Category Archives: Urban Homesteading

Urban Gardening Techniques Featured Image

Urban Gardening Techniques-Just Because You Don’t Have Space, Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Have A Garden

Urban Gardening Techniques Featured Image

I always hear people talking about they’d “love to have a garden, but just don’t have the space.” Well, did you know that you can have a garden no matter where you live? You’ve just got to get a little creative! When I used to hear people use the term “urban gardening,” I would visualize elaborate rooftop gardens. Yes, rooftop gardens are a form of urban gardening, however there are so many more space-saving techniques that will provide you with plenty of fresh, organic fruits and veggies and take up VERY little space.

Urban Gardening Techniques

Tower Gardening

Tower gardening is probably one of the newer urban gardening techniques out there right now. Tower gardening gives you the opportunity to grow many veggies in one small vertical area. Purchasing tower gardens can be a little tricky, because some of them are extremely pricey and you can find more inexpensive alternatives or even make a DIY version yourself easily.

Container Gardening

Just because you don’t have the space for a large garden, doesn’t mean you can’t grow your plants in pots! Container gardening is perfect for someone who lives in an apartment that has little or no outdoor space. Need some container garden inspiration? This article will give you some great ideas.

There is one downside if you don’t have a balcony or some sort of outdoor space to keep your pots, and that’s that some plants either don’t grow well indoors, or are unable to pollinate and make fruit without having insects to help them. That doesn’t leave you without plenty of options though! I’m working on a post about the best vegetable and herb choices when growing an indoor garden so check back soon!


Hydroponics and Aquaponics

This method of urban gardening is for the people that enjoy the more technical side of gardening. Now, when you think of hydroponics, you are probably picturing rows of hundreds of plants growing out of white tubes or something like that… but the truth is, hydroponics can be as large or as small of an operation as you would like it to be!

We grew lettuce and spinach in our dining room during the winter with this method, and it was fabulous!

Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening does take up some space, so it would be ideal for someone who has a small yard or room for raised beds. Square foot gardening is just as it sounds- it is a garden divided into a grid of one foot squares, which allows you to grow more a variety of plants, and save space at the same time. The video below tells you all about square foot gardening so you can get a better idea of the costs and benefits involved in this type of gardening.

 

Add Edibles to Your Landscaping and Window Boxes

This is an idea that I just love. There are so many edible plants that can be easily incorporated into your landscaping if you don’t have space for a garden. Some of the plants that immediately come to mind are kale, chives, sunflowers, lavender, rosemary, and many other herbs, carrots, and just about anything else. You’ve just got to get a little creative!

Window boxes are another place that are perfect to plant edibles. Sweet potatoes are a vine that are commonly used in window boxes just because of how beautiful they look. You could easily install a window box at your kitchen window for a lovely herb garden right within reach as well!

Raised Beds

Raised beds can be as large or as small as you would like them to be. When my husband and I had just moved in together into our first apartment, we made a small 3×4 raised bed out of 1x4s and grew herbs, jalapenos and green peppers. It added a homey feeling to an apartment that wasn’t exactly homey! Now, please don’t think you have to go out and by the expensive pre-made raised beds from the hardware store. Raised beds are easy to make, and we’ve even made some amazing raised beds out of cement blocks at our current home. If you’ve got the space, raised beds make for a great-looking, organized, little urban garden.

Urban Gardening Techniques

The benefits of growing your own food are limitless, and you will never look at produce from the grocery store the same way again. There’s nothing like sitting down for dinner with your family and eating something that you’ve grown yourself, and it’s even better when you have children to teach those lessons to as well. So if your small space is getting you down and talking you out of having even the smallest little garden, don’t let it! There are more than enough options when it comes to urban gardening. Obviously it’s a passion of our family’s, so if you’ve got questions about it, I’ll be happy to answer them the best that I can.

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Welcome to the New Blog- Now Let’s Have a Giveaway!

Giveaway

 

After blogging as a hobby for quite some time, I am excited  to announce that I have moved to  my new self-hosted blog!

I am so thankful for all of the positive feedback I have received in the last year, and I cannot wait to start this journey with Young Earthy Mama. You will be seeing plenty more urban homesteading and education posts, as well as a few great recipe posts!

