Community Urban Organic Farming Project
- By Bahram Maskanian
On average there are 64 brownstones within each block of New York City’s five boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan, as shown above in this bird’s eye view of a NY block image.
Most brownstone dimensions are 80’ x 20’, 100’ x 20’, or 100’ x 25’. Typically one third of the land on average (30’ x 20’ = 600’) square feet is open and available in the backyard. If we multiply that by the number of brownstones in a city block (600’ x 64 = 38,400) it amounts to a huge combined area of 38,400 square feet of land available for urban organic farming in a single city block.
We, the people, must come together and unite for our common good to build our own Community Urban Organic Farm on every single city block. And since we are made up of diverse groups of people, each one with different taste and desire for different kinds of fruits and vegetables, it would be such an amazing pleasure to be part of this organic farming community, harvest and bring out our crops / produce, every other week, or once a month and present them on our own community block farmer’s market and simply barter what we have too much of with what we like with our neighbors. Also we can easily make money by selling our goods to the visitors and walking by folks as well. And if everyone in the block urban community has what they need at each harvest cycle, but there are more crops, the excess produce can be offered and sold to the local restaurants and delicatessens.
Imagine your own high quality, healthy organic foods, fruits and vegetables free from carcinogenic (cancer causing) toxins, such as, but not limited to: pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, formaldehyde, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), chemtrails (a visible trails of chemicals and biological agents sprayed / released by U.S. government’s aircrafts in high altitude over cities’ populations all over United States), etc.! You will enjoy your own healthy organic foods at extremely affordable low price of pennies per pound.! Your crops / produce will taste the best you ever had, grown locally and in a sustainable manner all year round, under your own care and commitment to high organic quality and health of your family and loved ones. You will taste the difference and you will feel great and healthy like never before.
One obvious form of creating your community urban organic farm would be planting seasonal and locally grown crops in your backyard, which greatly limits your ability to grow and enjoy having fresh produce all year around. The ideal choice will be installing a professionally built greenhouse, where you can control the temperature and humidity. You can use animal-based organic fertilizer mixed with compost and soil, which will create an amazingly rich and productive soil and by means of crop rotation keep your soil healthy and productive all year around. You can grow anything you wish, except crops that grow on trees.
The two ideal greenhouse sizes with room to move around would be 12’ x 18’ and 16’ x 22’. If you can get it done yourself, or know a contractor to build it for you, make sure it is built according to your town’s Building Code. It must be tightly secured to the ground able to withstand 85 miles an hour winds and heavy snowfall on the roof. The greenhouse should also be equipped with heating and cooling ventilation for temperature control. If need be, we can recommend professionally made blueprints, technical drawings and designs by experienced architects and have a licensed contractor work with you to build your own greenhouse that matches your budget.
According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture the cost of feeding a family of four a good, healthy and non-organic diet runs $1,156 a month, or $13,672 per year, based on preparing all the meals and snacks at home for a couple with two school-aged children, it does not include splurges at pricey restaurants. A conservative cost estimate of low to medium quality non-organic bulk grocery purchased for feeding a family of four in New York is $800 a month, or $9,600 per year, again, based on preparing all the meals and snacks at home for a couple with two school-aged children.
A three-floor co-op, or condo brownstone typically houses three families each with total of $9,600 per year grocery expenditure total of ($9,600 x 3 = $28,800) combined. The average construction cost of a well built, long lasting (20 years or more) greenhouse made with aluminum and clear polycarbonate, or glass, fully equipped 12’ x 18’ is around $8,500, less than one third of and the total yearly grocery cost of a three family brownstone occupants and the 16’ x 22’ greenhouse would be at around $12,500, less than half.
If you are co-op, or condo / home owner living in a brownstone interested in installing your own greenhouse, it would be wise to come together with your neighbors in your building and consider forming a cooperative partnership to share all farming responsibilities and benefits of your own urban organic farm, together as a cooperative. You will all enjoy highly beneficial organic produce and a healthy life at the fraction of the cost.
Just to name a few of the fruits and vegetables we can grow all year around:
* Butter head Lettuce
* Red Oak Leaf Lettuce
* Gourmet Lettuce Medley
* Bok Choy
* Tropicana Green Leaf Lettuce
* Swiss Chard
* Baby Kale Medley
* Baby Asian Blend
* Blooming Iceberg
* Green Beans
And whatever else your heart desires.