening in American suburbs I'm curious about their experience. There aren't definite numbers, although one site indicates in the 2000 Census that 61% of Americans garden. This is without a citation, though, and doesn't distinguish vegetable/fruit gardening from ornamental (my experience is they go hand in hand anyway, however). This article from 2010 indicates about 1/3 of Americans have food gardens, but as a whole without separating urban from suburban respondents.

I can only speak from anecdote. Not only has it always been part of the traditional home-owning dream, the decades of immigration probably predict the practice, as in my neighborhoods. The recession has inspired a growing trend. The above article shows lower income households do less food gardening, and we can correlate that with apartment living or renting.

This of all urban topics should not descend to another indictment of suburban living. Really, of all topics...
Agreed. I recall that last summer, I posted about seeing sunflowers peeking over the fences in Denver, indicating even the urbanites were gardening. Of course, some urbanite shot down my observation. But yeah, even people in apartments often grow a few tomato plants in containers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
If 50% of Americans live in the suburbs, it seems possible that the number is over 60%-
since there are also some gardens in the City.

Some think that the Suburbs will be the heartland of a revival-
Using permaculture - see this VIDEO:

If they are, it will be because of the Gardens and growing space there,
not because of their car-dependency.

To put it another way, the Gardens will be so important, that the Suburbs
will survive and thrive, in spite of the inefficient transport system



It is possible, My own view is that even the Garden vision of the Suburban's future will require substantial retrofitting, such as turning Golf courses into farms
There is no shortage of farmland in the US. There is no need to turn golf courses into cornfields, and no, I do not golf.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,980 posts, read 23,891,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Hey, beans aren't hard! You just snap 'em, boil them for a few minutes, and put them in freezer bags. They produce like crazy. Peas, I agree. They take up a lot of space for what you get.
My mother always had to have her peas. We grew them on a makeshift trellis made from tomato stakes and netting; they didn't take up too much room. As I recall, we usually got quite a few peas for the one row that we planted. When they were done, there was room for the cucumbers.

I wish that more cities had small farms. I love to see a successful community garden. Most people can grow something if they want to.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:16 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,410,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
That's a very positive change.
And a good argument for some sort of Suburban live continuing into the future,
But people may need to find a better way to deal with the transportation issues than driving
That' not a change. The "urban agriculture revolution" isn't referring to people casually growing tomatoes or trying to keep up with the oranges.

If talking specifically about the suburbs, I think the bigger change recently is likely the increase of people keeping animals like chickens -- and suburbs formally changing their codes to allow it. Chickens are VERY trendy these days, in both city and suburbs. And I don't know what the numbers say, but I wouldn't be surprised if greater numbers of people in both suburbs and in cities are growing edibles, or at least expanding their garden patches.

I don't believe that can be framed as some sort of city versus suburb debate, although of course there are differences between, say, highly urbanized very dense city neighborhoods and neighborhoods with single family homes on large lots. But in the United States both people in the most urban neighborhoods and in the most suburban neighborhoods can be interested in growing some of their own food, shopping at farmer's markets, or joining CSAs. There has been a significant increase in farmer's markets and CSA memberships, and that has been true in both city and suburbs.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Good point. Most industrial land is useless for farming, at least for the next 10 to 15 years (or longer) until the soil cleans up. Those vast blocks of formerly residential land in Detroit, however, may not require such a substantial cleanup.
Phytoremediation. Urban Omnibus From Brownfields to Greenfields: A Field Guide to Phytoremediation
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
That' not a change. The "urban agriculture revolution" isn't referring to people casually growing tomatoes or trying to keep up with the oranges.

If talking specifically about the suburbs, I think the bigger change recently is likely the increase of people keeping animals like chickens -- and suburbs formally changing their codes to allow it. Chickens are VERY trendy these days, in both city and suburbs...
Growing vegetables are a start.
And raising chickens are another good beginning as well - what about the other protein?

The thing that I would like to see more of, is aquaponics - Fish and vegetables in a cycle, with much less waste.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,472 posts, read 5,143,862 times
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I went to a seminar the other day to hear Andres Duany talk about this very topic. He discussed the importance and opportunities associated with agrarian urbanism. He has a recent book, Theories and Practices of Agrarian Urbanism, that highlights steps communities can take toward this goal.

The seminar was fantastic, enlightening and timely.

Here's a link that provides a good summary of his book and his four models of agricultural-related urban planning:
http://bettercities.net/article/how-...den-city-15043

Last edited by Lincolnian; 03-03-2013 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:32 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,410,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Growing vegetables are a start.
And raising chickens are another good beginning as well - what about the other protein?

The thing that I would like to see more of, is aquaponics - Fish and vegetables in a cycle, with much less waste.
That's happening, too, but that's generally not something most people who are just gardening in their free time are taking on. It's in a different category than maintaining a small garden plot and a flock of five chickens. But yes, aquaponics is around in the United States, too. Here in the Twin Cities, for example, there's a new urban farm with fish developing in an old brewery. Hamm's brewery site will become home to aquaponics urban farm venture - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:09 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Just by serendipity, our pastor asked this morning how many of the congregation had ever planted a vegetable garden. At least 2/3 raised their hands. This is a congregation in Boulder, CO. Now Boulder has been called a lot of things (some of which won't make it through CD's filters, LOL), eg "edge city", college town, etc, but when push comes to shove, Boulder is part of the great Denver CSA and is a suburban city.

Last edited by nei; 03-03-2013 at 04:24 PM.. Reason: response to deleted post
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:41 PM
 
2,880 posts, read 4,615,119 times
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Fish farming at a non-sustaining level of food production has been around for decades. It's more for parks and rec. My uncle did maintenance for a small lake that was meant for leisure fishing. "All creatures great and small" notwithstanding it was mostly tilapia, which is kind of a trash fish for eating. I know there was a trout lake too, though.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,980 posts, read 23,891,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
That must have been decades ago (haha)

What happened in between?
It never went away. We have always gardened. We gardened in WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, through the recessions, the oil embargo. For many, James Crockett kicked off the modern urban gardening movement. My Dad started a garden in the 1970s. He did it because he fondly remembered his Mom's garden. Mom took care of the perennial border which included perennial and annual herbs. Her mother was a gardener.

My son knows how to garden. He doesn't know that he knows how to garden. I used to ask (force) him to help me with chores which I couldn't possibly complete on my own -- frail and helpless. I desperately needed a "man" to help me plant a tree or shrub, turn the compost pile. While we worked, I casually spoke to him of compost, tilth, spacing, late frost, watering. I hope that some day he'll start his own garden.

I've been fortunate to live in a few places where road side farm stands and pick your own places have been prevalent.
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