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Apartment Food Gardens: Public and private spaces

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on November 14th, 2011

Source: Permaculture Global


Photo by Jason Gerhardt

Permaculture designer Jason Gerhardt and his partner moved from the country into a city apartment in Boulder, Colorado, just over a year ago.  While they appreciated being in a home which had a smaller footprint and connected to local markets and bike access, the loss of food-growing space presented a challenge at first:

“The biggest challenge was how I was going to come up with 50 large containers to grow food in. We had 4-5 large containers that we used to grow tomatoes in in the mountains, but nothing more. The design for the containers was rather specific in that they needed to be large enough to support the growth of crops like peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbages, etc. We also need the containers to be light in color so as not to over heat from the strong direct sun that our climate affords us. Lastly, I needed the containers to be attractive so my neighbors and the homeowners association wouldn’t cause a stir. I began to search online trading posts such as craigslist, but only acquired three big containers that way. These were nice ceramic and wooden containers, but too expensive to furnish the whole patio with. I then happened upon a huge supply of full sized 5 gallon buckets from a mead maker in an industrial strip down the road. I realized they weren’t the most attractive option, but they were free, salvaged from the wastestream, light in color, and large enough. I decided to use the buckets on my private patio area and put the more attractive containers down by the street and in view of the public.”

Read the full article by Jason Gerhardt to find out more about the design of the planters, the soil mix they used, and the yields they had in this first year.

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