As Spring is fast approaching, for those of us who appreciate and actually enjoy the art of gardening, a Poverty Food Garden is a must have! Even if you have no space to plant directly into the ground, one can still create creative and space friendly gardens that even apartment dwellers such as myself can enjoy.
The most obvious of small garden favorites are herbs. A few hanging pots or small counter top pots can produce an abundance of herbs like basil, parsley, chives and oregano among others. And I will tell you, I have been planting from the same packet of basil seeds for three years. One packet must have had a few thousand seeds so my one dollar investment is paying off for sure! And no, they don't seem to expire as the packet would claim!
|Vertical potato garden in Kenya - photo http://observers.france24.com/content/20081020-farming-innovations-slum-kenya-biological-farm|
For space-challenged folks, vertical gardens may be the solution! Vertical gardens are being increasingly used not only in the USA as a novelty or space saver, but literally as a life saving and economical food producer in the third world. Potatoes and other life sustaining crops are being grown in these clever vertical gardens, as shown above.
|Be sure to use only containers from non-toxic products- soaps, bleach or chemical product containers|
should never be used! And change them each time you plant something new. Plastics will erode over time.
|Vertical garden made from a shoe tree!|
You can find creative multi-crop containers at your garden center or you can create one yourself. Use the space you have and be resourceful.
Try growing the following if you don't want to get into a labor intense garden season. Total estimated cost, about 10 dollars. Total food value, about 150USD for the season. And never buy seeds for things like tomatoes, pepper and the like. Save the seeds from the vegetables you buy in advance and simply dry them on paper towel. In about 3-5 days they should be dry enough to plant. Potatoes should simply be allowed to root and grow "eyes"- then cut them in to pieces and plant.
- Three window sill pots= suggestions: basil, flat leaf parsley, chives or sage, lemon basil and thyme
- Two pots or containers: tomatoes and green peppers or chili peppers (go for fruits that can be dried or frozen easily).
- One hanging shoe tree or other creative vertical container with deep soil: onions, carrots or potatoes. If you are attempting potatoes or onions, your vertical garden should rest on the ground as it will become increasingly heavy.
The point is, grow a little something to both reduce your yearly costs as well as adding freshness, beauty and flavor to your daily life. Have fun!