We looked over the banister to the barren ground below
Located south of the city, the apartment complex we had recently moved to sat on a lush piece of property surrounded by trees and several man-made lakes. Every now and then, deer walked on the edge of the trees, to drink from the lakes.
Just outside our apartment, the piece of ground below sat empty. Every time the management of the apartment complex planted something, it died. They had given up and decided not to invest anymore time or money into the 150 square feet of dirt. Being on the slope of ground between the upper level of apartments to the ones below, every time it rained topsoil washed downhill.
We wondered if the management would allow me to plant a garden in that spot. They said yes. What did they have to lose? We certainly couldn’t make it look any worse than it already did. And so, we prepared the ground for plant starters. More than just a story about enriching the soil and cultivating veggies, this garden would be a life lesson for me. (But that’s another story.)
Months passed. So impressed was the management, the leasing agents drove perspective tenants by our garden as a selling point to live there. They, too, could have their own garden!
This was our mini-garden. Having just moved from the country, where we had eight rows of raised beds 70 feet long by 5 feet wide, loosely based on the square foot gardening method, we produced more food that we could eat or can.
After the apartment, we moved to a small house in the middle of town. The back yard wasn’t much of one. There were spots of ground between the garage and the fence between my house and the neighbor’s. And a small space between the house and the garage. Sunlight, or rather the lack of, was an issue and we had to fight the squirrels for my tomatoes and green beans.
Every space is unique. From sprawling acreage to the high rise apartment. Where there's a will there's a way to grow your own food.