If you are like me and enjoy cooking, you will know how important it is to have access to fresh produce. In an ideal world, I would live on a coastal farm where I grow a range of vegetables and herbs, have a few cows and be totally self-sufficient…Reality is though, I live in an apartment in the middle of a city.
While it is always nice to have dreams, and who isn’t to say that one day I will have that coastal farm, it is still possible to grow your own fresh, organic produce even in the middle of suburbia. We recently bought our first place, a small, one bedroom apartment in Coogee. I have always envisioned that I would grow my own vegetables once I bought my own house. Problem is I always thought I would buy a house with a large yard that would allow such projects to take place.
The problem we were faced with was quite obviously, space. We didn’t want to transform our small outdoor area into a jungle of entangled tomato plants and herb pots so we knew we would have to be smart with the available space and plan out exactly what we were going to grow and where we were going to grow them. I sat back and realised that there was only one way to go: up.
We decided to hang some lattice on one wall of the balcony, from which we hung a number of pots and planted some of our favourite herbs. I have a few free standing pots with chillies, limes and strawberries and I’m training some cherry tomato plants up the lattice.
This idea still gives us plenty of room to sit around and have a few beers while I barbecue and we can still take advantage of being able to grow our own vegetables and herbs. I count myself lucky that I am able to walk away from the stove and pick some fresh rosemary for a roast or mint for a mojito and know that it is fresh. While the self-sufficient dream is not yet a reality, it is something that I am slowly working towards and something that I am reminded of every time I look at my vertical garden.
Yum – cherry tomatoes and basil give the pizza a fresh kick
Strawberries ready for the picking