By the third week of term, University of Minnesota students are beginning to settle into their new classes, walking patterns and, for many people, new living spaces. The annual campus poster sale took place last week, providing many colorful alternatives to the blank white wall. However, while some students cover their walls with posters and pictures, one area often gets left untouched — windowsills.
Windowsills offer students the perfect opportunity to start their very own urban farm, taking advantage of the abundance of sunlight in this location that is often left unused.
Urban farming has been gaining momentum as a movement to contribute to food safety and security by increasing the amount of food available to people living in urban settings and by providing fresh, high-quality produce. It also helps return the connection between people and the food they eat. This connection is often lost because of
people’s distance from their food sources and the food’s processing time.
This summer, I spent a month working on a farm. I learned the immense satisfaction of harvesting the vegetables I grew from seeds. I gained the empowerment of knowing exactly where my food was coming from and what I was putting into it.
Though it’s far outside the means of most students to begin an entire farm, growing a single head of lettuce or a mini herb garden gives the opportunity to contribute to and become a part of this urban farming movement. Even growing a single plant lets you connect a little more with your food.
Winter is the perfect time to grow leafy greens (like spinach, lettuce and kale), so as you’re decorating, don’t forget about the space on the windowsill — and don’t be afraid to add a little green to your room.