August 5, 2020

Farming in an Apartment? it is Possible!

While it may sound crazy that you can start a mini farm even if you live in an apartment, the truth is that it is very possible. Depending on what type of space you have, you can grow a few types of fruits and vegetables, and even animals in some apartments.

An apartment with a balcony is able to produce a small garden. By using the square foot method of gardening, even one tiny balcony can produce quite a bit of food. You can use containers for your garden plants or you can use my preferred method which is to buy bags of potting soil, lay them flat on the patio with small drainage holes in the bottom, and cut holes in the top for your plants. Singapore property insights clearly reveal that this is quite the possibility. 

Using the square foot method, vine plants such as watermelon and cucumber can be grown up a wall or railing. Every bit of space can be used. Even if your balcony does not get sun for most of the day, you can still grow some shade tolerant plants such as lettuces.

Kitchen scraps can be turned into compost whether you live in an apartment with or without a balcony. The best way to do this is by keeping a worm bin under your kitchen sink. If you have a balcony, you can keep a regular compost bin, but it will take up valuable garden space. Compost and worm castings can be used in your own garden or you can give it to a local gardener in exchange for some of their garden’s produce.

Even if your apartment does not have a balcony, you may still be able to grow some of your own food plants. Ask your landlord if it is possible for you to be allowed to grow a container garden on the roof. Even if all you can do is grow a few culinary herbs in your windows, it will help. Indoor plants will also vastly improve the air quality of your home.

Do you think that you cannot keep livestock simply because you live in an apartment? Think again! There are a variety of animals that you can raise for food or supplemental income. Many apartment balconies have room for a beautiful, well-built hutch. You may be able to keep one or two pet chickens for their eggs. Hens eat a variety of table scraps and your non-compostables can be turned into eggs, chicken manure, and meat.

Rabbits tend to be very apartment friendly and can be raised for meat or companionship. They can also be bred and sold. My favorites are the beautiful angora rabbits whose hair can be collected with a comb and handspun into the most valuable and luxuriant of yarns.

Many apartment dwellers enjoy raising doves on their roofs, porches, or balconies. Doves can be raised and sold or kept for their meat. Some people who live in apartments enjoy raising homing pigeons as a hobby.

I have seen apartment balconies with a bee hive or two. Honey bees are quite docile, especially a few specific varieties, and most people will not even notice or realize that they are there. Bees produce honey, of course, as well as propolis and beeswax which is valuable for use in soap and candle making as well as other products.

If you have a balcony, you can start your own small nursery. You can grow seedlings in flats and sell them at your local farmer’s market when they are ready. Local gardeners may even trade you some of their produce that cannot be grown in an apartment (such as apples, oranges, and peaches) for young healthy seedlings.

Check your local library for instructional books on square foot gardening and raising different types of small livestock. You may be able to produce more out of our little space than you realize!