Agriscaping for Sustainable Development
The novel challenges of sustainable development require innovative solutions that redesign and redefine our cities. It is very important, but also very challenging, for business and civil leaders to balance the need for long-term sustainability with their desire to grow and expand. One solution, called ‘Agriscaping’, blends sustainable agriculture – particularly food – with traditional landscaping in urban areas.
Agriscaping is a type of urban agriculture; sustainable agriculture done in areas other than dedicated farmland, like rooftops and vacant lots.
Most notably, Agriscaping includes more unconventional locations for growing food, like at apartment buildings and office spaces. It is particularly useful in areas with low access to fresh produce.
Methods of Agriscaping
Agriscaping simply brings the best practices of sustainable agriculture out of the farms and into urban landscaping, where food is not usually grown.
Fruit trees are a favorite of edible landscape projects, as the produce is generally kept above the ground and away from potential litter. Produce options will depend on local climate conditions.
Landscaping in general can be made more sustainable through simple changes that may often save money – like replacing weed killer with an organic treatment made with vinegar and using efficient irrigation methods. To learn more about sustainable landscaping, check out this sustainability guide for landscaping and lawncare.
Benefits of Agriscaping
The immediate benefit of Agriscaping is in its potential to make an urban space look beautiful. Growing food in the outdoor spaces of an office space, for example, can also give the building a more communal feel.
Agriscaping culminates in fresh produce, which can be sold at a farmer’s market, enjoyed by the owners, or even shared with the people who live or work in the buildings where the produce is grown.
Although it is not yet a widely employed concept, businesses and nonprofits have begun to spring up to fill the demand for Agriscaping projects. The Tiger Mountain Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona is one such firm that manages sustainable-edible landscaping projects in residential and commercial properties.
While it is far from being the norm, Agriscaping is a great way to make your space work for you in a sustainable way.