Recently I came across the company “Green Living Technologies International” or GLTi, that proclaims themselves as the global leader in green walls. Prior to stumbling on this site, I was unaware of what a green wall is. In fact, there are green walls, green roofs, and urban farms (as displayed below in this order).
Green walls are commonly found indoors and are situated on a ninety degree angle by either being wall-mounted or free-standing. Green roofs are commonly used on flat residential or flat roofs of corporate businesses. Urban farms can be used in a variety of locations including indoors and outdoors.
To the left, you see a mobile edible wall unit. This vertical farm is manufactured in two different styles: wall-mounted or with wheels to allow mobility. In terms of the locavore movement, this product offers a “zero miles” aspect from farm to dinner table. The ability to grow fresh fruits and vegetables indoors or outdoors on your own property is quite miraculous. Irrigation for your vertical farm is offered in two different methods. Manual irrigation is accomplished by adding water to the dripping reservoir that is located at the top of the unit, or the option of metered and automatic irrigation is available for larger commercial growers.
Thus far I have only discussed these commercial items. Looking at these edible walls, the most sustainable method would rather be to build them yourself by using natural and local resources. In fact, building a very similar green wall as the ones above is not overly difficult. The list of required materials is as follows: coco matting (found at your local garden center), a spray bottle of water, a sharpened knife, your choice of fruit or vegetable, and the corresponding soil. If you have a fence in your back yard, the edible walls can be staggered among it and hung with zip-ties. Otherwise, a spare pallet could also suffice. Cutting slits in the coco matting allows pockets for the soil to go into. After this you must simply plant your desired food source and water them regularly. The video embedded below follows these guidelines (although it discusses growing plants, but the same concept is applied for a food source).
These edible walls offer sustainability in almost any location. The locavore movement has certainly caught on to consumers and businesses over the past few years. With this eco-friendly mind-state, the edible wall is most certainly a viable option for your own personal farming. As long as you have ample lighting (via grow lights or consistent sunshine), your edible wall does not have to be limited strictly to the outdoors; using them inside is also an option. Just because your urban house or apartment doesn’t have an outdoor yard, doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own food supply (or at least some of it).