Limited to our little apartment with a small balcony we are always looking for new ways to efficiently use the space to grow healthy and delicious food. Gaining more and more experience, we will hopefully have a big garden in the future and can grow lots of different plants. Until then we will experiment with different planting methods, plant families and the climate. But you would be surprised what is possible with just some small, urban place!
What are the resons for urban gardening?
Here are 5 reasons why “urban gardening” is worth all the effort we put into it:
- Healthy food that was sustainably grown
Nowadays the food that we can buy in the supermarket was grown far away (often in different countries) and transported to our local supermarket. This process leads not only to fruits and vegetables being harvested before they are ripe, they need to be grown to fit transport boxes and often get treated so they are not rotting on the way. This is not mentioning the cost and effect on our environment to have all these planes and trucks transport our food from A to B. With your own produced food, you know what went into the plant and you can directly harvest and use the food.
- You can grow what you like
Remember this amazing type of salad that you had every day on your exotic vacation or the vegetable that your grandma used to make but you seem to can´t find in any supermarket? If you have the possibility to grow your own food, there are a lot more choices than the supermarket offers. Online or in good sorted flower stores you can find almost all seeds that you can dream of. Just check how to best grow them and what care they need and you can grow a lot of food that you would normally won´t have access to. You would be surprised, how many plants can survive in your climate if they get the correct care.
- Gained experience and leaning about nature
With time you will become more efficient and knowledgeable in planting and growing your own food. But you and your family will also learn a lot about nature and how the processes work or even won´t work. It is important to know how your food is being produced and what are the steps of growing food to make informed decisions on what healthy food is and what you want to prepare for your family.
- Harvesting makes you happy
Seeing the plants that you care for growing and in the end turning them into food is a fulfilling experience that will make you happy. You and your family will appreciate the food more once you know how much work and effort went into them. The love you gave to the plants will make them taste much better and it is also a joy to give away home-made food to family and friends to share your produce.
- Home-grown food is cheaper than in the supermarket
Even if this can´t be said for all fruits and vegetables that you will grow, for most of them this will be true. Especially salads, berries and herbs are much cheaper if you plant them on your own balcony than buying them in the supermarket. Especially plants that give you continuously food over a period of a few weeks or month (such as various salad plants that you can cut and which will regrow fast and can be harvested several times in one season). Once you made an initial investment for example in pots, ground, tools and seeds, the cost of having plants is considerably lower than buying it in the supermarket.
I hope these 5 points will convince you to give your urban garden a chance and produce some of your food yourself, right where you live.