We love living in DC – the history, the culture, the cherry blossoms (we could go on and on), but did you know it is also the center of a booming urban agriculture trend? We all know that nothing tastes better than veggies ripe off the vine, so why not grow your own right at home? In this day and age, you don’t need a farm or ranch to grow amazing crops, you can do it right on your apartment patio or balcony!
Our DC Urban Agriculture Infographic lists the steps for how to prep your space for gardening, as well as local Washington DC gardening supply stores and meetups where you can meet other locals that are already reaping the benefits of homegrown veggies.
Urban Agriculture is a movement towards growing and raising more food within densely populated areas of major cities. Today, about 15% of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. Since space is limited in big cities, you may have noticed city gardens sprouting up in smaller spaces (like rooftops or apartment balconies). Another green benefit to urban gardening is that you can re-purpose old recyclable milk jugs or woven baskets and use them as containers for new veggies. Vegetables that are ideally suited for growing in containers include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes and parsley.
DC Urban Agriculture History
Lately, urban gardening has been experiencing a lot of growth in DC, but it’s also important to acknowledge its roots. Michelle Obama has made some amazing contributions to the White House Garden, but perhaps the original hero of urban agriculture is Eleanor Roosevelt. She was responsible for planting the first Victory Garden at the White House.
Victory Gardens are similar to Urban Gardening in that the goal of producing your own vegetable supply is meant to lessen reliance on limited resources. Victory Gardens, which gained popularity during World War I, were planted in both public parks as well as private homes, and they became an important tool for the public as a whole.
DC Weather Advantages
Hot, humid summers and somewhat mild winters accurately describe the extremes of seasonal weather in Washington DC, and the city’s long growing season makes it good for producing hot-weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and squash. Cool spring-weather plants include peas, lettuce and radishes. Long, mild autumns give Washington DC an advantage for growing late-season crops such as broccoli, kale and cabbage, as well as root crops like potatoes, garlic and onions.
Have you already been practicing urban agriculture and balcony or patio gardening? We would love to hear about it! What tips can you share with your Bozzuto neighbors on how to have the greenest thumb on the block?
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