What Is Urban Farming?

What Is Urban Farming? Arizona

Urban farming is a large movement to integrate the raising of crops and animals into our urban city settings. This can happen directly in these areas, or nearby at the edges of our cities. Urban farming is also a specific organization that is dedicated to encouraging people to get involved in urban environments to help create more food.

At nearly every food conference these days you will find people who are speaking out about converting unused space into productive agricultural areas that can help provide more food and nutritional education for people living in the cities. There are literally thousands of sites that are dedicated to the idea of urban agriculture. Gardeners aren’t the only people interested in this movement, city planners, environmentalists, community groups, and individuals are focuses on the initiative.

How Does It Help?

We have all heard the stories about how eating healthy costs more than running out for fast food.  This makes getting the right amount of fresh vegetables and fruits costly and impossible for some people. Urban agriculture is different from commercial agriculture in the spirit of its purpose. As a society who is largely made up of capitalism ventures are undertaken many times expressly for gain and profit.

Urban agriculture differs drastically in this aspect. While the tasks, produce, and other products are similar to what is produced by commercial agriculture, urban farming focuses on the production to support our own families and share with those in need.

How To Get Started

One of the greatest things about urban agriculture is that you don’t have to be a corporation to get started. It can be as simple as a group of friends, a community, or even a neighborhood group can get a urban farm started and care for it.

Picking A Site

If there is unused land or under used land in your area, petitions can be made to local government. The areas that are popular for starting urban agriculture can be places where housing has been demolished, retail areas that are no longer in use, landfills, or even rooftops. Some areas are even sectioning of some of their park areas for the growing of food for the community to use instead of relying entirely on commercial growers.

Choosing What To Do With The Crops

If it is a individual or group of friends it is common for the fruits of these labors to be consumed directly by the urban farmers. If the project is big enough and zoning allows the produce can be sold at local farmers markets or local restaurants. With the money that is made improvements can be made to the farm, better tools can be purchased, or the funds can be donated to charities in your local area. Many urban farming projects choose to donate some or all of their work to local soup kitchens, shelters, or church organizations that will use the food for the support of the needy.

Deciding On What To Grow

This is where democracy is preferable. Depending on how big and who is involved a list of common vegetables and fruits that grow well in your area should be discussed. Based on interest and nutritional value area should be sectioned off to grow the proportionate amount of the most important items.

If zoning allows urban farmers can also choose to discuss which types of animals will be raised as part of the project. Many people like having chickens to supplement their need for eggs. Not only are they a good source of protein but if done right many eggs can be produced with a modest amount of laying hens.

Urban Farming Supply Nurseries

A&P Nursery has all the tools, knowledge, seeds, and plants your urban farming project might need. We can help you get your project started with expert advice and friendly service. Stop by one of our 4 locations in the east valley or give us a call to get started.

Arizona Gardening Calendar


National gardening calendars are general calendars which cover the average climates in the United States. In Phoenix we have more heat, and longer growing seasons so these calendars are not adequate to help Southern Arizona Gardeners. We will start with January and work through each month to show how local gardeners can get the most out of their gardens.

January Gardening

Phoenix winters are short and usually only last for the month of January. There are various activities that should be done in January depending on your garden and your landscape. It is a good time to get your bulbs in the ground, take care of spraying dormant shrubs, and prune your deciduous fruit trees and rosebushes. It’s also time to prune other bushes and trees, and is your last opportunity to get your bare root shrubs or trees in the ground. It is also the time of year where frost is most common, so keeping an eye on weather reports and taking steps to protect plants is to your advantage.

January Planting

January is a good time to get your carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radishes and potatoes in the ground. In addition any bare root plants like strawberries or asparagus should be planted in January.

It is also time to get a lot of your flowers in the ground. Things like your Daises, Poppies, Petunias, Snapdragons, Sweet peas should go in the ground in January in the Phoenix area.

February Gardening

While frost is still a concern till about mid February you want to get your plants in the ground as soon as it is reasonably safe. The spring growing cycle is short and needs to have time to mature before the punishing heats of summer. It’s critical to give your trees and plants time to become established before the daytime temperatures go above, and stay above 100 degrees for weeks on end.

It is also the time to finish any pruning you need to do on your deciduous trees and rose bushes. It is a good time to take steps to control weeds with herbicides that control the growth of weeds before they even begin to develop.

