Here at Horizon House, we are definitely IN an URBAN setting. Many of our gardeners here would like to have attractive vegetables growing in their raised beds, and on our gardening terraces.
There are things to be cautious about with urban vegetable gardening, mostly with noxious air and also noxious things in the soil. Everything eventually gets into the soil, so it’s worth a bit of concern.
I don’t think we need to worry as much as those who live locally, and attempt to plant veggies right at the roadside. Here at Horizon House, we have the benefit of using packaged soil or “compost” in our gardens. We do not just dig in local soil, as do many of our neighbors. BUT, there is still air, and rain borne chemicals that settle down into our soil.
This morning I read an interesting article on my NPR Home page. It talks about what Washington, D.C. is doing concerning this. The University of the District of Columbia is supporting a study on urban farming, and is in fact, the ONLY Land Grant University that deals with a totally URBAN focus.
Mchezaji “Che” Axum is the gentleman who runs the research farm for the U. of the D. of C.. “…instead of vast fields testing dozens of varieties of wheat, Axum’s research farm has raised beds, narrow hoop houses and even a shipping container. He gives growers advice on where to buy decent soil or how to compost their own, in case the land they plan to grow on has a seedy industrial past.”
This is GOOD stuff for the urban farmers within the confines of Seattle, and even the communities close by.
In our Gardening Terraces, some gardeners are growing pretty greens, little tomatoes, kale, etc. We also have an herb garden tended by two of our Garden Committee members.
The herbs are available to ALL who live at Horizon House. It’s wonderful to be able to come down to the garden and pick nice, fresh herbs to use in our dinners and lunches. In fact, the Garden Committee has also sponsored an herb garden for our chef, right outside the dining room, so the menu can now boast fresh herbs in our food!