This is a guest post submitted from a fellow Urban Homesteader:
I have never had the inclination to become a farmer, but if food costs keep going up at the current rate, I may have no other option but to start a garden on my balcony. Every week the prices for basic foods are higher than the week before. No one is saying anything, but I am sure everyone has noticed. At this current pace, our weekly groceries will equal our monthly rent payment before the end of the year. I have no clue what is driving these prices, but something is going to have to give.
The economy and jobless statistics are still too unstable. Prolonged unemployment has thrown crushing blows within our family for the last two years. We have had to downsize from renting a house to an apartment. I’m not used to apartment living, but at least I have a roof over my head and am not camping in a tent, yet. Several of our family members have had to double up under one roof just to make ends meet. We do what we have to do and try to remain optimistic. We look for ways to cut costs, reduce spending, increase cash flow, and pray we will make it through this long crisis. Now, with the rising food costs, each week becomes harder and more impossible to make ends meet. This is devastating to the already stressed families barely able to pay for rent and utilities. We will have to make further cuts in our food budget to pay the bills.
Food is a basic necessity for everyone.
If I have to become a balcony farmer to insure my family will have food, I am sure there are others contemplating this same option. We are talking real survival, here. I suspect there are going to be quite a few balcony farmers throughout the nation in urban areas.
I remember during the late 1990’s with the Y2K millennia fears, people were starting organic container gardens in urban areas where they did not have a yard to plant gardens. Now, as some people are fearing the approach of 2017 predictions, I am beginning to see that trend reappear. I don’t claim to know much about dooms day predictions, but I do know that the crisis is real, and the biggest threat is not just jobs and money. It is the accessibility, and affordability of food. We would all be wise to do what we can to prepare ahead in the event prices sky rocket beyond comprehension. Besides, should a natural disaster strike, having your own food to pull your family through would be priceless.
Get prepared and start your garden, now. The more prepared you are, the less vulnerable you and your family will be to conditions, situations, and events which we have no control.
Apartment Dwellers Can Grow a Garden, Too
Here is a great way to recycle your water and soda bottles to grow food, even if you live in an apartment.
• 2-liter bottle recycled garden container
1. Cut plastic bottle in half.
2. Turn upper bottle half upside down.
3. Insert cotton cloth remnant into spout, leaving half inside bottle and
half out, to serve as a wick.
4. fill lower half of bottle with water.
5. place upside down upper bottle half into lower bottle half.
(Cotton remnant will wick up water.)
6. fill upside down upper bottle with soil and plant seeds or seedling.
(TIP: Using different colored cotton remnants will add color to your recycled bottle garden.)
Best vegetables to grow on the balcony for apartment dwellers:
- Green beans
Remember, plants need pollination of their flowers in order to produce their fruit. You may have to do the work of a bee to pollinate your plants, since your balcony is probably not a bee’s ideal place to visit. The end of a Q-tip swab will do the trick easily. Just remember to poke the swab in the center of the plant’s flowers. Use a new Q-tip for each different plant. Pollen from a tomato plant won’t work with a green bean plant.