Growing food without a garden

Browse main article categories

vegetables_market

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Growing in the Outdoors

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they encourage their children to connect with nature and dig in the dirt. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

For this month’s carnival we were asked to celebrate Growing in the outdoors.

We were asked “How do you encourage your children to produce the food they eat or the natural elements they enjoy?”

What struck me as I read this was the amount of people who don’t have a large enough space to grow food. Traditionally food for the family was grown on a big allotment, but how many of us with modern houses have that much room?

My challenge to you is to accept that you don’t need a garden to grow food and today I want to share six ways to make the most of your space.

Patio gardening

On a patio you can grow all sorts of food in containers. This year we’re growing peas, carrots, kale, beet, French beans, runner beans, tomatoes and herbs in containers, raised beds and planters.
patio-gardening-courgette

Balcony or roof top gardening

On a balcony, providing the structure can take the weight, you can grow plenty of food in containers. If you need inspiration, check out Mike who grows his food on a fire escape in New York or Fern who blogs about her life on the balcony.

edible-balcony-garden
Apartment gardening

If you live in an apartment, windowboxes are your friend. You can grow herbs, cut and come again salad leaves, raddish and baby vegetables.

salad-grown-windowbox

Terraced housing

If you live in terraced housing then it’s time for hanging baskets and wall planters. In hanging baskets you can grow tumbling tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and edible flowers such as nasutriatms.

strawberry_hanging_basket

The indoor garden

If there is no outdoor space available to you, bring your garden indoors. Sprout seeds, grow salad leaves and plant herbs in pots on your kitchen windowsill.

new-herb-garden

Conservatories

[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]160358028X[/amazon-product]

A conservatory can be used just like a greenhouse! In a small conservatory you can grow peppers, tomatoes, chillies and other plants that like a lot of heat.

tomatoes-grown-conservatory

41 Comments

  1. Alicia C. on May 10, 2011 at 4:30 am

    I went for YEARS growing plants in containers. Any container worked – big cans, milk cartons with the tops cut off, even boxes lined with plastic grocery bags. I even ‘borrowed’ some good, black dirt from a nearby woody area because my husband found it stupid to buy dirt (ok, he was right – it does sound stupid to pay for something that’d just about everywhere. LOL)
    People seem so afraid to try gardening in pots because of the cost of supplies or they’re afraid they’ll kill their food. That’s why there are so many seeds in the packet! You can’t learn without actually doing it.



  2. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  3. Mrs Green on May 10, 2011 at 6:17 am

    @Alicia C.: Sounds like you have some fantastic experience Alicia; loving how you didn’t let anything stop you 🙂



  4. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  5. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  6. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  7. How Not to Grow « Wild Parenting on May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  8. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  9. Why we make this organic garden grow | on May 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  10. tartankiwi on May 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Some great suggestions there!
    I have done my share of growing herbs on the balcony or the kitchen window in the past. No matter where you grow it, food that you grow yourself always tastes better 🙂



  11. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  12. The Tradition of Gardening | lovenotesmama on May 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  13. Deb @ Living Montessori Now on May 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Great post! I love the way you make it look easy and inviting to grow food anywhere. The idea of growing food even on a fire escape is pretty awesome!



  14. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  15. Lauren @ Hobo Mama on May 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I love this article — so helpful and encouraging for those of us without a yard! I second all your suggestions, heartily. 🙂 (You’ll see if you read my post!) I’m glad you’re letting people know it can be done.



  16. Growing Outside « The Practical Dilettante on May 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  17. MJ on May 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Wonderful post! It reminds me that all things are possible if we really want them!



  18. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama on May 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    You are a genius 🙂 What awesome ideas for gardening in small spaces! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.



  19. Bethy on May 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    We used to live in a loft with a “fire escape” balcony. I had my portion full of tasty plants and herbs! Little tables, ladders, hanging all crowded and full of veggys and such with buckets here and there to catch rain water. I have a much better system now with a community garden and flower bed in front of my home, but truth be told I miss my balcony garden!!! Great post!



  20. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  21. Amy on May 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    These are some really great suggestions! Most of our garden is in containers, since we live in a rental town home with a landscaped area our front that’s not very friendly for gardening. (Though that hasn’t stopped me from planting things and having a compost pile out there.) Another great space for urban gardening without a yard is in the parking strip (that patch of grass that’s sometimes between the sidewalk and street). I’ve planted acorn squash and zucchini in ours for two years now, and I see many neighbors utilizing that space for their vegetables, too!



