Seattle is full of inspiring gardeners, including Annette Cottrell who blogs at Sustainable Eats and co-authored with Joshua McNichols the Urban Farm Handbook: City-Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading and Preparing What You Eat. This guide details a smart strategy for making the leap off the commercial food grid while still living in the city. The book is chock full of thrifty “why didn’t I think of that?” hints and really good recipes. But I found the section on coordinating a buying club for purchasing produce, grain, and other urban farm supplies in bulk particularly interesting.
To encourage more people to connect with their food, Annette is hosting a year long Urban Farm challenge. April is the gardening challenge month and Annette invited me to participate! My challenge to you is simple: build a trellis and grow some food on it. Taking advantage of the vertical space in your garden allows you to grow more food in the same amount of space. Plus trellises are fun to build, especially with found and recycled material, and they help make a visual focus point the in the garden. Once you get started, it is hard not to add several trellises to the garden (I’ve currently got 5 up right now).
Some of my very favorite vegetables to grow up trellises include:
‘Golden India’ snowpea
‘Satsuki Midori’ cucumber
‘Trombetta’ summer squash
‘Mexican Sour Gherkin’
‘Garden of Eden’ pole bean intermixed with climbing nasturtiums
‘Black’ cherry tomato
If you need some DIY trellis inspiration, check out these past posts:
You can read more about the challenge and the prizes (and how to win them) over at Sustainable Eats. And in the meantime, be sure to let me know what you plan on trellising this summer!