Reduce food waste by growing food!

A great way to reduce food waste, food miles and avoid packaging is to grow your own food.

Easy if you have an allotment or large garden, but what if you’re a busy city dweller living in a high-rise apartment?

I’ve maintained for many years you can grow food without a garden and Penelope Bennett, in her book “Window-box Allotment”, agrees!

As you might guess from the title, Penelope grows her food in window boxes. In fact she cultivates a minute garden on a London rooftop.

In a space that measures only 6 x 8 ft, Penelope Bennett cultivates a garden that includes artichokes, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, alpine strawberries, raspberries, herbs (and saffron), 31 kinds of potato and six different fruit trees.

Over on the JUNO magazine website, editor Saffia Farr talks more about the book and interviews Penelope about her enjoyment of producing food and flowers; which includes hints of using recycled household items for equipment!

If you’re feeling inspired, here are a few tips for growing food in a tiny space:

Sprouted seeds

Hands up who grew cress on a piece of damp kitchen towel as a child?

Well it’s pretty simple to notch it up a step and grow all sorts of sprouted seeds at home such as alfalfa, mung beans or sunflower seeds.

The health benefits are enormous, you can grow as many or as few as you like and sprouting seeds is quick and easy; with most being ready to eat in around four days.

Hanging baskets

Hanging baskets lend themselves to tumbling tomatoes and strawberry plants.

Two of the best tomatoes for hanging baskets are “Tumbler” and “Hundreds and thousands”.

An added bonus for strawberries high up in a hanging basket is they are less prone (not completely you understand!) to invasion from slugs.

Kitchen gardening

Many of us waste fresh herbs and spices bought from the supermarket.

You get a small amount in a plastic bag and by the time you’ve finished your masterpiece the rest of the bag has gone off.

Take care of a few small pots of herbs on your kitchen windowsill; basil, mint, parsley and thyme should thrive and you’ll save heaps on those overpriced bags.

What about you – do you grow any of your own food in a small space?

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap /

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Rachelle Strauss

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