Growing into the FutureReduce - Reuse - Recycle
Reduce - the amount of the Earths resources we use.
Reuse - could I or anyone else make use of it?
Recycle - can the materials be made into something new?
Sustainable Urban Gardening
Sustainability is used to describe something that uses resources slower than they are replaced. The aim of sustainable urban gardening is to have little to no impact on the environment while increasing local biodiversity. The team at Growing Life promotes sustainable urban gardening as the way forward for communities as we are faced with increasing global issues. Everyone can do their part, recycling rainwater for use on gardens is a great start, to see our rainwater diversion and watering system installed at the Alma Hotel on Newington Green Rd see our projects page. The system diverts rainwater from the roof of the hotel into 2 large holding tanks. These tanks are connected to a reticulation system which has feed lines to all the plants in the hotel, beer garden and roof garden. They save thousands of litres of water each year through this simple initiative which also cuts down on the time needed to take care of the plants. We also encourage people to make the most of indoor spaces for their gardens. As mentioned throughout our site, you can extend the length of the outdoor growing period by propagating your plants indoors and even cultivate year round with your plants under grow lights. Many horticultural lamps are high output which uses a relatively high amount of electricity. Growing Life promote low wattage, energy saving lamps for growing indoors cutting electricity use by up to 80%.
Making and using your own compost is the cornerstone of sustainable urban gardening, you are giving your plants excellent organic nutrition and helping to reduce landfill. Composts are made from recycled garden and kitchen waste with a large proportion of household waste being recyclable. It is possible to make your own compost in the backyard with a wormery or even under your kitchen sink using a Bokashi bin. For information on our range of home composting solutions you can contact us in-store on 0800 083 3437.
Bokashi compost systems are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Bokashi works by anaerobically pickling everything from raw and cooked fruit and vegetables as well as raw meat, fish and dairy, through the effective micro-organisms present in the Bokashi bran. To use Bokashi bins in your home you only need to add your organic scraps to the bin, press it down firmly to remove the air, add a thin layer of the Bokashi bran and replace the lid. Once you have filled your Bokashi bin, leave the lid closed for 2 weeks to ferment, then remove the contents and use to dig into your garden. This Bokashi compost will break down very quickly in the soil and doesnt attract any pests like an outdoor compost pile can. The Bokashi fermentation process also creates liquid run-off which can be used in the garden and even to pour down drain pipes as a natural cleaner. Bokashi bins are perfect for indoor composting as the airtight containers create no smell and wont attract flies like a kitchen bin can.
Aquaponics is a process that has been carried out for nearly 1000 years, it refers to the cultivation of plants with aquatic animals in a recirculating system. Many people use fish, particularly tilapia and perch, in aquaponic systems. The closed nature of the system results in a build-up of fish waste. Left unchecked the water would soon become toxic to the fish, however running this nutrient rich water through a reticulated growing system allows the plants to utilise the water for their growth resulting in clean water for the fish. There are many prominent issues addressed through aquaponics, water is conserved through the recycling process, crops are grown organically, it can be coupled with present aquaculture projects to reduce waste and food miles can be reduced with the implementation of systems close to end users. The world leaders in aquaponic technology and research for the last 20 years are from The University of The Virgin Islands, they offer the opportunity to visit for aquaponic courses, details of which and information about their various project are available on their website. They have shown that crops grown in their aquaponic systems can yield 4 times more than the same crops grown in traditional fields.