Many city-dwellers might think their backyard isn’t an ideal spot for a garden, but a new venture is out to transforms yards throughout Columbus into thriving vegetable gardens.
Owner Nicholas Tebbe says, “Raised Urban provides an effortless way for those who take interest in urban gardening but don’t have the time or the means to do the laborious startups associated with it.”
Raised Urban takes care of the entire process of starting an urban garden, from building the beds to planting the first round of crops. The raised beds protect the plants, extend the growing season and allow gardeners to use premium soil that might be better than the native soil from the area.
We recently asked Tebbe about Raised Urban and what more individual gardens means for local agriculture.
Q: Tell us about your background as it relates to Raised Urban and how you came up with the concept.
My background as it relates to Raised Urban is completely new and founded in my passion to eat right. I don’t mean eating right in the dietary sense of counting calories, but in the sense of understanding the environmental and health benefits of eating minimally-processed, whole foods. I’ve found the hardest part about eating right is that our current food system does not include very many local food sources, and if they do it sometimes comes with a pretty hefty cost.
This past year we had a discussion of what we would like to do with the back yard. Maintaining the grass and flowers just seemed like such a chore. A new in-ground swimming pool was at the top of the list. However, after a little debating, transforming the whole yard into a raised urban garden seemed to be the one sustainable option. It seemed a little crazy at first, but we knew it was the right thing for us. While Columbus has multiple farmers markets and organic food sections in our groceries, that alone was not a good enough reason for why I was not growing my own food. A home garden is something most people my generation and up had some experience with, but we have left that behind as we searched for career advancements and enjoyed the luxury of affordable, accessible food. After doing some research, if we did the raised beds right, the hardest part would only be the initial setup of the garden.
After completing our raised garden I discovered that there were many people interested in what we were doing. I also found a whole community of urban gardeners hidden behind all those 7-foot fences right in my own neighborhood. I was very excited that people were interested in what we did and why. That is why I created Raised Urban; I want everyone to start their own garden, big or small, and if they don’t want to do it I will build it for them.
Q: How can someone get started with Raised Urban?
Give us a call or visit us online. We will discuss what it is you are looking for and help plan a garden that’s right for you. We will discuss things such as how large to make the garden and make plans for future expansion for your growing garden. We will also help pick out your first crops that will be planted by us during your install. After that, we do all the hard work and you are just left with enjoying your new garden.
Q: What kind of produce will thrive in Columbus?
Ohio provides a great climate for many planting options through most of the moderate weather months. Some of the more popular regional items include a variety of tomatoes, green beens, basil, rosemary, zucchini, broccoli, kale, cabbage, asparagus and peppers. There are many to choose from, but I always recommend that people grow what they love to eat.
Q: What trends are you seeing in regards to local agriculture. What has the local reception been like?
I see raised bed gardening as the beginnings of a whole foods revival. First was the”choose organic campaign, and now we are in the upswing of buy local and avoid big agriculture. I think home growing is just the next natural progression for all of us to start eating healthy again. Home gardening also gives us the opportunity to share and connect with our neighbors. I am always excited to share what I’ve learned along the way, and I also love sharing the food that grows right out of my very own back yard. I look forward to doing my part by helping those who want get started on their own path to eating healthy, organic foods right from their own yards.
Q: What’s next for Raised Urban?
Eventually, I would like to see Raised Urban not only help the home gardener get established, but provide multiple resources for a more self-sustainable urban homestead. This would include irrigation systems, rainwater catchment systems, gardening supplies and small chicken coops.
For more information visit raisedurban.com.