Ryerson Offers Tips for Becoming an Urban Farmer

Ryerson University faculty experts in Toronto, Canada, presented 10 tips on becoming an urban farmer:

1. Consider giving herb gardens and other container gardening plants as gifts.

2. If you live in a shared space, be it an apartment, condo or co-op, encourage the building owner and tenants to start a green roof program.

3. If you have a little yard space, convert some or all of it into a productive garden. If you don't, locate a community garden near you.

4. No yard, no community garden? No problem. Try container gardening instead. You can find appropriate plants and containers for any space, and you can use virtually anything to make containers: old tires, children's wading pools, plastic soda bottles, etc.

5. Think vertical: treat walls as support structures for creating green walls that produce herbs and vegetables.

6. Employ greenhouses and small cold-frames to extend the growing season.

7. Work with your Business Improvement Area or other community group to brighten up waste spaces between buildings with productive community gardens.

8. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs: they not only conserve energy, but they can also aid in creating "virtual" sunlight for indoor plants.

9. Department stores now sell counter-top hydroponic growing systems that make herb and vegetable gardening easy.

10. Compost. If you have any yard space to spare, start your own compost heap to fertilize your plants.

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