Posts tagged personal sustainability

The Urban Farm

I met with the guys from Green City Growers  and was super impressed.  (As I mentioned in my post last week, they are the guys who installed a roof-top organic farm for B.Good burgers.)  They arrived for the appointment on time and we took a quick walk around my yard.  They analyzed the amount of light and shade in each area, and we discussed how to fit the raised beds into the existing landscaping.  We then sat down to talk about the different options they offer.

Different Bed Sizes:

They offer different bed sizes with small being 4×4, medium 4×8 and large 4×12.  They can also do custom shapes.  For example, in my yard a 2×8 box will work better than the 4×4 but will cost the same because the total square footage is the same.  Regardless of size, however, the price for the bed includes the following:

  • set up
  • irrigation system with timers
  • growing medium
  • plants

Maintenance Plans:

Sample farm plan (used with permisiion from Green City Growers)

Sample farm plan (used with permission from Green City Growers)

Once you decide to move forward with your new farm, you have several different options for maintenance:

  • Weekly maintenance: For a weekly fee which varies depending on the size of the bed you have chosen, Green City will come to your house every week and water, prune, harvest or whatever else needs to be done.  This is a good option for people who like the idea of a vegetable garden, but don’t have the time or skill to take care of it properly.
  • Monthly consults: For $85, the guys will come in once a month to check in on your garden.  They will help you fix any problems that may have cropped up and do some maintenance on the garden if needed.  This is a good option if you like gardening and don’t mind doing most of the work yourself, but could still use a professional consult once in a while to make sure you are doing things right.
  • Self farming: If you are a pretty skilled gardener and feel you can go it alone, for $175 Green City will provide a 1 time consultation and tutorial on how to maintin your garden.  They will also come by for a visit one month later to see how you and your farm are doing.

This seems like a really intriguing option.  I’ve been using Boston Organics and have not been entirely happy.  The idea of being able to harvest vegetables from my own backyard is really appealing.  Now I just need to run the numbers…

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The Problem with Wanting More

According to John Sterman,  “As long as every person in the world wants more, there is no solution” to the issue of global warming and the sustainability of our planet.  Check out his interview in the MIT Sloan Management Review: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/beyond-green/a-sober-optimists-guide-to-sustainability/

Topics covered include:

  • how to get people to think for real on sustainability
  • why the conventional wisdom about energy is just a myth, and
  • how to live as if there’s just enough time left to save the world

Professor Sterman is one of the world’s leading experts on system dynamics and is very active in the sustainability initiatives going on at MIT, and MIT Sloan in particular.  He has a brilliant mind and is a fantastic speaker.  If you ever have the opportunity to see one of his lectures, DO IT!

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