A great idea to deal with abandoned plots is to turn them into a peace garden.
Often however there is a lack of funds to get going.
With a bit of good will and creativity it is possible to make up for missing resources:
How to grow food on a 0 budget
– Seeds are readily available from most fruit and vegetables we eat.
I deliberately rate the fresh produce I eat and keep the seeds of what tasted really good.
– Where seeds are tricky, cloning is a great alternative.
When I came across some mint growing rogue in a flower bed gracing a street corner, I took a twig. Mint grows like a creeper and spreads far and wide quickly, so it’s best to keep it in a pot. This makes it ideal to pinch a branch and plant straight into the soil at home.
– Soil is being moved by wind and rain. There are places where soil builds up and is unwanted.
I’m regularly cleaning up the abandoned plots next door. Plenty of free soil.
– Compost is so easy to make and means less garbage for landfill.
You don’t need much space or know-how to compost your organic waste. A wormery works wonders in really small places. It feels good to do your bit to reduce waste.
– Used tea bags still contain a lot of nutrition and can be mixed into the soil.
I drink a lot of tea. I empty out the tea straight into the pots of plants who need their soil topped up or collect it to stretch soil for the next planting session.
– It is so easy to upcycle plant pots from plastic bottles.
Since I’m making my own plant pots I can’t help but see potential containers for my plants in any plastic item I come across. And my gosh, there is so much rubbish flying around on the streets, it offers me a great choice.
– It is also easy to upcycle the outer cachepot.
The plant pots need at least a drip tray or, to match your interiors, a nice ornamental cover pot. Also this is easy to DIY upcycle.
Alternatively you can buy a Ranzani Design Ueberpot for only R100, thus helping to keep rubbish out of landfill.
– Planters can be upcycled from styrofoam cooler boxes.
Styrofoam boxes make great planters: Light and sturdy, they insulate the roots and are ideal for salads and microgreens that can be enjoyed by the whole family, including pets.
If you have good design and handy DIY skills, you can build a wooden crate that looks great in your backyard.
– Grey water contains more nutrients than water straight from the tap and your plants need less fertilizer. Your dishwater probably makes for the ideal bug spray.
I’m only using grey water and dishwater to water my plants. They are thriving on it.
Careful though: Don’t accidentally use salty water, hot water or water with vinegar in it.
– Rainwater can be collected and stored for watering plants throughout the summer.
The drought crisis in Cape Town has made me very aware of water. I actually can’t believe we are so wasteful with such precious resource. Collecting rainwater has become the new norm and makes perfect sense to keep your plants green throughout the hot months.
Yes, as an extra bonus you’ll be rewarded with happiness for your efforts.
Seeing your plants grow is highly motivational. Nature is so generous, you’ll be amazed about the results.
Plus it’s deeply reassuring when you harvest your own produce. Growing food from nothing makes you realise no matter what crisis we face, coronavirus and all, we can do it.
On top of it you know that you’re consuming pure goodness. No-one messed with the food you grew yourself. It tastes great and feels like a spa day for your tummy, especially when you have IBS.
This Habanero chili pepper plant is gifting 15 fruits. How amazing is that!