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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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Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch


With school starting back up, what better a time than now to talk about tips for packing an eco-friendly lunch? Packing an eco-friendly lunch reduces massive amounts of waste, and saves you money at the same time! There are so many great products out there that will keep you from heading to the store to buy more plastic baggies…

By the way, have you ever thought about how many plastic baggies you use in a week? What about a year? How much money are you spending on them? If you do the calculations you will be absolutely shocked at the money you are wasting on those things. Plus, it takes them hundreds of years to decompose. It’s a really sad, sad thing! The chart below is calculated for a one adult, and two child household. It’s really unbelievable the amount of waste we are creating, and most people don’t really think about it most of the time.

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly packed lunch products that will help your family reduce the large amount of waste that generally results from packing lunches on a regular basis. Some of them are affiliate links, so I will receive a small percentage with no additional cost to you, but all of these products are great and very earth friendly!

Tips for Packing an Eco-Friendly Lunch

  • Ditch the baggies and plastic wrap! Purchase reusable containers and baggies.
  • Find a great safe lunch box similar to some of the ones listed below. Reusing a lunch box is much more eco-friendly than using paper bags.
  • Don’t purchase individually packaged food and snacks. That will save you a ton of money and reduce waste, plus in general foods that are not packaged individually have less added ingredients (example: pre-cut and pre-packaged apples).
  • Try using cloth napkins rather than paper napkins or wipes.
  • Avoid buying plastic silverware. Just pack normal stainless steel silverware and wash it when it’s brought home.

 Great Eco-Friendly Lunch Products

Although it’s not completely necessary to purchase any of the products below, I really enjoy the many compartments that they have. It’s particularly great for packing a variety of different foods in one simple container for kids, since normally they love variety and finger foods!

Eco Lunchbox

Eco-Friendly lunch box choices


Planetbox

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch

Yumbox

Eco-Friendly Lunch box choices

Dabbawalla Lunchbags

Pack an Eco-Friendly Lunch Tips

Make Your Own Sandwich Bags

Reusable Sandwich Bags- Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

Reusable Food Wraps

Waste-Free Eco-Friendly Lunch

BleuRoo Sandwich Bags

Eco-Friendly Packed Lunch No Wast Lunch Bleuroo

I hope that this post has motivated you to think about how much waste is being created by packing lunch every day with disposable items. By tweaking your normal lunch-packing routine, you can reduce your yearly waste by hundreds of pounds!

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Broccoli Salad- A Healthy Recipe

Hello all! I’ve got a delicious and healthy broccoli salad recipe to share with you today! This broccoli salad recipe is  a little sweet, very crunchy, and the dressing is light and flavorful but not overpowering.

Healthy Broccoli Salad

This is no average broccoli salad. I always add a little bacon, cranberries, almonds, and a little honey for sweetness.

Healthy Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cranberries

 

Healthy Broccoli Salad Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 3 Heads of Broccoli
  • 5 Strips of Bacon
  • 1/4 C. Honey
  • 1/3 C. Mayo
  • 1/4 C. Olive or Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 C. Bacon Grease (Saved from cooking the 5 strips of bacon)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

Cook the bacon and save the grease.

While you are waiting on the bacon to cook, wash the heads of broccoli and cut them up in very small pieces. Try to use only the very tops of it in the salad (I normally keep the stalk and use it in cole slaw or something similar).

In a smaller bowl, mix together the mayo, honey, bacon grease, and olive oil into a dressing.

Mix in the cranberries, bacon pieces, sliced almonds, and dressing together with the fresh broccoli.

Refrigerate for about an hour before serving. It’s even better on the second day!

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for similar recipes!

 

Energy Bites- Kid-Friendly and No Bake!

Our kids love these healthy energy bites. As parents we love them because they are packed with protein and can be whipped up in just a few minutes! They are so easy to make because they don’t require any baking, so we batch them up and keep them in the fridge to munch on.

Kid-Friendly Energy Bites/ Protein Balls. No Bake!

 

These healthy kid-friendly energy bites are packed with protein and fiber, along with a little sweetness for everyone to enjoy. It’s so versatile because you can add dried fruits, nuts, dates, etc. and it will always taste delicious.  Here’s the recipe…




Kid-Friendly Energy Bites

Ingredients: 

  • 1/8 Cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut (optional)
  • 1 Cup Oats (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats are a great choice)
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

*Note: If your family does not like coconut, feel free to experiment by adding another ingredient like cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, or chopped dates. Just remember that you may need to add some extra melted peanut butter and honey to help  bind all of your ingredients.

Directions:

Mix all of your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Next, mix your peanut butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave until it is melted (probably around 50 seconds).

BE CAREFUL, because the peanut butter and honey mixture will be hot, but it cools rather quickly once mixed with the other ingredients.

Pour the peanut butter mixture into your dry ingredients and mix it all together.

Once it is all mixed, roll bits of the mixture into balls a little larger than bite-sized. Roll them in some extra coconut, and ta-da! You’ve got some delicious and healthy kid friendly energy bites!

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator and enjoy!

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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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