One of the best things about blogging is discovering a new community of people with shared interests and goals. One such kindred spirit is Mari of the blog Gather and Grow. She is a fellow lover of permaculture and has graciously shared some great tips and inspiration for many of us who are interested in being more self-sufficient but feel limited by the space constraints of the urban environment.
Whether you live in an urban environment, or on many acres of land – I think you’ll find something useful here!
Permaculture Strategies for Urban Homes and Small Spaces
Permaculture designers love challenges. After all, permaculture is not just a set of organic gardening techniques, but a toolkit, a decision-making process, for designing sustainable human settlements. And one of its fundamental principles is: “The problem is the solution.”
What if we apply this principle to a challenge that many of us are all too familiar with: living in small urban spaces with little or no access to actual soil on which to grow food? Permaculture and gardening books present pictures of lovely, lush farm landscapes and large suburban lots overflowing with greenery, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, perhaps even with small livestock. But what do you do if you live in an apartment, or have only a postage-stamp-sized bit of yard by your front door?
The permaculture answer: you can still do a lot. In this case, seeing the problem as the solution means turning the seeming constraints of an urban environment – the density of buildings, people, and resources – to your advantage, and doing things like intensive planting, vertical growing, and maximizing solar exposure in- and outdoors. Here I present ideas and strategies first for the apartment dweller, and then for those who do have yard space but it’s limited. Continue reading