The urban chicken movement was big in the early 2000s and saw people trying to reclaim their pastoral roots by keeping hens in their gardens. The shine has since gone off this trend, as people realised that keeping livestock was best kept to the professionals, but in its place we’ve seen new, more realistic agricultural aspirations emerge.
There is a global social trend towards people finding ways to make themselves self-sufficient, and that often starts with growing the food they eat. For most urban and suburban dwellers, however, this is easier said than done, as space is typically at a premium. That’s why designers are relooking the traditional kitchen garden through objects like vertical, hanging and table top planters. The Pikaplant “Tableau” planter is a great example of this, having gone from a Kickstarter favourite to standout design at Milan Design Week.
Locally, this same spirit is being seen in home gardening projects. Mike Bird, from Own Grown, a Cape Town-based urban garden company, believes that this trend is driven by a desire people have to “close the loop” on the systems within their home. “Food gardens are an entry point into this” he says as they help people to make practical use of their gardens while reducing waste.
This trend will be one that only becomes more prominent in years to come. People are seeking to make better use of their space whether out of a desire for sustainability or economy, so brands and designers that are able to speak to this are the ones that will win.
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Words: Chris Reid