By Sarah Fathallah ... via Open Ideo
If you live in an apartment, it might seem impossible to grow your own food. Think again! As long as you have a porch, a balcony or a window that gets sunlight, you are actually able to grow quite a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Okay, so growing pumpkins, corn or zucchini indoors probably isn’t all that feasible. But, any window that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day can support leaf crops like lettuce, endive and arugula as well as small-crop tomatoes, peppers, root crops and even bush beans.
Where and how to do it in your apartment?
1. On your porch/balcony: Container Gardening
Container gardening is easy, movable, and can be accomplished in a very small space. You can make your own containers, out of coffee cans, water jugs with the top cut off, deep bowls, plastic nursery planters, flower pots, empty milk jugs, etc. (cf. Anne's 'Put a Plant in it' concept), or buy ready made container gardens. When you're in Paris, there's generally a lack of space wherever you go. These containers are pretty successful here, and you can buy them from any market around 20 euros (cf. http://bit.ly/fzT0a0 -link in French).
2. On your windows: Window Farming
A window farm is a hydroponic window garden made from old plastic water bottles, or other various materials. It's pretty easy to make (cf. http://n.pr/dv2J9H), not so ugly, and you get a lot of resources online on how to design/make it yourself, or, if you're lazy, buy one that's already made.
3. On your walls: Vertical gardens
If you can’t put plants in the ground, you might as well throw ‘em up on something apartments have in spades, the walls. I came accross this Kickstarter campaign to develop Urbio, a nice-looking, minimal plastic pot that attaches to walls, refrigerators, ceilings -- pretty much any surface you can think of. Each pot has ultra-strong magnets integrated into the back that latch onto a mount. Screw the mount into the wall, and voilà! When it's time to water the plants, you pluck them off the mount and run them under the faucet. A slab of white pumice at the bottom of the pots captures excess water. There's another product that helps you create vertical gardens: http://www.woollypocket.com/ (Thanks Anne for sharing this).