Parking-lot agriculture – Panama
This is a small, meter by 3 meter patch of vegetation that I planted about a year ago. First a thick layer of concrete had to be removed (the primary function of the space is as a parking lot). Underneath the concrete I encountered an ancient layer of fill; a heavy clay mud strewn with clay rocks, sandstone, and pockets of looser sandy soil. I dug relatively deep holes, backfilled with locally available leaf biomass, compost, and black soil mixed fifty percent with existing substrate, which was full of old, crushed coral and fragments of shells.
In the photo below you see torch ginger, galangal, chaya, bele, katuk, fruiting bilimbi, night blooming jasmine, anamu, a young jackfruit, butterfly pea, and a dead passion fruit vine (freshly killed by some wayward vandal). The area received no irrigation throughout the five-month dry season.
All things considered, and taking into account that I took this photo at the very end of the dry season (today), the plants are doing quite well. This photo depicts a mere ten out of thousands of potential species that could thrive in a similar urban or suburban environment. I think more concrete slabs should be torn out of cities and replaced with useful plant and trees.