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Home Grown Program


The Homegrown program is focus on agriculture. The different kinds of gardens organic, regenerative agricultural, and permaculture gardening. Our emphasis is on schools and community gardens. We believe that schools and community gardens are important for students not only as a source of fresh vegetables, but a knowledgeable tool for a sustainable life.

Turn your yard into a permaculture garden show your love for Earth! 

Urban Garden


Photo by: Daniel Lobo, Flickr

What is an urban garden?

  • “Urban farming is simply producing or growing food in a city or other heavily populated areas” (Sayner, 2021).

  • The biggest difference with urban farming is that it assumes a profit motive and that it’s undertaken an as commercial enterprised the effect that transporting food can have on climate change (Sayner, 2021)


Why is Urban Farming important?

  • It gives people a chance to pursue their passion for agriculture who may not be able to move out of the city

  • “The food produced on urban farms can be sold at farmer’s markets, direct to restaurants or grocery stores, or through a CSA (community supported agriculture” (Sayner, 2021).

  • People become more educated about their food, where it comes forms, and the effect that transporting food can have on climate change (Sayner, 2021)

Types of Urban Garden


Photo by: Sayner, 2021

Vertical farming: “involves growing crops in layers that are stacked vertically. This can be accomplished by growing on shelving, or on specially-modified pallets against fences or walls” (Sayner, 2021).

  • They can be housed in abandoned mineshafts or other underground tunnels, inside of buildings, or in shipping containers

  • It can be combined with other techniques like aquaponics or hydroponics

  • “Vertical farming can make a square foot of space orders of magnitude more efficient at producing food, since many plants don’t need a lot of vertical space to grow” (Sayner, 2021).

  • Stacking three or four shelves of plants on top of each other, you’re growing 300% to 400% more plants than what you could fit into the same amount of space. (Sayner, 2021)


Photo by: Sayner, 2021

Hydroponics: “is any system for growing plants without soil. Instead, nutrients are added to water that plants are immersed in, or regularly washes over the roots of the plants” (Sayner, 2021).

  • You can use gravel, perlite, or other materials for more physical support for the plants.

  • They can use chemical fertilizers, or organic matter like manure

  • The water is recycled and reused in a hydroponic system which means it reduces the amount of water compared to conventional farming.

  • Hydroponics is a great way to grow plants where conditions are too harsh to grow in soil.


Aquaponics: “is any system that combines conventional aquaculture (farming fish or other sea life) with hydroponics. This creates a symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants” (Sayner, 2021).

  • How it works: The fish eats food and produces ammonia. The helpful bacteria in the water converts ammonia into nutrients for the plants. Then the plants absorb the nutrients (acting like a natural fertilizer).

  • Water is constantly recirculated through the system so the cycle can continue.

  • The most common fish used is tilapia for an aquaponic system.


Shipping Container farms: This type of farm is best used if the weather outside isn’t conducive to growing or just a pest-free environment. (Sayner, 2021)

  • They can be almost anywhere, even an unused corner of a parking lot.

  • You would have to install lighting, climate control, racks of shelving for vertical space.

  • You can grow mushrooms, microgreens, or leafy greens


Rooftop farming: The most common type of urban garden will be a rooftop garden because it has a lot of space either on a skyscraper or apartment building (Sayner, 2021).

  • Raised beds are used the most for this type of farming. 


Backyard farming: this is cultivating food in the homeland (Dane, 2020).

  • “Its product is mostly shared between friends, family, and neighbors as it typically leads to a harvest surplus” (Dane, 2020)

  • It benefits communities as neighbors can share each other’s backyard and use different farming methods leading to better yields (Dane, 2020).


Street landscaping: “That is the landscaping of streets for various purposes, such as community gardens, that the local residents prefer to use for.” (Dane, 2020)

  • They make the streets look beautiful but they also purify the air and create a clean atmosphere.

  • They also add an advantage to the ability to reduce urban runoff from stormwater.

Forest Gardening: “is accomplished by the production of various crops, vegetables, and fruits in urban environments” (Dane, 2020).

  • They help preserve forests and render deforestation.


Greenhouses: “provides farmers with the opportunity to grow a crop throughout the year as they provide a regulated environment in which the crops can be exposed to the different conditions needed for production.” (Dane, 2020).


Green walls: “includes vegetation or food crops growing on a wall’s external or internal area. It does not take up much room as the system used helps to supply sufficient water to the food and it uses soil present on the walls' ' (Dane, 2020).

How to start an Urban Garden

1.) Research what will grow in your area this will help to see what plants will thrive the best in your area.

2.) Define your space: “Whether you have an alleyway, an entire rooftop, or a fire escape, measure how much space you’ve got and decide how large you want your garden to be” (Black, 2018).

  • It is important to note the amount of sun, wind, rain exposure your space will get everyday.

3.) Think about what you want to grow ahead of time. It may be helpful to draw out a plan of the design or plants for your garden. This idea will be helpful for a rooftop garden.

4.) Pick your pots or bed size: If you are creating a space with garden beds, think about what size you want them to be.

  • If you don’t have space for a garden bed then picking pots is essential. Think about how many plants you want in each pot? What type of plants do you want?

  • Tip: planting a tall plant like a tomato with a low plant like basil saves a lot of space.

5.) Choose your plants: Think about what kind of plants you would like to grow. You do not want to overcrowd your plants and don’t get too ambitious.

  • Start small and see where that goes, inspired by their favorite meal or type of food.

  • Themed gardens are a great start

6.) Pot your plants or plant them in the beds: When it comes to potting plants it is good to have pots with drainage holes. As for the soil, get potting soil that is specifically made to include the right nutrient for plants.

  • For garden beds, think about where you want to plant your crops and keep in mind plants not blocking other ones from sunlight. Also plants that do not take a lot of space and water.

  • Find organic fertilizer or sustainable alternatives like compost or manure. Mulching is a good idea for garden beds to keep weeds away.

7.) Water your plants when needed. There are some watering systems that you can buy but are expensive. So, manual watering is fine to do too.

8.) Harvest your vegetables/fruits/herbs

All of these steps are from: (Black, 2018)

More designs for Urban Garden

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