The phrase “urban garden” is mentioned a lot lately, in the news, on blogs, in your grandma’s Stitch ‘n Bitch circle…and when it gets to grandma, you know it is time to pay attention. An urban garden is literally that–a garden planted in an urban setting. Urban gardens are becoming more popular as more people start to care about the food they eat and how it is grown, but living in an urban setting means getting creative with the little space that is available to you. This has led to a large variety of urban gardens around the world today. Some are planted in a community space, tended to by city workers or volunteers, and served to the community’s homeless population, like in Baltimore. Others, like the one I encountered in at St. Kilda beach, near Melbourne in Australia, is a communal plot of land where locals can purchase a spot for an affordable fee to plant and tend to their own “urban” garden.
Many urban gardens are the result of a Guerilla Gardener, people who refuse to let usuable land to go to waste. They sneak in to the area and the rebels put plants in many urban (and non-urban) areas around the world. Like the gent who planted a community garden to feed the homeless on a strip of land on Kansas City’s Interstate 670. Some urban gardens come out of sheer necessity, especially for those with little money or access to fresh produce. A recent article on CNN.com talks about an Atlanta area group that created HABESHA Gardens, an urban garden to feed some of the city’s neediest members in area known as Mechanicsville. The garden did not grow out of a need to be trendy, but rather grew from need–people creating resources that did not already exist for them. My urban garden is comprised of two modest plastic planters stuffed with organic, locally grown herbs. This is my third year attempting to grow herbs. I killed my first set successfully and quickly in Australia. Last year’s batch wasn’t as bad, but after a drunk friend raded my herb pot during a party to make scrambled eggs (don’t ask), my garden was pretty much done (and that was only in July!). My current urban garden is not as full or as lush as I would like, but it keeps growing, tastes delicious, and isn’t dead yet, so that’s a score in my book.
The first pot is filled with basil, thyme, chives, and some of the biggest Italian flat leaf parsley I have ever seen.
The second pot is a bit smaller and contains rosemary and more basil. Can you tell I like me some pesto in the summer?
And I’m not the only one in my apartment building to rock out my own herbs. Check out my neighbor:
I have total herb and garden gnome envy. I think that it is fair to establish that my life cannot go on WITHOUT a garden gnome. Perhaps one that’s bent over showing his knickers. I’m just saying. Do you have a urban garden? What do you think of them? Oh, and have a happy 4th of July! Remember, nothing is more American than eating a big slab of bacon–with your own urban-ly grown herbs, of course! ~LTG!