Sembradores Urbanos

Uploaded by comuntierra on 02.11.2010

Común Tierra presents…
Sembradores Urbanos (Urban Growers)
Growing food in Mexico City
Hi, what’s up? My name is Lily, I am one of the co-directors of the
project “Sembradores Urbanos" and we are here in Romero, Mexico City,
in the middle of the city. Our organization is dedicated to
transforming waste into fertile soil, profit, and healthy food.
Here in the Federal District of Mexico we produce 20 tons of garbage every day,
and 40% of it comes straight from residences, that is, comes from private homes,
and of that 40%, up to 60% is organic material.
So we work with the public about what they can do with it.
Instead of throwing the organic materials away, we take it and create a resource,
convert it into compost, convert it into worm castings.
A lot of our work is to open up people’s imagination, but in concrete terms,
in tangible terms, in terms of food, enhancing the home space, beautifying it.
So we are beautifying our homes in a way that also recycles,
we are also producing food
and we are facilitating interactions between people.
Urban Farming Techniques Hydroponics
This is a technique called hydroponics; it’s a system of re-circulating solution.
So how it works is simple: here in this bucket we have a pump
that is submerged in the water, it’s a simple pump that is easy to find, and pretty cheap,
and the water is pumped up here through this tube and then is released, and the tubes are setup at an angle
of 2%. So the solution and irrigating water are pulled down by gravity
down to the bottom, and then up again.
This system has the obvious advantage that you can grow on any surface
ie a vertical space. This system here is one square vertical meter,
which can grow up to 25 plants. This setup uses 90% less water than a normally
irrigated garden bed, because it has no soil, you can see,
we’ll take one out … its roots are permanently suspended in the solution in the tube.
So this system does not use soil, which here in the city is a major issue:
does the soil come from? When we buy soil,
it’s usually coming from the land around the city, and this contributes to soil erosion
in those places, so it is a very complex problem.
Self-Irrigating Planter
Here we have another system that is a self-irrigating planter. This is a system
where the legs are hollow ... so when you water your plants as normally, any extra water is
retained here in the feet, which then seeps up through the soil to irrigate from below.
This technique is really suited for the city, where we have an accelerated life,
and most of us are not just farmers. Most urban growers
are people that have a garden or grow food, but during the day they work
in a bank, or in a food stand, selling something on the street, or are busy
taking care of the family, so urban agriculture in its design
requires a greater consideration of the lifestyles and schedules of the people.
Seed Balls
These are called seed balls, they are little balls made from clay,
compost and seeds. So this is all mixed together, and then you form these balls,
and when the mud dries you can toss it anywhere and it’s ready to grow
because it already has the dirt, fertilizer and seeds that are mostly pioneer species, which are
basically plants that have deep roots, and that nourish and condition the soil. So for example there are clovers,
are clovers, alfalfa, different legume species, and other flowers like zinnias...
The idea is to beautify and restore the urban soil and environment.
Other techniques:
Bio-Intensive Gardening
Vertical Gardens
Living Roofs
Everything is possible, there are many ways to live in the city, and we can live better
and more efficiently, more productively. And we can live in a way that in the
long run we're creating a city that make us proud to live here, knowing we are
innovating in one of the largest cities in the world.