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Vertical Farms in Urban Kenya

Around the world, arable land or land that is suitable for agriculture is dwindling. The rural-to-urban migration and growing cities of the world have constricted the capacity of the rural populations to provide food, for both urban and rural populations. At the same time, our overall world population is increasing, further compounding this problem. How do we feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050?

There has been discovery of a novel way to grow more food with less space, while promoting valuable soil through composting. In the coming years, the world population is expected to be concentrated around urban areas. This translates to increased rural-to-urban migration, essentially constraining food production in the rural areas. This makes it desirable to improve food-production methods which are tailored towards the constricted urban spaces, and which makes it possible to cost-effectively feed the growing urban population.

In Kenya, a US-based not-for-profit social enterprise called CAN YA LOVE (a question; Can You Love? pronounced as Kenya Love), is working with a consortium of local partners, to erect pillar gardens in urban areas such as slums, community land spaces and in schools.

The vertical gardens solve another problem too: Accessibility. The wonderful experience that comes with gardening and watching the cycle of life in front of your very eyes, is not always available for those with physical constraints such as, the elderly or disabled. But because the gardens come in multiple ergonomic models, they are nonetheless fully accessible and can be maintained without having to bend over, making it possible for even the disabled and elderly to tend to their home gardens without having to worry about their height. When communities come together, the most basic of needs for people around the world: water and food can be met.

The organization is dedicated to helping create the greenest and most sustainable communities in the world by educating people on how to create space and water efficient gardening systems to grow organic food to feed themselves and their community. In addition to this, it targets historically-disadvantaged groups such as at-risk youth, slum-dwellers, the disabled, and elderly.

Blaine O'Neill/Greensgrow Farm Philadelphia

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