Growing Your Own Food: How to Get Started

mike-lieberman-organic-urban-gardenerWhen I was asked by Mrs. Green to contribute a post to Little Green Blog I was honored and immediately knew what I was going to write about – starting to grow your own food.

Some of you might think that you can’t grow your own food because you don’t the space or any experience. If you want to eat healthy and avoid the chemicals and nasty pesticides, then growing your own food is a sure fire way to do so.

You have my guarantee that you don’t need a huge yard or fancy degree to grow your own food because I didn’t either when I created my fire escape garden in NYC back in 2009.

I’m sure that you have more space than that!

The following posts are from my own personal experience. Not only have I used them, but readers of my site have successfully used them too.

If you’ve read gardening books and web sites, you were likely confused and overwhelmed. I know that I was and still am.  The information provided is straight and to the point.

You will be given simple to read and follow instructions. I’m about giving practical advice. Not showing off my vocabulary.

Here are some articles to get you started:

7 location ideas for Apartment and Urban Gardens

As I stated earlier, you have more space than I did when I started.

In this post, I share 7 ideas to help get you thinking about your space differently.

How to determine the amount of sunlight your garden gets

You want to grow tomatoes. Everyone wants to grow tomatoes when they start growing their own food.

If you only get 3 hours of sunlight and attempt to grow tomatoes, it isn’t going to work too well.

This post will help you to easily determine how much sun you get and allow you to make the proper choices of what to buy.

Questions to ask yourself when deciding what to grow

Now that you know the location and how much sunlight your space gets, you are going to need to figure out what you can grow.

You might be able to grow caulilfower, but that doesn’t mean you should.

By answering the questions in that post, you will have a clearer picture as to what you should grow.

You are all about living green and healthy living, so you are going to want to support companies that have the same values as you. Here is a list of 3 sources to buy your vegetables seeds that you can definitely trust.

Those are just the beginning. There is more to come so be sure to connect with me on on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or at Urban Organic Gardener to keep updated.

Mike Lieberman is the publisher of where he shows people with little to no land how to start growing their own food so they can avoid toxic pesticides, eat healthier and not feel limited by their lack of experience and space.

“Healthy Living with Vitamix” is sponsored by Vitamix. The Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre® can do the work of 10 kitchen appliances and lets you perform more than 50 kitchen tasks. Join their community on facebook and keep up with the latest news on twitter.


  1. Mrs Green on April 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    This is wonderful – I’m so excited to have you sharing ideas Mike. I know that many of us use the excuse of ‘not enough space’ but you’re showing that this doesn’t need to be the case. In fact it might be easier because it takes less time to take care of, right?

  2. Jules on April 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    When I loved at home we used to have a large Rhubarb patch at the bottom of the garden and an apple tree next door that we used to pick from. I moved out about 5 years ago and missed being able to pick our own rhubarb and apples, so bought a rhubarb plant (dont have space for an apple tree unfortunatly). The first year nothing happened, the plant we bought pretty much died. I was about to start digging it up the next year when I noticed a few shoots, so I left it. After a bit of reading I didnt pick any of it for the whole year and left it to die off again over winter. So far this year I have already picked enough to keep me going for a couple of months and its growing back just as quick as I pick it! So happy – as much rhubarb crumble as I can eat 🙂

  3. Mrs Green on April 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @Jules: What a wonderful story Jules; it’s amazing how some plants recover. I had a similar thing with sage. The plant had all buy died, but I popped a few ‘sticks’ into a pot and now I have a flourishing sage bush. I’ve just planted an apple tree that I can keep to 6ft tall so I’ll let you know how I get on with that!

  4. Jane on April 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    We grow lots of flowers and shrubs in our garden, but until now have only grown small amounts of vegetables – mainly surplus plants that other people have given us, plus a few things we have planted ourselves such as spinach. This year, we have decided to grow vegetables on a larger scale – both in our garden and greenhouse. I agree fully with Mike’s comments about feeling overwhelmed. After reading all the instructions on the packets and on various internet sites, I felt overwhelmed and daunted. However, I have to remind myself that the plants have not read the instructions, and will do their best to survive whatever happens! About 25 years ago when living with my parents I used to grow vegetables and did not follow any instructions. Consequently, I was not daunted. I planted some tomatoes, melons and cucumbers in pots of compost in the greenhouse. Other vegetables I started in trays/pots of compost in the greenhouse, and then transferred into flower beds in the garden. I never did anything else except watering and some weeding, and supporting plants with sticks when needed, and they all did fine.

  5. Mrs Green on May 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @Jane: Taking on orphan plants from others is a great way to get started with growing food. I love your idea that these plants will basically thrive given adequate care, nature’s a pretty tough cookie! I hope everything turns out well for you this year!