Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apartment Living Doesn't Limit Your Ability To Grow Your Own Food

Between the price of food skyrocketing, the interest in fresh food that actually tastes like I expect it should, and continuing scares of salmonella in tomatoes, I have been looking into gardening options. For those that live in a house, it may be a challenge if you're not into yard work, but for those of us that live in apartments it provides a lot more challenges.

Inspired by a posting on Wisebread by Linsey Knerl called "The Ultimate Green Workout," I began to examine ways to supplement my food budget. When I had a deck it was easy. I'd invest in large planters and grow cherry tomatoes, herbs, and peas. Hanging baskets are great for cucumbers and zucchini.

Today, I have a bigger challenge. I have no outside space and no deck or patio. So with determination I began to brainstorm ideas.
  • Look into Community Gardens. For a small fee you can "rent" a small plot to plant.
  • Family members and friends are often in need of help in the yard. Consider a labor swap for gardening benefits.
  • Talk to landlord about planting an edible landscape. It's environmentally friendly to utilize garden space for food rather than high maintenance lawns or shrubbery.
  • Check out Gleaning. Gleaning has a long tradition in farming communities where groups go out into fields after the crop has been picked to pick remaining produce that was missed. You can find information on Gleaning groups on-line, at local food banks, and Granges.

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