Urban Farming: Growing a Garden in Small Spaces

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urbanfarming_645
(Photo: Green Living Ideas)

Urban farming is a term that refers to growing any herbs or vegetables (and sometimes even animals), in a city or urban environment. From window boxes to raised beds, as well as recycled items like 2-liter bottles and gutters or PVC pipes, there are so many ways to incorporate urban farming into your life. In addition to being healthy and convenient, it's a fantastic way to teach your children about growth cycles and develop a deeper understanding of all the work that goes into feeding our bodies. If that weren't enough to get you into your gardening gloves, just think of all the fresh salads you can make this summer! Here are some of our favorite methods:

Grow veggies along a fence: Turn a plain chain-link fence into a flourishing garden! Grow tomatoes, weaving the plant through the links. You can do the same with other "vining" veggies such as beans, cucumbers, and gourds. All of these fresh veggies will make raising a veggie-loving kid a snap. (via eHow)

cukes on a chain link fence
(Photo: Scholastic)

Garden in a box: Gardening can be portable! Some small plants, such as the herbs, can survive even in the smallest boxes. Use your fresh, home-grown ingredients to make delicious veggie salsas. (via Martha Stewart)

tea garden in a box
(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Plant in a recycled 2 liter: Cut off the bottom of a 2-liter, screw the lid back on and drill a hole in it. Secure it with two lengths of string on either side of the open end and fill with planting soil. Now you have a hanging herb garden for a window! Hang them from a balcony or fire escape and you can grow everything from carrots and peas, to green beans and lettuce. All of your veggies don't have to go into salads, either. Check out these 16 healthy carrot cake recipes for a sweet but healthy dessert. Bonus: Let your children decorate the 2-liters for a personal touch! (via Gardening Clan)

hanging soda bottle planter
(Photo: Gardening Clan)

Plant Vertically:  If you have a sunny wall, you can have a garden. Using old rain gutters or lengths of PVC pipe, you can hang a garden down a wall, and plant anything that doesn't need a deep root, like herbs or lettuces. Then you can whip up some garden fresh pesto with all of your delicious herbs! (via Shelterness)

vertical pvc planter
(Photo: Shelterness)

Use every space, even under the stairs: Space can be limited in the city, so you have to utilize every nook and cranny! As you can see, anywhere that you get sunlight, can be a great place to garden!

under the stairs garden
(Photo: Apartment Therapy)

Adding a little green can turn a house (or an apartment), into a home. Teaching kids to garden is a great way to bond this summer while also teaching them healthy life lessons.