Rochdale Rotary Club
Rochdale Masonic Buildings
Richard Street
OL11 1DU


NOTE. All Figure references e.g. FIG 6 refer to the photographs in the UrbanFarm Application Manual.

You MUST read the manual carefully before starting your survey.


  2. Look to see if any of the following are available:

    1.1 - Plastic Supermarket carrier bags (See FIG 6 & 7)

    1.2 - Old cement bags, but not paper (See FIG 5)

    1.3 - Any locally available jute or canvas bags

    1.4 - Waste cloth sewn to make a bag (See FIG 9)

    1.5 - If you use cloth bags as in 1.4 and you are short of water, place a thin plastic bag or flat plastic sheet moulded to the shape of the cloth bag inside. This will help to minimise water loss.

    1.6 - Plastic tube or material sewn into a tube shape (See FIG 2)

    1.7 - Remember if you only have a very small area for your UrbanFarm, the size of the bag and the way you fix them will restrict how many bags may be used in any one location so choose carefully.


  4. 2.1 - If the site is likely to flood see if you can mount the bags above the height of normal levels of flood.

    2.2 - If a regular and predictable flood comes from sea water, and the land will remain contaminated for a long period after, consider storing bags, compost and seed. This will act as disaster relief allowing conventional farmers to set up temporary UrbanFarms until their land is fit to use again.

    2.3 - If there are grazing animals try to fix the bags above the height they can reach.

    2.4 - If children or disabled people will farm the bags, fix the height of the bag so they can reach them.


  6. 3.1 - Look for walls or fences to hang the bags from (See FIG 1 & 3).

    3.2 - If fixing bags to walls or fences try to select the location for how much sun and shade you want on the bags.

    3.3 - Look for trees that can be used to hang the bags from.

    3.3.1 - Bags may be hung from branches of the tree (See FIG 4).

    3.3.2 - Bags may be hung from rope/s or line/s tied around a tree trunk.

    3.3.3 - Bags may be hung from a rope or line/s tied between two or more trees.

    3.3.4 - To increase crop yield, more than one line can be fixed in parallel between two trees but make sure you can safely reach the highest line of bags. This idea is similar to FIG 5 but using line or rope between trees instead of bamboo between stakes.

    3.3.5 - Finally if nothing seems to be easily available on site, look for anything that can be adapted to carry the bags for example an abandoned or derelict building or a scrap car. Your imagination will always help you to find an answer.

    3.4 - CARRIER FRAMES. You may have to use frames if you have no trees, fences or walls at your UrbanFarm site that you can use. If you have concrete, flags, stony or contaminated land or a solid concrete roof that is strong enough to carry the weight of a large number of growing bags these areas can be used but you will need to make frames.

    3.4.1 - If you have no old wood that can be recycled to make frames and you have to buy wood then beware, this will be the most expensive of all the options.

    3.4.2 - If you have soft ground, the simplest frame will be two stakes driven into the ground with a cross piece length of wood between the stakes. The longer the cross piece the more stakes will be needed. This will look the same shape as football goal posts. The bags can be fixed to the cross piece perhaps in two rows, one on either side of the cross piece.

    3.4.3 - If you have only a hard surface available you will need a full frame with a base similar to FIG 7.


  8. 4.1 - See what is available on site or close to your site.

    4.2 - If fixing bags to walls or fences try to select the location for how much sun and shade you want on the bags.

    4.3 - If you have to buy compost to start the project, encourage your UrbanFarmers to make their own compost. This will help promote future expansion by your UrbanFarmers.

    4.4 - See if there are enough UrbanFarmers to have a collective self-help compost making service.


  10. 5.1 - If the sun will be too hot for the crop, consider supplying flattened cardboard boxes, dark plastic or old material to hang over the bags during the hottest time of the day. Metal drink or food tin cans may be cut open, flattened and joined together to make sun or rain shields.

    5.2 - If heavy or monsoon rains are likely look for simple clips such as washing pegs or strong paper grips to hold the bags closed during rainy spells or try any of the ideas in 5.1 above.


  12. 6.1 - Consider if there are enough people on site to form a self-help group.

    6.2 - Prioritise growing enough food so the people have enough to eat.

    6.3 - If you have the space to add more bags, think about the future possibility of growing more food, possibly high value crops, so that some may be sold.

    6.4 - If there is only a very small space in which to place your bags, consider growing high value crops to sell, then use the profits to buy basic foods.

    6.5 - Think about high value crops such as chilies, strawberries or any others that are expensive to buy in your local market.