A Celebration of Food and Food Sustainability Projects

Author: Greg Dixon (Page 2 of 2)

Growing Food in Containers

You can grow a surprising amount of plants in small spaces using containers.

Vegatables that you can grow in containers.
Photo from pixabay

Use pots, planter boxes, and other containers on balconies, decks, or nooks and crannies of your yard.  You can move small containers as needed.

What You Can Grow

You can grow almost any plant in a container.  You could even sprout trees like California Redwoods, but you would need to transplant them and they are probably not the tastiest plants. 

Here are some suggestions for food crops:

  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Leafy Greens
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Edible flowers
  • Kale
  • Herbs
  • Asian Greens
  • Peas
  • Eggplant

Suitable Containers

Almost any container can be made to work, including bags, buckets, pots, cardboard boxes, wooden planter boxes, concrete and stone planters, to very expensive works of art.

Or an old car!

Photo from pixabay

Where to Find Supplies

You can look for suitable containers in your home and neighbourhood.

Garden Centers, Supermarkets, and Department Stores may carry suitable garden supplies.

Local gardening clubs and organizations could be a good source of seeds, plants, tools, supplies, and advice.

Neighbours too.

Online Resources

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More On Food Connection Network

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Sprouting Seeds for Healthy Eating

One of the easiest and most cost-effective way of growing your own food is sprouting seeds.

Sprouting Seeds

The idea is to sprout seeds in jars or other small containers on a windowsill or other location inside your home.

Small Miracles

A seed has an amazing amount of resources packed in a small container to create whole plants from little more than water and air.

The plants provide for healthy eating.

Popular Seed Varieties For Sprouting

Here are some of the favourite sprouts:

  • Alfalfa Green Sprouts
  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Mung Beans
  • Radishes
  • Soy Beans
  • Mustard
  • Fenugreek
  • Sunflowers
  • Alfalfa Green Sprouts
  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Mung Beans
  • Radishes
  • Soy Beans
  • Mustard
  • Fenugreek
  • Sunflowers
  • Mixed seeds
  • Grasses

How to Sprout Seeds

You will hydrate the seeds by soaking in water, then allowing them to sprout in a jar or other container.

Cleanliness is very important.

West Coast Seeds has a great article on sprouting seeds.

Minimal Equipment

You can get sprouting with very little gear, including mason jays, sprouting, mats, colanders, and tiered trays.

Repurposed used glass jars are a good place to start.

Where To Get Supplies

You can get seeds and seed sprouting equipment from many different sources including West Coast Seeds, Amazon, garden centers, health food stores, and department stores.

You can order anything you need online if you do not find a good local source.

More Information On Sprouting

There are plenty of books and other resources available.

Seed Sprouting Books on Amazon

Start Sprouting!

See:

A Roadmap To Food Security

Food Security is having a reliable source of enough food to survive and thrive.

Bounty from your home garden

One of my motivations for creating the Food Connection Network is to offer advice and options to help organizations such as orphanages achieve a level of food security.

The following suggestions provide a roadmap to filling food needs while minimizing the reliance on money donations alone.

The intention here is to provide an introduction to ideas and build out to detailed posts on each with links to information, resources, and related projects.  The information will grow over time.

Easy First Steps

Here are some things you can do to provide food starting with few requirement for space or investments.

Sprouting Seeds

All you need to start sprouting seeds inside is a container such as a jar, some clean water, and seeds. 

Popular seeds include Alfalfa, Green Kale, Red Clover, Fenugreek, Crimson Lentils, Mung Beans, Oriental Mustard, Green Peas, Sunflower, Wheat Berries, Daikon Radish and more.

See:

Microgreens

Growing microgreens has become very popular with restaurants and can increase food security.

Similar to sprouting seeds, microgreens are small plants that can grow in a little soil in small containers inside or outside.

Container Gardening

Say you live in an apartment or have limited space for gardens.  You can grow a surprising amount of food in buckets, planters, and other containers that can be moved.

See:

Wall Planters

Any vertical wall or fence can become an efficient growing space. The idea is to plant into rows of pockets to create a living wall that can provide food.

Small Garden Plots

Do you have grass or areas of dirt or gravel that could be used to grow food? 

A little work and some soil can provide fertile space to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Greenhouses and Cold-frames

Structures such as greenhouses and cold-frames can help extend your growing season and provide high production.

Backyard Chickens and Other Animals

Many cities allow a small number of hens in backyards to provide eggs.

Some rural areas may permit raising animals such as chickens, goats, and rabbits for food.

There is a new trend towards raising edible insects.

Honey Bees

The world needs more bees and protection for bee habitats. Some cities will allow beehives to produce honey.

Sweet!

Community Solutions

The next items involve working with other people and groups.

Community Gardens

A growing number of communities provide space for community gardens. Often these are raised planter boxes assigned to individuals.

Urban Farming On Public Spaces

I have been involved with a number of projects in North Vancouver and there are some large projects around the world that take public space to grow fruits and vegetables.

Farmers Markets

Local farmers markets provide an opportunity for people to enjoy local goods and provide an outlet for local producers.

Food Festivals

Food festivals can provide a fabulous way to put people who enjoy food with producers and organizations that celebrate food and help with food security.

Cooperative Food Projects

Cooperative Food Projects often involve multiple organizations and many volunteers to make work.

Food Rescue

A shocking amount of food goes uneaten.

Edible produce is left in the field.

Much edible food is culled for cosmetic reasons.

Unsold or aging stock on shelves is discarded.

Spoiled or unwanted food is tossed from fridges.

Restaurants and caterers discard leftover food.

And yet there are many people and organizations that could use the food.

Here are some of the ways food rescue projects can redirect food that may end up in landfills to help feed people:

  • Use food donated by grocery stores to provide meals for school food programs.
  • Donate to food banks and soup community meal programs.
  • Donate food to orphanages.
  • Process the food for freezing for use in community food projects.
  • Composting what cannot be eaten to help grow more food.
  • Package recovered food for humanitarian aid projects.
  • More …

Food Hubs

There are many moving parts in a comprehensive food rescue program. Large scale solutions may require some form of Food Hub to provide some or all of the following:

  • Commercial grade kitchen facilities.
  • Food processing and packaging.
  • Refrigeration and cold storage.
  • Distribution support.
  • Market stalls.

Want to Help?

Here are some of the many ways you can help improve food security for yourself and others:

  • Grow your own food.
  • Donate excess food.
  • Volunteer for food security projects in your community.
  • Subscribe to our Food Connection Network Newsletter.
  • Contribute content and suggestions for this site.  I especially want to know about related projects anywhere in the world.
  • Consider sponsoring or otherwise supporting Food Connection Network.

Keep in touch.

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