February Planting

This is the month to do your spring planting in southern Arizona. Frosts usually end around the 15th of February and it is a good time to get your frost sensitive plants into the ground to get the most out of the initial growing season. It is still possible to drop your annuals and perennials in the ground to get that beautiful floral effect in your Arizona garden. This is also the time of year to start fertilizing your trees and plants, and start keeping track of what is getting which fertilizer, when, and how much.

Veggies to get in the ground in February include beets, beans, carrots, corn, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, summer squash and tomatoes. You still have time to get your radishes, potatoes in the ground. This is also the time to get your watermelon and cantaloupe melons in the ground.

March Gardening

March is a good time to start ensuring your watering system is ready for summer. It is still cool enough to do some work if you need to work on some pipes, sprinkler heads, or drip lines. It is time to test your timers and make sure that everything is working so you are not panicking and having to use hose watering during the hotter part of the year. In addition it is important to control any weeds that might have been missed by your February herbicide treatments, get them while they are small. March overlaps the spring and summer planting season.

March Planting

Many flowers call to be planted in March that includes Marigolds, Petunias, Sunflowers and more.

March is still a good month to get your vegetable garden going and includes all of the same veggies that were suggested in the February. In addition March is a good time to plant winter squash and beets.


Stay tuned for more information on monthly gardening projects and what to plant.

Fall Vegetable Gardening In Arizona


Vegetable gardening is a great hobby, a way to save money on groceries, and the best way to get fresh produce into your home. Good advice on how to garden and when to plant your fruits and vegetables depends on regionally specific information, as you wouldn’t want to use tips that only work in Maine in your Arizona garden. Each region has different types of soil and different months that are best for planting certain types of vegetables. So this is our fall vegetable Gardening In Arizona guide.

Vegetables To Plant In Fall

These are the best vegetables that you can plant in your garden in the fall and some of their main benefits and uses. Make sure to mark in your calendar when you plant and when the harvest should be to keep track of your vegetable garden.

Planting Bok Choy – This vegetable has about a 45 day to harvest time.  Originally from China it has been used extensively in culinary purposes, and even has medicinal value. It is used widely in soups and salads to add a nice crunch and flavor. It is also one of the main ingredients in Kimchee, a Korean favorite.

Planting Broccoli – Broccoli seeds take about 125 days to be ready for harvest. Broccoli is native and used to grow wild along the Mediterranean. Commercial cultivation started in the United States in the 1920’s. Broccoli is a staple of so many Arizona dinner tables because of it’s amazing nutritional value. It has nearly the same calcium content as whole milk and double the vitamin C as an orange.

Brussels Sprouts – Brussles Sprouts take about 140 days to be ready for you to harvest. Not surprisingly this vegetable was named after the city Brussels. It is a miniature cabbage and it is thought that cultivation started in Italy during the rule of the Roman Empire. Brussles sprouts are jam packed with a variety of vitamins. Vitamin K is one of the most abundant vitamins in Brussels sprouts. It is also a great source for Vitamin C, A and B6. It also contains potassium, thiamin, foliate, and more. It is great for helping to control blood pressure and heart rate.

Cabbage – Another vegetable that has its roots near the Mediterranean cabbage is a favorite for lots of Phoenix dining tables. Eating cabbage raw, or just cooked shortly helps preserve the many nutrients. The wide variety and concentration of nutrients in cabbage has been found to protect against several types of cancer. It also helps fight bad cholesterol levels which can help prevent heart disease.

Carrots – Everyone knows that carrots are good for you and are just about the greatest thing in the world with some ranch dip. They have been grown in just about every area of the world, so your garden should be the perfect spot. Everyone knows that carrots are good for your eyes, but it can also help in stroke prevention.

More Great Fall Vegetables For Your Arizona Garden

There are a lot of vegetables that need to go in the ground in the fall in Arizona. They all have different times that are approximate for harvest. Information is available on each of the seed packets or transplant tags.

  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Turnips


Phoenix Valley Gardening Nursery

If you live in the East Valley of Phoenix or simply want to talk to the experts and get the best seeds and plants for your Arizona garden A&P Nursery has you covered with 4 locations in Mesa, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, Arizona. We have the tools, knowledge, and even ties to professional landscaping companies that will make starting and maintaining your garden easy.  Call or visit one of our 4 locations today.