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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prepping in small spaces

My daughters all live in apartments or condos, so I feel your pain if you don't have a lot of space and are trying to get your prep on.

Worn Out over at Mississippi Preppers has a nice post, with many links, about food storage in small spaces.

And Matt just across the river at Kentucky Preppers has another about apartment homesteading and canning.

I commented on Matt's and I think it's worth repeating: Right. You cannot have an acre garden in a third story 1000 sq.ft. apartment. Unless, of course, you rent space at a community garden. But you can still grow stuff. Here's a list of things that come to mind. And even if you do have a huge garden, not that much stuff grows well under snow, so the list applies to you, too! If you want more info, leave a comment and I'll post specifically about what you're interested in.

SPROUTS. The only sprouts that need sunshine to sprout are sunflowers. All the rest can be grown in a mason jar in the dark. Here's a lot more info at my blog about sprouts. (The blog's not about sprouts, the post is!)

MICROGREENS. Microgreen seed mixes are just a bunch of tasty little green & colorful young seedlings, picked when they're about 2-3" tall. All you need is a shallow tray of potting soil (an aluminum baking dish with pin prick holes in the bottom works just fine), and a few hours of sun-- even morning sun is enough. These are excellent salad toppers, and are wonderful on a piece of bread with cream cheese. Here's one source of the seed. A packet lasted me several months-- just sow, harvest, sow... .

HERBS. All you need for these is a couple of pots & some sunshine for 4-6 hours/day (who cares if they get leggy?). Basil works beautifully, and there's pretty much no herb that you can't grow inside. That's basil on the top shelf in my sunroom last November.

CITRUS. If you have space for a houseplant, consider growing dwarf citrus. It will do best if you have a deck or patio you can move it to during the summer. Here's a whole post on citrus.

This list is not complete. One of my kids is growing Alpine strawberries (everbearing) in her apartment. Last winter I grew potatoes in straw in my basement. Lots of folks grow cherry tomatoes inside during the winter.

One added benefit of growing edibles inside-- especially in the winter-- is air-filtration. In addition to the fact that fresh is just better for you, the plants themselves help filter the air & add needed moisture, which is especially good in the winter. Give it a try. Let me know if you need more specifics.


Anonymous said...

Great post Marica. I'll include this in my next Apartment Homesteading Tip post!

Kentucky Preppers Network

Marica said...

Thanks, Matt! Spread the word!!

Anonymous said...

I did not realize that you can grow vegies during the winter months inside. I'll be checking out your links. Good Post!-Shelly

Marica said...

Yes, indeed, Shelly! One other thing-- if you have a garden now, many of your veggies can be potted up & brought inside. You'll accomplish tw things by doing this.

1) You can extend the season. For example, if you pot up sweet peppers before night time temps dip consistently below 50*, you can get 1-2 months more fruit from the plants. I was getting peppers into December last year.

2) You can jump start the season the next spring. Just keep the plants alive after they stop setting flowers & fruit, and take them outside as soon as night time temps are above 50*. They'll acclimate, kick into reproductive mode, and you'll have fruit 1-2 months before the plants you plant start producing.

Anonymous said...

Can you please provide more info on how you grew potatoes in straw during the winter months? Thanks - great info shared here!

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