Who says you need to live in the country to farm? Some folks are taking the adage, "Bloom where you're planted," to heart, as this article in the Christian Science Monitor reports. The author takes a look at urban gardens that are springing up in the most unlikely places: atop an old, paved basketball court, alongside a railroad track, and on the site of a former illegal chop shop. How are urban gardeners reclaiming these spaces and making them suitable for growing living things? One word: mulch.
Christopher Weber, the article's author, reports:
In all the gardens I've described, a thick blanket of mulch was laid down to serve as a primary growing medium. As that layer subsides, gardeners rake additional ones into place. You would think that all the piling-on would raise the gardens several feet in altitude, but the constant decay of the mulch keeps them more or less level.
What's really cool is that Weber implies that the mulch comes from the city itself, recycled from the inhabitants' waste streams and composted. Whether or not the gardens can feed a substantial percentage of the city's residents, they're a great first step toward sustainable agriculture -- no matter where you happen to live.