Excerpt from our post, “A step towards collaborative sustainability” written for a collaborative venture, a Helsinki-based start-up called Fajoya. You can find the article here.
What are ‘Food Forests’?
There are various ways a community can garner a status as a self-sufficient food producing unit. One such community-based collaboration can be in the form of developing a Food Forest where a variety of indigenous fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and mushrooms can be grown. Unlike in ‘Community Gardens’ that involves a concept of owner-ship of the vegetable patches by individuals; a food forest is not designed on the lines of ownership by individuals.
USA has already started the implementation of this concept in Massachusetts and Washington.
The development of food forests can also be of great help in places that are cut-off during winter months or are located at high altitudes. In such places, the indigenous seeds are first acclimatised to the harsh conditions and short growing seasons and the robust lines are interbred by traditional techniques. Since, there is a window between the acclimatisation period and a fully-functional food forest, it’s leaves enough time for the residents and the members to be educated so they take only as much of the forest produce as required and reduce wastage.
Hydroponics and Aeroponics; some of the other methods that can be implemented on a community level
Apart from developing food forests and in order to address a lack of space and to get more city dwellers involved, hydroponic and aeroponic systems can also help deliver effective results by producing healthy food , reducing the dependence on resources and encouraging resuse and recycling.
In an hydroponic or aeroponic system, the soil that is essentially required to anchor the roots together and supply nutrients to the plant is replaced by coconut husks or clay pellets that simply support the plant system while nutrients are added via a water pumping cycle in case of hydroponics. Nutrients are sprayed in form of mists in a system based on aeroponics. Many practitioners urge people to come up with their own varieties of such systems in order to increase effeciency and yield as being the consumers, they are on the receiving end of all such processes. Therefore, they need to have an idea of what would work best for them and implement it accordingly by taking in account our current understanding of scientific processes.
Some practitioners without an access to roof-tops or live in cramped places in major cities in the world utilise the concept of vertical hydroponic and aeropnic systems.
Even scientists are now growing fresh herbs and vegetables at zero gravity aboard the International Space Station.
Read the entire article here.
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©2013-2014, Ananya Mukherjee (for The Idea Bucket)