I wanted to open my new site with a giveaway to thank all of my readers, and hopefully gather some new ones too! If you want to be updated about new posts, please don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar!

Don’t forget to like the Young Earthy Mama Facebook Page as well!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Build an Inexpensive Raised Bed Garden

Before we were given the opportunity to have our large garden across the street, for several years we used these raised bed gardens that we created around the perimeter of our back yard. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on raised beds, so we got creative and found an inexpensive alternative. We used cement blocks!

build an affordable raised bed garden YEM

It was extremely affordable, because although cement blocks are around a dollar or so each at the hardware store, we discovered it was fairly easy to get them for around fifty cents each from local concrete companies, or even free from sites like Craigslist.

We just placed them side by side where we wanted them, and then hauled in soil from a local nursery. In previous years we have planted onions, lettuce, and garlic in the tiny centers of the blocks. The blocks also do a great job of holding in moisture, so you don’t always have to water your plants as much. We still use them in our back yard every year, and this year I filled an entire garden bed with wildflower seeds! You can follow me on Instagram to see the results in a couple of months!

Cement Block Garden Beds

It really is a great alternative to a traditional raised bed garden for someone who doesn’t want to spend the money on a pre-made garden bed, or for someone who does not have the access to tools or the skills to build wooden ones from scratch.

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Build Your Own DIY Seed Starting Rack Tutorial

diy seed starting rack tutorial

It’s that time of year again, and we’ve found a fantastic tutorial so that you can build your own DIY seed starting rack!

Normally we purchase plants for our garden that have already been started from our local nursery, but this year, we decided to start our own! It’s been a great experience, and also educational for the kids to peek and see how much each seedling has grown every morning.

DIY seed starting rack tutorial 2

We did some research and decided to build our own seed starting rack from this tutorial at Old World Garden Farms. The tutorial is extremely easy to follow, and you end up with a great seed starting rack that is sturdy enough to use as shelving for cans or other items when it is not growing season. The rack is inexpensive to build, and even a beginner can figure it out. A couple of things we did learn through this process were: Don’t plant your seeds way too early (yeah, we did that), and check around for the most inexpensive shop lights you can find! We noticed that prices for lights vary quite a bit between stores, and when you need a lot of them the cost starts to add up.

We are loving the process of starting our plants from seeds, and plan to do it every year from now on. We love knowing where our plants are coming from, and growing them in a way we are comfortable with.

And yes, we are “keeping it classy” with those Red Solo Cups our tomatoes are growing in…. I have a post coming soon about ways to get pots for your seedlings at a more affordable price than the expensive home improvement stores. We used the cups as a last resort, but then found a great alternative that I can’t wait to share with you.

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Kale Cubes For Smoothies

For the past several years I have had the most amazing kale plants growing in our garden. I just love kale, but I really love a good green smoothie with kale even more. Being a mom of two busy kiddos, I would always pick the kale from the garden, get distracted, and find it wilted on the countertop later. I solved this problem, and created a way to have delicious green smoothies all winter by making these Kale Cubes for smoothies. Seriously, nothing makes me feel better during a cold, gloomy Indiana winter than a fresh smoothie.

DSC_0229

How to make the Kale Cubes….

They are basically ice cubes with kale and either water, or coconut water. I cannot believe I let so much kale go to waste before I learned how to do this. It is SO easy.

All you have to do is wash your kale leaves, then separate the stems from the leaves. Next, you just add around a handful of kale leaves to a blender (or more or less to your liking), pour a cup of water, or coconut water into the blender, and blend it up! After it is blended to a consistency you like, just pour it into ice trays and freeze! So simple!

I always let them freeze over night, and pop them out of the trays in the morning. I put them in a big gallon ziploc bag for easy access. That way you can just grab as many cubes as you would like, and toss them into your blender when prepping your smoothies.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Handful Kale
  • 1 Cup Coconut Water or Filtered Water

Separate the leaves from the stems, wash, and place the leaves in a blender.

Add 1 Cup coconut water/water to blender. Blend until preferred consistency.

Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

Once frozen add to a ziploc bag and store in freezer.

Use 3-4 or more cubes per smoothie.

Enjoy!

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