Welcome to the Jungle


Despite all of the mounting crises we now face as a nation and as a planet, our capitalist system continues to churn out an incredible array of technological wonders which can easily stifle one’s own imagination.  Cell phones, televisions, computers and even now automobiles have been undergoing a drastic evolution; and yet, much of our lives seem relatively unaffected by the trappings of the twenty-first century.

The internet has begun to fundamentally change the way we communicate, learn and do business; but fast food still tastes like fast food and the cost of living continues to go up much faster than wages.  Luckily, more new technologies are on the way which are guaranteed to make our lives much more sustainable, cheaper and enjoyable.  They even promise to make the food we eat taste better, and be far healthier for us.

On average, produce consumed in the United States travels 1700 miles “from farm to fork.”  While this is a testament to the efficiencies of our farming, preservation and transportation industries; it is also a terrible waste of precious resources–namely, petroleum, which is also typically used in the chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides employed by profit-hungry capitalists.

There is little doubt that petroleum is largely responsible for the incredible pace of our society’s evolution thus far, just as there is little doubt that we must replace petroleum with a sustainable, ecologically responsible fuel if we wish to continue inhabiting this planet in the manner we have become accustomed to.  But if we are able to eliminate the need for this particular use of petroleum (or other fuel) in the short term, rather than waiting to find and develop a replacement for petroleum; then we will be in far better shape than we are now–on a few different levels…

In order to fully replace our imported produce with a fresh, organic and local supply we will need to build skyscrapers filled with plants and dedicated workers.  Believe it or not, some plans to do that very thing are underway in various cities throughout the world; although it will likely take ten years or more before these types of buildings are commonplace.  The good news, however, is that there are a number of technologies available right now which can be used by anyone with a little extra space and a bit of cash.

Up until recently, the “grow light” industry has been relatively small; supported mainly by those attempting to grow plants which are currently illegal.  Due to the nature of our ill-conceived prohibition, the inflated street value of certain plants has enabled a great deal of technological advances in the art of indoor gardening.  There are now a wide range of soil-less growing options and energy efficient lights to choose from–making it far easier, and cheaper for people to build their own indoor gardens–or even buy kits which come complete, in virtually any size you can imagine.

Beyond the benefits of healthier and far tastier produce, the plants themselves help to clean the air and sequester carbon–at least temporarily.  Plus, once the equipment has paid for itself there are only electricity and nutrient costs to worry about; meaning that in the long run, it is far cheaper to grow your own produce than to buy it at the supermarket.  It’s a good way to save money, help the environment and improve your health at the same time.

There are already a wide variety of manufacturers, kits, and even custom designers who have installed urban gardens all throughout the world.  Below are a few examples of what is possible, and what is practical:

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