Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Micro-farm

   I haven't biking much this month.  Took the month off because I had a balance on my Metrocard that needed to be used.  I use the Wageworks system that replaced Transitchek for city employees, except that I give the card to my wife to use.  She works for the NYC Dept. of Education and does not use it in the Summer, so I have extra months that are deducted from my pay that she cannot use.  I saved them for the inclement weather months like February and early March.  I anticipate cycling again this coming Monday.  Meanwhile, I continue cooking and planting, which I consider consistent with bicycle commuting.  In short, a life of simplicity and sustainability.

   My latest effort has been the use of a 10 gallon aquarium as a mini-indoor farm.  Okay it is quite the micro-farm, but I call it such because I am using to grow food--lettuce in particular.  I think the future of farming is not only urban, but indoors.  Rooftops are not enough for viable urban farming, though I do like the idea.  I took the aquarium and taped white computer paper to three sides to serve as reflectors (I lay sheets of paper overhead also to reflect the light downwards as well.).  I place the whole thing by the window to take advantage of whatever light I get, which isn't very much--I face Northwest.  I placed recycled plastic strawberry containers with soil and compost from my worm bin inside and placed two compact fluorescent bulbs overhead.  The are daylight bulbs in the 20W range.  I planted the lettuce seeds and they've grown quite nicely.  I got a very full bowl of salad from my first harvest, which took about three weeks.  I was, I must say, impressed, especially since, while I had hopes, I didn't really know what to expect. 

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