Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three good articles on farming

Edible landscaping
The city of Seattle is taking 7 acres of land and making an edible landscape out of it.  Planting food producing trees and plants in a permaculture setting; persistent plants.  I like the idea of it. 

Just a fact, but do you know what the largest number of tilled acres is?  And if your first guess is farms, that's wrong. 

It's the median areas of highways and other roads.   Wouldn't it be cool if the center of the freeway was corn.  or melons.  Or pumpkins.  Or anything other than some ornamental grass or shrub? 

Farm first, buy land later:  Farm incubators
This works for other types of businesses, why not farming?  Set up a farm, allow people to get their feet wet by growing some plants.  Provide a farm stand where people can sell their stuff directly.  Take some of the hard parts out of farming for the new farmers.  Like that idea?  Then read this article about a farmer incubator that's running north of Seattle

Would you wait 5 years for a 10 square foot garden?
With thousands of acres of land  FALLOW 10 miles away, 1,654 people are on a waiting list for 10'x10' garden plots - and there's just 54 of them available.   We have thousands of acres of river bottom that is perfect farmland that isn't in use.  Why? 

These three articles are introducing a new blog that I read:



Dana said...

I remember a time when the medians of our highways and interstates in Louisiana were baled for hay. Local cattle ranchers could bale nearby sections. I am not sure if they had to pay for the right to bale the grass growing in the medians but at the least it would eliminate the cost of the state having to maintain them. As I understand this practice was stopped for liability reasons. I personally thing it is a tragedy.

Funder said...

re: medians - I've always thought it'd be awesome if they hayed the medians. Even if some percentage of horse owners (or beef consumers) went "ewww it's polluted" it'd still help decrease prices for everybody.

I'll check out the new site.

Cody Jarrett said...

Problem with medians is that they are, in fact polluted. Various heavy metals and so forth from exhaust, plus whatever ick gets flushed off the pavement when it rains, plus, in the snow belt, a lot of salt.

Not to mention all the debris that would have to be worked around.

I just don't see how it's feasible. Yeah, it's a pretty idea. But feasible?


David said...

I don't think that pollution from the roads should prevent that area from being used for productive use. Before it is harvested, a band of that crop can be mowed down and left as a barrier against other contamination or removed if it is concentrated with heavy metals or other toxins.

I would actually be concerned about certain crops being planted and then becoming a public safety problem with people stopping at the side of the road to harvest them. There isn't a problem with people stopped to pick up trash blowing along the roadside, but a nice crop of watermelons might be enough of a distraction to cause traffic accidents or at least slow down traffic. (I'm reminded of traveling through Yellowstone and seeing regular traffic jams around herds of bison or elk.)