SYM: Symbiotic Urban Farming System
Published in "Reinventing the Chicken Coop" by Storey Publishing
2nd Place: IDSA's Digging Deeper Competition
What started as a concept for more efficient urban farming, SYM won 2nd place in San Francisco's Digging Deeper competition, and was recently built as part of a forthcoming book by Storey Publishing on chicken coop design. The basic concept is a system of 4’ x 4’ modules that enable easy, efficient, and local production of food, where space is a luxury, and passion for sustainable farming is rampant: namely San Francisco.
There are 6 basic elements to play with, including a chicken coop, chicken run, water collection unit, greenhouse, cold frame, and compost bin. Combining these elements together create symbiotic relationships with each other when connected.
For example: When the chicken coop is connected to a compost element below, and a greenhouse on one side, the chickens are kept warm by the greenhouse, fertilize the compost with their manure (which also produces heat), can be fed with red worms, weeds and insects that propogate in the compost, which produce a more nutritious egg for you to eat, along with rich and vital compost to grow more veggies with in the greenhouse, which also produces food year-round.
The facility of the system and foolproof nature of its elements create an easy “in” for anyone wondering how they could possibly sustain themselves in the big city. SYM can also be scaled for use in schools for education, communities for intensive production, or just the confines of your own urban backyard for gratifying and personally rewarding results.