  22. Little Gardener « Rosmarinus Officinalis on May 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  23. mamapoekie on May 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    what a great resource of ideas! I love all these small vegetable garden ideas… and what’s even better about them is that it gives a small scale experience that might unleash a passion. I think even if you have an extensive vegetable patch like we have, you should still keep a few things nearby, just because they’re lovely



  24. Mrs Green on May 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    @Amy: ahhh, great suggestions – thanks Amy. I love the thought of all those veggies growing on the parking strip.



  25. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  26. Abbie on May 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I grew up on a 60 acre farm and I must confess that this makes me feel a little clostrophobic! 🙂 But seriously, I love these tips. It’s so true that you don’t need tons of space to grow your own food! Even a teeny tiny windowsill can grow some peas 🙂



  27. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever a distance of your plot, she shows we how. […]



  28. Kelly on May 11, 2011 at 12:20 am

    This is SO cool – I wish I would have known about all these opportunities when I lived in smaller spaces!

    I’m going to be focusing on my straw bales this year, but as our yard is still pretty small I think I’m going to try some of these ideas on the deck next year – I’d love to have an even bigger crop of veggies. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!



  29. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever a distance of your plot, she shows we how. […]



  30. Small Footprints on May 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Oh … great suggestions, Mrs. Green! I’ve lived in apartments for years and have always grown food in containers. It’s actually amazing how much one can grow in a small space … and truly, I think herbs, fruits & veggies are just as pretty as flowers. There’s also an added benefit … most container gardening is less bothered by “critters” (slugs, etc.) and, since the containers can be placed on tables, blocks, etc., one doesn’t necessarily have to bend over to tend their plants (no more back-breaking work). 🙂

    By the way … this post ties in nicely with our next Change The World Wednesday challenge so I’m going to hang onto it for the Honor Society. Of course, if you wish to write another post … it’ll be honored as well!



  31. Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama on May 11, 2011 at 2:25 am

    I will definitely be using these guidelines when we get our little balcony garden going! I’m thinking herbs of some kind.

    Thanks Mrs. Green!!!



  32. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever a distance of your plot, she shows we how. […]



  33. Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet on May 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Great approach to the topic – I think you’re absolutely right,a lot of people feel limited due to living in rented or urban accomodation without a big garden… my motto applies “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are!”



  34. Isil on May 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Great tips for the carnival.Thanks!



  35. Mrs Green on May 12, 2011 at 6:32 am

    @Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama: You’re welcome Jessica – enjoy your little space 🙂

    @Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet: LOVE your motto; such a powerful one for anything in life

    @Isil: You’re welcome Isil; thanks for stopping by.



  36. Mrs Green on May 12, 2011 at 6:44 am

    @tartankiwi: Great that you have utilised some tiny spaces!

    @Deb @ Living Montessori Now: There are some amazing people growing food in small spaces; they totally inspire me!

    @Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Thanks Lauren; I will be sure to check your post out too 😀

    @MJ: Absolutely – it’s a kind of metaphor for life I guess 😉

    @Dionna @ Code Name: Mama: thanks Dionna; not a genius; just experienced and optimistic 😉

    @Bethy: Sounds wonderful Bethany; I bet you inspired so many people with your tiny, flourishing space.

    @mamapoekie: Couldn’t agree more; although I love having lots of space sometimes it would be nice to be able to really focus and nurture a smaller area.

    @Abbie: what a gorgeous big space you grew up in. We’re space junkies too 😉

    @Kelly: You’re welcome Kelly; I absolutely LOVE your straw bale garden; can’t wait to see what happens for you.

    @Small Footprints: thanks hon; I’m going unplugged for a few days so do please list this post in your CTWW; I’d be honoured 🙂



  37. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever a distance of your plot, she shows we how. […]



  38. Carrie on May 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    This post epitomizes how our veggies and herbs will “bloom where they are planted.” 🙂 Nice thinking outside the box here!

    I LOVE your zucchini photo!!



  39. Mrs Green on May 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Carrie 🙂



  40. We Go Outside | Peace For Parents on October 20, 2011 at 5:41 am

    […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



  41. […] Growing Food Without a Garden — Don’t have a garden? “You can still grow food!” says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how. […]



Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Or try our Site map and Tags

Featured posts

Five natural ways to cure Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD

In Northern Europe, around 12 million people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Symptoms range from mild such as feeling a little…

Basic natural household cleaning kit

You’ve all been waiting patiently to begin making your own household cleaners. You know some of the nasties you want to avoid…

A natural homemade recipe for cough syrup using thyme, garlic, honey and sage.

Mother Nature bestows so many gifts upon us, providing all we could ever need for a long and healthy life; foods to…