The Bigger Picture

Why food growing in apartments in cities is important

Around the world, more and more people live in homes without a garden. In the UK alone, 40% homes don’t have gardens and allotment waiting lists are getting longer (currently 40 years in Camden, London, where I live).

The world’s urban population is also larger than its rural population for the first time in world history. To feed this burgeoning population sustainably, more food needs to be grown in cities. Balcony and window sill growing alone cannot provide all our food. But  it can make a significant contribution – as my growing diary demonstrates. Assuming the average urban home can grow 5 – 15% of their food, the potential impact on food security is significant.

There are big sustainabilty benefits of growing food at home, too. It saves transport and refrigeration costs. It helps reduce food waste: you only pick what you need, when you need it. On top or this, household organic waste can be recyled in wormeries – at almost no cost to the tax payer – to create a highly nutritious fertiliser.

Urban food growing also enables city dwellers to connect more closely to the seasons, their food supply, and the natural world.

On top of all this, food growing  offers significant benefits to individuals who grow.

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