What is Urban Farming? | Greensgrow

When hearing the word ‘farm’, what image comes to mind? Is it a pastoral scene of animals grazing on a hillside? The picturesque scene of a tractor tilling the land on a warm summer day? While both of these ideas can be indeed accurate, farming can extend well beyond the traditional concept of crops and animals, especially as they call for the production of unique products and services grows.

1. Hemp Farms

As more and more areas of the world legalize the production and use of hemp, hemp farming is quickly becoming a standardized agricultural practice. As a crop, hemp and its byproducts can be used in a variety of ways, which can help a hemp farm be successful. The hemp seeds may be used in breads and cereals, whereas the hemp seed oil can be used in items from salad dressings to motor lubricants.

2. Silk Farms

Silk farming, or sericulture, is the practice of raising silkworms to produce silk. Silk farmers raise silk moths, which produce larvae to be fattened by the farmer. These fattened worms then spin cocoons, which is where the actual silk thread is created and then harvested by the skilled farmers. Because of its high value, silk fabric and its production can be a lucrative enterprise for farmers.

3. Pearl Farms

Pearl farmers cultivate freshwater pearls in a controlled environment. On a pearl farm, oysters are implanted with a foreign object such as a grain of sand. This foreign object is recognized as an irritant by the mollusk, so it begins to secrete nacre. Over time, layers and layers of nacre form around the irritant, thus creating a pearl. Nearly all of the pearls found today are farmed – or cultured – versus being harvested from oysters found in the wild.

4. Leech Farms

Most often associated with terrifying incidents at local beaches, leeches are now being farmed for medicinal purposes in Wales. Once used for blood-letting, today’s farmed leeches are most often used in microsurgery, such as the reattachment of fingers and toes, where the anticoagulant agent they inject with their bite is useful in keeping blood flowing through smaller veins.

Today’s farms aren’t limited to the traditional idea of cows, chickens and corn. Rather, farms that offer unique goods and services are in full operation around the globe, and oftentimes provide in ways the general population can’t even fathom. As the need for products increases, there is a chance that the need for unique farms to fulfill that need will increase as well.