Hartford man encourages others to start urban farming

Urban farming in Hartford
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 8:14 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - When you think of cities, you don’t typically think of farming.

But for one man in Hartford, urban farming has had a very profound impact on his life.

“It’s my getaway. It’s my meditation. This is my zen area, it’s my happy place,” said Travis Stewart.

Welcome to Travis’ backyard.

On this property in the south end of Hartford, you’ll find everything from tomatoes and kale, to herbs and even chickens and rabbits.

“My garden is a constant learning process. Every day I’m just learning new things,” said Travis.

The process of transforming his backyard into a garden and farm began with his daughter’s science project: hatching eggs with a homemade incubator.

“So now we have couple of hens in there getting eggs every day. People like my eggs,” said Travis.

As Travis’ farm was expanding, he learned his health was declining.

He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer.

“When I’m in the soil it’s just therapeutic,” Travis said.

Travis says urban farming saved his life as he went through some very difficult days. He’s now in remission and wants to encourage others to consider backyard farming.

“For the next generation, get them used to going out and putting stuff in the soil,” said Travis.

Travis considers his backyard farm to be his sanctuary.

“Think about it as you put stuff in the ground and then life springs from that,” Travis said.

He says you can start small.

“Learn at least how to grow a seed. Even that. Start there,” he said.

Now he’s working on starting a new business where he’ll help people construct gardens that fit their lifestyle.

“Start. There’s no better time to start than now,” Travis said.

If you want to learn more about backyard farming, click here.

You can find an urban farming Facebook group here.