You cannot really have an animal farm in the city.
But you can grow your own crops anywhere, even on your windowsill.

Break capitalism's spine.

Go .

@charlag When vegan options are a lot more expensive than your average "meaty" diet, that's not really an option.

To grow the calories for a small family, you need around one acre of land, and that *includes* animal husbandry (see - and even then it's not 100% self-sufficient and leads to a life in poverty, always dependant on the good weather...

To produce enough for subsidience on a windowsill is unrealistic.

@charlag I wish it was easier, though. I'm trying to cut back on meat - but that means less convinient food, less "freezeable" options, more frequent trips to the supermarket - and less calories/Euro, a metric that may be relevant if you want to feed a family.

@maho of course that's oversimplification.
But local farming is much, much easier when it's vegetables imo

Maybe it depends on a place but here I don't feel like meat substitutes are more expensive. The only thing that's more expensive is plant milks and derivatives and it's getting better too.

Don't forget that animal industry is am established industry and usually has state support despite environment.

Getting calories directly is still more efficient.

@maho I don't say that it's immediately cheaper of easier to go vegan - there would be more of us. But it's easier every year.

And you need a lot of land for meat.

All I say is that getting self-sustainable is easier without meat. At least for local farming.


one of the points of the text one linked is that animal husbandry is necessary for fertilizing, unless you are willing to put lots and lots of chemical fertilizer on the land... I'm by no means am agricultural effort, but that does make sense to me...

also, their one acre situation does that the land use doesn't really have to be that much of a problem in meat production...

@charlag again, I'm cutting back on my meat consumption, mostly for health reasons. but if something costs more, doing it is supporting capitalism, not fighting it...

@charlag You don't even need to be vegan - your own grown food just tastes better!

@charlag I forget where I first saw this, but there's a thing now called "grow towers". There are lots of examples on the web

Basically, it's a way to maximize growing area in a smaller space. Instead of farming out horizontally, you plant vertically in large diameter PVC pipe (6"-10") and feed them via hydroponics

It's very efficient and I think I'd like to try something on my balcony. Starting with leafy greens

@charlag Here's an example on a New York City rooftop. They're growing strawberries on one of the most densely packed areas

That's a lot of growing area in a relatively small space

@cypnk @charlag

100g of strawberries are about 33 calories. let's be optimistic and say one of these pillars yields about 5kg of strawberries a year... that's about the lower end of the necessitated calorie intake for one human being... for a day. you now need either 365 of these per person, taking away a lot of space, or you need a better crop.

not mentioning having strawberries that he in cities with air pollution every day can't be healthy...

@maho @cypnk hey, sorry for this little propaganda but I think you're missing the point

We're not trying to make you eat only strawberries.
And you can grow things besides strawberries in vertical farms.
And I didn't say that everyone should stop buying things today and grown their own.

I just said that there are more chances to grow crops in different areas and do it locally than farm animals in the same conditions.

@charlag @cypnk

Am I, though?

Strawberries are relatively calorie-rich as compared to other crops, especially if you consider that these calories don't come from out of nowhere, they are transformed matter that at least partially is not naturally replenished if you harvest (think: soil).

Home #gardening is great as a #hobby ... but from a mere energy balance sheet point of view, it's just that: a hobby, costing more than you yield, especially if you do not have farming's economy of scales.

@maho @charlag This is just one example, but the concept is what's interesting. This also minimizes water usage. Any leafy green would work just as well

The pollution issue isn't local to just New York, but it gives access to food options that otherwise have to be shipped in (adding to pollution). A lot of absorbed pollution comes form soil

Building roofs are ideal for this since it's an otherwise unused space that contributes to building heating in the Summer

@cypnk @maho @charlag Hmm. Can we genetically engineer plants to grow on rooftops, absorb pollution and maybe reprocess it into something less harmful and also useful? :thaenkin:

@Angle @cypnk @maho we're still kinda super bad at this but maybe you're talking about Ivy which can grown on the walls?

@charlag @maho Well, maybe. That was mostly a joke, but alswo scroll up the thread and look at @cypnk 's cool pic. XD

@Angle @charlag I think this is possible now, but not for plants. Certain algae can be easily tweaked to do this. In fact, it's also one way to absorb CO2 in bulk from the atmosphere and even generate Hydrogen

Same principle:
You use clear tubes instead of opaque PVC and feed nutrients from the top. There's an air agitator feed on the bottom with a pump that runs on solar power+battery

@cypnk @charlag

About the shipping and pollution thing: I prefer my pollution spread as far as thing as possible as compared to concentrated in a strawberry inside my body.

If you want to use greenery to combat pollution, ivy, ferns and mosses on rwork fine and do not pose a risk to human health as they are not edibles.

@maho @charlag

In New York, where these towers are now used, there are many families that have to have their produce brought in by trucks. There was already a law passed that banned private vehicles in certain areas of the City so we're already getting rid of airborne pollution little by little. If we utilized unused roof space for our produce, that's an added incentive to reduce delivery trucks too

This is a good first step. Let's not discard an idea because it's not perfect in its infancy

@cypnk @charlag

I'm just pointing out that the math behind this idea does not work for *one* human being and is certainly not scalable for 8.5 million of them.

It's a bit like that "self-filling water bottle" or the "solar roadway" ideas - sounds cool, looks cool, but doesn't work in reality (and mathematically, it *cannot* work).

We need to concentrate efforts to making trucks less polluting and take out those who aren't. - that's something that *can* be done.

@cypnk @charlag

Other options would be to make more calorie-dense food (which is why we started consuming meat to begin with) so we have less truckloads, or abandoning huge population centers like NYC and have villages who have access to actual farmland so transportation and thus pollution cost is low.

@maho @charlag For most people living in the city, moving isn't an option due to the financial strain and institutional pressures

Algae is already being farmed in a similar way and they can be calorie-dense. Also, they can quickly achieve mass-per-protein content parity with meat. Adding fatty acids is the next step

These things take time and decentralization of food, like electricity, is in the right direction

@animeirl @charlag Really is! Later on, I'd like to experiment with some plants of my own

@animeirl @charlag Ah yes, that's Aquaponics. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to do that. Some people use 55 gallon drums to grow pet fish and filter the water through plants

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