The concept of 'urban farming' makes a brilliant career - the new version of agriculture has been enjoying a growing popularity lately. Learn how to solve a problem of lack of greenery in the apartment, while enjoying fresh herbs straight from your wall. Help the environment and see how wonderful your home can smell!
What is urban farming?
Urban farming is an urban version of agriculture - this concept simply means the cultivation of food (plants, vegetables and even animals) in cities. The idea of using this urbanised space in this way has a lot of advantages. First, it helps reduce the urgent problem of separating cities from nature and greenery. In addition, it enables to take care about the environment and facilitates city dwellers access to fresh, wholesome food from proven sources.
Do you know that according to data from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States) as many as 800 million people are involved in urban farming? This hot trend is particularly visible in North America (in the United States and Canada), as well as in China, the Netherlands and in our western neighbours, i.e. in Germany.
Own herbal garden can be an example of urban farming in the microscale. This solution allows for permanent access to our favourite herbs and ensures that they are as fresh as possible. Not only do we save money which would be spent on each purchase of products, but we also collectively care for the environment, even by limiting the emission of harmful compounds related to the transport of food.
Growing herbs in the apartment
If you cook at home, you know it very well how much comfort is obtained by having your own herbal garden. If you have a balcony or a garden - that's great, but not everyone has their own piece of greenery. In such a situation you can only grow herbs inside the apartment, preferably somewhere around the kitchen. There are several possibilities. You can plant all the plants in separate pots or boxes and place them on the windowsill or the countertop. Then everything will be at hand, but at the same time, we will be deprived of a large amount of workspace. That is why it is worth considering a special construction and cultivation of the herbal vertical garden. Such a green wall will save a valuable place (holding even a few dozen herbs), and also make every kitchen beautiful!
Herbs are divided into annuals (e.g. basil, marjoram), as well as biennales and perennials (e.g. lemon balm or sage). Not all tolerate one another and not all have the same requirements. Some are more expansive than others, for example mint, which, moreover, prefers half-light to full light. Therefore, before you choose plants for your vertical garden, take a moment to become familiar with their requirements or simply ask for a consultation.
All plants - also those included into the herbal wall - need proper care. Vertical gardens have the advantage of being equipped with an automatic irrigation and control system. Limited maintenance (such as regular trimming and eating) is enough to make the herbs look in their full magnificence and serve for a long time.
What herbs can be planted in the vertical garden?
Before you choose herbs for your green wall, think about your preferences. What do you use the most in the kitchen? What spices are the tastiest for you? Which herbs do you get the most from? You do not need to use a lot of species, although in the case of a vertical garden, the varied plants look very aesthetically. The favourite set that you will use when preparing the dishes, will work best.
When it comes to species that are a good solution for a green wall, they are definitely basil, mint and oregano, as well as lemon balm, sage, oxalis and thyme. Also rosemary and helichrysum curry adapt well to residential conditions.
Unfortunately, not all herbs can acclimate to the vertical garden. From the tests carried out at our office, it clearly shows that certain species are best consumed immediately after their purchase. This group includes rocket, marjoram, coriander and parsley.
What is worth remembering while growing vertical herbs?
It is worth following a few simple rules, to make the herbs in the vertical garden grow without any problems, be tasteful and serve us as long as possible:
1) plants that have the lowest water demand should be placed at the top of the green herbal wall, while those with the largest demand - at the bottom,
2) never allow the flowering of herbs - after blooming they lose their characteristic taste,
3) cutting the leaves should be always started from the top of the plant. Home growing does not consist in choosing only the largest, the nicest and the most beautiful leaves. Use these at the top, and then gradually go down the stalk,
4) do not leave any bare stalks! Regular consumption of herbs must be accompanied by their systematic trimming.
Good luck and ... enjoy your meal!