5.08.2009

Other options

For those of you who live in the city, or don't have a lot of room to plant a large garden there are a few solutions for you.
1. Community gardens- we had one just down the street when we were renting an apartment. The idea: someone owns a large plot of land and "rents" out space to a person desiring a garden. Generally you can pick the plot size, plant whatever you want, do the maintenance and harvest the crops when ready. My brother did this while living in Washington D.C.
2. Herb gardens- herbs almost always should be planted in pots because they have a tendency to take over whatever space they are in. This is also good if you don't have any room outside to plant (or are not allowed). Put a few herbs in pots and watch them grow. I like mine inside for the mere fact that when I'm cooking I don't want to run all the way out to the garden for a few leaves of basil. You can even plant more than one herb per pot if space is especially limited. You can be creative too. For example- garlic grows really well in Ohio and is a shallow root plant. Plant garlic next to your herbs in a pot and your a few tomatoes away from the freshest spaghetti sauce you've ever had.
3. If you're worried about space and/or your green thumb, there is also another option of purchasing produce from the area. It's almost like a guaranteed farmers market. The cost varies on supplier, but many cities have sign-ups for produce. You just pick up your bag each week. The only catch is that you don't pick the produce, you just get what you get. However it is straight from the farmer. I like this option because it supports local farmers, as well as less hands have touched it, and lets be honest it a lot fresher.
4. Share! I have traded with friends in the past too. I'll grow this if you grow that. Sometimes your crop can be especially plentiful while others didn't have much success. So just trade. Here's a bushel of tomatoes for a bushel of potatoes. I've even had friends that will take your produce and make something out of it (like salsa). As long as they can have some of the end product.. This works both ways. If you do the canning maybe someone would be willing to let you have some of their produce.
5. Think opportunity. Maybe you have an elderly person in the area who does have space to plant a garden, but isn't able to put in the labor. Do it for them and give them a portion of the produce at harvest time. They get fresh crops, you get a garden for free, you're also providing a service. It's a win-win-win!

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