Swide let’s you in on just how easy it is to get fresh vegetables to your table straight from your balcony. Afraid you don’t have enough space? Here is the good news: you don't need any (almost). The bad news? You have to work for it!
For all those who live in the city but love nature and cooking with fresh ingredients, life’s a constant trade-off between what’s practical and what’s fresh.
Lately, environmental designers have dedicated their attention to creating a apartment-friendly version of the vegetable garden: because the need to have fresh vegetables at hand has increased as awareness of organic food has spread among foodies (and the rest).
But what are the options for those who want to venture into this brave new green world?
Get busy with your hands by creating one on your own. The most simple way is to create a vertical plywood panel upon which you can place multiple plant pots - by creating a grid of steel and then hanging the vases on it or by creating small shelves on which to place the plants. The country-style version uses jute bags, instead of pots - separated from the wall so to not let humidity pass through to the inside wall of your home.
Another interesting alternative is to get yourself a "Vicky", proposed by Mexican-born, Netherlands-based designer Jose de la O, a lamp that is also a vegetable garden thanks to the special bulb that helps plants grow.
Where there is a space for a small table, there is a space for an urban, vegetable garden. Or so the Italian website Orti Urbani claims (a movable table/vegetable garden is on sale in the home page). The website sells all sorts of vegetable garden structures, together with many other solutions that make gardening in the city much more user-friendly.
The Italian designers of ZEROTREUNOUNO - dedicated to sustainability in outdoor design - studied a portable vegetable garden with 6 small extractable vases that can be placed either separately or gathered in a ceramic basket in the kitchen or on the balcony.
The next step on the subject is the one by Australian Xavier Calluaud, who has created a self-sufficient vertical vegetable garden, Urb Garden, in which each plant is located in a single movable space. Water is managed by an irrigation system and a compost box on the side provides manure.
One of the last discoveries in terms of vegetable gardens at home is by Hyundai, who recently presented the new Kitchen Nano Garden that features an avant-guarde hydroponic irrigation system that don't need terrain but only water. Looking like a refrigerator and illuminated by LEDs, the Nano Garden recycles the water, transforms the leftovers in compost and differentiate temperatures for each shelf. That's what we call local products.
Willing to find out more? Get The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell and then to experiment, it's the only way to really learn (at least in nature).
Written by: Elisa della Barba